Grade II winner Mula Gula, who completed his first season at stud at Ron and Nina Hagen's El Dorado Farms near Enumclaw, Wash., has been returned to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer at Golden Gate Fields and has as his goal the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Owner Steve Gula has his eye on the Mile (gr. IT).
Gula, who raced Mula Gula, said he realizes the drawbacks of returning a horse to training following a season at stud, but figures that Mula Gula might be up to the challenge. Mula Gula also has fully recovered from a suspensory injury that forced his retirement from racing. "Three vets examined him, and the ultrasound couldn't find anything wrong," Gula said.
Nina Hagen also gave Mula Gula passing marks. "He looked to be in fantastic shape when he left the farm," she said.
Mula Gula (Lil E. Tee--Night Tan, by Ascot Knight) arrived at Hollendorfer's barn July 24 and has taken quickly to his new surroundings. "I talked to Janet Hollendorfer, who probably knows the horse better than Jerry, and she said he's better this year than last year," Gula said. "She said his disposition is better."
Mula Gula scored his three biggest wins on grass. Those performances included a victory in the Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) and a course record 1:45.34 in the Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Derby (gr. IIIT) at about 1 1/8 miles,
Gula said 5-year-old Mula Gula might run at the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita in a prep for the championship day race.
At stud this year, Mula Gula covered 37 mares.