05/08/2003 11:00PM

Buddy Gil undergoes ankle surgery


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Buddy Gil, the Santa Anita Derby winner, who finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby, will be out of training for two months after undergoing surgery on Wednesday to have a bone chip removed from an ankle, trainer Jeff Mullins said.

Mullins said the surgery was performed by Dr. Larry Bramlage in Kentucky and that the operation to the gelding's left ankle was termed a "100 percent success."

A three-time stakes winner this year, Buddy Gil will remain in Kentucky during the recovery and will rejoin Mullins's stable later this summer.

"The chip was very minor," Mullins said.

Mullins said that Buddy Gil will be rested for two weeks in his stall, walked by hand for three weeks, and then turned out for a month before resuming training. Mullins emphasized that the ankle had suffered no cartilage damage.

Even though Buddy Gil is a gelding, Mullins said there is a potential sale being considered to an unnamed buyer. He said that the five-person partnership that currently owns Buddy Gil would retain a percentage in Buddy Gil and that Mullins would continue to train him.

"He could be the next Kona Gold," Mullins said, referring to the veteran sprinter who is still racing at 9. "He could be around for awhile.

"They know he's a good horse and we're doing the right thing with him. He's not a colt and doesn't need to run in the Preakness or Belmont."

Buddy Gil has won 5 of 10 starts and $729,455. Aside from the Santa Anita Derby, he won the Baldwin Stakes and San Felipe Stakes during the Santa Anita meeting.

McPeek mulls California invasion

Kenneth McPeek, one of the top trainers on the Kentucky circuit, may send horses to California this fall for the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting.

McPeek on Friday said he has had discussions with several people he trains for about racing horses in California.

"I have some clients that have asked me about going out there," he said. "For the fall we may come that way."

McPeek, 40, said that there is a strong possibility he will be represented with more than only stakes horses at the Oak Tree meeting, which is hosting the Breeders' Cup.

"We've got a good number of quality horses that need to be developed yet," he said.

Occasionally, trainers from other parts of the country have sent horses to Del Mar for that track's meeting during the summer. McPeek said that is not in his plans and that he will split his stable between Arlington Park and Saratoga this summer.

McPeek won the training title at the 2002 Churchill Downs fall meeting, and is known for winning the Belmont Stakes last year with the longshot Sarava. He also trains the multiple stakes-winning mare Take Charge Lady.

Chief Planner works toward Affirmed in June

Chief Planner, a seven-length winner of the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes for California-breds on April 26, worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 on Friday at Santa Anita.

Owned by Golden Eagle Farm, Chief Planner will be pointed for the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap for 3-year-olds over 1 1/16 miles on June 22, trainer Bob Baffert said. A long-term goal is the $400,000 Swaps Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on July 13, the 3-year-old championship of the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting.

o Also on Friday, General Challenge worked six furlongs in 1:11.60, the fastest of 15 recorded works at the distance. The 7-year-old General Challenge finished last of nine in the Tiznow Stakes on April 26, his first start after a 2 1/2- year layoff caused tendon and splint bone injuries. Baffert said he has no plans for General Challenge. "He really needed his last race," he said.

Go for Glamour's cut leg to delay her return

Go for Glamour, who finished third in the Santa Anita Oaks and Fantasy Stakes earlier this year, emerged from a last-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks with minor injuries that could delay her return to racing until the summer.

Go for Glamour suffered a cut on her right foreleg and lost a hind shoe in the Oaks. In the run to the first turn, she was stuck on the inside and was bumped severely, causing jockey Alex Solis to take up and avoid a collision.

"The race was over on the first turn for her," trainer Beau Greely said.

Go for Glamour has been treated with antibiotics to avoid infection and will remain in the barn for another week before resuming training, Greely said. He has all but ruled out a start in the Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks June 14, but may consider the Del Mar Oaks on turf in August. "She looks better and we'll live to fight another day," Greely said.

o King Robyn, the winner of the Harry Henson and San Pedro Stakes this year for 3-year-old sprinters, is being pointed for the $150,000 Laz Barrera Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds over seven furlongs on May 26, Mullins said.

In the Barrera, he might face Ministers Wild Cat, who finished fifth in the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 19. Earlier this year, Ministers Wild Cat won the Golden State Mile and finished second in the El Camino Real Derby, both at Golden Gate Fields.