Barbaro Updates: 246 – 250

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Update 250: Just had to add this article: Trainer: Barbaro ‘In Good Frame of Mind’ (thanks Karla). As I noted in update 248, Peter met with a reporter this morning after his visit, and the story seems out already (that’s the internet for you). His quote is similar to what Peter told me over the phone five minutes later no doubt:

“He had another good night, ” Brette said. “He’s doing fine. He’s in a good frame of mind.”

Brette, who exercised the colt daily for trainer Michael Matz, has been visiting Barbaro almost every day since the colt shattered his right hind leg at the Preakness Stakes on May 20.

Barbaro’s condition was stable through Saturday, and Brette seemed more upbeat than he was last week.

“He was bright,” Brette said. “He sort of at least had a bit of sparkle in his eye.”

Now I am off to Delaware Park!

Update 249: Off to Delaware Park for the big day of racing. If you can, tune in 5 pm ESPN2 from Delaware Park, they will include Bobby coverage. Likely Sports Center at 6 will too (they have done religiously the past few days). Also, if you are still up (we racing people tend to go to bed early) tune in to the ESPYs at 9 PM tonight for Edgar. If you watch any of these shows and can add a “report” to the comments that would be terrific. Before going to Delaware I just wanted to add this article: Grim reality hits racing again (thanks CJ) which includes some uplifting words from Edgar Prado:

“This business is tough,” he said. “It’s hard to go out there and when you come back to the room you see on TV how desperate things are over there. I’m sad, but I’m a professional and I have responsibilities. I’ll just keep on going.”

After the seventh race, in which he finished second on a claiming horse named Paige Nicole, Prado admitted his mind was more on the horse he believed was going to take him all the way to the Triple Crown.

“As long as he’s alive, there’s hope, and that’s the last thing you want to lose,” Prado said. “If you’re going to give up every time something like this happens, there would be many people dead and many animals dead.”

To Prado, the answers to the questions regarding the Jacksons and their extraordinary efforts to save Barbaro are simple and obvious.

“Many, many, many people dream of standing in the winner’s circle on Kentucky Derby Day,” he said. “That horse gave those people the biggest thrill of their lives, and I think they were just trying to give something back. I mean, that’s the least we can do for these horses. Give them one more chance.”

Update 248: Peter Brette just called, and he left Bobby at about 10:15 this morning (sunday morning). He confirmed Barbaro had a good night last night (got up and down 2 – 3 times). He said he looked good this morning, in a good frame of mind. He was met by a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer, so we’ll need to look out for that piece. The following article: Barbaro is strong and stable (thanks Susan), has some nice quotes from Peter, Craig (or is it Grey, or … ?) and Kathy Anderson, a couple here:

“Any problem we threw at him, he handled with ease,” said Kennedy, who worked with the colt here in the northeast corner of Maryland at Vintage Farm, Barbaro’s home and part of Fair Hill Training Center, where he was trained to race. “We put him on the track, put him in the gate — anything that was difficult from the day before, he took in stride. He was an absolute professional.”


Not only that, but after spending several hours out of the sling two days ago, he walked back over to it and nudged it, as if to say, “I want back in,” said Brett, the assistant trainer who worked with him for more than a year. “He’s battling back as he normally does by overcoming obstacles. He’s just a smart horse with a super constitution.”


Richardson, Dr. Kathy Anderson, the Vintage Farm veterinarian, and Barbaro’s trainer, Michael Matz, are watching for small nuances in his behavior. “When he’s feeling good, he’s sharp, pushing you around and a little aggressive,” Anderson said. “When he’s not feeling good, he’s quieter.”

Anderson has been encouraged by Barbaro’s efforts to sit down more often and not overload any of his limbs. The team will know more after removing the cast on his right hind leg to check his infection next week, she said, but right now, everyone is optimistic and committed to pushing ahead.

“He’s not showing any sign of giving up now,” she added. “As long as he fights the fight, we’re authorized to stay with the program.”

The author of this article, Tripp Mickle actually broke the story of Edgar’s most recent visit. I believe Tripp was simply still at New Bolton when he saw Edgar. If this “meeting” had not happened, I am pretty sure no one would have known of Edgar’s visit. His article, reported in the comments on this site, had me calling others to confirm the story, and it took a lot to get it confirmed! Ultimately ESPN ran the story that night and the New York Post interviewed Edgar later that afternoon about the visit.

Update 247: Bobby had another comfortable night last night (saturday night). Sunday is always a little more difficult for getting updates (I try not to ride on sundays and Michael is often not on the horsepath). That being said I saw Michael’s shortened string coming back from the track (three horses, as opposed to a normal ten and Michael on Messaging) and asked if they had an update. Michelle (Matz) noted that Michael said all was well during his visit last night. Angela (her father won the Grand National on Rubstic) said she was coming out on one more horse (their last set), so I asked her if she would ask Michael if he had heard from Dean Richardson yet this morning. I remained by the horsepath (acquired a horse to graze: Randy’s Bullet) and waited for Angela. When Angela reappeared on her final horse, she reported Michael said his night was comfortable!

Peter (Brette) is planning to go over to see Bobby this morning, so will try to catch up with Peter later.

Update 246: Jeannine Edwards caught up with Michael Matz yesterday (saturday afternoon) at Delaware Park, she e-mailed me this:

i actually talked to michael today at delaware. he and D.D. gave me a good update. he told me about the cast change today. he told me barbaro’s been using the sling very well, and that he actually likes it, he “sits” in it and rests sometimes. he said at one point, while in the stall and out of the sling, he got a little tired or uncomfortable or something and he moved over to the sling and stood there like “hook me up!!” anyway, michael gave me a good on-camera interview for tomorrow’s show. we’ll use just a short comment from him. he couldn’t help but get a little emotional…. it’s obvious this has been an excrutiatingly painful ordeal for them. he was as gracious and as wonderful as he’s been all along.

The cast change Jeannine refers to is the one we mentioned yesterday on his left hind. ESPN2 will have some coverage later today (5pm) which will include footage of Michael.

The New York Times also caught up with Michael yesterday at Delaware Park: For Barbaro’s Trainer, the Race Must Go On (thanks Mary). The following are a couple of excerpts:

“Not so much physically, but, mentally, everything is catching up with me right now,” he said between races here Saturday. “I thought for sure this horse could win the Triple Crown. Then, when this happened, I thought it wasn’t supposed to be, but he was still going to be a good stallion. Then this latest setback comes along, and I’ve had to resign myself that maybe we’ll have to put him to sleep. Then, he bounces right back again. Sometimes, I don’t know what to expect.”


After the races, he was planning to head to Kennett Square to make his daily visit to Barbaro. He did not know what to expect.

“Sometimes he wants somebody to be there with him and sometimes he wants to be left alone,” Matz said. “It all depends on what people are doing with him.”

Matz does not try to pretend he is taking it all in stride. He understands that, despite Saturday’s positive report, the odds remain very much against Barbaro. The type of severe laminitis that Barbaro has is difficult to cure and can lead to severe pain. About the only factor working in Barbaro’s favor is his spirit.

“It’s like anything else with this horse,” Matz said. “You can never count him out. He’s just an unbelievable horse who doesn’t want to give up. I’ll put it this way: I’m not giving up on him. If any horse can get through this, it is him.”

I saw Michael leaving New Bolton just after 7 pm last night, as I was there for the Vigil. Unfortunately it seems NBC was not aware the intent of the Vigil was for those who want to come to NBC to gather outside the gate, by the get well posters etc. I hope everyone who wanted to participate found a quiet time to think of Bobby