Barbaro Updates: 1268 – 1327

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Posted January 13, 2007

Update 1327: Mr. Jackson just called (3:30pm) to let us know that Barbaro is comfortable after his surgery yesterday. The Jacksons had visited Bobby earlier today. Mr. Jackson also noted that Michael Matz had visited this morning.
updated 3:50pm sunday

Update 1326: No Barbaro update yet today (2:20 pm). I will endevour to get an update before the end of the day.

A quick update from my visit to Philadelphia Park yesterday. Its strange! The racing amenities now reside on the fifth floor of the clubhouse, which as you can imagine is quite far from the paddock area and finish line. There is really nowhere else in the clubhouse to watch the racing live. There was a group of us who had a table in the restaurant for the afternoon. It was good company, poor service. One of our company writes for the Thoroughbred Times, so I asked him if he would write about hawty Creek if she performed well in her first start back. The storyline: We waited for the slot money (which is actually true). Some of my afternoon I was preoccupised with getting the Barbaro update out once it was released by New Bolton. Release means e-mailed out to media contacts, which includes me in this case. I worked with Jen to get this online as noted earlier.

The racing highlight of the afternoon was Hard Spun, at the Fair Grounds: Hard Spun takes it up a notch. This race we actually missed as we were on route to New York City for the weekend!

Update 1325: A couple of articles as a result of yesterday’s surgery for Barbaro:

Barbaro has more surgery on his left hind hoof, leg. This includes a couple of short quotes from Mrs. Jackson saturday afternoon:

“I didn’t know what to expect, so I can’t say that I was surprised or let down,” Jackson said. “I think they were going to clean up things and put on a cast, and that was it.”


“It’s an ongoing situation, but we’re certainly a step better than in July,” Jackson said.

Barbaro endures further surgery . This includes a new perspective:

“This is a very usual procedure in treating laminitis,” said Dr. David Zipf, veterinarian for the Maryland Racing Commission. “You have to cut away abnormal growth. You can’t let it keep regenerating; you have to stop it right now and start over.

“The unusual thing about the story of this horse is that he is a freak. And I mean that in a singular way. His appetite has never gone away. He keeps eating and drinking and looking at the fillies. That’s not normal.

“What usually happens is a horse founders, goes off his feed, won’t eat or drink and their kidneys begin to fail. Any other horse would have been put down weeks or months ago. That’s what makes him so unusual and special. And that’s why Dr. Richardson has said this is a day-to-day situation. There are no textbooks. It’s all play by ear.

“But what’s happening isn’t unusual – that Barbaro is persisting through this is.”

I wanted to thank Jen Duffy for posting the updates yesterday while I was at Philadelphia Park. Its tough when you know something is going on with Barbaro and you want to make sure you get the information out as soon as you have it, but are nowhere near a computer. So Jen came to the rescue.

Update 1324: I spoke to Kathy Anderson, who visited Barbaro late this afternoon, after Michael Matz. She also noted that Barbaro was laying down and appeared tired after his procedure today. Kathy did also note that he was eating well when she visited. There was also a bag of Lael grass waiting for him outside his stall. Its been a long day for Barbaro. Keep rooting for him.

Philadelphia Park was interesting.

Update 1323: Peter Brette just called (4:45pm). He reported that Michael Matz had just visited Barbaro. Barbaro was laying down during the visit, tired from his busy day. He appeared comfortable. Michael plans to visit tomorrow morning before he returns to Florida. I hope to get another update from Peter in the morning.

Update 1322: New Bolton just released the following: Barbaro undergoes planned procedure.

As previously planned, Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was placed under general anesthesia this morning to fully examine his left hind foot. “While his condition was unchanged over the last two days, we were unable to fully assess his left hind foot with him in his stall,” said
Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “In today’s procedure, another area of undermined hoof wall was removed. The left hind deep digital flexor tendon was cut to help decrease the pull on the coffin bone by that tendon. This was previously done in July, but the tendon had healed and was pulling on the coffin bone, contributing to the malalignment of the coffin bone.
Because he has been more uncomfortable on his left hind, we put a cast back on the right hind lower limb for additional support.”

Dr. Richardson reports that “Barbaro was awoken from anesthesia once more in the recovery-pool and had an uneventful recovery. He continues to receive intensive management for his discomfort on the left hind foot.”

Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital at New Bolton Center.

The next update will be posted on Tuesday, January 16, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Update 1321: I am now off to Philadelphia Park, I don’t have an update yet this morning, but will endevour to get one for later today.

Update 1320: A couple of very good articles that explain the issues Barbaro faced this week.

Uncertainty a tough foe for Barbaro’s caregivers, excerpt:

“The medial [inside] side of his hoof was always healing poorly,” Richardson said. “Scott and I discussed at the time when we put the cast on whether we were going to have to remove that medial wall sooner or later. We were hoping it was going to be later. But as soon as he started bearing weight in a more normal alignment, it just sheared off. It was something that was almost certainly going to happen anyway at some point.

“The only thing that was disappointing was how uncomfortable it made him. We hoped it wouldn’t, but it definitely made it more uncomfortable.”

Barbaro well despite setback, excerpt:

“The cast was put on in hopes of preventing this from happening and to help realign the pedal bone (the bone under the hoof wall),” he said, adding that Barbaro most likely will get another cast soon on the afflicted foot.

One thing that seems very apparent, but worth reiterating, Barbaro has the smartest minds focusing on his condition!

Update 1319: Another unseasonably warm morning this morning at Fair Hill. A quieter day for me, which was nice. I took Hawty Creek outback and we galloped around about a 2 mile loop. She was pretty fired up and enjoying it, bucking and pulling. Somtimes horses get more out of their exercise when you take them outback, than on the track … and they enjoy the exercise more.

Nonpariel galloped in company with Tim on Farouche. We were on the dirt. As we were galloping down the lane I said to Tim that there was a fox running at a full clip from the infield across the synthetic track. No sooner had I mentioned it, and the fox legged it across the dirt track right in front of us … another rider jogging the wrong way yelled “Tally ho!”

I worked a baby, who worked well for her second work, and had a couple go to the gate. Mike from the gate crew noticed I had my Brette Favre short on back to front … who knew!

No update yet for Barbaro, but I know he has a few visitors scheduled, so I will endevour to get an update at some point today.

Update 1318: It appears a quiet night for media reports on Barbaro last night (a good thing). On the racing front today a couple of notables running, Hard Spun puts his undefeated record on the line in the Lecomte and Brother Derek tries again. Michael Matz was going to run Chelokee today, but it is reported Chelokee has a bruised foot.

In other racing news: Del Mar will have its new Polytrack installed by April: Del Mar to go synthetic by April (meet opens July 18) and Philadelphia Park is making loads of money from the slots: Philly Park Slots Big Business After Three Weeks. I am actually planning to go to Philadelphia Park today, so will take a look at the casino side.

Posted by Alex at 11:04 AM | Comments (866)
Barbaro Updates: 176
Posted January 12, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1317: I just spoke to Tom, the Jackson’s farm manager. He visited Barbaro earlier today, the first time he has visited since the news on wednesday. It was a shorter visit than normal, but a good sign he is back visiting nonetheless. Barbaro was in his sling, but standing square on all fours, and Tom thought he did look good and comfortable. Barbaro has moved back to his original stall in the ICU as is necessary in order to have access to the sling. While I have not seen Barbaro in his sling, as Tom explained it, Barbaro only really uses the sling if he is resting one of his legs. The sling’s role then is to allow Barbaro to bear the additional weight on the sling, not on the other legs.

Update 1316: Updated story from the AP: No sign of infection in Barbaro’s hoof, including some quotes from Dr. Richardson:

Barbaro had become uncomfortable on his left hind foot in recent days a week after a new cast was put on the foot. The cast was removed after some new separation on the inside portion of his hoof was found.

“The medial aspect of the hoof was always going to be a problem because of the way it was healing,” Richardson told the AP. “The cast did not cause this problem. This issue with the foot was probably inevitable.”

Richardson said Barbaro has soft bandages on the laminitis-stricken hoof, though that could change in the next few days.

Rachel, from Kennett Florist, left this comment (timestamp: 10 pm):

Afternoon all!
Sorry we haven’t had a chance to post sooner, it’s a been busy here. Seems like good news today. Big Boss is still hungry!! Eat Boss, Eat!
We didn’t get up to NBC until later this afternoon today and the place was starting to clear out… which seems to be the norm for a Friday afternoon. This way, maybe some of the second and third shifts will get to reap some of the goodies we brought up today. The big guy got his favorites! We also brought up a big horseshoe of flowers and placed it in the lobby next to one of Barbaro’s many posters. I will see if I can get a picture of it up on the forum. Hope you all have a great weekend!! We love you all, we love you Big B, we love Mr and Mrs Jackson!!! (and ofcourse you too Alex)

Rach at KF

Here is the horseshoe arrangement refered above: Barbaro’s new horseshoe

Update 1315: 2006 Sports moment of the year: Barbaro’s Kentucky Derby

Update 1314: Mrs. Jackson just called (about noon time) to confirm Barbaro’s status after her visit. He is comfortable, and was eating his grass, apples, pears and a carrot during Mrs. Jackson’s visit. She then asked me how Hawty Creek was doing! I was talking to Mrs. Jackson while in the local store, Prizzios. As soon as our conversation was over Ron, the owner, asked me how Barbaro was doing. I could give him a real-time report!
update, 12:30 pm, friday, january 12

Update 1313: New Bolton’s update this morning: Barbaro comfortable overnight:

According to his medical team, Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro rested comfortably overnight. “We do not believe that this setback puts him all the way back to where he was in July,” said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “He has much more healthy tissue on the bottom of the left foot than he had at that time. He spends part of each day in his sling, and he is eating well and acting bright.”

The colt’s right hind leg, injured at the Preakness on May 20, 2006, is also being closely monitored. “We have a solid column of bone to work with in the right hind limb,” said Dr. Richardson. “There are no signs of infection in either limb at this time. It is very disappointing to have him go through this setback, but we will continue to try to keep him comfortable and assist his healing with reasonable and humane measures.”

Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital at New Bolton Center.

The next update will be posted on Tuesday, January 16, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Update 1312: A warmer morning this morning at Fair Hill as we await the Barbaro update from New Bolton. I rode the same seven horses I have ridden for the last few days. Who’s Happy was first out and went to the Tapeta track. It was about 6:40 am when I got to the track, still pretty dark out under a cloudy sky. I saw some movement just outside the outside rail but was not quite close enough to see what it was. When I jogged by and was a little closer I saw the outline of what I assumed was a fox. I jogged back to the 5/8ths, turned around and began our gallop. As I galloped by the quarter pole I noticed something on the track … and then it scampered away … it was a fox! Wildlife this morning also included some deer to the left of our horsepath, and plenty of geese, in formation, flying overhead. All the horses seemed to train well, and Hawty Creek went back to the dirt track again and jogged / cantered two turns. Her appetite is really starting to pick back up, hope she does not get too fat before she runs!

Plenty of people were asking me this morning about how Barbaro was doing. Of course I gave them my latest update from this site.

Update 1311: The reporters closest to the Barbaro story have these reports this morning:

Mike Jensen: Barbaro’s status remains uncertain


Dan Gelston: Barbaro shows good signs after setback

Here are some photographs of the New Bolton fence line, as of new year’s eve: FOB Posters.

Michael Matz had a scheduled visit this weekend planned, so he will be able to visit Barbaro over the weekend. I am assuming New Bolton will put out another update today.

Posted by Alex at 11:02 AM | Comments (445)
Barbaro Updates: 175
Posted January 11, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1310: Mrs. Jackson just called (5:45 pm). She visited Barbaro at lunch time and he was “gobbling” down the grass she brought for him while she was visiting. His temperature remains normal and he is bearing weight on his left hind leg (note: he is mostly in the sling or lying down as far as I understand). Today was a better day than yesterday.

Update 1309: I just spoke to Peter Brette (thursday afternoon) and he relayed that Dr. Richardson was happier with Barbaro this morning, this seems consistent with the APs quotes from Mrs. Jackson and the New Bolton release. Barbaro was laying down this morning and appeared more comfortable. I spoke to Dr. Kathy Anderson who visited Barbaro yesterday evening. Kathy noted that while Barbaro was not looking as sharp as he was a couple of weeks ago (we know that) he was looking quite comfortable. He was again laying down in his stall when she visited him last night. These were two more positive conversations as we try to move forward from yesterday morning.

Update 1308: Still no further updates this morning. I did want to highlight the following two articles as they include quotes from Dr. Kathy Anderson, Barbaro’s Fair Hill vet:

Barbaro suffers ‘significant setback’, excerpt:

“I feel the horse will fight it like he has all his other setbacks,” said Dr. Kathleen Anderson, Barbaro’s former attending veterinarian, who visited the horse on Tuesday and Wednesday. “You can’t give up, because he won’t. You just stick with the program. I’m hopeful this too shall pass.”

Barbaro Set Back by Damage to a Hoof, excerpt:

“He was looking ready and forward to big green pasture — we all wanted it for him,” she said. “This sets things back, but not all the way to six months ago.” She added: “It’s not an overwhelming problem; it can heal given enough time. We all have to dig down and regroup. He’s had better days, but he’s had a lot more worse ones, too. He’s a fighter.”

Update 1307: As of mid-morning all seems to be quiet on the Barbaro news front. Mike Jensen, Ed Fountain and Dan (AP guy) are at New Bolton as they were yesterday. If something occurs that is newsworthy I know they will report, as will I. In the next update I will aggregate a few more stories that have appeared in the last twenty four hours.

Fair Hill was simply gorgeous and crisp this morning, as it was yesterday morning. Classic winter mornings, dark cloudless skies early, with the sun then coming up and warming everything up (from mid 20s to mid 30s). For the last couple of days I rode the same seven horses, four of which are Tim’s (Who’s Happy, Medi Man, The Kielbasa Queen and Nonpariel). All seem to be going well. The synthetic track is handling this cold snap very well, and remains a very good surface. The dirt track not so well. TV star: Hawty Creek went to the track to jog a couple of miles today. She seems to have come out of her work better than I had anticipated. She is starting to pick up her appetite a little too.

Update 1306: The AP has an update this morning including quotes from Mrs. Jackson: Barbaro has ‘decent night’ after setback: relevant excerpts:

Co-owner Gretchen Jackson said Thursday that Barbaro was not in pain, feeling better and had a “decent night.”

“He was doing well,” Jackson said. “They’re being aggressive in treating it. It think it makes it sound worse than it is.”


“We are reminded that the horse has a very serious condition that could rear its ugly head off and on,” Jackson said Thursday. I’m concerned all the time. I’ve been concerned since May. They say he’s dealing with it. He’s not in pain. He’s OK.”

Update 1305: New Bolton’s update for this morning: Barbaro is stable and acceptably comfortable:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro’s management has been changed to include sling support for several hours during the day, according to Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “He is getting up and down on his own and continues to eat and have stable vital signs. Radiographs (X-rays) taken yesterday revealed no additional complications in either hind leg. We are considering several additional therapeutic options at this time. He is stable and acceptably comfortable.”

Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals.

Updates will be provided when new information is available.

Posted by Alex at 3:08 PM | Comments (555)
Barbaro Updates: 174
Posted January 10, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1304: Lots of media coverage of Barbaro as you can imagine. For now I will highlight the articles written by the writers who were at New Bolton yesterday:

Mike Jensen: Serious setback puts Barbaro back in sling


AP guy: Vets: Derby ace Barbaro is ‘a horse that wants to live’

This article also includes a brief comment from Michael Matz: Doctors upbeat despite setback for Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro

And of course, people around the world are getting the news: Barbaro suffers major setback

Lets keep positive thoughts for Barbaro.

Update 1303: Here is the piece from WBAL Channel 13 WJZ News: Kentucky Derby Winner Suffers a Set back to Injured Hoof. You won’t learn anything new, you will see me and Hawty Creek in a segment of the piece.

Update 1302: I just spoke to Mrs. Jackson (6 pm) and there is no new update to report on Barbaro’s condition.

Update 1301: The Courier Journal includes some insight from Dr. Morrison: Barbaro’s hoof worsens, relevant excerpt:

“It’s all part of that same story,” Morrison said. “This is all part of that rehabilitation of the foot. The horse’s foot had a grim prognosis in July, and I wouldn’t say that’s changed much yet.”

The difference now, he said, is the discomfort level that Barbaro is feeling.

“For a foot to rehabilitate, it’s got to grow hoof wall around all regions of the foot,” Morrison said.

“Not just half. The fact that he’s growing half a foot doesn’t mean he’s half-way there. You have to show signs of true growth everywhere.

“He’s still in the process of recovering from that initial episode … The reason the prognosis was grim back then is there are a lot of secondary complications that can occur when you’re trying to grow back a foot.

“And this is one of the complications here, but hopefully just one of the bumps in the road. Hopefully we can find a way to get over it and go on and give him more time and hopefully he’ll grow that wall that he needs to do.”

Posted by Alex at 10:16 PM | Comments (594)
Barbaro Updates: 173
Posted January 10, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1300: I visited New Bolton and placed some new posters on the fence line. Funnily enough, as I was leaving, a car in front of me also leaving New Bolton had stopped to take some pictures of all the posters … nice to observe. I saw Mike Jensen, Ed. Fountaine and a reporter from the AP (sorry, I was introduced by I am useless with names). We chatted for about ten minutes. NBC10 had a truck there, so I assume they will be broadcasting an update tonight.

On my way back from New Bolton, I got a call from Joe Drape at the New York Times … he was looking for someone’s number … we chatted for a while and he asked me what I thought, I said that judging from the tone of voice from Mrs. Jackson’s voice-mail I was not overly concerned, and he noted the same thing from a conversation he had had with Mr. Jackson. That conversation turned into this article: Barbaro Suffers ‘Significant Setback’. Here are the relevant excerpts:

“There was an area of his hoof where he was bothered by the cast and by getting that cast off he has already shown some relief,” Jackson said in a telephone interview shortly after visiting Barbaro. “I just left him and he was eating away at the hay, standing and putting weight on it better. The way it was explained to me was the tissue removed was like getting an in-grown toenail removed.”


He and his wife have spent tens of thousands of dollars on Barbaro’s care and have said repeatedly they would continue to do so as long as the colt can be free of pain and shows a will to live. Jackson said Barbaro appeared to be meeting those standards.

“Hopefully this is just a hitch in the road,” he said. “All we can do is give him the best care and say our prayers.”

Update 1299: I am going to run down to NBC, I have three new posters to hang. I will also swing by the lobby to try to catch up with whoever is there (Mike Jensen being one person I am sure is still there). Rachel, from Kennett Florist had this to report re: their visit to New Bolton today (comment timestamp: 7:43 pm):

Alie and I just got back from NBC. Things are a bit subdued for obvious reasons, but we seemed to lift their spirits with some snacks and chocolates. We delivered Big Boss’s favorites; baby green tops, pears and spearmints, with all your well wishes of “hang in there!” Keep your spirits up FOB’s, as he’s shown us before, Barbaro is a fighter. Keep those candles lit and good thoughts coming! We are with you in prayer for B, the Jackson’s and the staff of NBC.

On a side note (just for grins), we also made up a special arrangement of blue, orange and white with a big ole gator in the center for Dr R… Sorry Buckeye fans, couldn’t help it!! We figured he could use a smile today!

Rach at KF

Update 1298: Jeannine Edwards just called, she will be a guest on “The Hot List” on ESPN News which begins at 3 pm today, she thinks she will be on (via telephone) at about 3:30 pm. Jeannine spoke to Mrs. Jackson at length to prepare for this show and shared with me some of their conversation. I did learn from this that Barbaro is now using the sling to help him keep excessive weight off his other legs.

Mike Schuh (and Eric) just came to Fair Hill and interviewed me with Hawty Creek in preparation for a Barbaro update they will be running on tonight’s news (5 pm and 6 pm), WBAL WJZ Eyewitness News.

Update 1297: Mike Jensen, who has been at New Bolton Center all morning had this to report: Barbaro has ‘significant setback’ in recovery, salient excerpt:

After visiting Barbaro in his stall in the intensive-care unit this morning, co-owner Gretchen Jackson said in an interview in the New Bolton lobby at 10:45 a.m. that the horse doesn’t have a temperature and is eating, but as for Barbaro’s general comfort level, she said, “He’s under drugs. I can’t tell.”

She had seen him the day before and could tell he wasn’t as comfortable because “he just was not using his foot as much.”

Jackson mentioned that surgeon Dean Richardson had continually warned of the potential for a setback since the laminitis cropped up in July.

“This is what we were being told the whole time,” Jackson said.

Note the interview occured shortly before Mrs. Jackson left me a voice-mail, update 1296

Update 1296: Mrs. Jackson just left a voice-mail (11:00 am) in order to keep us updated. She basically wanted to give an update on how he was doing. Barbaro has no temperature, and when she visited him this morning she brought him his grass and he was eating well. It appears they are working hard to determine the cause of this latest set back so that he gets to equal bearing weight on all his legs. Until that happens he won’t be walked outside.
update 11:23 am, wednesday, january 10

Posted by Alex at 4:17 PM | Comments (542)
Barbaro Updates: 172
Posted January 9, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1295: OK, I am off back to Fair Hill to finish up Hawty Creek (graze and groom). I basically came home as soon as I could to update the site once my phone started ringing this morning. Will be back shortly. Keep very positive thoughts for Barbaro.

Update 1294: This AP story includes quotes from Mrs. Jackson: Barbaro suffers significant setback. The quotes:

“Things were marching along pretty smoothly until this,” Barbaro’s co-owner Gretchen Jackson said. “We’ve been there before with him. He’s a horse that wants to live.”


“It’s sad that’s he’s had a setback because he was marching along toward living outside the hospital,” Jackson said. “The only thing we care about is that he’s not in pain.”


“I was there yesterday and it was obvious he was not comfortable in that foot,” Jackson said. “The easiest and best way to work on Barbaro is when he’s laying down. They had to wait until he was laying down and when they removed the cast, they discovered some reason for him feeling pain.”

Update 1293: New Bolton Update: Barbaro suffers setback:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro has had a significant setback over the last 24 hours. He became acutely more uncomfortable on his left hind foot. The foot cast was removed and some new separation of the medial (inside) portion of his hoof was found. This required some additional debridement (removal of the damaged tissue) last night.

He is being treated much more aggressively at this time for his discomfort. He is continuing to eat well and is otherwise stable.

Updates will be provided when new information is available.

I heard news of this update as I was on a horse, and had three more to gallop.

Update 1292: I had dinner last night with Ed Fountaine (New York Post). He was in town to do an interview with Dr. Richardson, his article should appear sometime over the weekend I think. I had not met Ed before but we had a few phone conversations and his early mention of this site in the New York Post definitely drove traffic here. We shared plenty of horse racing stories, so it was a lot of fun. He mentioned one that I had not heard. Barclay Tagg was visiting some two year olds last spring in Florida. He saw NoBiz Like ShoBiz. As soon as he saw him jog a few steps he called up his owner and said that if he was not a triple crown type horse he would not know one if he saw one (or something similar).

The Keeneland Sale continues: Solvig brings $750K in second go-round, the top seller on tuesday being one of the late Mr. Dixon’s horses. Michael Matz was at Keeneland to see the sale of some of the horses he had for Mr. Dixon.

It looks like it might be another chilly, yet good training weather, morning this morning at Fair Hill.

Update 1291: I spoke to Tom, who visited Barbaro this afternoon. Tom said Barbaro appeared comfortable and was eating. Tom was unable to take Barbaro outside.

Vigil for Barbaro, 7 pm east coast time tonight. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some thoughts for Barbaro.

Hard Spun, undefeated in three starts, looks to be making his next start on saturday: Hard Spun Looks to Remain Undefeated in Lecomte. When I was talking to Peter this morning I asked him how Chelokee was doing. He said he may run on saturday at Gulfstream Park.

Update 1290: New Bolton has released an update to explain the new foot cast that was applied last wednesday: Barbaro has new cast applied to his left hind foot:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro had a foot cast applied to his left hind foot on January 3, 2007 by Dr. Scott Morrison, an equine podiatry expert from Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. “This cast was applied with the goal of starting to help re-align his coffin bone properly in that foot,” said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “His comfort on that foot has been good since the procedure.”

According to Dr. Richardson, radiographs taken on January 8, 2007 “show improved alignment of his coffin bone and continued healing of the fractured right hind pastern region.” His condition is stable and a firm decision concerning his discharge from the hospital has not been made.”

The next update will be posted on Tuesday, January 16, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Mike Jensen wrote a great article that further explains Barbaro’s medical condition: Barbaro will linger for a while in Kennett: Although he’s on “low-level medical care,” the horse is not yet ready to be sent to Kentucky, his surgeon says. This includes the following excerpts:

“Part of it has grown almost to the bottom, pretty much,” Richardson said. “The lateral part, the outside part of the hoof wall, is almost all the way to the bottom. But the inside part of the hoof has probably a tenth of that. It’s really slow. It’s very disparate between the different parts of the foot, and that’s going to be a real problem for us.”


“There are a lot of subtle things involved in treating this type of laminitis, and one of them is making sure that you have the alignment of the coffin bone correct,” Richardson said. “And it’s almost impossible to do without having something relatively rigid that’s encasing his foot, so when Scott Morrison came up, that’s what he did. It’s basically a cast that holds his foot very firmly, but then on the outside of the cast, there’s an actual horseshoe that is glued onto the cast, but at a certain angle so that we can get him back at the correct angle.”

Update 1289: Mrs. Jackson just called after her morning visit today (tuesday). She reported that Barbaro is OK, but this is a slight downgrade from the status we have become accustomed. He is eating well, but is slightly less comfortable than usual. We know his comfort level will fluctuate through this long journey, this just reminds us we have to stay vigilant with our support for Barbaro. I will endevour to get a further update later today after Tom’s visit.

This morning at Fair Hill was a little chillier, but a good morning for training. I ended up riding eight, seven were scheduled but another one was added on at the end of the morning as the trainer asked me if I could ride her horse as she was suffering a migrane. No problem for me. All horses except Hawty Creek (who shedrowed) went to the tracks. Whos Happy to the synthetic track and the rest to the dirt track (which was in decent shape after being closed yesterday). We seemed to have inherited a herd of deer this morning going to and fro across the horsepath we use to get to the track. Pretty to watch … but certainly not ideal when you are on horses. All the horses seemed to train well, and I finished up the morning grazing and currying Hawty Creek simultaneously. That has to be good for a horse!

Posted by Alex at 4:38 PM | Comments (511)
Barbaro Updates: 171
Posted January 7, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1288: Keeneland’s 8 day Janaury sale began on monday: Point Ashley joins Hill ‘n’ Dale for $1.8M. While the average prices were up on the first day, the number sold was down, and the buyback rate was up.

California seems to me a pretty progressive state with respect to its horse racing industry. It has mandated synthetic tracks and it also maintains data on horse breakdowns. 2006 did see a dip in a number that had been rising significantly: Thoroughbred fatalities down in 2006.

The weather seems a lttle chilly this morning, but more cooperative for training!

Update 1287: Tom called and confirmed Barbaro was comfortable when he visited and groomed him early afternoon. He was unable to to take him outside, likely due to the persistant rain we had this morning.

Later this afternoon the weather did brighten up. I went back to Fair Hill to take Hawty Creek out to graze. I had decided this morning to not do anything with her presuming the weather would be more cooperative later. It was bright and sunny, while a little windy. Anyway, she grazed away and seemed to enjoy it. Another trainer in the barn also seemed to have a similar idea (not do something in the morning but in the afternoon) as he had a couple of his horses turned out in porta pads (round pens).

Breeders’ Cup has decided to add three new races to its program, making it a ten race card over two days: Breeders’ Cup Adds Three New $1-Million Races. The new races are: Juvenile Turf; Fillies and Mares Sprint and Mile Dirt. I am sure there are lots of reasons why this is a good idea, but this addition does come in the wake of TV viewership of Breeders’ Cup declining by close to 50% this year.

Update 1286: Mrs. Jackson just called, and she visited Barbaro a little later this morning than usual (about noon time). Barbaro remains comfortable.

Update 1285: Rain, rain, rain and more rain. Certainly disruptive weather to regular training. The dirt track was closed, the synthetic track open and the fields too wet. I rode five in the shedrow, and am guessing I completed about ten miles jogging around the shed. These included Medi Man, Nonpariel and The Kielbasa Queen. First set I did venture out to the synthetic track on Who’s Happy. That track really soaks up the rain and remains very bouncy (galloping on the dirt would have been horrible if the track was open anyway). As I was coming back from the track, leaving the tunnel, there were a couple of deer grazing by the pond, which itself was full of canada geese.

Gatornation looked fine after his race yesterday. Hawty Creek also appeared no worse for wear after her work yesterday. Her legs and feet are nice and cold, the trick with her is to encourage her to maintain her appetite. She ate pretty good last night, we will see in the next couple of days.

Update 1284: More details of Barbaro’s left hind foot, Dr. Morrison’s visit last wednesday, the work he did and why: HoofBlog article details new cast. Here is a lovely poem: The Greatest Winner.

It seems Hawty Creek was not the only one working yesterday. Invasor worked a half in 48 and change at Belmont: Invasor Tunes Up for Donn Handicap and NoBiz Like ShoBiz worked 5/8ths at Gulfstream in 1:01: Nobiz Like Shobiz Works as ’07 Debut Nears. From these articles you will also note Jazil’s next race is planned to be the Gulfstream Park Handicap, March 3, and that Funny Cide has now returned from a short winter holiday to begin his 2007 training.

Update 1283: Another comfortable day for Barbaro. I just spoke to Tom who visited Barbaro this afternoon. Tom groomed Barbaro and took him out for a nice pick of grass.

Update 1282: Gatornation was fourth today at Laurel. He was only beaten about two lengths for everything and almost looked a little unlucky in running. The winner seemed to get a little close to him, and while not taking away his running room seemed to get to the place Gatornation was trying to get to a little quicker.

I went back to Fair Hill to take Hawty Creek out for a pick of grass, and a good grooming. She seemed quite contented after her work and was happy grazing away … until she heard the local hunt. The hounds were “speaking” and the horns were blowing. Of course that got Hawty Creek’s attention, but no worries, the hunt has not caught a fox since we landed a man on the moon.

Barbaro wins another award, Post Gazette’s animal of the year: Let the fur fly: Time for the running of the animals, 2006.

Update 1281: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (saturday night). Mrs. Jackson called just after 10 am after her morning visit.

Hawty Creek worked this morning, her final piece of work before she runs (hopefully). I had a jockey work her, Jesus Bracho, who has just returned from a short stint riding in Saudi Arabia. She worked on the synthetic track (again) and went a half mile in just a tick over 49 seconds. She worked quite easily and was hardly blowing after the work. Her owner came to watch with his son Justin. Tom, the Jackson’s farm manager, also came out to see the work. We went to breakfast afterwards to catch up. It did not take Hawty Creek too long to cool out, I will go back to Fair Hill in an hour or so to take her out for (another) pick of grass and groom her.

I saw Gatornation this morning getting ready to head to Laurel, he is running in the first race.

Posted by Alex at 3:34 PM | Comments (271)
Barbaro Updates: 170
Posted January 6, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1280: Another comfortable day for Barbaro. Tom called and he visited Barbaro this afternoon and had him outside. Of course he was blessed with summer weather! I went back to Fair Hill and took Hawty Creek out to graze while reading my book “The Power of One”, it was just too nice a day.

Sweetnorthernsaint was third on his 2007 debut: Chatain Charges to Gulfstream Track Mark. The one mile track record was previously held by Showing Up!

Update 1279: The Daily Racing Form has an article on the new cast on Barbaro’s left hind foot: Barabaro gets cast to stabilize hoof. Not only do we learn that this was somewhat of a routine procedure for the circumstances, but also how the cast was applied:

Jackson said that the procedure to put the cast on Barbaro’s left hind leg did not require anesthesia and was performed in the colt’s stall.

Update 1278: Another comfortable night for Barbaro (friday night). Mrs. Jackson just called (10:10 am) as I was grazing and currying Hawty Creek. Mrs. Jackson had just visited Barbaro and while he was lying down as she arrived, he was soon on his feet.

Today it is hot almost summer weather! Hawty Creek just jogged a little in the shedrow. A nice easy day for her. I galloped Nonpariel with Tim on Farouche. They both went very nicely. I was to breeze a three year old a half on his own. When I got to the track (Tapeta track) there was a set of Graham Motion’s about to train. They had a couple also breezing a half. I asked if I could just sit behind them so my horse had something to look at during the work. No problem. We went a nice half and galloped out strongly. It is nice being able to sit behind horses and not worry about excessive kickback coming at you. I asked Fen (on one of Graham’s) how fast she thought we went: “no clue” and a grin was her response. I thought we went in about 50 … it was close enough to that anyway. Fen has been shedrowing Better Talk Now the last few days … he is in good form.
update, saturday, January 6

Posted by Alex at 3:37 PM | Comments (102)
Barbaro Updates: 169
Posted January 5, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1277: Congratulations to two Philadelphia-area sports writers for winning Eclipse awards for documenting the Barbaro story: Dick Jerardi and Mike Jensen.

TVG is now broadcasting some European racing in the morning: TVG Expands Broadcast Hours With New Product. It is a shame cable companies seem to choose one horse racing channel for all its subscribers, when really a horse racing fan needs both (HRTV too) and a non horse racing fan needs neither.

To say it will be unseasonably warm today is an understatement. I am planning a light day for Hawty Creek, she is scheduled to work tomorrow. It took me all day yesterday to get her to dry off after her morning exercise (she has not yet been clipped).

Update 1276: I just spoke to Tom, the Jackson’s farm manager. He visited Barbaro today (this afternoon as usual), and he (Barbaro) remains comfortable. The weather prevented them from going outside.

More insight on the visit of Dr. Morrison on wednesday of this week from the Thoroughbred Times: Morrison applied cast to Barbaro’s laminitic left hoof on Wednesday. It primarily an interview with Mrs. Jackson. It includes the following excerpts:

“I had no idea how touchy that situation is. It’s just a very fragile connection as the hoof wall grows, there is such fragility with those connections between the wall and the tissue surrounding the bone, this is how I understand it and that’s why you don’t just turn him loose or something. He has to have it controlled so that it stabilizes and it grows and connects in the proper way.”


“He doesn’t carry himself the same way in the back because of the fused joints, he’s still adjusting to the fusion. He’s different gaited but he doesn’t give you any indication that he’s lost interest in life. He knows his people, too,” she continued. “The other day he was lying down, and we had been away for ten days, and I just walked in and they had, of all things, a mother goat in there with her four babies. She’s one of those little pygmy goats, and they are just the cutest little things. And I went right over to them before Barbaro, and he heard my voice and sprung up out of his bedding and was whinnying and everything, saying, ‘I’m over here, bring my grass.’ He’s pretty with it. He’s a funny horse.”

Update 1275: Jazil was second in his first start back since the Belmont win seven months ago: Jazil Second in First Start Since Belmont Stakes Win. I imagine this was not a bad effort all things considered, and he will move forward from this. I am sure they are disappointed they did not win, but the key will be how he comes out of the race and how he performs when he returns to graded stakes company.

Rachel from Kennett Florist left this comment (timestamp: 8:49 pm):

Afternoon All!! Happy new year family, friends and FOB’s!! Hope 2007 is treating everyone well!

Alie and I visited NBC with a basket for our boy. Everyone was in good spirits. We took down the tree and put the ornaments in Dr Sweeney’s office for Mrs Jackson to pick up. As people were walking by, they thanked us again for putting up such a beautiful tree… and asked us to pass thanks along to you.

Thanks again go out to Jessica who stopped by with cake and coffee for us, along with a book she had put together from messages many of you had sent her. Thank you all for such kind words and for thinking of us. And the cake is wonderful… just what we needed on a rainy day!!
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Rach at KF

There was a nice article from that appears to have been picked up by other media. This version: Barbaro boosts town’s economy includes photographs!

Update 1274: A nice wire-to-wire performance by Secretly Taken at Laurel to get Tim’s 2007 off to a strong start. She burst out of the gate and did not look back, winning by about two lengths. Steve Klesaris obviously liked her, he is now training her as he put in a claim for her. That’s racing, but a good start to the year nonetheless for Tim.

Update 1273: Mrs. Jackson just called and reported Barbaro was comfortable during her visit this morning (9 am). She of course brought him his grass. Mrs. Jackson also confirmed Dr. Scott Morrison visited Barbaro on wednesday of this week. This was Dr. Morrison’s second visit I believe. He is focused on Barbaro’s left hind foot, and placed a cast on the foot. This was reported by Channel 18 in Lexington yesterday: Is Barbaro Headed to the Bluegrass?.

I also chatted a little bit with Mrs. Jackson about Barbaro’s Kentucky Derby win, and what a tremendous performance it was (the ease of the win, the time of the race etc.) Mrs. Jackson said as she led Barbaro in after the race (so within ten minutes of the facile win) Barbaro was “bone dry”, as if he had not exerted himself in his effort.
update 11:55 am, friday, January 5

Posted by Alex at 4:49 PM | Comments (171)
Barbaro Updates: 168
Posted January 4, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1272: The morning started off decent weather-wise (its warm) but the rain seems to be coming and its now quite dreary. Tim has Secretly Taken running in the fourth race at Laurel, she left the barn at 9 am this morning. .

The dirt track was closed this morning, so we only had the Tapeta track and outback. I wanted to gallop Hawty Creek this morning so she went to the Tapeta track, and galloped well. I had about four more on the synthetic surface, including one breezer, it really is riding well lately. The breeze went a little quicker than anticipated. The trainer asked if the track was riding fast … I guess it was, but unlike when dirt is fast (hard) they seem to bounce across the top of this synthetic surface … it just feels good. I took Tim’s Medi Man to the track. She galloped in company with one of Pat Graham’s horses, under David Bently. Dave is an x champion jump jockey over here, and current clerk of the scales at Delaware Park. It was an impromtu gallop around (we had not planned it) but it was good to catch up! Nonpariel went outback today, she was again very good.

Update 1271: While winter racing is certainly not as high-profile as racing the rest of the year we do have some interesting four year olds running today and tomorrow. Today Jazil, the Belmont Stakes winner in his last start, makes his 2007 debut on the inner track at Aqueduct, the 8th race. He will be a short-priced favourite in this allowance race, not a betting proposition. He will use this race as a springboard to his new campaign. Last year’s Kentucky Derby favourite is making his 2007 debut tomorrow at Gulfstream: Sweetnorthernasaint, ‘Contender Clash in Hal’s Hope. Ramon Dominguez is heading to Florida for the mount on Sweetnorthernsaint.

On an international note the globe trotting, but now retired, Ouija Board begins another long journey to start her new career: Ouija Board Says Farewell To Gainsborough Stables.

Update 1270: Dr. Dean Richardson, with a little help from his star patient, makes a football prediction: Barbaro vet Richardson says Buckeyes win.

Update 1269: Another comfortable day for Barbaro. Tom called and he had Barbaro outside grazing today (thursday afternoon), and it was a beautiful day to do that! Mrs. Jackson is now on her way over to visit Barbaro with her grand children.

Update 1268: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night). I just spoke to Mrs. Jackson who visited Barbaro this morning, bringing him his Lael grass. The Jackson’s had been away for a few days over the holiday period.

Additional momentum for synthetic tracks with another good Turfway meet: Turfway Park Holiday Meet Posts Healthy Gain. The article includes the following:

“Our business has steadily increased since we installed Polytrack in September 2005,” said Robert N. Elliston, Turfway Park president and CEO. “But after a couple of recent meets, we also rightly attributed some of the increase to such factors as the effects of Hurricane Katrina, renewed agreements with certain OTBs, and the fact that we did not have to cancel races last winter. There are no such factors behind the numbers for this meet, so we see even more clearly the impact of Polytrack on our business. These numbers represent the betting public’s growing interest in Turfway Park racing, plain and simple.”

An interesting boost for New Zealand racing: New Zealand Group 1 race gets enormous purse increase. I have never been racing in Hawke’s Bay, but did spend a wonderful New Year there a couple of years ago