Second careers for Derby Horses.

It is Kentucky Derby Day! A good time to update readers on our own retired Derby contender, Buddy Gil. We know what second careers most Derby horses enjoy and rightly so, but hey, a few of us are geldings! And 2003 was the year for super-talented geldings like Buddy Gil and the awesome Funny Cide, the Derby winner. Here is a photo of BUDDY GIL working under his regular jockey Gary Stevens at Churchill Downs in preparation for the Derby. Buddy had a rough start but finished a respectable sixth in a field which also included such greats as Empire Maker, Peace Rules, and Indian Express.

After his illustrious racing career Buddy Gil originally retired to his owner’s Billingsly Creek Ranch in Idaho. When the ranch was sold Buddy moved to Tranquility Farm in 2009. When I spoke to the folks who took care of Buddy in Idaho they told me that he was sometimes turned out with the yearling colts to keep them company. That was a surprise because I knew what kind of racehorse he was, but sure enough, he is a horse you would call tough but tender.

Never was there a more kind companion for a lonely colt, and this year we have one yearling boy that Buddy has taken under his wing.
Here is Buddy Gil yesterday with his little friend Happy Warrior, who is now available for adoption. I guess you could say that Buddy Gil’s second career is “mountain man and mentor”.