Barbaro Updates: 1328 – 1389

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Posted January 26, 2007

Update 1389: This morning was busy at Fair Hill. The weather was decidedly warmer (bright sunshine with temperatures that got above freezing) and the Tapeta track was busy. Saturday is gate day and of course plenty of horses working so as to be able to have sunday off. I picked up an additional horse to ride this morning (got a call last night when I was up in Philadelphia) and it literally drug me around the track for two turns. Its a steeplechase horse getting ready for the new season (six weeks away I think). Hawty Creek jogged the shed again, she will start going back to the track on monday. She broke out in hives later, the vet has now been so hopefully she will be fine! For Tim I rode Nonpariel and Medi Man. Nonpariel did her first little work, an eighth of a mile head to head with Quick Quest (with Tim). I was very pleased with how she did it, I thought she might just stick her head up in the air and back off the other horse, instead she really stretched out and seemed to enjoy it. Medi Man went to the gate, just to stand. She was fine. Tim rode Chesapeake City Slew (he knew I was nervous about that as he may now decide he likes him so much I won’t get to ride him again!) Anyway, apparently he did like the way he went. Others I rode: Flash went to the gate, he was to gallop out and then work a quarter down the lane, in company. He stood well in the gate, when they opened I am not entirely sure what happened other than I lost my right styrup and he seemed to leep upwards more so than forwards. Anyway, we recovered relatively quickly and he actually went very nicely down the lane. Another horse I rode breezed a half in company, Jesus Bracho was on the other, and on my inside. Despite the weight I was giving away (and the rail) my horse actually seemed to work better than then one Jesus was riding. I think the trainer was a little suprised. I know I was, its very rare my horse goes better when in company with another horse with a jockey on board!

Update 1388: Barbaro was a little less comfortable last night. I spoke to Peter Brette briefly this morning. Again, we are reminded this is a long road. As I know more I will update of course. Hawty Creek just broke out in hives (I think) so I am off to find a vet.

Update 1387: Horse racing returns to network television for the first time this year with a two hour show on NBC (4 – 6 pm), the Sunshine Millions. This is an eight race series held at two race tracks show casing California- and Florida-bred horses: 7 – 10 races at Gulfrstream and 2 – 5 races at Santa Anita. Key runners include Lava Man, Bordonaro and Sweetnorthernsaint.

The documentary I saw last night as a preview “The First Saturday in May” was really cool. I will write more about it later (when I am more awake) but a few initial impressions: the camera work was incredible; the access these guys had (two brothers who put this together) to six trainers was incredible; many of the moments they captured were terrific; and we know the story, Barbaro wins!

Update 1386: I just spoke to Tom who visited Barbaro this afternoon. He gave him a good grooming and said he was comfortable.

I am still in Philadelphia and now off to watch the preview of the documentary First Saturday in May.

Update 1385: I just spoke to Peter Brette who let me know that Barbaro had a comfortable night last night (Thursday night).
updated 2:25pm Friday

Update 1384: It was cold this morning, but we have certainly had colder days. Tell-tale signs of the cold, frozen water buckets. Anyway, while I heard a few did go out to the Tapeta track, none of our barn ventured out, we made good use of our shedrow. Parlo 1 (our barn) is one of the few barns with a shedrow independent of where the stalls face, so if we organize ourselves (across multiple trainers) we can actually jog around the shedrow and get pretty good exercise into the horses. I ended up shedrowing six horses, two of Tim’s (Nonpariel and Chesapeake City Slew), Hawty Creek, Flash and a couple more. Not a bad morning’s work, and since we did not have the loooong treck to the Tapeta track, we were done in relative good time (just after 10 am). Anyway, not as cold as I had anticipated, but maybe that was also because I had about ten layers of clothes on!

Barbaro updates today may be late, I have to be in Philadelphia for a retreat and then later I am getting the opportunity to preview “First Saturday in May” (I think it is called) … nevertheless, I will try to get access to the internet when I have updates and post, but if I don’t, you know the reason.

Update 1383: A sign of the times for Maryland racing which is having trouble competing with other racing jurisdictions without the advantage of slot money: Pimlico Special Will Not be Carded in 2007. The Pimlico Special was one of Invasor’s grade 1 wins last year (under Ramon Dominguez). No doubt Philadelphia Park’s recently launch of slot machines, and consequent increase in purses had an effect, and its likely their purses will increase again in the next couple of months.

The Jockey Club has announced its 2006 Experimental Free Handicap: Street Sense Tops Experimental at 127 Pounds. This basically tells us who the Jockey Club perceives are the best of last year’s crop and by how much. Street Sense 127, Scat Daddy 123, with Circular Quay, Great Hunter, and Nobiz Like Shobiz at 122. NoBiz worked three quarters yesterday in 1:11 4/5ths!

Racing’s focus this weekend is on the Sunshine Millions, an eight race series run in Florida (Gulfstream Park) and California (Santa Anita) for Florida and California bred horses. The feature race is the classic: Sweetnorthernsaint will have to hustle.

Posted by Alex at 11:02 AM | Comments (593)
Barbaro Updates: 186
Posted January 25, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1382: Tom visited Barbaro this afternoon. Barbaro was resting, and looked comfortable. When Barbaro is resting Tom does not disturb him, but said he looked good. I also spoke to Peter Brette to get his sense of yesterday’s planned procedure and abscess that was drained. He did not appear concerned about the abscess confirming the tempo of the New Bolton update overall.

Update 1381: I guess cold weather is coming in, Penn National has already canceled tonight’s card and Aqueduct has canceled their racing for tomorrow.

For those thinking of Valentine’s gifts, how about some special chocolates ?

Now off to Fair Hill to see if the weather allows me to graze Hawty Creek.

Update 1380: Here is New Bolton’s update: Barbaro doing well after planned procedure:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro is doing well after a planned procedure yesterday. “Barbaro was placed under anesthesia yesterday to have his left hind foot cast replaced,” said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “We also removed the cast on his right hind leg and replaced it with a custom-fabricated plastic and steel orthotic brace to give his foot additional support.” An abscess near the lateral heel of his right hind foot was drained, and the brace that was applied will allow more regular treatment of that foot.

“Barbaro had another smooth pool-recovery and has been comfortable with an excellent attitude and appetite since then,” said Dr. Richardson. “We will probably replace his left hind foot cast under anesthesia again at least two or three times at roughly two-week intervals if his comfort is maintained. We were very pleased with the progress of his left hind foot since the last cast was applied.” In addition, new shoes were placed on both front feet for additional support.

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 Wednesday, January 31, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Update 1379: I just spoke to Mrs. Jackson, who visited Barbaro today (one of her two usual daily visits). Mrs. Jackson reported that Barbaro remains comfortable with a strong appetite. We had a nice long chat about the Eclipse awards and Mrs. Jackson was also happy to hear about Hawty Creek’s race over the weekend. We joked that Hawty Creek needs Barbaro’s appetite!

Update 1378: This morning at Fair Hill was pretty quiet. Hawty Creek did the same as she did yesterday. Jogging in the shedrow for five minutes, then outside for a walk around. As we were coming back three deer were grazing just by Steve Klesaris’ barn (my route home). I anticipated Hawty Creek moving into a mad dash … but she stayed pretty relaxed. The guys I rode for Tim were the same two (which is nice, switching horses all the time can be a pain), Nonpariel and Chesapeake City Slew. They both galloped well. It was pretty chilly this morning, but when the sun did appear it did feel considerably warmer, although I am not entirely sure the temperature changed. There is much talk of bad weather coming in for the next couple of days, which means training may be limited to the shedrow. We shall see.

The New Bolton update won’t be until sometime this afternoon.

Update 1377: Barbaro was the third most popular sports-related search term for 2006: MySpace No. 1 Internet search term. I know when I first started following Barbaro after the Kentucky Derby I ran some google ads and could tell how popular the search term was even before the Preakness. The day after the Preakness, at one point google sent 3,000 visits to this site in one hour … the site then crashed.

The Daily Racing Form includes the following two articles today: Court upholds Texas anti-slaughter law and California board acts on drug rules.

Ocean’s Apart was fifth on his US debut for Graham Motion and Elite Racing (Gulfstream 7th race). This was Elite Racing’s first runner in the US, and Tim’s mum is a member.

Posted by Alex at 10:54 AM | Comments (425)
Barbaro Updates 185
Posted January 23, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1376: New Bolton’s planned update today on Barbaro is being postponed until tomorrow. This has happened before, so there is no worries re: the postponment.

Update 1375: Mrs. Jackson just left a voice-mail, she visited Barbaro last night and about noon time today. She reported Barbaro remains comfortable and still himself. A positive message.
update 2:35 pm, wednesday, january 24

Update 1374: It felt quite balmy this morning, although it was really only in the low 30 degrees. I decided to put the tack on Hawty Creek and jog her in the shed for a few minutes. We then went outside for a walk around. She appears well in herself after her race. She is enjoying the Papaya juice, but I am not sure it is having the necessary effect of picking up her appetite.

Tim and I took Chesapeake City Slew and Quick Quest to the gate to gallop them out together. They both galloped out alertly. I am really enjoying getting on CCS, as I did before he went home for a little break. I also rode Nonpariel for Tim. Tim is thinking she is ready for a little work on saturday, so we shall see how she goes. The Tepeta track continues to serve us well this winter, although it does remain very crowded. All told there were three spills yesterday … I had not heard of any today by the time I had left.

As some of you noted in the comments, Michael Matz was third in terms of number 1 votes for the best trainer. Apparently the overall ranking has something to do with second and third place votes too which is why Michael was not considered a finalist. It was also nice to see Ramon Dominguez get a few first place votes and the best distance turf horse in North America also got a first place vote (as did Collier Hill)!

The New Bolton update will most likely be late today. I will also try to catch up with Tom later today for his update.

Update 1373: Here are the final tally of first place votes for the Eclipse awards in each category … notice anything interesting ?

Two-Year-Old Male (Name, First-Place Votes)
Street Sense, 229; Circular Quay, 13; Tiz Wonderful, 11; Nobiz Like Shobiz, 9; Scat Daddy, 5; Great Hunter, 2; Day Pass, 1; Stormello, 1. No Abstentions.

Two-Year-Old Filly
Dreaming of Anna, 265; Octave, 3; Boca Grande 1; Point Ashley, 1. Voter abstentions, 1.

Three-Year-Old Male
Bernardini, 210; Barbaro, 56; Discreet Cat, 4; Jazil, 1. No Abstentions.

Three-Year-Old Filly
Wait a While, 138; Pine Island, 108; Bushfire, 18; Ermine, 3; Lemons Forever, 1. Voter abstentions, 3.

Older Male
Invasor (ARG), 262; Lava Man, 8; Voter Abstentions, 1.

Older Female
Fleet Indian, 213; Round Pond, 48; Asi Siempre, 4; Gorella (FR) 2; Ouija Board (GB), 2; Pool Land, 1; Spun Sugar, 1. No Abstentions.

Thor’s Echo, 213; Discreet Cat, 39; Henny Hughes, 15; Bishop Court Hill, 1. Bordonaro, 1; Proud Tower Too, 1. Voter Abstentions, 1.

Male Turf Horse
Miesque’s Approval, 74; The Tin Man, 69; English Channel, 63; Red Rocks (IRE), 21; Aragorn (IRE) 19; Showing Up, 12; Lava Man, 7; Ashkal Way (IRE), 1; Better Talk Now, 1; Collier Hill (GB) ,1. Voter Abstentions, 3.

Female Turf Horse
Ouija Board (GB), 217; Gorella (FR) 35; Wait a While 15. Voter Abstentions, 4.

Steeplechase Horse
McDynamo, 239; Sur La Tete, 6; Hirapour (IRE) 2; Mixed Up 1; Voter Abstentions, 23.

Horse of the Year
Invasor (ARG), 228; Barbaro, 21; Bernardini, 16; Lava Man, 3; Ouija Board (GB) 3. No Abstentions.

Outstanding Owner
Darley Stable, 110 and Lael Stables, 110; Shadwell Stable, 17; Live Oak Plantation, 13; Maggi Moss, 9; Louis O’Brien, 2; Frank Calabrese, 1; Robert Cole, Jr., 1; Melnyk Racing Stable, 1; J. Paul Reddam, 1; STD Racing and Jason Wood, 1; Stronach Stables, 1. Voter Abstentions, 4.

Outstanding Breeder
Adena Springs, 119; Mr. & Mrs. Roy Jackson, 47; Darley, 44; Live Oak Stud, 24; William S. Farish, 11; Thomas/Lakin, 7; Farnsworth Farms, 3; WinStar Farm, LLC, 2; Haras Clausan, 1; E. Paul Robsham, 1; Stanley Estate and Stud Co., 1. Voter Abstentions, 11.

Outstanding Trainer
Todd Pletcher, 194; Kiaran McLaughlin, 29; Michael Matz, 18; Doug O’Neill, 11; Scott Lake, 7; Tom Albertrani, 3; Bill Mott, 3; Scott Blasi, 1; George Yetsook, 1. Voter Abstentions, 4.

Outstanding Jockey
Edgar Prado, 152; Garrett Gomez, 90; Russell Baze, 14; Julien Leparoux, 7 ; Ramon Dominguez, 3; John Velazquez, 3; Fernando Jara, 1. Voter Abstention, 1.

Apprentice Jockey
Julien Leparoux, 254; Rosie Napravnik, 7; Martin Garcia, 6; Voter Abstentions, 4.
Voter participation rate: 271/315 = 86%

Update 1372: New Beginnings: The late St. Liam’s first foal has been born: First foal for deceased champion Saint Liam and Afleet Alex also now has a foal on the ground: Afleet Alex’s first foal born in Pennsylvania (a PA bred).

University of Delaware wrote a nice short piece on this site: Prof’s ‘Barbaro watch’ web page draws media attention … which is great timing as I gear up to teach a couple of classes in the spring semester!

Update 1371: Just spoke to Tom, who visited Barbaro today (tuesday) and gave him a good grooming. Barbaro remains comfortable, same as yesterday.

Update 1370: Who’s Happy was third in her second start this afternoon at Philadelphia Park. A nice run. She broke a little slowly (she was in the gate for a while), and was mid pack down the backside. She ran up behind the leaders at about the 3/8ths pole. She then battled with the second horse down the lane, beaten a neck for second. She is now cooling out well.

Update 1369: A couple of great interviews from yesterday’s proceedings: Dr. Dean Richardson and short interview with the Jacksons … and a cool article in the LA Times: They gave Barbaro the chance that also notes the support Barbaro has received from everywhere!

Update 1368: As I slowly go through the media coverage of last night’s Eclipse awards I wanted to first highlight these two perspectives: Barbaro eclipses all others and Eclipse impressions. The latter being my favourite thus far.

Update 1367: Another light morning this morning for me (which was nice, I am full of cold). Hawty Creek had another day off. Its typical to give a horse three days off after they race. I may put the tack on her tomorrow and shedrow her, may not. I had the blacksmith look at her, she hit a little behind (some small cuts on the pastern). He rasped back the inside of the hind shoes a little. That should help. I also got her some Papaya juice … apparently it helps with a horse’s appetite. We will see.

I rode Tim’s Chesapeake City Slew and Nonpariel. Both went well, the former in the company of Quick Quest, the latter with Medi Man, Tim on both. They all galloped well. The final horse I rode (for someone else) we call “Flash”. Well Flash was a bit fired up coming onto the track. A couple of horses galloped by us as we jogged forward. He lunged to the right … a few horses were walking back on the outside rail … he spooked one of them … and Emily got another taste of the Tapeta surface! Oh well, all was well, but the track is a little narrow, and we have plenty of horses training on it, this kind of stuff is inevitable.

Not much Eclipse chatter this morning. A few people asked me what Barbaro won. Mostly the awards are on too late in the evening for us to pay much notice.

Tim is on his way to Philadelphia Park to saddle Who’s Happy, who runs in the sixth race this afternoon.

Update 1366: I will have more links and reports from last night’s Eclipse awards later today. Here is my quick assessment of what occured. I feared Barbaro would not get 3yo or HOTY given the feedback I had heard from a few who I knew were voting, or knew people who were voting. I am still convinced he ran the single best race of the year, he prooved himself on different surfaces and he was only going to improve. Nevertheless, last year’s crop of 3yos was simply outstanding and there appears a bias towards horses that compete for the entire year. I was a little more encouraged however before the awards began, both Gary Stevens and Frank Lyons (?) made solid cases for Barbaro, that was good enough for me! They also made good cases as to why they should vote, which they don’t.

Also before the awards got started they did a short interview with the Jackson’s … very cool. After the interview the presenters followed up with a mention of an article which highlighted Mrs. Jackson’s love for Barbaro, and quoted the end of the article. This led them to essentially admit that racing is all wrong when if it does not take a stand on anti horse slaughter. I thought that was good, and pretty bold. It would be good if TVG would follow up on this.

It was great to see team Barbaro get their award, Edgar get his award and the Jackson’s a joint winner as owner of the year. I thought the Jackson’s would win at least one of the owner / breeder awards. As owners they campaigned two of the top five three year olds and as breeders they bred Barbaro and George Washington, pretty amazing.

Anyway, Bloodhorse has a full run down of all the awards. Later today I will compile some of the more interesting links. Congratulations to Invasor …

Posted by Alex at 11:42 AM | Comments (561)
Barbaro Updates: 184
Posted January 22, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1365: Tom visited Barbaro this afternoon and gave him a good grooming. He reported that Barbaro was comfortable “and his normal self”.

As we await the Eclipse awards tonight ( will broadcast the results on the internet as they are known) here are the Japanese equivalent: Deep Impact Repeats as Japan’s Horse of Year … no surprises there. To continue on an international theme nominations have been made for the Dubai World Cup card: World Cup Abuzz Over Invasor-Discreet Cat Clash. This could shape up to be a great day’s racing, not only with the potential clash of the proven (Invasor) and potential (Discreet Cat) but with the reappearance of a global star we have followed: Collier Hill in the Sheema Classic. Also nominated for that race is the 2006 English Derby winner, the 2006 Melbourne Cup winner and the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner! Wow!

Dave Bentley was the fourth ex-champion jump jockey who is galloping around the Tapeta track this winter!

Update 1364: Saturday was adoption day for rescued horses from the MO accident: Rescued horses available for adoption.

Three of the ex champion jump jockeys, currently working at Fair Hill, have been identified: Ricky Hendricks, Chuck Lawrence (both trainers) and Gus Brown (Graham Motion exercise rider) … one more to go!

As a quick reminder, the Barbaro update will be late today, after Tom’s visit most likely. Here is an article on tonight’s Eclipse awards: Barbaro’s story still drawing wide audience… and Barbaro’s broad appeal. The two stories below the main story are also of interest.

Update 1363: A white morning this morning at Fair Hill. A thin layer of snow supported by pretty thick fog! The Tapeta track seemed to handle the snow well. One concern with snow is whether it balls up in the horse’s feet … this did not seem to happen today on the Tapeta track.

I took three horses to the gate, two of which were Tim’s (Chesapeake City Slew and Nonpariel). They each galloped out of the gate, and did so nicely. Our gate crew come down from Philadelphia Park so I could ask them how Hawty Creek was in the gate. Basically she was great. She seemed a little anxious when being loaded, but once in the gate stood very well. A good thing considering she had to wait about 4 – 5 minutes! The trouble behind the gate was caused by the #2 horse, which reared up causing the saddle to slip. The gate crew had to help readjust the tack. All in all Hawty Creek could not have been better around the gate under the circumstances. She appeared in pretty good order this morning. She ate 4 quarts last night, I was anticipating her hardly eating at all … she looks good, and does not appear to have dropped off too much weight. I just took her out for a pick of grass, and will go back this afternoon and do the same thing.

Tim’s Who’s Happy is in the entries for tomorrow, at Philadelphia Park.

Its nice to see some of you trying to answer the question I posed in this morning’s update. Two of the ex-champion jump jockeys have been identified. I won’t reveal which two just yet!

Update 1362: Tonight are the Eclipse Awards, held in Los Angeles, televised by TVG. We know the Barbaro team will get one award, lets hope for a couple more. Another Dynaformer is a certainty for the Steeplechase award: McDynamo set to eclipse field. This will be his third Eclipse award. Fair Hill has a few connections to the Steeplechase community. Currently four ex-champion jump jockeys ply their trade at Fair Hill, two as trainers, two as exercise riders. I wonder if anyone can name the four ?

Turfway Park canceled its racing on sunday: Turfway Park Cancels Sunday Racing. They use the Polytrack, but cite the reason for the cancelation as thus:

Sherry Pinson, Turfway’s director of communications, said the cancellation was due to the condition of area roads that would impact horses shipping to the track for the afternoon live racing program.

I am assuming the Barbaro update will be late today, after Tom’s visit this afternoon. Off to Fair Hill. Hawty Creek will now have a few days off after her race, so it will be a nice light few days for me too!

Posted by Alex at 11:41 AM | Comments (707)
Barbaro Updates: 183
Posted January 20, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1361: Hawty Creek was third today in her first race for a few months. She did run well after breaking a little flat-footed (she was the first loaded in the gate, and they seemed to have some trouble with others in the gate so she was stood there (well behaved) for a long time). She sat about 7 – 8 lengths off the pace down the backside, but once she got into her stride I really thought she had the potential to win the whole thing. Anyway, she made a nice move and then was swung wide down the lane … and ultimately finished third beaten about 4 – 5 lengths (I have not seen the chart yet). If she had come up the rail down the lane instead of coming wide I think she would likely have been a close second … but it was a decision by the jockey which I don’t think you can fault at the time.

The day started by leaving Fair Hill about 7:30 am. We arrived at Philadelphia Park at about 9 am, twenty minutes to spare (we needed to be on the grounds by 9:20 am so she could be “pre raced” with lasix). Once she was in the receiving barn (barn 16) Dave (her owner) and I went to the cafeteria and hung out. Dave had also hired a guy to run her (lead her over and cool her out). Since it was cold (25 degrees) I stayed in the cafeteria reading my book (finished it) for most of the morning. Hawty Creek gets a little nervous while she waits for her race. With about 30 minutes to go before we need to lead her over Dave and I get her ready (run down bandages, a quick grooming etc). The guy Dave hired then arrived and led her over. She acted very professionally from here onwards. Great in the paddock (and pick of the paddock of course), great in the post parade and great in the gate.

She seems to have cooled out well and she is now back at Fair Hill. When we got back I had to muck her stall while Dave walked her a little. We will see how she is over the next couple of days (make sure her legs are good and she eats) before making a definitive plan for her next start, but there are a couple of options in the next condition book.

All in all, a decent return to the races, lets hope she enjoyed the experience and looks forward to her next venture.

Update 1360: Barbaro remains comfortable. Tom visited for about an hour this afternoon (sunday afternoon). Hawty Creek exploits update in the next update.
update, 5:00 pm, sunday, january 21

Update 1359: Hawty Creek is leaving at 7:30 am this morning to head to Philadelphia Park. Lets hope for some good racing fortune (and possibly a scratch or two!)

Jazil and Invasor breezed at Belmont on saturday in preparation for races in Florida: Belmont breezes for Jazil, Invasor. Declan’s Moon, a two year old champion, is clearly a shadow of his former self: Problems Mount for Slumping Declan’s Moon.

Some very interesting news on the anti horse-slaughter front: Two of three US horse slaughter plants under threat.

Update 1358: Just spoke to Tom, who visited Barbaro this afternoon and gave him a good grooming. Barbaro remains comfortable. I had dinner with Tom and his wife last night. Not only did I get well fed, I listened to some classic race stories … and learned that Tom’s dad rode Assault to his Triple Crown triumphs!

Update 1357: Tiz Wonderful is out of Kentucky Derby consideration: Asmussen’s Derby Dreams Shattered by Tiz Wonderful’s Injury. According to Steve Haskin he has rapped a tendon.

Update 1356: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (friday night). Mrs. Jackson just called (noon) after her morning visit.

The weather at Fair Hill was not conducive to training horses this morning, wind mixed into the colder temperatures. Without the Tapeta track we likely would have had very limited training. Thanks to the Tapeta track training was in full swing, with plenty of horses working (breezing) as is usual for a saturday. I breezed three. All goes well in the breeze in this type of weather until you hit the head of the stretch … the wind just about knocks you out of the saddle!

Hawty Creek had her last visit to the track before her race tomorrow (4th at Philadelphia Park, going off about 1:20 pm). We went round the track twice, jogging and hacking. It was first set, quite cold, yet peaceful. One thing you cannot do on this track … hear your horse’s feet hit the ground. Its cool. I rode Tim’s Nonpariel and Chesapeake City Slew. They both went well.

After I finished galloping we had Hawty Creek shod … she now has her “go faster” nike sneakers for her race. I think she is ready … lets hope!

Posted by Alex at 5:18 PM | Comments (474)
Barbaro Updates: 182
Posted January 19, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1355: Ramon Dominguez continues his winning ways at Aqueduct: Dominguez Wins Five at Aqueduct Friday. Also on friday, NoBiz Like ShoBiz worked 5/8ths in 1:01.4 as he continues to prepare for his first start this year. I am guessing he will have one more decent work before his 2007 debut, assuming it is the Holy Bull in early February.

It appears a pretty blustery morning out there this morning, with snow flurries. Lets hope it is not too cold!

Update 1354: I just spoke to Tom, who visited Barbaro this afternoon and gave him a good grooming. Tom was upbeat in his assessment of Barbaro.

Update 1353: Here is the NPR story that ran this afternoon on Day to Day: Loving Barbaro: A Racehorse and His Fans. Very cool story. This site is mentioned, Mike Rea was almost mentioned directly! I also wanted to note that this site has now received approximately 100,000 comments since May. The discussion boards have eclipsed 60,000 messages! True testament that Barbaro continues to be moment of the year. Now off to graze Hawty Creek.

Update 1352: Another comfortable night last night (thursday night) for Barbaro. Mrs. Jackson just called (1:20 pm) as she was leaving from visiting Barbaro. She brought his grass which he ate!
update 1:25 pm, friday, january 19

Posted by Alex at 6:22 PM | Comments (252)
Barbaro Updates: 181
Posted January 18, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1351: Quite a nice morning weather-wise this morning at Fair Hill. One signal of less severe weather … you can see the faces of the riders! I rode five today, one of my usual mounts was sick. Hawty Creek was early to the track again, although Barclay Tagg’s crew were out there a little before me. She galloped nicely. I had planned this would be her last gallop until she runs sunday, but plans are made to change. I am going to gallop her again tomorrow. I want to make sure she gets some fresh air into her, sitting in the barn for two days won’t do her too much good.

I galloped Tim’s Nonpariel. She went well in company with Tim on Medi Man. I also galloped Chesapeake City Slew, Tim was on Quick Quest an new horse to his barn. They went well together. Quick Quest was recently purchased at the Keeneland sale, part of the Dixon dispersal. He is a decent looking and well bred 3yo. Lets see how he pans out. He was at Fair Hill before, with Dr. Fisher.

The rest of the morning passed uneventfully, which is a good thing. Aside from training Hawty Creek tomorrow, she will also have new shoes. It was touch and go whether she needs to get shod, but given we want all the advantages we can have for her first start back, new shoes it will be.

Update 1350: The Eclipse awards are monday: Barbaro in mix for top award. The Barbaro team has already won one award, and we also know the story has generated two media awards (Mike Jensen and Dick Jerardi). I predict there will be two more awards for the Barbaro team on the night. The article does provide the outcome of a poll for moment of the year:

As further proof of just how much Barbaro has captivated the American public, the top-three vote-getters for the 2006 NTRA Moment of the Year were all Barbaro-related.

His recovery received 29% of the voting at, the NTRA’s website. Barbaro’s Kentucky Derby victory, by the biggest margin in nearly 60 years, was second with 27%, and the Preakness Stakes, in which Bernardini ran to an impressive victory after Barbaro’s injury, was third with 22%.

I am told there will be a story on Barbaro today on NPR on their Day-to-Day program. At least one Fan of Barbaro was interviewed for this story.

This morning’s task re: Hawty Creek, aside from exercising her, is finalising her jockey. “Scratch time” is 9 am, by which time all rider assignments need to be complete.

Here is a quick update on Mike Rea: More Good News.

Update 1349: I just spoke to Tom, who visited Barbaro this afternoon. He (Tom) groomed him (Barbaro) and was positive in his report. Barbaro finished up his feed while Tom was grooming him, and Tom also fed him some carrots and apples.

Update 1348: Update today from New Bolton: Barbaro continues to gradually improve:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro continues to gradually improve. “Barbaro’s comfort level is improving steadily, and we are gradually tapering off his pain medication,” said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “His vital signs are stable, and his appetite is good.”

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 Wednesday, January 24, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Update 1347: Another chilly morning this morning at Fair Hill, with the temperatures somewhere in the 20s. The sun came through, but it was not as bright as it was yesterday. We are expecting some moisture later today, either snow or rain, but not too much. Hawty Creek was first on the Tapeta track this morning. As I have stated before, this track is now handling this little bit of winter we are having very well. It was like galloping on a good turf track with a thick covering of old turf under foot. Hawty Creek galloped nicely, likely I will take her out tomorrow one final time in preparation for her race on sunday.

There is one potential problem with the Tapeta surface … it hurts when you fall on it. Emily did today, and she was sore!

Tim’s Nonpariel now has hind shoes on. She must be getting close to her first little work. She galloped around with Medi Man … at one point she tried to show off her news shoes, thankfully she missed her target! Chesapeake City Slew also went to the Tapeta track (as did everything else) and he also went nicely, just jogging and hacking around twice slowly. It will be a week or so before he starts some proper galloping. I ended up riding six, the same six as yesterday.

This afternoon I need to try to sort out a jockey for Hawty Creek on sunday … Jesus Bracho may be riding at Laurel (they take entries today for sunday), and the jockey I thought I could get in Jesus’ place may also be heading to Laurel … details, details that need to be worked out.

Update 1346: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night). Mrs. Jackson just called with the news. She visited briefly this morning, but Barbaro was sleeping. She will of course be visiting again later today as is usual.
update 10:55 am, thursday, january 18

Posted by Alex at 3:53 PM | Comments (427)
Barbaro Updates: 180
Posted January 17, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1345: This we have been waiting for: Slaughter Bill Introduced in House, Senate. It includes the following excerpt:

“The time has come to put an end to the practice of slaughtering horses in America,” said Ensign, one of two veterinarians in Congress. “Horses have an important role in the history of our country, particularly the West, and they deserve our protection. As a senator and a veterinarian, I am committed to doing what I can for these magnificent animals.”

The Daily Racing Form ran two stories, on two trainers, at very different stages of their careers: Pete Vestal and Larry Jones. I think reading both articles allows us to better understand how hard it really is to compete as a successful racehorse trainer in the modern era of mega stables, first started by D. Wayne Lucas who himself appears to be on a pretty major downswing as far as I can tell.

New Bolton is planning a Barbaro update for today.

Update 1344: I just spoke to Tom, the Jackson’s farm manager. He visited Barbaro this afternoon and gave him a good grooming. He was also positive in his assessment of Barbaro, and fed him a pear.

Rachel, from Kennett Florist, left this comment (timestamp: 8:34 pm):

Things seem well with Big Boss. NBC called this morning to let us know he needed apples and pears… we love to hear his appitite is strong! So we loaded him up with crisp apples and pears along with some other of his favorites and some treats for the staff… Happy staff, Happy horse!
On a side note, while I was at the doctor yesterday, the nurse noticed my Barbaro wristband and asked how I got involved… it made the time pass quite nicely; having to sit for 3 hours for an iron infusion… talking about my favorite subject (next to my 4 year old ofcourse)… Barbaro and the family he has created.
Thank you all! Our love to our FOB family, the Jackson’s, NBC and Alex!
Rach at KF

Update 1343: Just returned from Fair Hill and grazing Hawty Creek. She is in the entries, the fourth race on sunday at Philadelphia Park. Jesus Bracho is named to ride. He may not be able to ride, and if that is the case we will try to get K. Carmouche (I know his agent’s wife, and only realised today that I did!)

Tim was at the barn when I was there. He has moved a few horses around. Real Lace has now gone back to her owner’s farm for a break after a nice and productive fall campaign. In her place (literally in her stall) is Grandma. Tim also has Lucky in the barn, a horse he is in the process of breaking, I assume a newly turned 2yo. There is one more newcomer who I need to get more information on before I post.

A chilly afternoon for grazing a horse, but with a decent bright sky it was quite pleasant.

Update 1342: Mrs. Jackson just called and confirmed that Barbaro was comfortable. She visited Barbaro this morning. Barbaro was laying down when she arrived. Barbaro heard Mrs. Jackson and was straight to his feet. He “inhaled” the grass Mrs. Jackson brought with her. Mrs. Jackson also noted he is now bearing more weight on his left hind, clearly expressing more comfort doing so.

Update 1341: Peter Brette just called. Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night. He had heard from Michael, who had received a call from Dr. Richardson.
update 2:20 pm, wednesday, january 17

Update 1340: A chilly, yet lovely morning this morning at Fair Hill. Once the sun got up it was a nice crisp and dry day. The main dirt track is now closed so all training is on the Tapeta surface, which again seems to be handling the traffic and weather well. The surface is excellent. The track was busy, it was another gate day (I had two to the gate) which added to the potential for a little chaos.

Hawty Creek galloped about a mile and a half the first set. The only time I got a little cold, especially my hands. The key with your hands in the winter is to try to keep them buried in the horse’s neck. This works unless the horse starts pulling. Hawty Creek can pull a little! The two I rode for Tim, Nonpariel and Chesapeake City Slew, both went well. The two I took to the gate a little later both popped out of the gate quite nicely. All in all a good, if not a little chilly, morning’s work.

Posted by Alex at 4:01 PM | Comments (379)
Barbaro Updates: 179
Posted January 16, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1339: Steve Haskin compiles his first list of leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby: Kentucky Derby Trail: Takin’ it to the Street. Based on 2yo form the top three picks seem to be right on. Of course things will start to change as the Derby prep-preps begin. This is around the beginning of February. I thought I would look at Steve Haskin’s picks last year, closer to the Derby: Steve Haskin’s Derby Dozen. Barbaro was picked number six, with some interesting comments:

If he and Matz pull this off, they deserve every accolade they receive.

On the Breeding front (which is in full swing now for the northern hemisphere) a couple of pieces of news around the world: Deep Impact Ready for Stallion Duty in Japan and Ghostzapper’s First Foal Is a Colt.

Off to Fair Hill, it does appear to be cold this morning.

Update 1338: Dr. Kathy Anderson visited Barbaro late this afternoon. She was visiting during Mrs. Jackson’s second visit for the day. Barbaro was eating his grass during the visit. Kathy said Barbaro was bright-eyed and appeared comfortable. She was happy. The last time she visited was saturday after his procedure when he appeared “tired” (update 1324), she noticed improvement during today’s visit.

Update 1337: New Bolton’s update for today: Barbaro stable and comfortable following setback:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro is stable and comfortable following the latest setback. “Barbaro’s comfort improved considerably following the procedure on Saturday morning,” said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “He has been standing and moving around his stall well enough that sling support has not been added since. His appetite has improved and his vital signs are stable. Overall, we are pleased with his progress following the setback to his 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 Thursday, January 18, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Update 1336: NBC 10 aired this clip last night: Area Horses Aim For Kentucky Derby. It highlights Hard Spun, Chelokee … but I think the best part is the interview with Peter Brette when asked about comparisons to Barbaro and whether Barbaro would have won the Triple Crown. Enjoy.

Update 1335: The Eclipse Awards dinner will be held January 22, it is nice to know the Barbaro team will win at least one award: Jacksons, New Bolton to Receive Special Eclipse Award. Mr. Jackson is quoted:

“We’ve tried to do the right thing from the start,” Roy Jackson said. “It has been a surreal journey for us since the start of 2006 with a lot of ups and downs, but it is a real highlight in this journey to be recognized by the industry in this fashion. It’s not just for ourselves, but also for Barbaro. He’s been the one taking us on this journey.”

Commenting on the New Bolton Center, Jackson said: “They have been remarkable throughout the whole process. Dean Richardson has done a wonderful job in explaining Barbaro’s condition to the general public in layman’s terms. Barbaro has brought them to the forefront, but they’ve been able to do remarkable things through combined research between the medical school and the vet school. They are leaders in their field.”

I suspect there will be at least one more Eclipse Award for the Barbaro team.

Update 1334: Mrs. Jackson called and left a voice mail. She had visited Barbaro around noon-time. He was comfortable and was eating his Lael-grass and looking bright. Peter also left a voice mail and noted Barbaro had had a comfortable night. Peter noted that Dean told Michael Barbaro was comfortable, he had a good night, he was lying down a lot, and when he gets up, if he wants he walks over to the sling. Basically two good reports on my voice mail (I was napping).
update 1:25pm, tuesday, january 16

Update 1333: The New Bolton update today will be later today.

Fair Hill was still quite warm this morning, and I had six to ride. The one I did not anticipate riding was Chesapeake City Slew, which was cool. He was in training last year for a couple of months, I used to gallop him. He had a couple of months off and has recently returned to training. Tim wanted to give him a couple of months off so he could grow a little and just chill out. Well he has grown, not taller, but wider. He has really thickened out. It was great to ride him again. I took him to the field by the barn and jogged him around in circles and figure-eights. Good to help develop his steering etc. He’s just a cool horse. Hawty Creek trained well, galloping a mile and a half on the synthetic track. It was galloping her (early and in the dark) I noticed the dirt track was open. Someone was galloping on the dirt upsides us on the synthetic track, Hawty Creek got pretty rank! Nonpariel also went well … as did the remainder. We are now bracing for some colder weather to come through.

Posted by Alex at 4:05 PM | Comments (429)
Barbaro Updates: 178
Posted January 15, 2007

updates are now here.

Update 1332: Off to Fair Hill. As is usual with winter racing, there is not too much to report from the racing media this time of year. Barbaro coverage also seems to have slowed down the early part of this week. It appears to be a warm morning again (although I hear this will be our last warm morning). My morning should be quite quiet, with only about 4 – 5 to ride. First to go … Hawty Creek, then Nonpariel, then … (as a freelance exercise rider things don’t always work as you think they will in the mornings but we will see).

Update 1331: A lovely late afternoon at Fair Hill. I went over to take Hawty Creek out for a pick of grass. We hung out for about thirty minutes. She picking away, geese flying overhead under grey skies. Tim was there getting all the feeds ready for evening feed. His horses were waiting in anticipation. It was a mild 50 something degrees. Apparently cold weather is on its way so it is good to make the most of this remaining warmer weather.

Here is a quick story on the documentary I mentioned in update 1202: Derby film at finish line. I can only imagine this will be a must see for all of us here.

Update 1330: Confirmation that Barbaro is comfortable in the Bloodhorse: Barbaro Has ‘Improved Significantly’ After Latest Surgery, relevant excerpt:

“He is doing much better, but he has a long way to go,” Dr. Dean Richardson said of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner who had been dealt a serious setback in his effort to recover from a broken right rear leg and the laminitis. “He is eating well and we have not had him in his sling for the last 24 hours.”

Update 1329: A comfortable night last night for Barbaro (sunday night). I just spoke to Peter, who had heard from Michael, who had heard from Dr. Richardson. Michael is of course now back in Florida. I asked Peter of Michael’s assessment when he went to see Barbaro yesterday morning. Peter said Michael seemed fairly happy with him.
update 11:40 am, monday january 15

Update 1328: No Barbaro update yet this morning. It was a foggy morning this morning at Fair Hill … and winter training has begun. Basically the dirt track is now closed for the winter and the gate has been moved to the Tapeta track. This morning was gate day, it was foggy, and the first time the gate was on the new track. A lovely combination. The last time the gate was on this track, it was the woodchip track, and probably about ten years ago when there were less horses at Fair Hill. Anyway, I only saw one loose horse, perhaps there were more.

I broke one from the gate, she actually broke very well. Hawty Creek also went to the Tapeta track to train, she galloped a nice mile and a half. I rode Tim’s Nonpariel in company with Tim on Farouche. They also both went well on the track. The track seems to be handling the traffic quite well.

Red Aspen is now back in training. Tim was jogging her first thing this morning in the shedrow. If she keeps improving as she has each year she has been in training, this could be a massive year for her. She looks awesome. Not much football chatter on the track this morning, of course a few people inquiring about Barbaro. One trainer noted there was a letter to the editor letter in the Baltimore Sun complaining about the excessive coverage of Barbaro. The trainer was thinking we should target an e-mail campaign to the writer ..