09/04/2006 12:00AM

Buddy Gil retired again


Buddy Gil, the winner of the 2003 Santa Anita Derby, has been retired after injuring a knee recently. He will be retrained as a stable pony for trainer Jeff Mullins, co-owner Scott Guenther said Sunday.

"Jeff has a real appreciation for the horse," Guenther said. "We thought that was a great option."

Guenther said that Buddy Gil will spend a few months at co-owner Donnie McFadden's Billingsley Creek Ranch in Idaho before joining Mullins's stable.

Buddy Gil, a 6-year-old gelding, won 6 of 21 starts and $809,627. Sixth in the 2003 Kentucky Derby, he was announced as retired in 2004, but his owners decided earlier this year to resume his racing career. He made three starts this year, all for trainer Bill Mott. Mullins trained Buddy Gil in 2003 and 2004.

The decision to retire Buddy Gil was made after he finished eighth in the Cigar Stakes at Arlington Park on Aug. 12. Guenther said the partnership that owns Buddy Gil was advised after the Cigar Stakes that Buddy Gil had a bone chip in a knee.

"We talked to the veterinarian," said Guenther, "and he said, 'I don't know if it's career-ending. Either he's not going to give you everything he can give you, and/or he's going to hurt himself trying to give you everything.' "