Barbaro Updates: 254 – 287

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Posted July 20, 2006

Update 287: Just returned from The Whip. We had a great turn out, and will let you know more tomorrow. More importantly, Kathy Anderson visited Barbaro on her way to The Whip (about 7 pm) and reported he remains comfortable, so another good day for Bobby.

Update 286: A couple of comments have cited more sources for Barbaro pictures, the sources are: Deborah Tracy-Kral and The following story was left in the comments, I truly hope it does not offend anyone, I thought it was heartwarming:

Last evening a friend and I were on our usual Wednesday evening ride. He had his grandson with him which was unusual. This boy was a knotheaded little cowboy in every sense… riding a little one eyed pony that we got a couple of years ago from people that didn’t need a horse in the first place. For that matter, all of our horses came and still come form places like that. But anyway, sometime around 7, Cam asked his Pa, “ain’t it time to pray for Barbaro?” This embarrased his Pa I could tell, and took him aback as we had never even discussed Barbaro. I spoke up and told him yes sir,it is. We dismounted and bowed and prayed for Bobby. Two old knotheads and one young one ….and three horses that shouldn’t be around anymore. Barbaro has indeed touched many many lives and we are so grateful. Daily prayers and best wishes and prayers from the Gates of Eden Farms.

Posted by: David at July 20, 2006 04:53 PM
OK, off to The Whip. I think it will be a good turn out, and I am hoping it includes people who may have visited Bobby today so I can provide an update later.

Update 285: You can catch Sabina’s NBC10 piece, it is now online.

Update 283: New Bolton Center’s press release for today: Barbaro remains stable:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro remains in stable condition after another restful night according to Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson. “His vital signs are good and his attitude remains positive,” said Dr. Richardson. “He slept well and is comfortable this morning.”

Update 282: Kennett Florist left the following comment this morning:

Good morning everyone!
Alie and I just delivered a breakfast bonanza from Dunkin Donuts to the staff of NBC. We weren’t even finished loading up the table that one of the doctors had set up for us before there was a stampede! (of people, not horses) The card from the gigantic basket that contained donuts, munchkins, muffins & coffee (among other goodies) was signed “FROM OUR FAMILY AT TIM WOOLLEY RACING SITE WHO LOVES BOBBY AND THOSE WHO CARE FOR HIM” but sent by a lovely TW member in KS whose name remains anonymous. 😉
Our news of Bobby is the same as everyone else’s- another comfortable night. Go Bobby! Steve and Alie plan to go up this afternoon to check in with the staff about updates.

I just caught Sabina on NBC10. Very cool. She clearly loves this horse, and is more enamoured by him than the human stars she has photographed! She mentioned Bobby gets a bath each saturday, he has a big aura, there’s a brightness in his eyes, he’s got grace, he has adapted well to his needs (sling) and he has a big will to live. These comments were interespersed throughout the interview. I hope it becomes available online, it was terrific!

Update 281: Excellent article from the Baltimore Sun: Barbaro devotees offer gifts, good wishes to injured horse, which quotes Kathy Anderson (one of our great sources):

Dr. Kathleen Anderson, Barbaro’s personal veterinarian during his racing days, gets a daily morning update. She said she has been encouraged by what she has heard, although Barbaro faces an additional six months at the hospital.

“That’s the most disappointing part for all concerned,” Anderson said last evening. “A broken leg is almost healed now. He would have become more ambulatory and been able to go to a field and rest. Now, it’s six more months. No one thought he would be hospitalized eight months.”

Anderson said the three most important questions facing Barbaro now are:

*Will he get laminitis in another foot – the front or even the broken rear right one?

* Can his comfort level be maintained through the months it will take to attempt to regrow his hoof – which is like a human waiting for a lost fingernail to grow out?

* How long will the regrowing of the hoof actually take?

“But, absolutely, other horses have done it,” she said. “You just don’t read about it because they’re not famous. But it is definitely a doable process, and it is far less unusual than the 27 screws that put his right leg back together.”

Anderson also said the report earlier this week that the fusion of the pastern was unchanged was actually an encouraging report.

“It meant there was no infection,” she said. “If there was an ongoing infection, it would have deteriorated.”

The article also covers other ground, a great read. The New York Post cited this site again today in its daily Barbaro update (thanks Ed Fountaine). The Bloodhorse is in Fair Hill today (I think that’s what Peter told me).

A few of us are getting together early evening at the Whip, so I really appreciate the contribution, it will be well spent. Peter and Kim (Brette), myself, Tim (and perhaps Penny), Kathy Anderson (possibly), Sabrina (photog, possibly) and others will be there. Will report back the fun we have!

Update 280: Barbaro had another comfortable night last night (wednesday). Saw Michael Matz at 6:35 this morning (thursday) as I was walking to the racetrack. He had just heard from Dr. Richardson.
updated thursday 7:00 am

Update 279: Dean Richardson was interviewed yesterday (wednesday) for this article in the Bloodhorse (and no doubt other media): ‘We’re in a Marathon,’ Says Barbaro’s Vet, the following are Dean’s quotes:

Dr. Dean Richardson is looking way beyond those daily updates, however.

“His condition is not likely to change really fast any time soon,” said Richardson, the chief surgeon attending the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner at the New Bolton Center. “We’re in a marathon at this point.

“The issue is months, not days,” he said Wednesday. “He has a long, long way to go.”


“I’d be laughed out of the profession if I said this horse’s prognosis is anything but poor,” he said during a brief telephone interview from the center.

Richardson said Barbaro’s condition shouldn’t take any sudden turns — for better or worse — because it takes a long time to recover from laminitis.

“It is possible he could have a bad night, but it could be just a bad hour and we wouldn’t go crazy about that,” Richardson said.


“Every day I’m encouraged,” Richardson said. “No one wants to quit on this horse. No one wants him to suffer.”

Casts on the horse’s hind legs were changed Monday, and Richardson said the left one will be changed often so the laminitis can be treated. So far, he likes the way the hoof is healing.

“It looked as healthy as you could have expected it to look. I was very pleased,” he said. “If you’re not used to looking at that sort of thing, it might not look healthy.”


“We’re still talking months, many, many months,” Richardson said. “We’re talking about six-plus months, as far as how long to go if he grows one. The next few weeks, that’s very important.”

Mike Schuh, the reporter for our WJZ piece left this comment:

My email is: With Alex and Tim as my subjects… how could I go wrong? With Fair Hill at dawn as the back drop… every image was more beautiful than the next. As a storyteller, everything lined up… from the weather (hot & dry), to Alex & Tim’s schedule (flexible), to the right photographer (Joel Eagle) and the right video editor (Paula Gage). I’m sorry Barbaro was hurt… though I’m glad to have made the acquaintence of such cool guys as Alex, Tim, & Michael.
Thanks for your kind words about our news piece.
M i k e

And finally, for those that can watch, don’t forget Sabina Pierce will be on Philly’s NBC10 at 10 AM today, discussing her photopgrahs of Barbaro.

Posted by Eliza at 9:52 AM | Comments (863)
Barbaro Updates: 15
Posted July 19, 2006

New updates here.

Update 278: Kathy Anderson called again after her visit to Bobby (7:20 pm). She concurs with what we have heard today. She did provide some insight into Bobby’s current routine. As she was leaving, Bobby was being prepared to leave his sling. Basically it seems he spends about 12 hours in his sling and 12 hours out of his sling. When he leaves his sling he tends to sniff around his stall, prepare himself, and then lay down for about five hours. Before they release Bobby from the sling, the staff spend some time preparing the stall with extra straw etc.

Update 277: Kathy Anderson just called. She is running late (she has a couple more horses to see before she can get to NBC) but wanted me to know that Dr. Scott Palmer visited Bobby today. He is a vet from New Jersey Equine and had not seen Barbaro since the Preakness. Kathy said that Dr. Palmer was pleased with Bobby, he felt he was bright and comfortable.

Bernie, from Kennett Florist left this comment:

Alie, Steve, and I just got back from NBC and spoke with Dr. Sweeney, the nursing & office staff and the mood there was really happy. He’s doing well and they REALLY appreciates the goodie baskets and chocolates and cookies. They told us that Bobby LOVES the carrots & horsey treats. Dr. Sweeney said to us as she was holding the door for us, “He’s having another good day.”

Update 276: New Bolton’s Update: Barbaro’s condition unchanged confirms what we have heard today:

Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson reports that Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro remains in stable condition with good vital signs today. “Barbaro spends several hours a day in a sling, which he has adapted to very well,” said Dr. Richardson.

Slings, which were originally designed for rescuing horses, are now common in the treatment of horses with conditions that include neurological problems or muscular skeletal injuries. They have been in use for many years for long-term management of a horse’s movement. “We have a lot of experience in using slings for equine support,” said Dr. Richardson. “In Barbaro’s case, it is a part-time aid that we use to increase his comfort level.”

Sports Illustrated is running a story: Natural treasure Barbaro’s grace and fighting spirit has touched us all that tries to explain our passion for Bobby (we have seen similar articles lately I think, but they are great nonetheless), an excerpt:

But maybe that’s the point. Barbaro isn’t human, so he exhibits none of the human failings that disappoint us in our athletes and coaches. He never put his hoof in his mouth like Ozzie Guillen, or fell in love with himself like Terrell Owens. He never held out for more money, stiffed us for an autograph, tangled with the authorities or coasted when he should have been playing hard. In fact, he gave all of himself, competing almost to the point of destruction. How could any fan ask for a more noble competitor?

Update 275: Just spoke to Peter Brette, who was just leaving New Bolton after his visit with Barbaro (2:45 pm). He said Bobby looked fine, was standing all square and certainly not in distress. He appears to be maintaining his comfort level. We know this is (hopefully) going to be a long road ahead, and this is all we can hope for at this stage.

Sabina Pierce left a comment (5:35 PM) which I include here:

I just thought I’d let you know I was asked to go NBC10 in Philadelphia’s 10! show Thursday at 10 am to speak about my photographs of barbaro at NBC.

You can see Sabina’s work at her site: Sabina Louis Pierce–Photojournalist. For those in the Philadelphia area, I hope you get a chance to tune in. Lets hope they put the content on their site.

Update 274: A little light humour as we wait for further Barbaro reports: LOOP CHAT ASK SMARTY JONES. The following is an excerpt:

Q: The entire world is pulling for Barbaro as he tries to recover from his life-threatening injuries. What advice do you have for your fellow Kentucky Derby champ?

JONES: All of us in the paddock are praying for Barbaro. He got a really tough break, or about 25 of them. He needs to work hard on his rehab, because it’s all going to pay off for him and his owners in the breeding shed. That laminitis is a bad disease. It’s hard to believe that putting too much weight on a leg can do that much damage. It’s even more hard to believe that the Vikings’ Pat Williams doesn’t suffer from the same problem.

Someday Farm, where Smarty spent some of his youth (perhaps he was foaled there, I am not entirely sure), is about a five minute drive from Fair Hill, just inside Pennsylvania.

I just wanted to thank those of you who have sent us (Tim and I) gifts in the last few days (and for the tab at the Whip). It is much appreciated but entirely not necessary. If you would like to offer your thanks with some form of gift, I think it would be cool to either contribute to Mike Rea’s Fund or to a thoroughbred retirement home, whichever you prefer. If it turns out we do need some financial support for this site, I will definitely ask! For now, Eliza is taking care of everything for us. For those who have contributed to the Whip, I am planning to get a few Barbaro people together so we can toast you all! Its funny, Kathy Anderson came to me this morning and thanked me (and Tim) for a dozen red roses. She was convinced we had sent them. I looked at her, she then realized that was not really something we would do! Thanks to the person who contributed the roses in this site’s name. For a while, Kathy thought very good things of Tim and I! Kathy said she might be visiting Bobby later today, I will try to catch up with her to get a report if she does.

Update 273: Barbaro had another comfortable night (tuesday night). Just got the report from Michael Matz as he was leaving the barn with his string at 7:05 this morning.
updated 7:10am

Update 272: The following New York Times article: Veterinarian Says Barbaro Needs to ‘Regrow His Foot’ focuses on a key issue for Barbaro’s recovery. The following are quotes from Dr. Richardson:

“He has to, basically, regrow his foot,” Richardson said. “That’s the whole issue. Can we get enough hoof growth that he will be comfortable? And that’s going to take months. If we can keep him comfortable with the various things that we are doing while this is occurring, we have a shot. Horses have regrown feet before. He wouldn’t be the first horse to do it. But his hurdles are higher than others because we still have issues with his right hind leg.”


“You have to get the horny part, or hard part, of his hoof to grow back down on top of the bone,” Richardson said. “Then you have something for the horse to walk on. No one is claiming that the horse has a high probability of getting a normal foot. The hope is to get him something comfortable enough that he can walk on.

“Everybody has had a few successes with this. That doesn’t make it easy and it doesn’t mean that this particular horse is going to be one of the ones to make it. Anybody who does this type of work will have the occasional horse that everybody considers at the time a miracle. That’s the nature of this type of work.

“If you really stick it out, some of them make it. But the overall numbers are such that I can’t be excessively sanguine about his chances. This is a serious problem.”

The following sketch (thanks Anna) is a little humour based off update 247.

This Baltimore Sun article: Barbaro gets cast changed twice not only quotes Peter Brette, excerpt:

And that assessment comes as no surprise to Brette, who visited him Sunday and Tuesday, but the assistant trainer said the horse’s determination is another story.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen a horse treated in a harness,” Brette said. “But he’s just adjusted to everything they’ve ever done to him. What he’s been through the last eight weeks, it would have been the end of us and of most horses. I think he’s surprised everyone by how tough he is.”

but also Kathy Rengert (works for Fair Hill and helped in the purchase of La Ville Rouge (Bobby’s mum) for the Jackson’s):

“We’ve been bombarded,” said Kathy Rengert, a blood stock agent who is a friend of Barbaro’s owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, who remain in daily contact with the New Bolton Center while on vacation, visiting family in Africa.

“People want to send things to Barbaro,” said Rengert. “Lately, I’ve been telling them Barbaro’s connections have lots of money. If you want to help someone in racing, donate to the fund for trainer Mike Rea, who had a terrible accident here.”

Of course we have been following Mike Rea’s progress: tuesday appeared a good day!

Posted by Eliza at 9:39 AM | Comments (846)
Barbaro Update: 14
Posted July 18, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 271: And here is the WJZ piece. Thanks Mike Schuh and Joel Eagle, really appreciate it!

Update 270: Before the WJZ piece airs this evening I thought I would provide a bit of background about the events prior to and during the “shoot”.

Mike Schuh mentioned last week, after he e-mailed us the nice video clip they did at New Bolton Center, that he would be interested in doing a piece on the web-site. When he mentioned this I assumed it would be a written piece. He said he would get back to me early next week (this week) to arrange a time (I assumed this would then be a phone call interview). Mike called yesterday and said he planned to come up to Fair Hill this morning, and bring a camera. We discussed the best time to arrive, and truly it is before the sun gets too hot, so he planned to get here about 6 AM. Usually I get on my first horse at 5:30, this morning, my first horse was scheduled for 6. As I was about to get on the first horse (for Paul Rowland) I noticed I had a voice-mail. I called, it was Mike, he had arrived, had dropped his camera guy off close to the track and was waiting at the first barn. The first horse I was getting on was actually from another barn, and I was taking him “out back”, i.e. not to the training track. I called Mike back (at this time I was already on my first horse going to the fields) and told him I would be by the first barn at 6:30, Mike went to the track to catch up with his camera guy.

I was kind of stressing a little as I was thinking that perhaps these guys would take the opportunity to get some information from Michael Matz, and I was wondering how I was going to get the info. for my first update if these guys were around etc. etc. Perhaps Michael Matz would be a little annoyed by the whole thing (none of this turned out to be correct of course!)

Anyway, I got back to the first barn, and I was now getting on my second horse (for Judge Jackson), which was going to go in company with one of Tim’s horse’s with Tim riding. I met Mike, and also the camera guy, Joel Eagle. Immediately my fears for their intent to use this as an opportunity to get content from Michael Matz etc. ended. They both just seemed like cool guys. They miked me up, and off to the track we went (me and Tim). Joel took some footage of us getting on the horse (she scooted from under me, I hope they edited out the …). Tim and I galloped our horses just over a mile, we jogged a ways first. As we were riding I tried to make some relevant comments etc. I still had not got an update from Michael for the site at this stage (it was 6:50ish and usually the time I can get an update) so I was stressing about that a little. We rode the horses back to the barn. The plan was then for me and Tim to ride a couple of Tim’s horses, but Joel and Mike were going to stay behind in the barn. Mike interviewed Tim for about five to ten minutes while I went to see if I could get the necessary update. I walked back up the horsepath (without a horse) and found Michael (Matz). I walked back down the horsepath with Michael who gave me the positive news which I reported in update 265.

At that point I called the update in to Jen to put on the site. I did this in proximity of Joel, Mike and Tim. I think some of it was on camera.

Tim and I went out on our next set (Tim had now been interviewed). When we returned Mike and Joel were talking to Kathy Anderson. I do not think this was on camera. I was then interviewed, for about ten minutes. Mike asked great questions, and it was done in a very relaxing manner. I am sure there is an art to that! Mike and Joel then departed (about 8:10 AM) and I got on my next horse, just before the renovation break.

It was a great experience. Joel and Mike were really cool to work with. I have subsequently learned that each is a multiple emmy award winner. I am glad I did not know that beforehand, I might have fallen off!

Update 269: Mike Schuh just called to say that the piece he did at Fair Hill this morning for WJZ / CBS, which includes interviews with Tim and I, will air between 6:10 and 6:20 pm. It should be about a two minute clip, he was not sure since it is now in editing. Shortly after it airs it will be on their website: Someone posted this website of Bobby pictures from the Bloodhorse before the Derby. I assume these images were not widely distributed at the time, I would not have got 6 – 1!

Update 268: A couple of articles include a telephone interview with Michael Matz this morning: Barbaro’s trainer cautiously encouraged with stability and Barbaro’s trainer is encouraged. Michael Matz’s quotes from the articles are:

“He could take a turn for the worse or get an infection again, you just don’t know,” Matz said in a telephone interview. “It’s just a slow road now. If he keeps having days like he’s having now, then hopefully everything will be fine.”

Although Tuesday’s official medical update has not been released yet, Matz said Barbaro vet Dean Richardson told him the Kentucky Derby winner had another restful night and his vital signs were normal.

“He said they’re very happy with the X-rays yesterday of both hind legs,” Matz said.


“He’s a fighter. He’s doing the best he can,” Matz said. “They’re doing all the best to save the horse. That’s all we can do. That’s all we can hope for is what’s happening right now.”


“It’s a difficult situation,” Matz said. “I’ve had two before with it and we lost both of them.”


“You have to be prepared for anything, obviously,” Matz said. “I’m optimistic because I want him to live.”

Update 267: New Bolton’s press release today: Barbaro’s casts changed discusses the much anticipated cast change:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro remains in stable condition with good vital signs after a restful night, according to Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson. “Yesterday afternoon we changed his right hind leg cast to take new radiographs and to examine the incision,” said Dr. Richardson. “The radiographs looked good; the plates we placed on July 8 to fuse the pastern are intact and the fetlock fusion is unchanged. The leg and the incision looked as good as we could have hoped.”

The right hind leg cast supports the repair of the injury suffered at the Preakness on May 20, and it extends from the colt’s foot to just below his hock.

The modified foot cast, which acts like a bandage on Barbaro’s left hind foot, was also changed yesterday. The foot cast is rigid and provides stability and support, but will be changed often so that the hoof can be treated. Both cast changes were performed with Barbaro lightly sedated in a sling. He has adapted very well to being managed as needed in the sling. “He is a very intelligent horse,” said Dr. Richardson.

I enjoyed reading this article: Barbaro on minds of Matz, DelPark fans. Micheal did mention to me yesterday that so many people were offering their support throughout the day. However, this piece of the article really caught my attention:

Michael Barnes and his 7-year-old daughter Taylor came to Delaware Park with a sign that read, “We Love You Barbaro; Get Well Soon.” The Akron, Pa., residents showed the sign to Matz, who signed it and posed for pictures with the family.

Barnes said he and his family planned to stop at the New Bolton Center to put the sign up among the hundreds of other signs wishing Barbaro well.

“My daughter asks me every day how [Barbaro] is doing,” Barnes said. “Everybody is really worried and everyone is saddened for the horse.”

I also saw the poster and met Taylor and her parents. You can see a picture of the poster with Taylor in our gallery, and it is now featured on the homepage.

Update 266: Reading through many of th recent articles that have been published. Much of the content we already know. I did enjoy this article: Barbaro a hero because he lacks human flaws that discusses why we love Bobby, an excerpt:

Barbaro is, after all, a horse. Why the tears shed on his behalf?

He is a hero unencumbered by human flaws. At a time when so many of the people we look up to let us down, Barbaro doesn’t lie, cheat or manipulate. In a world boiling with hate and revenge, he’s not cruel, greedy or power-mad. After he won the Kentucky Derby, he was happy to receive pats on the neck and extra oats. His innocence prevents disillusionment. He gives and gets unconditional love.

Who hasn’t adored a pet and the pet’s unflagging optimism? Who hasn’t fantasized about riding a horse, either off into the sunset like John Wayne or across the finish line like Pat Day? Who hasn’t daydreamed about being an animal – carefree and content to frolic in an open field?

Race horses aren’t bred to be cuddly creatures. They’re not as smart as Lassie. But there’s something about their majesty and the “brightness in the eyes” that Richardson checks for in Barbaro that makes them idealized objects of affection.

Americans loved Man O’War, Seabiscuit, Citation, Secretariat, Ruffian, Seattle Slew, Funny Cide. Now they are rooting for Barbaro to give it his all in recovery as he did on the track.

Posted by Eliza at 3:36 PM | Comments (797)
Barbaro Update: 12
Posted July 18, 2006

new updates here.

Update 265: Just saw Michael Matz this morning on the horse path as his set was coming back from the track, he reported Dr. Richardson had left him a voice mail that Barbaro had another good night last night (Monday night). Bobby was able to get up and down and he remains comfortable. I asked Michael about his visit yesterday (he pretty much visits every evening)…in particular, I asked how Bobby’s front feet were doing and he said that he’d checked them personally and they were nice and cold. That’s good news!

Also, a team from WJZ-TV Channel 13 (a CBS affiliate out of Baltimore) was here at Fair HIll this morning shooting video of the training center, interviewing me and Tim Woolley etc. They will be broadcasting the piece on this evening’s news from 5p to 7p. Or, you can check it out on their site,, sometime after 5:30pm tonight.
updated 7:35am

Update 264: Two new videos have been added to the Fan Media page. They are Barbaro–Alive and Kicking! and Magnificent Barbaro.

For those unable to see the ESPN’s sunday piece on Bobby (during the delayed Del Cap coverage) here is an excerpt of the transcript from Margaret (full transcript below, time stamped: Posted by: Margaret at July 18, 2006 01:39 AM):

Kenny three days after delivering the grim news that Barbaro’s chances of recovery were poor; veternarians say he’s holding his own. As of early this afternoon Barbaro continues to have a positive outlook and a healthy appetite, despite the fact that he’s wearing casts on both hind legs, he’s on potent medications, and he spends a good deal of time in a sling. Now the vets called his “L” a catastrophic problem”, yet the horse is (Jeannine stressed this word) responding well to treatment.

His trainer Michael Matz told me its been an emotionally draining week. His optimism is now been tempered by reality.

Update 263: Annie, from Kennett Florist left this comment, in response to a few people’s concern with the strain shown by Dr. Richardson in footage today:

Mary, yes I did she Dr. Richardson, spoke to him, he said that Bobby was feeling pretty good today. As I said, Dr. Richardson was smiling the whole time we spoke and although he is definately tired he is very positive. Also saw Dr. Andersen and spoke with her. She is positive as well, said that Bobby is eating well and seemed content today.
I really believe that they have all faith that he is getting well, after the hours and days and weeks and pressure they’ve been under, they are still smiling…that has to be truth!

Update 262: The following is an excerpt of a transcript from Good Morning America, this morning (monday morning):

Robin: But it’s good to hear his spirits are good.

Dr R: yes, um I mean..they say one of the most important things that we’re assessing is really this subjective appearance of the horse, right now I don’t think anyone could look at this horse and be really interested in not going on, because he looks that BRIGHT AND HAPPY. (caps again added by me).

Robin:That’s great news to hear. I know that you’re very cautious. Just last week you said that the chances of Barbaro surviving were very poor.

Dr R: People want to hear the best and I understand that. But the reality is wer’re not talking about a day to day type of a problem at this point. Really what we’re talking about now is going to be ah ah even at the absolute best case scenario is going to be many months of very extensive medical care and rehabilitation.

The complete transcript, provided by Margaret, can be found in Barbaro Update: 11, with the timestamp: Posted by: Margaret at July 17, 2006 05:15 PM.

The Sports Center coverage tonight covered much of what we know. All in all its been another good day for Bobby, lets hope we see many similar days ahead. Talking about long roads ahead, Mike Rea also seems to be progressing in the right direction.

Posted by Eliza at 12:32 AM | Comments (799)
Barbaro Updates: 11
Posted July 17, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 261: Just spoke with Jeannine Edwards. ESPN Sports Center will have a one minute clip tonight, it will include a sound bite of Dr. Anderson, as well as content learned from interviewing Kathy, some of the GMA content and other material. Some of the content will be similar to update 260. Jeannine also mentioned she e-mailed the person in charge of media platforms at ESPN (I think that is what she said) and asked if they could put her entire interview with Michael Matz online (5 minutes, as opposed to the small piece she could use in her update yesterday). That is now supposed to be happening. Now that is cool!

Today is the last day to day coverage from ESPN unless something significant occurs.

Update 260: Just recieved a voice-mail from Kathy Anderson. I guess I need to start camping out at New Bolton so I can beat the AP to a story (update 259)! Anyway, Kathy confirmed her positive visit with Barbaro today. She said he was very bright, eating voraciously as he does when he is in good form. She said the cast change is scheduled within the next 24 hours (as of 1 pm today); it had not occured as of her visit. When she visited he was in his sling developing a new learned behaviour, almost similar to a child in jolly jumper (her words, I am not sure what this is). It seems to be some kind of energy release, boing around his stall a little bit. This was characterized by Kathy as a positive activity!

I was browsing quickly through the site stats and saw a referer from horsehats. So they have this site linked for Barbaro Updates (cool, will help with our SEO). Anyway, I e-mailed them and asked them when they were releasing a hat that contributed to the Barbaro Fund. They are close to doing this (mentioned some legal and license stuff), but also mentioned that their current hat also contributes some (small) amount to the fund.

The guy who e-mailed me said they had not publicized this as they did not want to be seen to be exploiting the situation. I can empathize with that sentiment. This site now gets a crazy amount of visits (likely 15k today). It would be easy to add some ads (thanks to google, and no doubt horsehats would appear) but we also do not want to have a hint of issue that we are doing this for any other reason than purely because we want to help get the word out about a horse people LOVE. Of course Horse Hats has to make money selling hats (that’s their business model); ours is training racehorses, so we do not have to worry about that, as long as the site does not cost us anything (and thanks to Eliza that has been the case thus far, she is also a horse person.)

Update 259: This Forbes article quotes Kathy Anderson after her visit today, this afternoon: Barbaro’s Condition Still Stable, excerpt:

“He has learned how to adapt his posture to the sling so he can benefit from the most comfort,” Dr. Kathleen Anderson, Barbaro’s attending vet when the horse was racing and stabled in trainer Michael Matz’s barn at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., told The Associated Press after a visit.

“He’s learning how to almost dog sit, which is good because it takes the weight off the front legs which is, of course, our next great concern.”

Anderson left a mid-afternoon visit feeling good about the way the colt was looking. But while medical reports were encouraging for the fourth straight day, she said Barbaro’s prognosis was still serious.

“The reality is, you have to say poor at this point in time,” she said. “It doesn’t mean it’s hopeless and I think that’s the big difference.”

Update 258: New Bolton Press Release today: Barbaro stable, comfortable with foot cast:

Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson reports today that Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro’s vital signs are good and that he had another quiet, restful night. “He remains in stable condition, and he is eating well,” said Dr. Richardson. “We continue to manage his pain successfully, and he is alert.”

Barbaro is tolerating his right hind leg cast well; this cast supports the repair of the injury suffered at the Preakness on May 20. To treat a severe case of laminitis in the colt’s left rear hoof, last week Dr. Richardson and his surgical team performed a hoof wall resection that removed 80 percent of the hoof. Doctors then applied a modified fiberglass foot cast to protect the hoof; this foot cast will be changed as needed so that the hoof can be treated and watched for signs of infection. The foot cast is rigid and provides greater stability and support than a bandage.

“It is important for people to understand that this is not a ‘routine’ laminitis. The care involved in treating a hoof with this degree of compromise is complex,” said Dr. Richardson.

No word on whether the right hind cast was changed (as I noted in update 254). Will try to get insight on that later. A couple of comments from our friends at the Kennett Florists:

Hi, this is Annie from Kennett Florist. I wanted to let you all know that I just returned from New Bolton Center and as promised, asked one of Barbaro’s doctors about the benefits of corn husks. She said that corn husks have to be extremely fresh and broken into very small pieces to be fed to him, and that they were given to him only for a special treat by Mrs. Jackson. Also, spoke briefly with Dr. Richardson and he said that Barbaro is feeling good today. Someone else asked if I could find out from the staff what kind of goodies they would like in their gift baskets. They all said chocolate, cookies & baked goods.


I also wanted to let you all know that we are putting together a sort of “fund” for those who want to send something to Bobby, but don’t have the means. (Let me preempt this with — I am by NO MEANS trying to solicit business.) There have been numerous inquiries, so I thought it would be best if I addressed them here and it would meet a more broader spectrum. It’s getting hard to keep up with the emails and messages. Many people have called saying they want to send something, but can only afford $5 or $10 dollars. So, if anyone wants to contribute to a basket of goodies for Bobby or the NBC staff, you can send us a check with your message to Bobby, Dr. R., staff, etc (not too long, please) and we will send it over when we have enough for a Basket of treats. Hope this is helpful!

Update 257: Looking at a few of the articles on Barbaro today. This ABC article: Barbaro’s Condition Is Still Stable confirms Bobby had a good night last night. The following is an excerpt:

“He had a restful night last night,” Richardson said Monday on “Good Morning America.” “That’s really how we’re assessing him each night as whether or not he gets up and down and sleeps well and then when he gets up that he eats normally. His vital signs are all good. He had a very good night last night. His heart rate is absolutely normal. He’s eating well. If you were to see him, you’d think he’s a fairly comfortable, happy horse. But his pain is being intensively managed.”

This article: Sparkle in Barbaro’s eye makes hearts skip a beat was a result of an interview with Peter Brette directly after his visit with Bobby yesterday. Peter mentioned he was meeting someone from the media, who he said was awesome in his coverage of this situation (he mentioned this to me before this piece was printed). I liked this excerpt:

“He was galloping around one day and someone comes by, and he went to take off on me,” Brette said. “It was like, if you’ve ever driven a Porsche and put your foot down, and it bumps you right up… . That’s what he did. I said, ‘Good God, he’s getting stronger and stronger.’ ”

And then there was Barbaro’s breeze the weekend before the Kentucky Derby that was the talk of Churchill Downs.

“He went down the straight in three strides,” Brette said. “I pulled up and said to Michael, ‘This will win the Derby.’ Then his phone just started to ring nonstop. Before he got off the track, he got six phone calls. There was one guy that came over, a guy that sits in the stands. All he does is he looks at horses and clocks horses. He told Michael, ‘That was the best horse to breeze at Churchill Downs for at least five years.’ ”

I remember reading about Barbaro’s final work and thinking it must have been too fast. Little did I know we are talking about Bobby!

Update 256: Jeannine Edwards just called. She is back at New Bolton Center and will be covering Barbaro today and will air on Sports Center at 6 pm (and 11pm). She mentioned she might have an interview with Kathy Anderson.

Update 255: A few random things. Gallant Secret sustained soft tissue damage as far as I am aware (Delaware Handicap). I asked Kathy Anderson about her condition. Career threatening (ending probably) not life threatening. I caught up with Barclay Tagg this morning. He is pointing Showing Up for the Secretariat, a (grade 1 i think) turf race at Arlington Park, early August. Funny Cide may also make his next start at Arlington late July. Barclay expressed a little concern re: the condition of the Arlington track (dirt), and that may impact Funny re: running. Jean left a comment about her visit to Fair Hill saturday, you can see the comment in full below (time: 1:43), here is an excerpt:

At 6 am the fog was heavy, but I-95 traffic from DC was light. I finally found the stable area at Fair Hill, but realized I had no clue how to get the beer to Alex. Two helpful women near the Fair Hill office called his barn and, to my happy surprise, I was told to come down and drop it off.

Once I found the correct barn, I was fortunate enough to meet Penny, Tim Woolley’s wife. Penny suggested that I come with her to watch Tim and Alex breeze two horses at the track.

Update 254: It is my understanding that they are planning to change Bobby’s cast on his right hind today, and x ray both hind legs (monday). We should hear more about this later I guess, but I wanted to also note that this is likely to occur while Bobby is in a sling, under some form of sedation, rather than having to go completely under as with previous cast changes. Again, I am thinking this from a few conversations I have had this morning, and wanted to relay that the fact they are planning to do all this via the sling should help tremendously. Lets hope we hear positive news from this today. We know he had a comfortable night last night (update 253); but we also know he is in serious condition