Derby runner Buddy Gil, recovering from surgery.

Derby runner Buddy Gil, recovering from surgery.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Buddy Gil Recuperating From Surgery

Buddy Gil, who finished sixth in the May 3 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), is recovering from a May 7 surgery in which two bone chips were removed, one from his right knee, and one from his left ankle. The 3-year-old gelding is recuperating at Dr. Foster Northrup's Duck Down Farm near Crestwood, Ky. Dr. Larry Bramlage of Lexington's Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital performed the operation.

"The two spots weren't anything major," said Donnie McFadden who bred the horse in the name of his Billingsley Creek Ranch and owns him with a group of friends. "They were new and hadn't done any cartilage damage. We knew he had a small flake in the knee, but we didn't know about the ankle until the day after the Derby when we had him X rayed. We probably could have gone on (racing him), but that wasn't in the best interest of the horse."

McFadden said he asked that the gelding be examined after the Derby before a decision was made whether or not to run him in the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Now Buddy Gil will be away from the track for at least nine weeks, first on stall rest, then walking, then turnout.

"He should have a 100% recovery," said trainer Jeff Mullins, who saddled the gelding for victories this year in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), and the Baldwin Stakes (gr. III).

In addition to McFadden, Buddy Gil (Eastern Echo--Really Rising, by For Really) is owned by Desperado Stables (Scott Guenther), Merrill Stables (Charles Johnson), Rogers Severson, and Tom Schriber.