Barbaro Updates: 288 – 309

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Posted July 24, 2006

Update 309: Peter Brette just left me a voice mail. He also visited Bobby today and echos the positive reports we have heard. He noted his positive demeanor, and he was munching on hay when he visited. Peter sounded pretty upbeat when leaving the message.

Update 308: I spoke to Kathy Anderson as she was leaving New Bolton today (about 5 pm). She noted Barbaro was the same as she saw him yesterday, bright and alert. She also chatted with Mrs. Jackson who was also visiting Bobby, Mrs. Jackson was happy with how Bobby appeared. Kathy massaged him, and fed him fresh cut grass.

Rachel, from Kennett left this comment after her visit:

Sorry I haven’t had a chance to post in a while… but wanted to give you an update on our trips to NBC today.

We went up this morning to feed the crew. They had made an announcement before we got there about breakfast being on its way, so there were lots of eager docs, ready for breakfast. We had lots of muffins, donuts and croissants, along with different juices and coffee. They were so excited to have breakfast, and it was fun to watch everyone clamour to the table. Thanks Lisa!! They really enjoyed it!

Things were a little more quiet this afternoon. We did ask how the big guy was doing and they said everything was the same. So, sorry it’s not much news, but things are still good and positive.

Keep the positive vibes flowing!


Update 307: New Bolton Center’s press release today: Barbaro’s condition remains stable:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro had an uneventful weekend, and continues to be comfortable according to his doctors at the George D. Widener Hospital. “He’s maintaining an excellent attitude,” said Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson. “We change his left hind foot cast regularly, and we may change his right hind cast some time this week.”

Barbaro spends several hours daily in a sling. “He is out of the sling overnight because he is very smart about lying down and sleeping,” said Dr. Richardson. “He continues to eat a diet designed to maximize protein and caloric intake, and his body condition is good for a horse that has had (and is having) his problems. His diet includes a selection of the best quality hay.”

The next update will be posted on Wednesday, July 26 unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

I am now in DC, helping with a presentation (my presentation is tomorrow). I am also hoping to get a visit report later today.

Update 306: I was walking back from the track today with Martine Palermo (have to check the name), one of Michael Matz’s exercise riders, and he described to me his visit to Bobby last monday. He was shipping a horse to NBC, and when he was there asked if it was OK to visit. He fed him carrots, and nearly got bitten. I could tell from the look in his (Martine’s) eyes how much the visit meant to him. Martine has a bumper sticker on the back of his vest (required equipment for all exercise riders), it says “Go Barbaro”. I will try to get a picture of him with it.

I am off to DC for the next day or so (teaching a class) so while I will continue to provide updates as I get them, there is no signal value in a delayed update (for example, I will try to get tomorrow morning’s update at the usual time, but it might not happen quite as fluidly). I think Kathy may visit again today, if so, I will try to get an update etc. The same goes for Peter etc.

Finally, Red Aspen did her last piece of work before her 2006 debut, which we hope will be this saturday at Philadelphia Park. She worked well on the wood chip track, and scoped clean. Her last start, before her winter break, was pretty impressive, she has never been out of the first three.

Update 305: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (sunday). Saw Michael Matz this morning as I was going on to the track to breeze a horse. It’s absolutely gorgeous in Fair Hill this morning. Earlier I rode a set out back and got to see a fox cub playing in the newly cut grass!
updated monday 7:10am

Update 304: Kathy Warren writes a response to a news media that seems to capture Barbaro’s will to survive and continue his recovery:

I just sent the following message to Tom Archdeacon, a sportswriter at a newspaper in Dayton, who wrote a grim assessment for his paper this weekend:

Subject: don’t bet against the horse

They’re giving him membrane to rebuild the left hind hoof, and the fact is, the extreme care for that injury is giving his right hind joint time to stabilize. They’re giving him epidurals and they cut the pain meds back every day as he’s able to tolerate less, that’s their touchstone for knowing how the horse is doing.

And this isn’t any ordinary horse, he hasn’t been ordinary his whole life. People who sat on his back when he was 2 years old say it took their breath away, his composure and self-awareness. He’s a class act. People say he has grace. I’ve known cats like that, and at least one dog — real grace, a presence and an optimism enough to humble ordinary persons.

Nobody has upgraded the horse’s condition by so much as an adjective, but everybody — especially the doctors and trainers who see him every day — all of them are saying, this horse requires us to give him a chance. He’s standing square, he’s got a sling he has adapted to, he sleeps lying down every night, he gets a bath on Saturdays, since he was a foal he has handled being in a stall better than most, he’s getting nutrients to help him with the left hind rebuild —

Don’t bet against the horse. Waste of your time, and you get a lot of people thinking you give up too easy.

Kathy Warren
Northbrook, IL

Also, congratulations (again) to Edgar Prado. I read in the New York Post (Ed Fountaine) that he won the riding title for the most recent meet at Belmont, thanks to his win in the Oaks this weekend.

Posted by Eliza at 10:05 AM | Comments (759)
Barbaro Updates: 19
Posted July 23, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 303: No new update tonight, but I thought I would post a link to these images of Fair Hill. There is one of me, plenty of Anne Kelly (who has contributed to this site) on Round Pond and also one of Kim Brette, who has also contributed, among other images. Thanks “All Things Considered”. The images do a good job of highlighting Fair Hill I think.

It has been nine weeks since Bobby came out his initial surgery following the Preakness. In the nine weeks we have had high moments, and low moments. We do know his condition remains serious, yet he is currently comfortable. It is a long road ahead, lets keep all our thoughts positive for Bobby.

Update 302: Dr. Kathy Anderson just called (as I was leaving my house to go for sunday lunch) and she was just leaving New Bolton Center (2:00 pm sunday). She was very pleased with Bobby. She said he looked very relaxed. He was comfortable standing squarely on all four feet. She massaged him, and he leaned against her at the appropriate times signaling his appreciation for the massage. She rubbed him behind the ears, and fed him fresh carrots that had been left for him. Basically while the medical prognosis remains the same, he is doing as well as can be expected at this point of his recovery.

The Sunday Herald has this article: Fans full of hope for Barbaro the ‘superhorse’, which is cool since its a Scottish paper. Perhaps Tim’s mum, who lives in Scotland, will see it! This only reinforces the reach Bobby has, we have previously highlighted Horsetalk from New Zealand, here is their most recent report: Barbaro ‘as well as can be expected’ which is also from today’s edition.

Update 301: For those interested in learning more about Bobby’s younger days, this NTRA article sheds some light: After difficult birth, Barbaro thrived. It is interesting to note many of his early characteristics persist, although they do note he had a dislike to peppermints (perhaps his taste buds have developed / adapted). The following is an excerpt:

“He was so mild-mannered, I could roll him over on his back and scratch his belly or pick out his feet,” he said. “He was big, but he wasn’t lanky. He was real brawny. And he had the nicest temperament.”

That easygoing nature made Barbaro a welcome presence, said Sally Mullis. Mullis, 47, worked with him in the foaling and yearling barns and describes the colt as a model student.

“To me, he was just a nice little bay colt,” she said. “He chimed right in and got with program. He was not a troublemaker.”

This article was linked from Barbaro on Squidoo which also discusses the mating of La Ville Rouge and Dynaformer etc.

Lyn Gilbert dropped off some goodies at NBC this morning and included this in her comment below (2:03):

I just got back from delivering breakfast to NBC – as of 45 minutes ago, they had no update except for “another comfortable night”. Energy there was calm, serene and I knew all was OK.

That’s fine with me…just got the current update from this site and I am so thankful our B has one more “comfortable night” under his belt. One night at a time.

enjoy the food and sunflowers (and organic carrots for you-know-who…), NBC staff…

And a random site factoid, we are now one of the top 500,000 in terms of traffic, ranked 129,497 if you just use last week’s traffic!

Update 300: Barbaro had another comfortable night last night (saturday night). I saw Michael Matz on the track this morning (sunday) as I was exiting the track. He was chatting with the Klesaris’, but turned to me to provide the good news.
update sunday, july 23, 8:10 am

Posted by Eliza at 1:07 PM | Comments (672)
Barbaro Updates: 18
Posted July 22, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 299: Peter Brette just called. He was unfortunately at the barn all day, unable to visit Bobby. He did know that Bobby has had a good day, so his condition has persisted through the day (he’s comfortable). Michael will be visiting him this evening, Peter said he will be giving him a good grooming!

We have another video (thanks Mary) on the Fan Media page. It is Barbaro, Never gonna give in.

If you can, tune into ESPN2 7 pm east coast time for horse racing from Del Mar, which will include a Bobby update from Jeannine Edwards.

Update 298: A lovely picture of Gallant Secret from Barbara Livingston.

Tim ran Something Wild today at Philadelphia Park, in a “never won a race other than” allowance race (he broke his maiden at Philadelphia Park a few starts back). It was his first time stretching out (a mile and 70 yards). He ran third, losing second to a simple head bob. An encouraging race.

Just spoke to Kathy Anderson. I mentioned to her the Baltimore Sun article from today, which see seemed pleased with (she just hopes she was correct noting the product A-cell!) She had not been able to visit today, but assumes all is well (she had not heard to the contrary, and she would hear.)

I have added a couple of pictures to the gallery. They are of everyone who attended the event at the Whip thursday evening (thanks again for that) and of a banner placed outside of one of Michael Matz’s Fair Hill barns (Parlo 3). This is the first such banner at Fair Hill, its very cool.

The weather here is aweful!

Update 297: Bits and Bob(bie)s: The Wilmington News Journal’s Jack Ireland wrote a couple of stories today. The first: Trainer faces long recovery discusses Mike Rea’s plight, notes this site, and notes how people can help. According to Mike’s blog, he is progressing well (somewhat slowly of course) and will be celebrating Hunter’s birthday tomorrow.

Jack Ireland’s second article talks about Bobby (of course): There’s something special about Barbaro. The following is an excerpt:

When I watched this horse win the Florida Derby with a comeback effort and draw away for a brilliant win in the Kentucky Derby, it was obvious we were looking at a great racehorse. Well, I’m convinced there is something special and heartwarming about this colt beyond his racing ability.

This powerful colt can teach us all something about life and how precious it is. Skeptics might say the horse has no idea how serious his injuries are, but he can feel pain and react to the situation. He knows, believe me.

When he tore up his foot that terrible day at the Preakness, the skeptics said it was probably all over. When his serious problems began in late June, the critics again could be heard.

I don’t know if Barbaro can pull off another miracle, but I do know one thing. This horse, his owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, his trainer, Michael Matz, and assistant trainer, Peter Brett, and his Fair Hill vet Kathy Anderson sure aren’t giving up.

This horse is special in so many ways. He’s a long shot I’ll bet on any day.

Our freinds from Kennett Florist provides us this insight into NBC today:

ust got back from NBC. Things are quiet (which I’m going to take as a good thing). They have more like a skelton crew – at least as far as the front reception area goes.

I stopped to water some of the flower arrangements in the lobby and just soaked it all in… so many posters made for Bobby, flowers, balloons, etc. I thought how wonderful it was to have such beauty and signs of love and support for all those that work there. And as a lady was being lead back to see her horse by another doctor, I hoped that maybe some of that beauty touched her while she was waiting to find out news of her “child”.

Just thought I’d try to paint a picture of Bobby’s (temporary) home.


For those interested in the anti-slaughter bill, a hearing is being scheduled for tuesday, July 26, here are details.

Update 296: Barbaro had yet another comfortable night last night (friday)! Just heard this from Michael Matz on the horsepath coming back from the track. He had of course just gotten his report from Dr. Richardson.
updated saturday 7:20am

Update 295: New Bolton Center’s Barbaro News page now has a link to this site. I am excited about that on many levels. I had feared that this site may be perceived as a problem (not sure why, but as a blogger you worry about this), but this link is affirmation to the contrary I think (very cool).

The Baltimore Sun continues its marvelous coverage of Bobby: Vital signs for Barbaro are still good: Treatment working for Derby winner, and quotes heavily from Kathy Anderson. here is an excerpt:

“I’m not saying he’s out of the woods, but in my opinion, he has really improved in the last week.”

Anderson also said doctors are using a substance called “A-cell” on his left foot bandage. It is a membrane that helps stimulate new tissue growth. Barbaro is also being given nutritional supplements to help in the re-growing of his left hind foot, which is necessary for his survival.

In the course of his recovery, Barbaro’s hoof should grow about one to two centimeters a month.

Finally, nice to see Edgar Prado winning another award: Edgar Prado wins Venezia Award. Not only is he an amazing athlete, but an amazing human being:

The award honors jockeys “who exemplify extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship,” in the memory of Mike Venezia, who was killed in a spill at Belmont Park on Oct. 13, 1988.

Perhaps we should start a campaign to get Edgar voted for the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year ?

Posted by Eliza at 9:41 AM | Comments (507)
Barbaro Updates: 17
Posted July 21, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 294: Jeannine Edwards reports ESPN2 will provide an update on Barbaro in their coverage tomorrow on their 7pm show from Del Mar. She also reports the sad news that Gallant Secret had to be euthanized as a result of her recovery process from surgery. This is obviously very sad, keep a thought for her and her obviously heartbroken connections.

On another note, Andy Durnin, a close friend (he used to gallop Fusaichi Pegasus, Labeeb, Manndar etc.) called to let me know Lori Keith has just ridden her first winner at Penn National, she will be based in Philadelphia Park.

Update 293: Just spoke to Peter (Brette). While he was unable to visit Barbaro today he had heard from Michael who had just visited. Bobby remains comfortable, friday evening.

Update 292: A few Bits and Bob(bie)s. This article in the Penn Gazette: Something about Barbaro sheds some additional light on the Jacksons (among other topics). Its a little dated, but a great read. The following is an excerpt:

The first rule of the horse business, as Gretchen remarked in a press conference three days after Barbaro’s surgery, “is not to fall in love with the animal because it’s so painful when something happens.”

Clearly, the Jacksons broke that rule with Barbaro — and apparently not for the first time. As The New York Times reported, they have also paid hefty medical bills for “a couple of older horses no one has heard of because they did not make it to the racetrack.” Dean Richardson elaborated on May 23: “I’ve known the Jacksons a long time. [Barbaro] could have absolutely no reproductive value and they would have saved this horse’s life.”

“We have an obligation, ” Roy told The New York Times. “We are their keepers.”

This article from the LA Times: Loving a Champion Like This One … It’s Only Human is a favourite of Peter and Michael. A quick excerpt:

The five reasons for his popularity can be found not in those statistics, perhaps, but in the hard realities of what else happened that day.

1) The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant was called a quitter after taking three shots in the second half of Game 7 against the Phoenix Suns.

2) George Mitchell, baseball’s steroid investigator, was called a snoop after requesting major leaguers’ medical records.

3) Don King, boxing’s convicted felon promoter, lost a fight.

4) The Dodgers’ Brad Penny, three weeks before throwing a tantrum on the mound, started a game.

5) The San Francisco Giants put Moises Alou, an outfielder who says he toughens his hands by urinating on them, on the disabled list.

Kennett Florist left a comment from this afternoon’s visit:

Just got back from my afternoon trip to NBC. Dr Sweeney escorted us to the back of the hospital because we had some large (LARGE!!) baskets of goodies today. She is such a wonderful lady, right there with the staff and handing things out to them as they walk by.

One of the staff told us yesterday that Bobby liked the small carrots with the greens on top (as well as the baby peeled ones) so we made a smaller basket of those with pears and mints. Dr Sweeney directed someone to take that right up to ICU, so if anyone is doubting Bobby getting your stuff, I can personally attest that he is!

Spirits remain high. Lots of love flowing through that building… right to Bobby!


Bobby as a baby ?

Update 291: New Bolton’s press release today: Barbaro’s condition remains stable:

According to Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson, Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro remains in stable condition. “He had another restful night and his vital signs are good,” said Dr. Richardson. “We continue to monitor him closely and he is responding as well as can be expected to treatment.”

Barbaro is in the Intensive Care Unit of Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital where he is being treated for fractures in his right hind leg, which he received at the Preakness on May 20, as well as laminitis in his left hind foot.

The next update will be posted on Monday, July 24 unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Lets hope there are no updates from NBC this weekend, although we will continue to provide updates from what we hear from visitors we know and updates from Michael etc.

Kennett Florist left this comment about the mood at New Bolton:

Wanted to tell you about our morning delivery today. A wonderful Barbaromaniac in New York City sent us 6 dozen bagels to deliver to all the wonderful staff at NBC this morning. We included lots of spreads, butters and cream cheeses to go along with them. The staff went wild and were so very appreciative!! Alie brought up some coffee and o.j. for the staff to enjoy, and there again was another stampede for the treats. Thank you so much Lisa, your generosity is overwhelming!

Many people have asked about the donations to put toward baskets. We will continue to make baskets and send them up as the contributions came in. Things are starting to slow down now, so it will be nice to make things up as they need them.

The mood was extremely upbeat and positive (especially after their breakfast feast!) which means Bobby is cathcing all those wonderful vibes! Thank you to all!!


And for those interested in a quick view of Fair Hill, here is Barbaro, training at Fair Hill.

Update 290: I thought I would provide a quick review of our Whip evening last night. In all I think about twenty people attended. This included a number of Michael Matz’s exercise riders, Peter and Kim Brette, Kathy Anderson along with two interns, Tim Penny and Amanda, Sabina Pierce and Jennifer Rench (works in PR for New Bolton). I am sure I missed a few people. Everyone seemed to have a great time so I am truly grateful for being able to do this thanks to this web-site. I thought I would note a few conversations I had.

With Peter Brette
We talked of course about Bobby. I asked him about Derby week, and the final breeze before the Derby. He was clocked in a very fast time (which included the eighth after the wire galloping out I guess) and I just remember thinking when I saw the time it had to be too quick. Well we know now that’s not the case. Peter again described going down the lane in what appeared to be three strides. He said once they galloped out etc. he really knew he was the real deal. He cooled out great, it was apparently easy for him. There was also a loose horse on the track just before the breeze which no doubt created some issues for the breeze.

I asked him about the “rumour” that Bobby ran off with him the morning of the Derby. Peter smiled, he described what happened. Someone was galloping just behind him, this of course got Bobby a little kean, Peter eased him back, and as he was easing him back, the horse behind Bobby realized the situation and also eased back (Peter I guess was hoping the horse behind him would overtake him once he eased back). Anyway, he got a little kean, but that was all … and we know the rest of the story. I mentioned to Peter that when you watch the Derby you can see Bobby accelerate inside the eight pole (check this video of all his races to see) . Peter has seen the same thing, but he noted an overhead video that shows the same thing. BTW, I like the commentator in Bobby’s maiden race: “this could be a good one”!

I also asked Peter about the Laurel Futurity, which Barclay Tagg had described as the best thing he had seen since Secretariat. Peter too was amazed at the performance. Just talking to Peter makes you realize this horse was just a horse unto himself … we had not seen the best of him.

I also spent some time talking to Kathy Anderson and her interns. Kathy of course provided us with the update last night, but I swear that was not the only reason I wanted to catch up! She reemphasized what we know here. It will be a very long road, we need to keep Bobby comfortable, and HOPE that Laminitis does not appear elsewhere while his foot grows out on the left hind and the right hind continues to fix.

I sat next to Jennifer (New Bolton), Sabina (photographer), Tim etc. We had fun conversations. I tried to convince Jennifer I should have direct access to all updates from NBC. Well I am now on their “media list”, which I think is a good thing. Jennifer talked about how overwhelmed everyone is, and I can certainly appreciate that. Anyway, it was nice to meet someone from NBC and make a connection.

All in all, a great time, and everyone this morning seemed to concur. Thanks for making it happen!

Update 289: Barbaro had another comfortable night last night (thursday). As I was jogging around the track, I passed Michael Matz jogging the other way on Messaging. He had just heard from Dean Richardson.
updated friday 7:00am

Update 288: The following is a lovely video of Barbaro’s baby brother. He is cute! As noted in the video he has a mind of his own, he is correct and strong, and is two to three weeks away from being weaned.