Barbaro Updates: 289 – 338

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Posted July 29, 2006

Update 338: Bernadini was super impressive in the Jim Dandy. I am not entirely sure what he beat, but nevertheless he did not get out of third gear. Congratulations!

Update 337: Melissa sent me this poem, which included the following in her e-mail:

I’ve been working on this poem for some weeks but couldn’t finish it after the horrible news two weeks ago. Now, after yesterday’s good news, I was able to finish it. Feel free to share it with anyone including Peter, Michael, the Jacksons, Edgar Prado and all who are close to Bobby.


Melissa Harden

Who wouldn’t be charmed?
By the most precious sight
Of a foal being born
After a long restless night

Eyes anxiously watch
As he climbs to his feet
Nuzzling so close
To his mother’s heartbeat

We think of his dam
We think of his sire
Will he have her quiet calm?
While retaining his fire?

Those answers are known
Only to God it is said
So we leave it to Him
As we go to our beds.

We watch foals play games
While amidst their peers
Whether they’ll race
Is best left to seers.

Then the time comes
That all mother’s hate
He must leave her side
To be schooled at the gate

What’s with this saddle?
Who’s this on my back?
You mean I must run
Out here on this track.

He continues to strengthen
His endurance increases
Through most careful workouts
And frustrating breezes

He could be the one
If our watches don’t lie
Shall we aim for the Derby?
And give it a try

He wins all his races
He fills us with pride
This is a great horse
With luck on his side

He then wins the Derby
They are calling him great
He goes to the Preakness
And meets a cruel fate?

In the midst of adversity
He touches our hearts
We see his ability
To be patient and smart

We admire his quiet courage
As he endeavors to heal
Each day we’re encouraged
By his very strong will

There was no Triple Crown
No jubilant mood
But his name will resound
When we think fortitude

For no claim of greatness
Ever had such a measure
As his grace under stress
More precious than treasure

And his name, Barbaro
For all those who know him
Will always mean hero
His fame never to dim.

Sweet Talker ran a great race to just get headed in the Diana. I asked Graham about her chances on thursday. He was a little concerned with her travel schedule, but she certainly showed up today, just losing on the wire! Also, nice win for Master of Disaster at Delaware for Steve Klesaris.

Update 336: Redaspen was sixth in the stake today at Philadelphia. Perhaps she got a little tired in her first start back. Tim said Victor Molina gave her a great ride and gave her every opportunity. After a nine month layoff it was great to see her return to the races. Lets hope she can move forward from this start.

Yahoo! News has the following article today: Barbaro’s trainer not getting hopes up which includes the following excerpt:

The medical updates on Barbaro seem encouraging, yet the trainer of the ailing Kentucky Derby winner isn’t allowing himself to become too optimistic.

“I’m not getting my hopes up,” Michael Matz said Saturday. “I’m just taking it one day at a time — but he’s trying.”

I had asked Michael during the week whether he was getting a little more optimistic (as we were getting all the positive news) and his answer to me was similar to the above.

Update 335: A nice article from the Washington Post : Barbaro a ‘Happy Horse’ As He Adapts to His Situation rehashes generally what we know. I do like the closing:

The outpouring of support from the public, Sweeney said, has shown no signs of slowing.

“People see traits in him they wish they had, a warrior’s spirit,” Sweeney said. “He’s a hero and he has no agenda. People can make him what they need in their life.”

I just received an e-mail from a friend of mine at Delaware Park noting the raffle drawing for the Mike Rea Relief Fund is to be monday, I may try to get down for that (I owe for a few tickets!):

On Monday the Mustang for Mike Rea will be drawn here at Delaware Park. The fourth race is to be named after Mike Rea and the drawing is expected to take place about that time to. The car is on display in the grove and the drawing will be in the winners circle. I think there are still some tickets in the horsemens office for purchase.

The latest report about Mike seems a little more upbeat.

Update 334: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (friday night). Just got a voice mail from Peter Brette. Sorry for the late update.
updated saturday, july 29, 1:04 pm

Posted by Alex at 5:02 PM | Comments (636)
Barbaro Updates: 25
Posted July 28, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 333: No update yet this morning. I was just talking to Peter Brette, who has not yet heard from Michael (who is in Saratoga). As soon as I do hear, I will post. Peter also may visit today, so hopefully we will hear from his visit later. More later.
updated 10:47 am saturday.

Update 332: Just spoke to Peter Brette, who visited Barbaro today, this afternoon. Bobby remains comfortable, a nice end to our visit updates this week.

Things have been good this week, but I think we need to gently remind ourselves there is a long road ahead. I am so relieved of the news we have heard, but I also remember how physically sick I felt after the news conference of only two weeks (and a day) ago. Lets hope Bobby continues his slow progress.

Michael is on his way to Saratoga and therefore won’t be at Fair Hill tomorrow morning. Peter said he will ask Michael if he can leave him a message as soon as he hears from Dean, Peter will then let me know. The point being, tomorrow’s update in the morning may be a little later. Later or not, lets hope it is consistent with everything we have heard lately!

Finally, more Bobby pictures, some lovely ones: Barbaro @ Fair Hill and Barbaro arrives at the Preakness. These are photos from Michael Bryant (Philadelphia Inquirer). Visiting these links does not expose you to his Preakness pictures.

Update 331: Our friends from Kennett Florist visited New Bolton Center again today, they had this to report:

Well, NBC is on a high today… Good news about Bobby and the sugar high we supplied today. For Breakfast, the staff was treated to gooey cinnamon buns and all different kinds of muffins, juice and coffee. The cinnamon buns were gone in minutes! They were still raving about those when we went back in the afternoon. Thanks to Jack and Andrea and everyone at the Barocho Cattle Company, in FL — as always breakfast was a huge hit!

This afternoon, thanks to Christine in NY and Karen in TN, we brought up all of the makings for a fabulous sundae bar. They devoured gallons of ice cream, hot fudge, carmel, whipped cream, and all sorts of toppings… we even brought root beer for floats. It was gone so fast, the ice cream didn’t have time to melt! The staff are so very thankful to all of you and want us to extend their thanks to you all. Of course, we may have to have Lean Cuise Day next week! 🙂

We are going to start sending some of the baskets next week, on days that Bobby and the staff don’t have anything going, from the donations that have been coming in the mail. Thank you again to all of you for letting us be a part of this wonderful family.

Posted by Alex at 8:44 PM | Comments (722)
Barbaro Updates: 24
Posted July 28, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 330: I am expanding the ‘contact us’ page to include any organization important to Barbaro’s recovery. If you would like contact information added, please include it in the comments and I will make the appropriate additions.

Racing tomorrow (saturday) looks exciting. Red Aspen is in at Philadelphia Park (3:50 pm), Sweet Talker (Graham Motion) is racing in the Diana and the three year olds continue in the Jim Dandy. The latter two races are from Saratoga and will be televised on ESPN. If anyone is at the races, feel free to provide a report in the comments so we can all enjoy!

Update 329: New Bolton’s press release (received an e-mail of the release, will add link later):

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro continues to be stable after another comfortable night according to Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson. His right hind leg cast was changed late Wednesday. “We took new radiographs, and they look good,” said Dr. Richardson. “No problems were evident.” In addition, the modified foot cast on Barbaro’s left hind foot, which has laminitis, is changed daily so the foot can be treated and watched for signs of infection.

“Barbaro has a strong appetite, and he has been enjoying hand-picked grass and ‘healthy snacks’ daily,” said Dr. Richardson.

Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Pennsylvania’s George D. Widener Hospital.

The next update will be posted on Tuesday, August 1, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Update 328: The Thoroughbredtimes has a very encouraging article: Encouraging sign: Barbaro’s hoof regrowing. The following are a couple of excerpts, but PLEASE read it all:

Although he described Barbaro’s overall condition as “very guarded,” Richardson was more upbeat on Thursday night than he has been in weeks.

“We change the bandage on his left hind every day now and it’s improving regularly,” Richardson said. “It looks like he’s starting to grow at the coronary band again. It’s where the hoof grows down from. It’s where he’s going to have to grow a new hoof, so that was nice to see.”

The article also notes progress in his right hind:

“Where the new plates were put on it actually looks very good. There were no signs of infection,” Richardson said. “I was pretty happy with how the leg looked as well as how the X-rays looked, so he was put back in a fresh cast on his right hind.

Update 327: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (thursday night). I was coming onto the wood chip track this morning (inside the dirt track) and saw Michael on Messaging (overseeing some breezes) about 1/16th of a mile from the gap to the right. I was supposed to back up (jog to the left) but changed things around a little in order to get the update! Michael had heard from Dr. Richardson, who said Bobby was still lying down (good sign) when he visited this morning.
updated friday july 28, 7:15 am

Update 326: There have been a couple of issues with the site overnight. If you have had trouble posting a comment, we are looking into it. Hopefully it will be resolved very soon.

Update 325: Just spoke to Peter Brette. Bobby remained comfortable throughout the day today. Peter was unable to visit, but had heard from Michael Matz.
update thursday evening.

Posted by Eliza at 1:24 AM | Comments (609)
Barbaro Updates: 23
Posted July 27, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 324: Kennett Florist have just visited New Bolton and have this to report:

Just back from NBC… Mood is good, and reports say that all is well with sweet Bobby. Today we delived a special treat for the gang at NBC. A very wonderful Barbaromaniac (Lisa in NY) had special chocolates made up… they looked like PA license plates that said BARBARO on them! They were so very cool! If I ever get my hubby to get a website going for personal KF stuff, I will post the picture. The basket also included chocolate stars and chocolate bandaids (for life’s boo-boos). The staff absolutely adored them. Dr. Sweeney was going to hold onto one to give to the Jackson’s; who, by the way, are back and will be in this afternoon to visit Bobby.

We will be back up in the morning as someone is treating them all to breakfast… and in the afternoon, ice cream sundaes! That’s going to be fun for all! You guys and gals are all great!!

Comment is posted: : Rachel at July 27, 2006 07:57 PM (note that is UK time, not US time!)

Update 323: This morning we had Michael Bryant, a photographer, visit Fair Hill and Tim’s barn. Very cool guy. He had covered Barbaro for the Philadelphia Inquirer during Bobby’s training at Fair Hill leading up to the Preakness, and Preakness Day. He has a blog, and on his blog he has an entry of photographs from the Preakness. The entry also includes this text from Michael:

I was one of 100,000 people at Pimlico when Barbaro broke his back right leg and ankle. The gasps and the screams from the crowd was something I have never heard in my life and I hope I never have to hear again.

The entry is here: Barbaro Breakdown, please do not visit if the Preakness coverage upsets you as these pictures, while very good, vividly and uniqely portray the horrific incident.

I asked Michael if he would create a blog entry of some of his other Bobby pictures from Fair Hill. He showed them to me and they are very good, so lets hope he does.

Update 322: We were told there would be a cast change this week on Barbaro’s right hind leg. This did occur, yesterday (wednesday). Michael mentioned it to me this morning, Kathy Anderson also noted the cast change when I caught up with her a little later. I believe they actually changed both casts yesterday. Anyway, from what I understand they are pleased with what they saw, but I do not know the details. It is just a relief to know the right hind cast change has occured, and it was done in the sling etc. This makes changing the cast a little more tricky I think, but much better for Bobby!

Update 321: Another comfortable night (wednesday night) for Barbaro. I saw Michael Matz and his set as I was coming to the track with my second horse. I took some photos so will hope to get a couple on the site later.
update, thursday july 27, 7:15 am

Update 320: A few more pictures of Barbaro, from Fair Hill, before the Preakness. The following is a short poem, provided by Kim from yesterday’s updates:

I have a short poem I heard many years ago that I want to share. I think it’s called “Don’t Quit”

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re traveling seems all uphill;
When funds are low and debts are high;
When you want to smile but you have to cry.
When cares are pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but DON’T YOU QUIT.

Life is strange with it’s twist and turns,
as every one of us sometimes learns;
Any many a person has given up,
when he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned to late when the night came down,
how close he was to the golden crown.

So when cares are pressing you down a bit;
rest if you must, but DON’T YOU QUIT.

Bobby, you’re closer every day to that golden crown. DON’T QUIT.

Posted by: Kim at July 26, 2006 11:11 PM

The following is another poem by Mary C, also posted in yesterday’s comments:

A Poem for Barbaro, with Love

Bathed in the balm of love
Ascending and transcendent
Rare and magnificant Creature
Blessing to the world
Adored and revered
Running in spirit with us
One heart, four hooves, uniting many.

Posted by: Mary C. / Canada at July 27, 2006 12:47 AM

Posted by Eliza at 9:55 AM | Comments (836)
Barbaro Updates: 22
Posted July 26, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 319: Peter Brette just called, he had just heard from Michael (Matz) who had just visited (late afternoon) and all remains comfortable for Barbaro. Another good day, a long road ahead. HRTV did do a Bobby update today, and as reported in the comments they did emphasize the long road of which we are aware (thanks Jan for reporting in the comments):

HRTV- Barbaro Update
They basically reviewed the latest update from NBC.
They are verbally very cautious about Barbaro’s condition
The long road to healing is usually talked about as part of this daily update.

I was laughing the other day that one of the commentators read on air his message that he had e-mailed to Barbaro. Hey we are not the only nutty people around!

The fact that HRTV is still doing a daily 3:30 EST Barbaro Update at least shows great sustaining public interest!

For those interested in more detail about New Bolton and their work, you might be interested in their 2002 video: On Any Given Day. Its 18 minutes, but very interesting.

I had been trying to identify who sent the flowers “poster” that was placed outside one of Michael Matz’s barns at Fair Hill (currently our feature image), I received the following in an e-mail from the parent of the provider:

Well it was done by my 14 Y.O Daughter Kaylynne. Shes been following the likes of Smarty, Alex, and now Barbaro. She just wanted to do something to say Thank you. to the Chapmans, J Servis and Team Smarty to all the Cash is King Family, who truly let her enjoy the ride of her life last year. Now it’s Barbaro who captured her heart, and wanted to give her best wishes to Micheal Matz, the Jacksons, and everyone associated with Team Barbaro

Finally, Round Pond worked a nice half mile under Peter Brette this morning at Fair Hill.

Update 318: Just e-mailed Jeannine Edwards and ESPN will cover horse racing from 5 – 6 pm saturday (east coast time). This will include the Diana Handicap and Jim Dandy. Graham Motion is planning to run the very well traveled Sweet Talker in the Diana, so we will be hoping she continues her great consistency (she’s won 6 of her last 8 starts (dating back to may ’05) and was 2nd in the other two. this will be her 9th different track…thanks Jeannine for that information). ESPN will provide a short update on Bobby (15 – 20 seconds) during this telecast.

Our friends from Kennett Florist report that Bobby continues to do well, they learned this from Dr. Sweeney during their visit today to drop off goodies for everyone.

Mike Rea’s recovery process is certainly going to be a long one, and likely complicated by some unanticipated “issues” … Mike, the rail is lonely without you!

Update 317: New Bolton’s press release confirms Barbaro’s comfort etc: Barbaro remains stable and comfortable:

According to Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson, Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro slept well after his left hind foot bandage was changed yesterday. “I’m happy with the appearance of this foot, which is doing as well as can be expected,” said Dr. Richardson. “Over the last several days, his temperature has been normal and his blood work has significantly improved suggesting that the infection in his right hind is under control.” His heart rate is also consistently normal now, a good indication that he is stable and comfortable.

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

The next update will be posted on Friday, July 28 unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Its nice to see continuing Bobby coverage in New Zealand!

For the presentation I gave yesterday, at the beginning, I asked the audience how many people follow horse racing. I think three hands went up (the audience was about 60 people, who work in MBA administration). I then asked how many people were familiar with Barbaro, about 3/4s of the audience raised their hand. I then showed the audience this site!

Update 316: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (tuesday night). Saw Michael Matz on the horsepath as I was coming back to the barn and he gave me the good news.
updated wednesday 7:05am

Update 315: Wm & CL left a wonderful comment in Barbaro Updates 21 (Posted by: Wm & CL at July 25, 2006 03:32 PM) as a an explanation of how Barbaro has captured our imagination. The following is a short excerpt:

While Barbaro recovers, immense obstacles are being overcome as Americans recover. His struggle and our struggles are easy to understand. That is what grabs our hearts. In the imortal words of Seabiscuit’s trainer, Tom Smith, and owner Charles Howard: “You never throw away a whole life just because it gets banged up a little bit.” We believe Barbaro’s owners, Roy & Gretchen Jackson, are of the same mindset including Dr. Dean Richardson and his medical team. Barbaro’s same fierce fighting spirit and champion heart inspire us to go the extra mile for him while he is doing the same for us. He is giving us our second chance as we give it back to him.

So, Barbaro, we will sit and rest awhile with you when our hearts and soul get weary. From R. Loveland and B. Graham’s words–‘You Raise Me Up’–this is for you.

“You raise me up so I can stand on mountains,
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas.
I am strong when you are on my shoulders,
You raise me (us all) to more than I (we) can

Posted by Eliza at 10:35 AM | Comments (773)
Barbaro Updates: 21
Posted July 25, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 314: Just spoke to Peter Brette…while he was unable to visit Barbaro today, he’s heard that Bobby has continued to remain comfortable through the day.

Also, Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer called earlier today and interviewed me over the telephone. He’s planning a visit to Fair Hill in the next couple of days. So, there may be a piece about the site for us to read soon in the Philadelphia Inquirer!

Update 313: Rachel from Kennett Florist just left this comment:

We hadn’t had a chance to get on and give the morning update from NBC until now. Thanks to Mary in TX, the staff was treated to another wonderful breakfast. (I think we could become caterers on the side!:) We served lots of different danish, cinnamon buns, coffee cake, coffee and juices. As always they were very grateful. We also brought up a special little breakfast basket for Bobby with his baby carrots (with the greens on top) and spearmints.

Alie talked to Dr Sweeney and was told that Bobby had a comfy night and slept well… same as we’ve heard from Tim and Alex. So good, good news! Atta boy Bobby.

Thanks again, Mary!


Update 312: A few interesting articles, one old and the others new. The spirit of a champion, by Scott Wells for Thoroughbred Times, discusses horses’ love for running, and the compassion we all have for Barbaro, especially his connections’ compassion. The article concludes:

If it comes down to spirit, Barbaro will survive. How I hope it happens that way. But just know that when he does die, whether in a matter of days or 20 years from now, his owners, his trainer, his jockey, his groom, his hot walker–they will mourn his passing with the type of real grief saved only for the best of friends.

The article: Barbaro’s British influence (a little dated) provides background information on Peter Brette and the relationship he and Michael (Matz) have developed. The following is an excerpt:

Matz met Brette a year or so ago at Palm Beach Downs in Florida. The initial assessment was that the Englishman “seemed like a real nice guy,” Matz said. And when it came to riding and training horses, the Matz-Brette connection appears to have been solidified along the adage that it takes a good one to know another good one.

Matz offered Brette a position that didn’t take long to turn into right-hand man.

“It evolved really quickly, you know,” Brette said. “We get along very well and sort of bounce things off each other really well.

Finally an article on track safety, a topic of heated discussion in the comments given recent issues at Arlington and Del Mar. I post this while also noting there is no evidence that an unsafe track caused the horrific accident to Barbaro: Racetrack technology treads on gentle ground. This article is noteworthy also because it quotes two prominent Fair Hill trainers (Motion and Klesaris). It focuses on Michael Dickinson who used to train at fair Hill, and used to employ Tim … and I (a long time ago).

Update 311: Barbaro had another comfortable night last night (monday night). Tim spoke with Michael Matz (again) and Michael had heard from Dr. Richardson.

It was nice to see a caption re: Barbaro’s condition in the USA Today (I am staying in a hotel) that shows the broad interest Bobby continues to generate. I suspect most media coverage today (USA Today, DRF, Baltimore Sun etc.) are rehashing the press release from New Bolton yesterday.

Now off to breakfast (something that is a luxury since I am usually galloping horses all morning), and to prepare my presentation: “Using the Web to Build Relationships and Manage Your Messages”: for MBA Admissions.
update, 7:25 am, tuesday July 25

Update 310: Michael Matz visited Barbaro 9 pm monday evening. He told Tim this morning that Bobby was comfortable during the visit. Tim noted a cheerful tone from Michael as he was telling him about the visit.