Barbaro Updates: 355 – 427

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Posted August 11, 2006

Update 427: No update yet for Barbaro this morning, although I did see Peter who said that he remained comfortable last night. He also noted that they had reduced his pain medication recently. I will catch up with Peter a little later to see how Bobby is this morning.

I just spoke with Adrian Rolls, Graham Motion’s assistant, who flew out to Chicago with Better Talk Now and Film Maker. They flew out yesterday (friday), it was a two hour flight from BWI. Adrian said it was amazing, as soon as they got on the plane they dropped their heads and totally relaxed (they have flown before). It was a very smooth two hour ride. Film Maker just shedrowed this morning (ridden in the shedrow in the barn). Better Talk Now was ponied to the track and jogged / galloped once around just to stretch his legs. Both look well and are in good order for their races. Adrian also caught up with Barclay (Tagg) who reported Showing Up was in good form. I think he flew in on thursday.

We had three visitors to Fair Hill today. Jazz, Lyn and Lois. It was fun being a host, I hope it was fun / interesting to visit!

Update 426: I was hoping to hear back from Jeannine Edwards (and may still do so yet) re: ABCs racing coverage today. The following is an excerpt of an e-mail she sent to me a couple of days ago:

we are not showing the secretariat, it’s after we are off the air. we ARE showing the beverly d, arlington million, sword dancer (SAR) and vanderbilt (SAR). we may do a quick interview with the jacksons, not sure yet. there will be a barbaro update.

Its a shame we won’t get to see the Secretariat (The Jackson’s Showing Up’s race) but it would be great if they were to interview the Jackson’s! Lets see.

The following Bloodhorse article previews the Arlington Million: Many Obstacles in Million for English Channel which includes the following excerpt:

The leading quartet must face seven other worthy challengers in Saturday’s Arlington Million XXIV. Among them: Bushwood Racing Partners’ Better Talk Now, who won the 2004 John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf at Lone Star Park, last summer’s United Nations, and was fourth in last summer’s Arlington Million.

The Arlington Million I believe was the first million dollar race in the US. It was the first older horse US race that I really took notice of when growing up in the UK. European trainers have had a good degree of success in the race. I do remember when Teleprompter won the race!

Update 425: Thank you to those of you who contributed to my dinner tonight at the Whip. Very thoughtful, if unecessary. Tomorrow will be a busy day. We will have a few visitors coming to Fair Hill. I am looking forward to hopefully providing a couple of hours of “entertainment”. For those coming, just plan to be at Parlo 1 at 8 am. If you arrive early, then park by the starting gate and hang around there until 8. The starting gate is the first thing you will see as you drive in from the 213 entrance. Parlo 1 is then the first barn after the starting gate. If you are late, still plan to come to Parlo 1 and ask for me. Someone will tell you what’s going on, you may just have to wait around for a while. As far as I know i’ll have 3 horses to ride after the break (8:45 am) and perhaps one at 8 (not sure yet). If not one at 8 we can use the time to look around a little. Feel free to come tomorrow, or another saturday, whether you have told me you are coming or not. If you have any trouble finding us call me.

Update 424: Peter Brette just called and Bobby seems to have had another good day. There is also a lovely thank you from New Bolton Center: Thank You and Kennett Florist left this note:

Just got back from NBC. We loaded them up with treats for Bobby for the weekend. Dr Sweeney reassured me and also wanted to let you know that they ARE getting to Bobby. She had someone bring a basket up to him as I was there. I admire this lady more and more each day.

I was talking to one of the staff and they were thinking about planting a “Barbaro Garden” of bulbs, so in the srping they could be reminded of him with beautiful colors and flowers. I think this is a wonderful ideas, and will try to get my hands on some bulbs.

We have stud muffins on the way! So we will include those in the baskets next week. I was told on Wednesday by one of the guys that works with Bobby, that he really likes them. Anything the boy wants… the boy gets!! Love to you all!


Rachel at Kennett Florist

Update 423: Another comfortable night for Barbaro (thursday night), and a good morning. Peter has just visited and called to let me know (2:15 pm). Again he was upbeat. I asked him about the roses (traditionally worn after the Derby win). Apparently there were roses to wear after the Florida Derby win, he did not want anything to do with those, so for the KY Derby they did not want to push it. They did do something for a couple of quick pictures (I think Edgar jumped off for those), but that was it.
update, friday, 2:25 pm

Update 422: Mike has written the next portion of “The Call”:

“In an amazing turn of events here today , the horses are into the far turn and now BARBARO is making another move”, shouts Durkin. You can sense the emotion in his baritone voice. It’s a dual emotion of amazement and AWE. He knows that this is no ordinary race, and what he and all are witnessing is no ordinary horse. ” For the first time Prado goes to his whip and BARBARO RESPONDS WITH A TREMENDOUS MOVE”, hails Durkin,” you can see the confidence now in this horse with every stride”. Edgar tucks the whip away and begins to hand ride him as he passes horses on the outside, devouring the track and the opposition with a sublime display of raw power. He’s now 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, BARBARO HAS MOVED INTO 4TH with a big swooping move and looks like there’s no stopping him now . It seems like seconds ago Edgar was in a life and death hold on this horse, but now BARBARO IS ON THE MOVE…..

(Mike perhaps post the entire call to the discussion boards ?)

There have been a few questions about the history of Fair Hill. This pre-Preakness article discusses Fair Hill and its history: Fair Hill provides Barbaro a peaceful home.

A nice article on Showing Up that also has a couple of Barbaro mentions: Not here just for show: Barbaro’s stablemate Showing Up favored in Secretariat Stakes. The Barbaro mentions are:

“Barbaro is doing as well as can be expected,” Roy Jackson said. “The main thing is to try to save him so he has a pain-free life. It’s sort of going day by day. We have a special feeling for Barbaro because we bred him and raised him.”


“They’re only a 3-year-old once,” Tagg said. “I decided to make the switch [to the grass] because I thought Barbaro would win the Triple Crown. I can’t imagine he’d have beaten Barbaro [who went into the Preakness undefeated in six races]. I thought Showing Up might have a chance to be the [national] champion turf horse.”

A relatively belated start and the ability to run on both dirt and turf are the common denominators in the careers of Showing Up and Barbaro, who won his first three starts on the grass before moving to the main track.

Now, the torch that Barbaro carried has been passed to Showing Up.

Update 421: Peter is planning to visit Barbaro today, a little later, so I will get a quick report of his visit probably mid afternoon. He did speak to Michael this morning, but they did not discuss Bobby, so while I am unable to report that Bobby had a comfortable night (yet) I imagine if otherwise it would have been a topic of conversation. At least that is what Peter, Emily, Grae and I discussed when I asked Peter about Bobby. Peter did mention Bobby had a nice massage last night and the end of day report was very positive.

Update 420: A few have already commented on the note left on the site referenced in update 419 which indicated Bobby did not want anything to do with the roses after winning his Derby. This is confirmed here. I will also ask Peter about it when I get back to Fair Hill.

It was another beautiful morning this morning riding out. I have ridden five, and have two more to go. The first set, coming out about 5:25 am, you can see the track and clocker’s stand silhouetted by the moon. As I was walking towards the track I could see about five horses jogging backwards (i.e. clockwise). This was Michael Matz’s crew, again they were only lit by the moon. Its a very peaceful time of the morning.

On to the weekend racing. Graham (Motion) has Sweet Science in today in a stake at Saratoga. He is also shipping Better Talk Now (Arlington Million) and Film Maker (Beverly D) to Chicago today. They will van down to BWI and then fly to Chicago. Adrian Rolls (he led up Last Suspect to win the National a long time ago), assistant to Graham (and good friend) will be overseeing the shipping. I will call Adrian tomorrow to see how things are after both horses take a look at the race track.

Update 419: Michael Matz is still in Saratoga, I think he is returning on sunday, so again, the morning update will be closer to lunchtime. Here is another nice painting of Barbaro, which will be auctioned for charity: Thoroughbred Charities of America (December 1). I have added another update to the Fan Media page which includes the two latest Barbaro videos from Youtube.

Thankfully Mike Rea is continuing along his long road to recover: Hello Everyone.

And finally, two poems:
The first, mysteriously dictated by Bobby to Melissa Harden:

Song of the Thoroughbred
Bobby Jackson
(Dictated to Melissa Harden)

Some run for the joy of it, some for the glory
Those who think otherwise, don’t know the whole story
Some run to win races and that is their pleasure
Then some others that run just run at their leisure.

We love to run like the wind, that is our nature
And to run with the wind, what couldn’t be greater.
From those who finish last to the noblest of steeds,
We are born and raised to run, for that is our breed.

If you watch us as youngsters, we’re not standing still.
We are all running free, for that is our own will.
If all of you who doubt, would watch us in pastures,
While we’re playing our games, to see who is faster,

Don’t any of you doubt a thoroughbred’s great heart.
All those of you who do, are so wrong from the start.
I still run in my dreams and will run when I’m healed.
It might not be as fast but; run someway I will.

We’re magnificent creatures; – “Boy, don’t we know it.”
And if you should doubt that , then you should just stowe it.
So all of you “Neigh-sayers” should just go away
Let me get back to healing and eating my hay.

The second, posted on the discussion boards:

A Longed For Dream

Hopes so high that day, it seemed;
fulfillment of a longed for dream.
Raw burst of power, away you went;
another victory evident.

Then fate stepped in that one cruel day,
and stole the longed for dream away.
Confusion, fear, shown on your face;
am I not still to win this race?

An angel then lept quickly down,
concerned no longer with the crown.
And held you with such steely will,
in great attempts to keep you still.

The masses stood with heads bowed low;
your future they did fear to know.
But love stepped in and would not bend;
that day for you came not the end.

Delivered to a healer good,
who did what others seldom would.
There now is hope, where once was none,
although much yet need still be done.

Your courage, strength, unending grace,
will serve you well this final race.
A champion’s heart you do possess;
Victorious! and nothing less.

The day will come to greet blue skies
and sunshine with your soulful eyes.
Let warm winds soothe and comfort you,
for all your pain and strife is through.

God graces you, each day, you see;
He gives you now new destiny.
A longed for dream desired so…
the dream IS YOU, sweet Barbaro.
– Sandra Gehri-Bergman

Posted by Alex at 8:48 AM | Comments (471)
Barbaro Updates: 40
Posted August 9, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 418: Peter just called (7pm). All remains well with Bobby. He had spoken to Michael again later today. As we get ready for racing this weekend I thought I would post this article: Barbaro’s owner has a consolation and see if you can spot the error! Anyway, Showing Up does look like the real deal on the Turf, but we also know Bobby was outstanding on the turf and might have been campaigned later in his career on the turf in europe (something Peter has told me on more than one occasion)!

Its Saratoga sales time. This is covered by the Daily Racing Form: $1.6 million ‘Empire’ filly tops sale (Glenye Cain seems very cool, we have chatted on the phone a couple of times, she adopted a retired racehorse that was once trained by Graham Motion). However I prefer my friends report, via e-mail:

It’s hard to describe the atmosphere at this sale. Lots of heavy hitters from around the world, a select group of fancy horses, and lots of spectators dressed in cocktail attire. And lots of cocktails. I think the lights are positioned to make the horses look extra glossy and consequently the people look glamorous too. What’s that saying?, “a place to see and be seen”. I didn’t see as many horses as I’d have liked. The Green Monkey’s half sister looked really fancy, but she only brought $225,000 which is probably below the average for this sale. I saw an Unbridled’s Song colt sell for 1.3 million and a really nice Empire Maker filly sell for 1.6 million. The sale was not over when I left.

Update 417: A quick update from Kennett Florist:

When we got to NBC today one of the wonderful ladies grabbed a few bunches of carrots and headed up to Bobby with them. It seems they’ve been awaiting our arrival the past few days… can that boy eat carrots or what? Everyone was very upbeat. Talked to Dr Sweeney, and she’s going to do a little investigating on Dr R’s favorite restaurant for us. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating… what a wonderful place NBC is, and what amazing people! Thank you all!


Update 416: A poem and a limerick. The poem was e-mailed to me by Beverly Sweitzer:

I searched o’er all the world for one thing perfect.
I looked at castles and at kingdoms men erect.
To every land and every clime I sought
To see if somewhere perfection could be bought.

I gazed at landscapes of many a land,
Admired the seashores and cities of every demand.
I looked at everything that man had made–
Cathedrals and columns of every shade.

I saw the bright lights of a beautiful city.
I tried to understand but my heart felt only pity
For those, who thought perfection they could meet
In the skyscraping columns above the street.

I saw the works called art, in music and in paint,
But each carried the touch of man’s sinful taint.
I searched, but a perfect one I not find
In sorrow I vowed, nothing is perfect in humankind.

Taking courage again in my search, I turned
To nature to see if there perfection could be learned
From the beauty of rivers and mountains and streams
But none of these held the perfection of my dreams.

The glistening white of the snow, melts in the spring.
In fall, the leafless tree becomes an ugly thing.
The blue of the sky, when clouded, turns gray
The blossoms of flowers bloom only in May.

In despair I turned to my home on the plain
To find, in coat of burnished gold and black of tail and mane,
A horse, in all degrees, perfection ruled supreme.
The beauty of the stallion was the answer to my dream.

I’ve ridden in magnificent golden royal coaches,
Manmade monsters, but perfection, none approaches.
Machines of power and demons of space and speed
Cannot match the grace and beauty of that racing steed.

Oh, mount him to reach the goal of limitless length.
A thoroughbred giant of muscle and strength.
In all his magnificent glory, the indescribable king.
He stands above the world, perfect in everything.

Such faith and loyalty has never graced man’s mind.
Why then, did God choose poor and sin-scarred humankind
I ask, in all this world beneath the sun,
To be called the masters of such a one.

By all the rules of heaven and earth
He must serve in bridle and saddle girth.
He was made to run and he will obey
With all his strength and power night or day.

In all my wandering of the trackless years,
In countless trips across two hemispheres,
At last I found the race in which he could compete.
Barbaro, perfection, there to find complete

and the limerick from Susan E:


There was a young stallion of lore,
Who brought horseracing back to the fore.
Barbaro was his name,
Winning big was his game,
Till his right leg did break to the core.
To New Bolton young Bobby did go,
And much courage and grace he did show.
Strong, patient, and kind,
Bobby healed his right hind,
Till he suffered yet another blow.
Bobby had a doctor named Dean,
Of medical skills very keen.
Dean fixed Bobby’s hoof,
And attached to the roof,
A sling in which Bobby could swing.
“Swing, Bobby, swing!” said the NBC staff,
And “Show us your boing!” staff did laugh.
So Bobby did swing,
In his magical sling,
Till everyone’s heart did take wing.
More on this stallion named Bobby,
For him peppermints were a hobby.
The mints were so sweet,
He jumped to his feet,
And ran home through the NBC lobby.
Get well soon, Bobby.

Update 415: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night). Peter just called and had just spoken to Michael. He sounded pretty upbeat. A little delayed, but good news nonetheless! Here is a good short article: BARBARO CONTINUES TO MEND (Ed Fountaine who has cited this web-site in an earlier report) a quick update, rehashing the press release from yesterday, with this tidbit at the end:

Barbaro’s trainer, Michael Matz, was upbeat at Saratoga yesterday, noting that, although one of the screws in the Derby champ’s fracture was broken, the bones appear to be mending well and the pastern joint is fusing. “We just have to keep our fingers crossed,” he said.

The broken screw is not of concern as far as I am aware.

Fair Hill this morning was nice and uneventful. I rode eight, one filly (Chappy) I broke out of the gate and breezed 3/8ths. She is a two year old, and will likely get her gate card soon (required before first start). I took Gator Nation out back to jog around the hills and grasslands (grass has now been cut). He seems in good spirits after his first start (nice closing third). The 2yo who reared up with me yesterday did it again today (course he’s just a bit of a colt, no real harm). I stayed on!

Update 414: No update yet, just taking a break between sets. Nice to see Barbaro’s influence persisting (growing): University of Minnesota to build new equine center, the following is an excerpt:

“The recent events surrounding the horse Barbaro has revealed how specialized and advanced equine care has become,” said University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks. “This exciting new center shows our commitment to serve Minnesota’s horse enthusiasts and the health of these beautiful animals.”

A nice article in the DailyLocal: Barbaro still fighting, it begins:

Incremental progress — that’s what Roy and Gretchen Jackson hope for each day from Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby-winning horse that has been battling the odds since a career-ending injury at the Preakness in May.

“We can’t look ahead,” Gretchen Jackson said. “Barbaro has had pretty good days for a while, so we’re very grateful.”

and closes:

“The way he acts is amazing,” Gretchen said. “He’s really behaving himself and following the doctors’ orders. He hasn’t acted too bored. So many people are caring for him. He understands he needs help, so he puts up with it all because he knows he can’t do it himself.”

Recently, the Jacksons spent a few days in Saratoga, N.Y., where the premier racehorses in the country are competing. Numerous race fans offered their well wishes.

“It’s been very hard at times, there’s no denying it,” Gretchen Jackson said. “We all have sadness that comes into our lives. You deal with it the best you can. Barbaro has come through a lot. But that’s why he’s a champion. He’s headed in the right direction.”

ABC’s racing coverage on saturday might include an interview with the Jackson’s, that would be very cool.

Ok, back to Fair Hill for two more horses.

Update 413: Much like the previous few days the morning update will be later, due to Michael being in Saratoga.

Annie stopped by and left this comment (thanks Annie, 1:03 pm):

Hi. Its Annie that works for Michael in Fairhill. I’m one of his many excercise riders at the moment. I’ve worked with Michael and the team for nearly 4 years so that makes me a veteran amongst the riders that he has now. Alex asked me if I could get an interview with Eduardo so you could all know how he is coping. Well an interview was too much to ask. Eduardo is a very quiet shy kind of person. But he is a sweet heart. I’m not as good a reporter as Alex. If you could have been a fly on the wall you would laugh at my spanish or lack there of. As far as I could make out Eduardo misses Barbaro alot. He told me it was an honour working with Barbaro. That they shared alot of good times and he was glad to be there to try and calm Barbaro down that day on the race track. It broke his heart. to be so happy one moment and then for it all to change so fast. Like i said Eduardo didn’t want to talk to much about it. He now has a vanity plate on the front of his truck of Barbaro winning the Kentuck derby.. looks very smart.
Thank you for all your kind words to Barbaro and the Team. Its nice to know he has such a big following of people to cheer him on as he gets better. Well its 9 o’clock and well past my bedtime. 4 am doesn’t be long rolling around, and the horse world stops for no man or horse.
Thank you again….. good night

Also, another excellent video posted to the discussion board by jfrank74: Barbaro, We Believe.

And lets not forget our friend Mike Rea. It seems he is enjoying your poetry!

Update 412: The following article: High knee action might give leg up is a good reminder of the reverance Bobby inspired before the Preakness. This excerpt I loved:

The day after the Kentucky Derby, trainer Bob Baffert met with some reporters at his barn on the Churchill Downs backstretch and told this story about seeing Barbaro in the paddock before the race.

“My wife, Jill, said, ‘Oh my God, look at him. He looks good.’ But I go, ‘Yeah, I think he’s a turf horse, honey.’ She said, ‘You better hope so.'”

The article also notes the potential for running Barbaro in europe after the triple crown. I know this is something Peter was very keen on. Its obviously an old article, but a great read.

This T shirt offer looks very generous.

Update 411: The following was just posted on the discussion board:

Just wanted to say that I first saw Barbaro 2 days prior to the Holy Bull Stakes @ Gulfstream Park. While I didn’t hug him, I stood by his stall while he was chewing on some hay, he turn around & watched/stared @ me for some several minutes. I was with a friend & Peter Brette was there talking to Dave & Myself about Bobby. He told me that while Barbaro was a super-super turf runner, he also was very fast on the dirt. He was by far the most Intelligent, Fastest Thoroughbred that he had ever galloped/breezed. Two days later, in the slop/dirt in a Grade 3, he ran his usual race, right behind the leaders & then blow right by them at the quarter pole.

I have about 10/12 great pictures of him, 3 Win Circle pictures that you can purchase for about $20 from the Track Photo Shop, when they are open..

He is a Champion Of Champions, in that, not only on the track, but in his recovery/healing..He’s very intelligent..We are all pulling for him….

Have a great day…….Clearwater Charlie & my Bichon Fraise,(Tommy)

Update 410: Another visit report from Rachel of Kennett Florist:

It has been one crazy day, I apologize for not posting sooner. We delivered a lovely breakfast of cinnamon buns, assorted danish, muffins, juices and coffee. There was a crowd when we got there, and wasn’t sure they were going to let me finish setting up before they dug in! They again wanted me to convey their gratitude… I even heard someone comment ‘alright, another Barbaro breakfast!!’ The mood seems really good. And of course we had our side of carrots that was delivered to Bobby for his breakfast treat.

We sent up another basket from the “fund” today. Since the staff has asked for more carrots, we loaded them up again this afternoon, along with lots of snacks (especially chocolate) for the staff. Thanks again to all of you!!

WE BELIEVE!! (always have and always will 😉

Rachel at Kennett Florist

Update 409: We have now opened up a discussion board and chat room at (thanks Prospero). I opened this last night (quietly) and we already have about 90 members and some good q and a. The discussion boards are great for asking questions, answering each others’ questions etc. The chat to brainstorm, bond etc. I hope these tools compliment this site and the comments section here. Please go over, take a look, and provide any feedback as we try to make each of the tools most appropriate for our needs. You can read posts as a guest, but need to sign up (pretty simple and painless) to post and access chat. Signup also makes it much easier to manage the discussion boards in terms of keeping tabs on what you have read etc.

All updates will always be posted here.

On another note, we are climbing up google for Barbaro, now 21st!

Update 408: Peter Brette just called. He managed a quick visit to Barbaro today and said he remains comfortable. Michael also had a winner at Delaware so I managed to congratulate Peter (I only knew thanks to this site!) A poem from TLC (from updates 39: 4:00 pm):

Our message to Barbaro….

Everyday we say a prayer
for another comfortable night.
For together we stand,
this close knit group,
united against Barbaro’s plight.

This beautiful being
has brought us together,
similar in so many ways.
For we all have the hope,
the thoughts, and the wishes
to see Barbaro through each of these days.

Stay strong we all say,
listen to your doctors,
show everyone how smart you are.
An inspiration to so many,
Barbaro, a bright shining star.

So Bobby, (as he is known by so many),
keep your head high and eyes all a’gleam.
For each of us knows
in our heart of hearts,
that you will fulfill our dream.

Posted by Alex at 7:28 PM | Comments (556)
Barbaro Updates 39
Posted August 7, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 407: New Bolton Center press release: Another smooth cast change for Barbaro:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro is doing well this morning after the cast on his right hind limb was changed late yesterday afternoon under general anesthesia. “The leg looked good under the cast, especially considering the length of time that he has been in a cast,” said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “The radiographs also were encouraging. There is no sign of active infection. This is further supported by his markedly improving blood values over the last two weeks. He had an excellent pool recovery; he is a very intelligent horse and has definitely figured out the whole process.”

The cast on the right hind leg encloses the foot and extends up to just below the hock. It will continue to be changed regularly until the fractures and joint fusions have healed completely enough to sustain full weight bearing.

The bandage and protective boot on Barbaro’s laminitic left hind foot continues to be changed daily. “The appearance of the foot is very good. It is dry and healthy looking with excellent early regrowth at the coronary band,” said Dr. Richardson.

Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Pennsylvania’s George D. Widener Hospital, where he is recovering from injuries suffered at the Preakness on May 20.

The next update will be posted on Tuesday, August 15 unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Update 406: Still no update, but as far as I am aware New Bolton is planning to release an update themselves this morning so we also have that to look forward to. I saw some coverage (positive) on Bobby last night on the local NBC10 channel (this was before the cast change). I believe the footage they used was old (from July 13).

Update 405: No update yet. I will catch up with Peter once I am finished riding (two more to go) but he did mention he plans to visit today. I started a little earlier this morning (5:20 am) and certainly before the sun started. It does seem we have quite a few foxes around, and they are not shy. I saw at least two while on my first set (at least I think they were foxes, either that or the deer are shrinking). The only other set on the track first thing was Michael Matz’s set (of ten horses / riders).

Later I caught up with Tim, Barclay Tagg’s assistant. He told me about Showing Up this weekend (which we know), but I was more interested in his time working for Allaire DuPont (he worked for her for 20 years until she recently passed away). He was there when Kelso was there (not during his racing period) but noted he used to get many visitors (by the bus load). People can still visit his grave, he was buried on the farm, they just need to call ahead.

And later still, I nearly fell off (trainer did not see, it was coming onto the track, 2yo rearing up). Nearly, but not quite!

Update 404: Much like the last couple of days the morning update will be delayed as Michael is in Saratoga and I have to wait until Peter talks to Michael later in the morning. The following article: Motion Sizes Up Arlington Festival Races discusses this weekend’s stakes races at Arlington and quotes from Fair Hill’s Graham Motion (who will run Better Talk Now and Film Maker, two super consistent graded stakes horses over the years) and Barclay Tagg who provides a little insight into the switch to the Turf for the Jackson’s Showing Up:

“I think he’s very adept on both surfaces, but a little more comfortable on the grass,” Tagg said. “I made the switch because I thought Barbaro would go ahead and do the Triple Crown, and I didn’t need to have him chasing Barbaro around.”

Its nice to see a trainer frankly talk about his horse’s prospects in light of another horse, knowing he won’t offend his owner!

Update 403: Peter Brette just called. They have changed the cast, Bobby is now back in his stall. He did have anesthesia as I think they wanted to check everything etc. (all his feet etc.) but it seems all is well, he recovered in the pool and is now returned. I am sure we will hear more from New Bolton tomorrow etc. Peter called 8:45 pm

Update 402: Another lovely poem, by Melissa Harden:

Horse Angels Speaking
Melissa Harden

Barbaro must be listening a minute or two
To Horse Angels Secretariat and Seattle Slew
It is too soon to join us Secretariat said
Therefore you need now to listen instead.

Continue your healing and being patiently calm
Your positive attitude is the best healing balm
They’re are saying you’re smart and we have to agree
But what else should we expect with your great pedigree.

We have races in heaven and a whole lot of fun
But it is too soon to join us; your job is not done.
You will see that we all must have our own Triple Crown
Yours might be through your foals or even greater renown.

You have made safety in racing a cause celebre
That might be your achievement at the end of your day
Or there might be another Triple Crown with you son
So even not on a course there’re still races to run.

But whatever your job is, your success is confirmed
Because we know you are one of us chimed in Affirmed.
For you see we know that you are one of us and great
Even though your own Triple Crown was stolen by fate.

We’ll be watching you closely to see you don’t falter
While hearing the prayers offered here at our altar
For there are so many more legends with us up here
With us watching over you, you have nothing to fear.

You can also tell Mike Rea that we are all praying
So he will recover soon and restart his training
Cause we know that he loves horses and misses them too
Tell him that next time in the saddle to use crazy glue.

Update 401: While we wait for news on Bobby’s cast change, an interesting story is Kelso’s dad, Your Host. Bobby is even cited in this wikipedia article (thanks Beverly).

Update 400: Peter called, 4:30 pm, they are currently changing his cast on his right hind leg as noted in New Bolton’s update today. I hope to hear more later.

Update 399: A quick update from Kennett Florist and their visit today from Rachel:

Just got back from my trip to NBC today. We got in a fresh shipment of baby carrots with the greens this morning, since they had asked for more carrots yesterday. It’s always nice to be greeted at the door by everyone at NBC. The baskets had some treats for them as well. We made used some of the money from the “kitty” that many have been sending in the mail for some of the treats today. So thank you to all. I had a chance to talk to Dr. Sweeney briefly and asked how Bobby was doing. She said he was doing good and they were getting ready to do his regularly scheduled cast change. She also extends her thanks to everyone for all the gifts that are being sent.

Rachel at Kennett Florist

I also wanted to note I have uploaded three pictures from my visit to New Bolton on saturday. The “featured” photo is of Peter Brette, posing with one of the six cards delivered from Churchill Downs. The second is of the Thomas family, who were visiting from Tampa Florida and had just posted the two images that are displayed between them. The third picture is a poster from the Barbaromaniacs!

Update 398: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro, I know we could assume that with the press release, but it did not explicitly say so. Peter just called, had had heard from Michael. Peter is visiting later today, so I will try to catch up with him again a little later.
update 12:30 pm, tuesday august 8

Update 397: New Bolton’s press release, Cast change planned for Barbaro later today:

Doctors at Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital plan to change the right hind leg cast of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro later today. “Changing the cast gives us the opportunity to take new radiographs and evaluate the progress of the fracture healing and joint fusions,” said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery.

“His left hind hoof continues to show signs of regrowth and looks healthy,” said Dr. Richardson. The colt’s left hind foot, which had most of the hoof wall removed due to severe laminitis, has a daily bandage change for examination and treatment.

Update 396: Jeannine Edwards just sent me this e-mail which gives a little insight into the “behind the scenes” of producing a show, and of course Barbaro!

before our show on sunday, i had called michael to see if he was going to be at monmouth for the matchmaker and if so, could we interview him on the show. he told me he just gotten to saratoga and wouldn’t be there. i said i was just in saratoga and just now got to monmouth! (kenny mayne, randy moss, jerry bailey, rolly hoyt our researcher, some of our production crew, and myself all worked the double header weekend we had aug 5/6. we started in saratoga on thurs, worked the whitney show from 5-6pm on saturday, then after returning our rental cars at the albany airport jumped into a limo for the ride down to monmouth, arriving at 11pm sat night. sunday morning i got up at 6am and we were all cramming for our haskell telecast that afternoon at 5pm….. after which 10 of us had dinner at chili’s and then drove to a hotel at newark airport for our flights out monday morning.) anyway, i had a nice chat with michael. he said barbaro continues to show that strong spirit and determination. i asked what he sees in his face and eyes when he looks at barbaro…. is it spunk, fear, worry, weariness, etc. he said if anything barbaro’s spirit and attitude are getting better. he said he’s not getting tired of the routine, he’s getting brighter. he said he REALLY wants out of the stall…. every time the door opens he’s ready. i was happy to hear that and we thank michael for taking the time to chat with me and fill me in a little.

Update 395: As we wait for our Barbaro update this morning I thought you might like to hear about the Saratoga antics of Bernadini yesterday morning, e-mail excerpt from a friend:

Bernardini looks to be heading towards the Travers with plenty of spunk. He became playful on the way to the Saratoga main track monday morning, rearing up and striking assistant trainer Dave Wallace who was accompanying Bernardini on the lead pony. Dave took a few good whacks on the leg and shoulder, and when I asked him if he was okay he thought I was asking about the horse. You know that’s how horse people think. Never mind that being struck by a horse is probably something like having George Foreman hit you with a sledge hammer.

Peter Brette will visit Barbaro after he has finished at Fair Hill, so we will have that update, New Bolton’s press release and word from Michael to come.

Update 394: This morning Fair Hill is beautiful, if not a little too warm. On my way back from my first set I saw a fox scampering away across the grass, away from a flock of geese. The geese seemed to have the fox a little rattled. A later set (third or fourth) another fox was calmly trotting across the dirt track, unphased by the horses galloping by. No Bobby update yet, as noted earlier it will likely be later this morning. I have ridden six and have three more left to go. I thought I would post these two e-mails:
the first from Mike C, regarding his brief meeting with Edgar Prado to give him the CALL:

I went to Monmouth Park yesterday for the races, but also to try to give a copy of “The Call” to Edagr Prado who had several mounts there. He was taken off his mounts in the 1st and 2nd races, guess traffic or the helicopter carring him and John Velazquez there was late….Edgar arrived after the 1st race and was in a hurry. I attempted to talk to him, but him being in a big hurry , POLITELY offered to sign or talk later. So I waited till the end of the day after his last mount to reach him.. After the Haskell, the feature race of the day, I approached him. He was very cordial, I asked him if he’d please sign my BARBARO hat, HE GRACIOUSLY DID…Then I handed him an envelope with a copy of “the call” in it..I explained to him what it was and if he would please try to read it in his spare time, that I felt he may enjoy it..He smiled and we shook hands, I said to him thanks for saving BARBAROS’ life, he just smiled and went into the jocks room… Edgar is a very classy guy…

Kim C. also provides her experience seeing Bobby at Keeneland:

The backside at Keeneland is very fan friendly, and it’s no problem at all to go back there. There is a parking lot at the end of the area and many fans walk right through the backside area on the way to the track. My mother & I always go back at least once during the meet to see the horses. Now we don’t always get to go into the shed row, sometimes we just see the horses from behind the outer wall of shed row, maybe 4-6 feet away. That’s how we saw Bobby.

We were walking around a shed row area and come upon a security guard and I asked him where Michael Matz was stabled. He told us and we went down to his barn and stood about 4-6 feet away from Bobby. He had his head down munching hay and we couldn’t see anything but his hind quarters. As we were standing there imploring Bobby to look at us, someone walked by his stall, saw us, stopped and got Barbaro’s attention and Bobby moved around to the front of the stall and we got to see him quite well. We talked to him a minute, but he was more interested in his hay! We also saw Smarty Jones in 2004. So, next year, whoever wants their horse to win the derby just needs to have us go see him at Keeneland.

It was kind of hard to tell how big Bobby was from inside the stall but he looked a good size. I know his daddy is about 17.1 hands. We thought Bobby had a beautiful face. I’m a big fan of Dynaformer and early this year when
the TC preps began, Barbaro immediately drew my attention because he was a Dynaformer.

We were, to say the least, thrilled to see him at Keeneland and super thrilled to see him win the derby.

Update 393: Today’s update will again be later in the morning due to Michael Matz being in Saratoga. Thankfully we have Kathy Anderson’s most recent report from last night (update 392). New Bolton Center is planning a press release today so we might see that this morning.

Massuese is thankfully OK after being pulled up by Edgar Prado shortly into the Matchmaker, see the last article here: Masseuse OK after injury.

Here are a couple of poems that have been e-mailed:
By Judith Walker:

Wind Kissed Miracle

Ancient One
Trusting One
Knowing One
Our wind kissed miracle
Who has captured all of our hearts

Heaven touched you
When you ran, you flew
Ancient Soul, you knew
Where your friends the Winds slept

You knew how to find Them
To ask if they could play
Chase in meadows, or at the break of day
To sail effortless down tracks of dirt

We watched in awe
Your effortless stride took our breath away
A small pebble caused you to stumble
Then stole your winged hoofs

Ancient One
Trusting One
Knowing One
Our wind kissed miracle
Who has captured our hearts
We still watch in awe

As you fly, and soar
On new Wind friends
Winds of healing love
Healing breath sent daily to you, dearest Ancient Soul
Soon you will play chase in a meadow
Once again take our breath away.

By Gloria Nussbaum:

The Will To Win
(as inspired by Barbaro)

Regal, majestic, magnificent, strong,
The one we awaited, with hope, for so long,
You marched on the stage with a presence unmatched,
And by flawless performance, we all grew attached.

But by more than performance… your own manner drew
Us into the “magic” that we see in few.
That intangible something that shines from within,
That connects with the longing we all have to “win.”

Focused, competitive, disciplined, brave,
You showed us a way that we all could behave.
Fluid, commanding, your bearing and strides,
Your outward display hinted more was inside.

And when things went wrong, and your course became rough,
You moved on to teach us that yours was no bluff.
In good times or bad, the fight is the same,
With courage and strength you forge on with no blame.

What have you shown by your will to survive?
A spirit that yearns to stay on — and, to thrive!
An open heart eager, whatever life holds,
To trust that the future has promise untold.

A passion for keeping on, reaching for more,
With hope in what else may come, yet unexplored.
We have watched with amazement the journey within,
And have seen for ourselves the TRUE will to win.

You’ve achieved beyond that of sheer Triple Crown lore,
And to us you will always have that class and more,
Because you have touched something so deep inside,
That we all feel like we are along on your ride.

To walk in the footprints of one special horse,
May make little sense to some people, of course,
But by leaving your imprint — unspoiled and real,
You’ve taught us all more about ways we can heal.

Will we follow your model – to put forth our best?
And discover the joys that we haven’t as yet?
The lessons you teach us are simple, yet deep.
They whisper of truths we’ll be honored to keep.

For winning is not merely beating a foe,
It’s conquering hardship, and pain, and sorrows,
It’s patience, surmounting unknowns once again,
It’s rising above – and yes, not giving in.

It matters not whether another competes,
Comparisons, measures, are all incomplete.
No one must lose so that you may win.
A winner stands tall and lifts others with him.

The ending is still to be written, through time,
And “wins” may not look like what we have in mind,
But of this we are sure, you will run your full race,
And wire to wire, you’ll finish with grace.

We cherish the chance that we have to observe
Your ongoing victory, so well deserved.
We’ve joined in the journey. Now may we begin
To grasp the true meaning of “the will to win.”

Update 392: Kathy Anderson just called….she was leaving New Bolton Center at about 9pm after visiting Barbaro. Bobby had just received a massage. He was out of the sling, munching on some fresh-cut grass. He was bright and alert. And after not having seen him for a couple of days (Kathy was in Saratoga), she thought he even might have put a little weight on.
updated monday 9:20pm

Update 391: Kathy Anderson, who also had a quick visit to Saratoga, may be visiting Bobby later tonight. If she does, I will try to get an update tonight, otherwise it will be tomorrow.

Update 390: The Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies were held today: Hall of Fame Induction: A Flood of Memories. There were three inductees: Carl Hanford, Bill Boland and Cougar II. The article is a wonderful read. The horse most closely related to Fair Hill is Kelso (the reason for Carl Handford’s induction), simply because he was owned by Mrs. DuPont, and while she died recently, her farm was just off the Bohemia river not far from Chesapeake City. She owned racehorses until her passing, and I used to gallop a few when I worked for Barclay Tagg. I was actually on a boat yesterday morning on the Bohemia anchored just by her farm (I am pretty sure). A gorgeous part of the world. Later today was the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga. The horse that was third (Green Lemon) was trained by an ex Fair Hill trainer, Peter Pugh!

Update 389: Just received the following e-mail from Rachel at Kennett Florist:

We headed up to NBC early this morning to treat the staff to Monday morning breakfast of croissants, muffins, danish, donuts, fruit salad, juices and coffee. As always everyone was so thankful and wanted us to convey how much they LOVED everyone who was sending these wonderful treats (which of course was the Barbaro maniacs from the TWR web site), and to send their thanks. As we were heading out one of the staff asked that if we had any deliveries for this afternoon, could we please include carrots.

So up we went this afternoon with lots of Bobby’s favorite baby carrots with the greens on top and the baby peeled carrots. We also had a nice basket of goodies specifically for the blood donor horses. I hit the tack stores this weekend and found some different horse treats (even one called ‘hoof snacks’ – I figured, hey, couldn’t hurt). I’ll have to find out if Bobby’s got any particular favorite ones, since I still can’t find the stud muffins. Thanks
again to all of you for the wonderful treats for Bobby as well as the staff; they are very much appreciated.

Rachel at Kennett Florist

Also, prospero has agreed to help us! I will hopefully get to implement their software (chatroom and discussion boards) tomorrow.

Update 388: Technical stuff. I have made a request of a vendor to see if they will provide me discussion board and chat software for “free” for three months to see what we can do. (Free = they can serve an ad. etc) Lets see if that can happen. This site is currently ranked 23 on google for the keyword Barbaro. This is a big improvement of late.

Fair Hill got a mention in a USA Today article on artificial surfaces: Track technology treads on gentle ground. I may have posted a similar article before, but not from the USA Today. The following is a quote from Steve Klesaris:

“I think it’s what the industry needs today,” said Steve Klesaris, second in Delaware’s trainer standings and also based at Fair Hill. “Horses today are not as durable as they were years ago; however, the tracks have not changed in 100 years. The time has come for that.”

The promising Green Monkey seems to be sidelined for the timebeing: The Green Monkey sidelined. I believe he is the most expensive horse to be purchased at a 2yo in training sale (where they breeze the horses as a part of showing them before they sell). He sold for an extraordinary $16 million. He is currently in Saratoga prepping for his first race. His last work (I think it was 1:03 and change for five eighths) seemed a little on the slow side.

I asked Peter this morning why Bobby wore a shadow roll (sheepskin noseband). This type of noseband is sometimes used to encourage a horse to drop his head a little. For Bobby it was simply what Michael Matz does. Everything runs in either a shadow roll or figure eight (cross noseband).

Update 387: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (sunday night). Peter Brette just called, he had just heard from Michael (in Saratoga). Phew, sorry for the delay, but it will be kind of like this until Michael returns to Fair Hill (I am not sure when). Love this painting of the Derby, I can spot Bobby in front!
updated monday noon, august 7

Posted by Alex at 4:08 PM | Comments (500)
Barbaro Updates: 38
Posted August 6, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 386: Just caught up with Peter Brette. No update yet this morning (I’ll call him about noon to see if he has heard) but he did tell me all was well yesterday, so that was good.

I asked Theresa what it was like to ride Barbaro. Theresa used to work for Michael Matz last year. She now works for Jim MvGreevy. She was one of the few who rode Barbaro other than Peter (we know his jockeys only rode him on race day) before Barbaro went down to Florida last year. Her comment: “he had gears you would not believe”.

Update 385: This morning’s update will be later in the morning that usual. Michael Matz is in Saratoga so I won’t likely have any information until after finishing at Fair Hill. There was a fundraising ball in Saratoga last night for New Bolton Center. I believe Dr. Richardson (and likely some others from New Bolton) was in attendance. I had asked a friend to quiz him for some insight but he was pretty busy, as you can imagine.

I have removed the comments section for the time being, if you have any articles of interest you think I could post here, any questions you would like answering, any poems and other creative works for me to post, please e-mail me. I would appreciate it as it would hopefully retain some of the value the comments section was providing.

Finally, worldwide interest in Bobby remains: Australia and New Zealand.

Update 384: Here are a couple of articles I have been meaning to post. With so much human suffering in the world, it would be easy to condemn America’s obsession with an injured racehorse – easy but wrong. This Guardian (UK) article discusses why we care. It includes the excerpt:

But all the attention has brought out the sceptics. Don’t Americans have more important things to worry about than a horse, they ask.

It seems a valid point, but it misrepresents the real issue. Our capacity for compassion is not finite. There is no reason to suppose that those of us who find ourselves caught up in the story of a horse’s progress are unconcerned with the fate of human beings in infinitely graver situations.

There are plenty of good reasons why so many people care so much about Barbaro. The simplest and the most potent? The sheer spectacle, the power and the glory, of a great horse at full gallop.

Note, this article is a little dated (two weeks after the Preakness). I thought it was also interesting to note that Peter Brette rode a winner for Ginger McCain (Red Rum’s trainer), on the flat!

This article: Power of healing harnessed focuses on The New Jersey Equine Center and Dr. Scott Palmer. It notes Dr. Palmer was a guest of Michael Matz for the Preakness and involved immediately after the accident. We noted in one of the earlier updates a visit to Bobby of Dr. Palmer. The article also notes Smarty Jones’ visit to New Jersey Equine. A good article for those interested in learning more about equine hospitals.

Update 383: Nice to see Bluegrass Cat win the Haskell. One of Bobby’s Derby victims (just had to add that). ESPNs update on Barbaro included a note that Michael said Barbaro remained in good spirits. That is positive and what I continually here. I asked Peter how he looked when we went yesterday, specifically about his weight and coat. He has dropped weight, but that is only to be expected given he was supremely fit when he entered NBC and has been virtually immobile since. Imagine a human athlete who has to stop exercise entirely for the same period of time. Fortunately he has retained an incredible appetite so that has helped. While he has dropped weight his coat remains very shiny, and he retains a gleam in his eye, both very positive signs. There is much speculation as to why there are no recent Bobby pictures, I am absolutely sure it is not because they believe his appearance would create concern.

Another nugget of information from Peter yesterday, neither Jose Caraballo or Edgar Prado rode Barbaro at any time other than in his races.

Delaware Park was fun today. Peter was there, saddling a horse in the sixth for Michael Matz (who is in Saratoga). I saw Jose Caraballo. I thanked him for our interview (it was by phone, he was not entirely sure who I was when I called), and he was very happy to have been able to do it. The Keilbasa Queen was fourth and came back safely.

Update 382: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (Saturday night). I just spoke to Peter Brette who had received word this morning. Off to Delaware Park this afternoon to watch some races…
updated sunday 11:30am

Update 381: From time to time I will get snippets of information from Saratoga (from friends up there) that I will post. Some of it will likely relate directly to Bobby, some perhaps not some much, but general racing interest. A friend of mine visited with Bernadini yesterday, and in light of our interview with Tom Albertrani, I wanted to share the content:

I just had a good look at Bernardini in his stall this afternoon and a talk with Dave Wallace, the assistant trainer who is an old pal of mine. He said that they are thankful for Barbaro’s continuous popularity and recovery, as it is allowing Bernardini a lot more peace from the press. Of course the usual racing publications want to see him, but the mainstream newspapers are not overly interested. He is a very cool horse, medium sized with a nice disposition. Dave says that when he comes out of the stall he seems to grow, the way most good horses do when their blood is slightly up. (Dave was assistant/exercise rider for Mott for the past 18 years, galloped Cigar, etc.)

Update 380: Yesterday during my visit to New Bolton I met the Thomas family. They were from Tampa, FL, in the area for a family reunion, but I think that was their excuse to come and offer their wishes for Barbaro. They placed a couple of nice pictures for Barbaro on the main entrance. I of course took some pictures (there is a nice poster from the Barbaromaniacs!) which will take a few days to get posted on the site. I also took some pictures of the lobby area. The Churchill Downs cards (I think there are six) are still there, there is one from Pimlico, as well as other cards from tracks and individuals / groups of people. I don’t think Peter had seen these before (he does not need to visit the lobby area to visit Barbaro) and was pretty moved when I returned with him to show him. The outpouring is very impressive.

A few pieces of content from the comments from Updates 37 (sorry if I missed something):
Julia B. 9:26 pm:

Hello again – I just wanted to add this little tid bit …
Today I went to copy the picture I drew of Barbaro, I got cardstock to print on and made the copies – I took them up to the register to pay for them and the cashier looked at them and said -“no charge!” I replied. “but I have about 20 copies on cardstock… & he said, “I know !” How sweet and kind of him , I told him more about Barbaro and gave him a copy with a big THANKS written across the bottom !!

Barbaro brings out the best in us ! He represents grace and love. His aura captivates our inner beings, our hearts , our soul ! He transend the worlds problems and is a beacon of light a shinning star , a ray of hope!

Sharri, 12:45 am:

Into our lives has come, a special creature who has captured our hearts and souls.
Barbaro is his name.

Into our lives has come a hero who has raced against adversity and has shown us all how to win.
Barbaro is his name.

Into our lives has come an example of what is good and loving and who expects nothing in return except caring and kindness.
Barbaro is his name.

Into our lives has come a beautiful bay colt who is truely an old soul at heart.
Barbaro is his name.

WM. 9:58 pm:


A local business was looking for office help. They put a sign in the window saying:
Must be a good typist and be good with a computer. Successful applicant must be bilingual. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.
A short time later a lovely bay horse trotted up to the window, saw the sign and went
inside. He looked at the receptionist and nodded his head, then walked over to the sign, looked at it, whinnied and pawed the air.
The receptionist called the office manager. He was surprised, to say the least, to see a horse applicant. However, the horse looked determined, so he led him into the office. Inside, the horse laid down and stared at the manager expectantly.
The manager said, “I can’t hire you. The sign says you must be able to type.”
The horse jumped up, went to the word processorr and proceeded to quickly type a perfect business letter. He took out the page and trotted over to the manager, gave it to him, then laid back down.
The manager was stunned, but told the horse, “That was fantastic, but I’m sorry. The sign clearly says that whoever I hire has to be good with a computer.”
The horse jumped up again, went to the computer and proceeded to demonstrate his expertise with various programs, internet marketing, and produced a sample spreadsheet and database; then presented them to the manager.
The manager was dumbfounded! He said to the horse, “Hey, I realize that you are a very intelligent applicant and have fantastic talent, but you’re a horse — no way could I hire you.”
The horse trotted over to the sign in the window and pointed his hoof at the words, “Equal Opportunity Employer.”
The exasperated manager said, “Yes, I know what the damned sign says. But the sign also says you have to be bilingual.”
The horse looked him straight in the eye and said, “Meow.”

Update 379: The update today won’t come until probably lunchtime I am afraid. Michael Matz has returned to Saratoga, and Peter will speak to him likely mid morning to get an update. I will try to speak to Peter shortly after that. In the meantime I will provide some other content, a mix of comments from yesterday, content from my NBC visit with Peter and a snippet on Bernadini.

Posted by Alex at 9:58 AM | Comments (550)
Barbaro Updates: 37
Posted August 5, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 378: Barbaro vigil: 7 pm (eastern) tonight. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, have some thoughts for Barbaro.

Peter told me today about a time he was breezing Bobby before his first start. He was to breeze Bobby in company with a four year old filly, on the wood chip track. The four year old was a group winner in South America. Peter decided to spot her two lengths. Bobby breezed by her and opened up ten lengths. Peter wanted to push Bobby a little as he had done everything so easily before (on the bridle). This was his last breeze I think before his maiden win under Jose Caraballo.

A two year old I have been galloping for Paul Rowland ran a nice third today at Monmouth: Big Daddy Wolf.

Update 377: I went with Peter Brette to New Bolton around lunchtime. Peter visited Barbaro, I hung out and took pictures of the lobby area and entrance. Barbaro remains comfortable, I will post more on the visit and a few additional insights I picked up with my conversations with Peter later.

Gator Nation was a first time starter for Tim today in Philadelphia Park. He was a little fractious in the paddock (I think Amanda is a little worse for wear for the experience) before the race. He ran a very good race, closing very strongly to finish third, only beaten a head I think for second. This was the first race for new owners of Tim’s, so I think everyone is very happy. I have ridden Gator Nation only 2 – 3 times, but I have breezed with him several times, while being on other horses. It has been fun watching him progress in his work outs. For the most part he has always worked well, so it is good to see him reproducing that in his first start. Tim said he ran a winning kind of race, he was just a little green.

Posted by Alex at 7:12 PM | Comments (538)
Barbaro Updates: 36
Posted August 5, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 376: A nice winner for the Jackson’s yesterday at Saratoga (Stormy Kiss by a neck in tenacious effort), following up their Goodwood winner earlier this week, and continued upbeat reports from New Bolton, it seems a positive week.

A nice song to keep the mood light (Ernie: Update 35: 10:45 pm):

Oh! Bobby J. (Sung to the melody of Camptown Races)

Barbaromaniacs sing this song
Doo-dah! Doo-dah!
Churchill Downs is one mile long
Oh! de doo-dah day!

He’s gonna sleep all night
He’s gonna sling all day
Gonna bet my money on Bobby J.
He’s our gorgeous bay

I go up on the Woolley site
Doo-dah! doo-dah!
I lurk all day then I post at night
Oh! de doo-dah day!


Lots of people love this horse
Doo-dah! Doo-dah!
Let’s all pray and stay the course
Oh! de doo-dah day!


Now Dr. R is one fine doc
Doo-dah! doo-dah!
He fixed Bobby’s leg from hoof to hock
Oh! de doo-dah day!


We love his trainer Michael Matz
Doo-dah! Doo-dah!
He comes at night to give him pats
Oh! de doo-dah day!


Now there’s his jockey Awesome Ed
Doo-dah! doo-dah!
He stroked our Bobby ’til he went to bed
Oh! de doo-dah day!


And don’t forget his old friend Pete
Doo-dah! Doo-dah!
Every morning was so sweet
Oh! de doo-dah day!


The Jacksons love him, that’s for sure
Doo-dah! doo-dah!
They’ll do alot and then some more
Oh! de doo-dah day!


And thank you Alex for all you’ve done
Doo-dah! doo-dah!
We’ll stick with you ’til this race is won
Oh! de doo-dah day!


Update 375: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (friday night). I saw Michael as I was going to the track on a nice Holy Bull 2yo. The weather is gorgeous here this morning!
update, saturday, august 5. 8:05 am

Update 374: As we wait for an update this morning I thought I would post a couple of things. First, a Barbaro video: Barbaro Splish Splash (nice and light). Melissa H. has created a Barbaro site that includes all the poems etc. that have been included in the updates here: For The Love Of Barbaro. (These will also be included on the fan media page.)

Mike is continuing his progress: Mike’s top groom, Angel will be coming with Rochelle and the children. He hasn’t seen him since the accident.

A quick reminder, tonight, 7 PM east coast time, we will have a Barbaro vigil. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some time for Barbaro.

Update 373: I spoke to Peter Brette late this afternoon, while he did not have an update, he assumed all was well. Michael Matz is now visiting Barbaro later in the evenings in order to see him out of the sling (too late for me to get updates from the visit anyway). Peter is planning to visit Bobby tomorrow, I am going to go to NBC with him (hopefully), although I will not actually visit Barbaro. I just want to see how everything looks in the reception area etc., as well as of course talk to Peter directly after his visit to get some insights etc.

Posted by Alex at 1:25 AM | Comments (548)
Barbaro Updates: 35
Posted August 4, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 372: A couple of articles that I have been meaning to post. The first, from UCDavis, discusses Bobby’s sling: UC Davis Discoveries Supporting Barbaro. It is always nice to read the source of the innovations we see at work. The second article is old, I think I have not posted before, however its a good one on Dr. Richardson: The Man Whose Job Is Saving Barbaro. Its written by my favourite newspaper writer (Mike Jensen) and is just very interesting. No excerpt, its best just to read it in its entirety.

The following is an excerpt from a comment, left by Marky (6:20 pm):

The teachers show us where to find hope
The warriors fight slaughter
The poets inspire with their prose
The healers pray and meditate
The clowns create joy

Such is the Barbaro effect. When 2 or more gather with the same goal, the power is overwhelming. Let’s allow all to do what they can. Take what you can from this site and use it towards that glorious champ who has been able to change his whole life even his personality to survive.

I am Thankful for everyone here who fights for Bobby.

Update 371: Some random pieces for this update. I e-mailed Jeannine Edwards about possible ESPN racing coverage this weekend, it looks like they are covering racing saturday and sunday, this was her e-mail response:

yes, we are doing the obligatory “barbaro update”. just a mention in the news segment like we have been doing the last few weeks. it will come 22 minutes into the show. we have the whitney and test on sat…. great showdown between flower alley and invasor, 2 of the best older horses in the country right now. on sunday we do the haskell, matchmaker, and WV derby. the haskell has bluegrass cat and strong contender, among others. graham motion has framboise in the matchmaker….. another tough motion filly on the turf??? we shall see. 🙂

The following are from the comments posted today, some more great content!
Mary Evans (3:07 pm)

Tune: The Red, Red Robin

When our big brave Bobby comes
Clippity-clip-clopping along, along
There’ll be great rejoicing
We’ll all be voicing a hap-py song

So chin up, chin up, you thoroughbred!
You’re always out ahead–
You’re strong, the doctor said– Live long, run and be happy!

That is our prayer for you-
We’ll all be there with you
Singing our song

When our brave, sweet Bobby comes
Clippity-clip-clopping along, along
When our sweet brave Bobby comes
Clippity-clip-clopping along

Toby (3:21 pm):

(singing a little off key)
Eat your carrots every day,
Stay in the sling and play play play,
Grow hoof grow, heal leg heal.
That’s become our daily appeal!
A little nip here, a little nip there,
Show everyone how much you care.
Keep on doing like you are,
You’re our little shining star!!
MWAH Barbaro!..See ya later

Faleecia Taylor (4:23 pm):

To look into the eyes of a HORSE is to look into the soul of all that is kind, patient, selfless and good. To see Barbaro is to see this in a magnificent form. He has reminded so many of us of the things that most of us so often forget. As majestic as he stood on the race track his strength and will to overcome his current odds are far more soul reaching. The spirit that guides us through the hardest of days has many angels. Barbaro, in this most difficult of times has surely brought so much to so many. As we look to Barbaro and his state of wellness daily one can’t help but think of all horses throughout our great nation and the horror of some of their plight.
As the owner of 15 horses of my own. All of which will live and die with me I can’t help but cry for those that are lost to unspeakable ends. Maybe Barbaro is reprensentation of not just a great racing champion but a champion of all that he represents. Maybe part of his legacy will be in how well he represented all horses everywhere in a manner that has reached out to the souls of the world. May he ride on the wings of angels until he can once again ride on his own.

Gloria (5:18 pm):

A Hero of a Different Color
(Inspired by the posted words of Kathy – 8 years old
“Barbaro, I know you didn’t mean to be a hero, but you are.”)

Innocence, youth, such talent and heart,
You were still growing up, and doing your part
To run for the roses and prizes more rare,
To abandon yourself to the thrill of each dare.

You bestowed upon Peter the rides of his life,
And your trainer and owners, their dreams brought to life.
You romped and we witnessed your own special gifts,
But the depth of your soul had yet to be glimpsed.

Living your life, so playful yet poised,
Finding the best, in yourself…and in us,
Once again victory lay in your path,
When almost at random, life changed in a flash.

But then, like the champion we knew you to be,
You held yourself calm, with sweet dignity,
And though you were hurting, you sensed and obeyed
A voice from within that said “Trust them…this way.”

You managed to triumph when no one could say
For certain that you would stay with us that day.
Your spirit adapted, your heart said “Don’t quit”,
And now you are learning each day bit by bit.

Do horses have humor? I think we could say
That you certainly do, or it sure looks that way.
Intelligence shows as you patiently fight,
And your “wicked bright” mind will help make it all right.

As passionate, competent people help guide,
You will find your way home, with love by your side.
Yes, the way may be long, and the going is slow,
But your spirit prevails, and that we all know.

Your legacy now will be different than planned,
Your journey will lead more of us to a stand.
Your destiny met with your head held up high,
Your shining example no one can deny.

Your purpose now changed, or at least it so seems,
From running and chasing a Triple Crown dream,
To entering now a new race we can share,
With nobility, decency, courage and care.

No effort too small, no vision too large,
Renewed interest and focus, we each can “take charge.”
Emboldened to take just one step at a time,
These steps all together can help change mankind.

May we learn from your journey what we need to know,
And then pass it on, to inspire and grow.
To help others in need, both your kind and ours,
To be champions – like you – as we fight for a cause.

Unaware of your influence, blissfully free,
And living your life with such clear purity,
You “didn’t mean to be” a hero, we know it is true,
But Barbaro, you are. And for that we thank you.


Update 370: For those who want to relive Barbaro’s Kentucky Derby, you can via the Herald Leader: Barbaro Breezes. Mike C just visited Monmouth this morning and had this to say (1:50 pm):

I just got back from morning works at Monmouth Park,I go there in the morning once in a while,nice and peaceful, they allow the public to take a tour of the barns,,,watch horses work from the gate and a tour of the jocks room there,(fri and sat for the tours),,even though I’m there every day I still like the morning activity there..LOTS of people there asking about BARBARO… thats good….I turned them all on to this site,,..they were glad to know there is a place to get updates on our boy

Which reminds me, those wanting to visit Fair Hill are more than welcome. Just e-mail me. I think we have a group coming next saturday, which should be fun for a couple of hours.

Update 369: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). Jost spoke to Michael Matz on the horsepath. As I was driving into Fair Hill this morning I caught up with Kathy Anderson. She visited Bobby late last night (9pm) as she wanted to see him out of the sling. She was happy with what she saw and described Bobby as being quite active, moving around his stall.
update 7 am, friday morning

Posted by Alex at 10:54 AM | Comments (777)
Barbaro Updates: 34
Posted August 4, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 368: Just spoke to Peter Brette. He was waiting to hear from Michael Matz, who is visiting Barbaro later this evening, once he is out of the sling. At the time of my call with Peter, Peter assumed all was well (8pm). The following is a nice article which is basically an interview with Peter: Barbaro’s Rider Reminisces, Keeps The Faith. The following is the beginning of the article:

“He was a bigger, stronger, better athlete than any horse I ever sat on before,” said Brette, who resides in New London. “He was so well balanced. He was very intelligent. You would show him things once and he had it down.
“I remember a training session early this year in Florida when another horse came by him, and he just took off. It was like driving a Porsche. You put your foot down, and he bumps you right up. That was the sensation. I said something like, “Good God, he’s getting stronger and stronger.”
Brette says it was the Florida Derby where Barbaro evolved from a boy to a man.

Posted by Alex at 12:32 AM | Comments (462)
Barbaro Updates: 33
Posted August 3, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 367: For my third interview I wanted to talk to Jose Caraballo, who rode Barbaro in his first two races. I know Jose a little bit, he is one of the leading jockeys at Delaware Park. He also comes over to Fair Hill from time to time to breeze horses. Last winter he spent more time at Fair Hill as his wife was stabled here. I freelanced out of the barn in which they were stabled. He was always very nice and easy going.

I went over to Delaware Park earlier this week for the Mike Rea Relief Fund raffle (good to note Mike is progressing) hoping to catch up with Jose for this interview. I was then reminded Jose was off for a few days with an injury. Anyway, I acquired his cell phone number and called him today. He was very willing to share his Barbaro story, and here it is:

Jose Caraballo: I had not ridden Barbaro before I rode him in his first start. Peter Brette had done all his work. I did ride his older half brother, Holy Ground, and he was a good horse. I also watched Barbaro work one morning at Fair Hill, I loved the way he worked. Obviously I wanted to ride him.

The first race I rode him he was pretty unbelievable. He did everything right, although he was a little slow away. I knew immediately I had a hell of a horse underneath me. While he was a little green, he never stopped running. He showed he was a nice horse and I was very impressed.

I hoped I would get a chance to ride him back, and I did, in the Laurel Futurity. In 22 years of riding races I have never been on a horse like the one I was on that day. I have ridden over 2,000 winners. That day he went by the other horses like they were ponies. It was as if they were 2yos and Barbaro was a 5yo. He had so much power, he really impressed me that day.

Watching the Kentucky Derby, at Fair Hill with all the other Barbaro fans, I was very happy. I was proud to be a part of the Barbaro team. He was so impressive winning the Derby I felt sure he could win the triple crown. I was honoured to be a part of that history. I could say I rode him, if only twice. I was obviously very sad when I watched the Preakness. It is very hard to describe my initial feelings, but it was kind of like shock. I felt connected in someway to the horse. I only hope now he can recover. He is doing well I know, but it will be a long road ahead. I look forward to seeing him one day, carefree. I continue to ride for Michael, he has been very good to me, you can only wish the best for Barbaro and all those connected to him.

Update 366: Some more lovely poetry (I apologise in advance to poems that I miss):
Wm & CL at August 3, 2006 12:59 PM (below):

Two hundred thousand plus travel page views-
as Tim Woolley Racing keeps spreading good news!

Barbaro’s Recovery Road may be long-
with adoring fans keeping Barbaro strong.
Beyond the prayers must our pensmanship speak-
Help make our horse athletes safer every week!

Thousands can make all the difference today-
Sign the petiton while Barbaro munches top hay!
He thanks you with nods, bows, and a wink-
For making his day while all of you think!

What if I had to travel recovery’s road too?
How would I make things better for you?
Remember Michael’s Miracle as all of us pray-
Keep lighting those candles each night and day!

Whispering Barbaro to heal better than ever!
Reminding Team Barbaro ‘Never Say Never.’
Listen, there’s whispers ‘Don’t You Quit!’
Not on our watch while all of us sit!

Watch Miracles happen on Recovery’s Road
Let Mike Rea’s and Barbaro’s stories be told!
Lightens our spirits, we breathe easier now-
while GOOD NEWS spreads like wildfire, WOW!

Raise up your voices and sing us a song-
as Barbaro’s & Mike’s Recovery Road is long!
Send your GOOD WISHES and special gifts today-
While Barbaro eats special Lael grass and hay!

More than prayer, we now must all think-
Save our horse racing athletes from the brink!
Of broken down horses, we will talk no more-
as it’s time for “Bobby” to snooze and snore!

YOU CAN MAKE the greatest difference for him-
Sign that petition Online helps Barbaro win!
A new kind of race so pick up your pace-
Come in and visit and show us your face!

Stop “Oh No’s” and “Uh Oh’s” before they begin-
Barbaro’s campaign travels where noone has been!
Small step for horses, one giant step for men-
Start today with a click of a key instead of when?

Change Recovery’s Road name to Better Road soon-
Time is of essence as this day approaches noon!
Takes but a moment, a flashback in time-
Moments keep passing, hearing Barbaro’s chime!

Go if you must, but remember these words-
Make Racing Tracks safer for thoroughbred herds!
Todays Hopes are Tomorrow’s Can Dos-
Jockeys and Horses need to hear the good news!

America cares, how much will that be?
Putting words into action for citizens to see-
Campaign for Barbaro until we make a difference!
Recovery Road is our Better Road with reverence!

Go to

From Debbie Jurasus at August 3, 2006 02:48 PM (below)

The Mighty Barbaro

Sired by a strapping spit fire
and a Dam who is as elegant and dainty in opposition,
Your entrance in this world was one of sheer determination and will-
You made your presence be known early on that you are no ordinary colt-
For you are the mighty Barbaro- who is to be cherished, loved and adored!
With Speeds of lighting, others are in awe, to witness such grace and beauty, and to see you be adored.
People flock to be in your presence and feel your aura fill their hearts with joy and excitement.
You have given so much and ask for so little return- for we who love you yearn for more…
So we come to you to give back a little of what you have given- your determination and will to strive and win.
For you are our CHAMPION- no one can contend.
The battle may be long, but we are in it together for the win-
A finish line of green pastures and fields to roam, for all to see your
beauty shining from within…
You are the mighty Barbaro- who is cherished and adored- a true miracle in every sense of the word!

From Tamara in Los Angeles at August 3, 2006 05:23 PM (below)

“Special One”

Oh, magnificent creature, brave and strong, you did everything right, yet something went wrong. Running into the wind so fearless that day, catastrophe struck – and took our breath away.

As fear gripped our hearts and the world cried out “WHY?” like the champion you are, you held your head high. The weeks that ensued brought elation and pain, yet we all know your plight has not been in vain.

You’ve inspired your caretakers to give all they can give, because you’ve made it quite clear you have a strong will to live! You’ve touched so many lives and you don’t even know, please continue to heal; we love you, Barbaro!

May angels surround you, bringing comfort and peace, until God takes you home in years, months or weeks … where in heaven you’ll run free with no pain, that I know. Yes, our Lord loves you MOST, Special One, Barbaro.

This is a good time to remind us of all the good content on the fan media page. It seems that early on in this “journey” fan creativity was focused on imagery / video etc. and now the focus has shifted to words.

Finally, lets not forget we have a vigil planned for saturday, 7 pm (east coast time). Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some time for Barbaro. While things are going well, we cannot lose focus, he has a long road ahead we hope.

Update 365: Sabina Louise Pierce spent last saturday at Fair Hill taking some pictures. She has included a few of these shots in her horses gallery. Very nice. This comment was left in updates 32 10:10 PM about the Barbaro Fund:

Well, to my biggest surprise yesterday, when I picked up my mail, there was an envelope addressed to me with a return address of: Penn Veterinary Medicine – The Barbaro Fund. I hurriedly opened it up to find a “Thank You” card. The front of the card has that great great photo of Bobby winning the Derby with Edgar up blazing across the finish line with his mane, tail flying in the wind; this is the photo taken by Bill Franken/Sports Illustrated.

When I opened the card I read the following:

Thank you for your generous contribution to the Barbaro Fund. This fund has been designed to support the George D. Widener Hospital at New Bolton Center and will be used for treating animals like Barbaro and countless others in their time of need.

I was soooooooooooo deelighted to receive this that I immediately ran out to buy a frame for this 5×7 gorgeous photo. And so I did! A lovely all wooden frame the color of Bobby … that deep rich chestnut.

When I got home, I wanted to keep the original intact so I made an exact ‘copy’ of the front of the card with my own printer/copier/scanner and it came out Purrrrr-fect! I framed it and hung it on my wall right next to another 8×10 of Bobby I had printed out a couple of weeks ago and framed, and Bobby is ‘hanging’ right next to all my beautiful framed photos of “Big Red”. So I was then able to take the original card and put it back in its envelope and tuck it away in a file folder labeled “Barbaro.”

The following article attributes Bobby’s influence to canceling racing yesterday: Canceling card was right move at Saratoga, the article concludes:

In the post-Barbaro era, the humans who make decisions that affect the lives of horses are beginning to consider the interests of preserving the animal or at least, whenever possible, reducing risk.

There is no Eclipse Award for this, but perhaps there should be.

For my next interview, I am going to try to interview Bobby’s first jockey, Jose Caraballo.

Update 364: New Bolton’s press release today: Barbaro continues to improve:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro’s left hind hoof is slowly showing evidence of regrowth after surgery last month to treat laminitis. Laminitis occurs when laminae, the strong connecting tis sues that attach the pedal bone and the inner hoof wall, are inflamed. “The coronary band (the portion of the hoof that is responsible for continued downward growth of the hoof) is beginning to re-establish itself,” said Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery at the George D. Widener Hospital.

Barbaro’s right hind leg continues to be protected in a cast. “The original fractures have apparently healed well, but the cast is necessary to protect the pastern fusion,” Dr. Richardson said. “This protection is required because he must bear most of his weight on the right hind limb due to the laminitis in the left hind leg.”

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 8, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Update 363: Another comfortable night for Barbaro (wednesday night). Saw Michael Matz as I was coming back from the track on my second set. He had just heard from Dr. Richardson. I also expressed my condolences to Michael about the passing of Mr. Dixon.
Updated Thursday 7:05am

Update 362: The Philadephia Inquirer article about this site was picked up by a couple of other news media the next day, with a new title: Barbaro’s fans hold Web vigil. Oddly, while the Lexington Herald Leader seemed to be first to pick it up, others (ContraCostaTimes and MiamiHerald) did so using the Lexington Heralds “title tag”, so they must have simply used the same “code” as the Lexington Herald ? I assume Lexington Herald got the story from MercuryNews.

Some content from the comments from update 32.

First an uplifting, if not amusing story (Nancy in CT: 11:59 pm):

LINNIE RE YOUR BARBARO HAT (and anyone else who cares to wade through this message) – forgot to tell you my funny story: I held off buying a hat until I saw that they were donating “a portion” of the proceeds to the Barbaro Fund, so it just arrived a few days ago. It’s hot as the fires of hell here in CT, and I’m very heat-sensitive, so I wore it walking to the bus stop after work on Monday. A man approached me and said, “Are you one of those maniacs?” My initial reaction (who me, sensitive?) was, If he says something idiotic like “it’s JUST a horse” I could be prone to violence…especially in 95 degree heat! Over the space of just a few seconds I saw myself being arrested for assault in defense of “just a horse named Barbaro” and what’s really funny is that I would have been arrested by one of the members of our mounted unit – all pals of mine! But wisdom prevailed, I counted to ten and replied, “What do you mean?” HERE’S THE GREAT PART – he said that he’d stumbled on this site while looking for info, saw that it appeared to be all women, felt uncomfortable…and left, but NOT before seeing references to BARBAROMANIACS and that’s why he wondered if I was “one of those maniacs”! After I stopped laughing, I begged him to come back here – don’t think he will – he just seemed interested rather than obsessed/addicted like the rest of us. He wanted to know about sending a gift and I mentioned the florist and also that I was ordering some all-natural treats online AND HE ACTUALLY PRESSED $5. UPON ME TO FEEL PART OF SENDING GOODIES TO BARBARO! There was absolutely no convincing him to take his money back (and I was moved to tears, to be honest) and when I asked him how he knew I wouldn’t take his money and go to Burger King or something like that, he said, “BECAUSE YOU WOULDN’T BE WEARING THAT SILLY HAT WITH YOUR BUSINESS CLOTHES IF YOU WEREN’T THE REAL DEAL!!”

A poem (Anna 11:16 pm):

On wings unseen
you surely fly
by pure design
no cause to lie

loved for your beauty
your heart, your fire
you run for joy;
innate desire

you heal our sorrows
and trust our hands
giving unselfishly,
with no demand

we take credit
surely not due
only One above
created you

be you statuesque stud
or humble plow
we owe you much
and repay…how?

and a poem (Jo 10:59 pm):

Ruler Of The Wind…

The wind knows you..
The wind loves you..
The wind has kissed you..
and you..dark wonder horse.. have danced with the wind..

The wind misses you…
The wind sings to you each day
Breathing life ..healing and health so softly..whispering…
That she longs to dance with you again..

Yet at this time, when that dance has
become a cherished memory in your mind..
It still.. is… with … you…
It caresses your body gently where you sleep..
and.. heal…and dream ..

She lulls you to peaceful rest..
Whistles softly…sweetly..
She will always be with you..
and you with her..
Sweet Barbaro.. ruler of the wind..

Posted by Alex at 8:53 AM | Comments (792)
Barbaro Updates: 32
Posted August 2, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 362: A few things to cover. It is sad to note the passing of Fitz Eugene Dixon. He was a longtime patron of Fair Hill, he had horses with Dr. Fisher and Michael Matz. Peter told me about the passing, he noted that Mr. Dixon and Michael were close.

On a more uplifting note Kennett Florist visited NBC today and had this to report:

Alie went to the NBC today and there were two white tigers, one lion, and two lionesses there! Everyone was upbeat and excited today- and REALLY excited to see the goodies we brought. Alie was told that Bobby already had some baby carrots with the greens on top that we brought today, and we were told that he really likes them- they’re the best! Thank you all for your continued support for Bobby, the New Bolton Center, and us here at Kennett Florist 🙂 As always, we will update tomorrow when we get back from our deliveries.

I noted previously someone was taking a lioness to be spade, perhaps she was part of this group.

The following article has been suggested as excellent reading for those interested in the horse slaughter bill.

And finally the following poem, from Lorraine (update 31 12:54 pm):

Positive updates cheer me, my heart soars
Knowing with each passing day, more hope than
Amazing Barbaro- you have been, right from the start,
In spirit and courage, coming from within.
You uplift us all, showing character and grace,
Showing how possible it is to stay in the race–
Barbaro, you have lit the way,
All who love you will continue to hope and pray–
That progress is made, and you will be a healty
horse someday,
Grazing in pastures,under a sky so sunny blue,
A miracle in our world, that did come true.
We believe in Barbaro!

Posted by Alex at 9:35 PM | Comments (648)
Barbaro Updates: 31
Posted August 2, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 361: Yesterday I interviewed Dan Hendricks over the telephone. This is the second short telephone interview I have conducted for the site, the first: Tom Albatrani. The purpose of the interviews is to highlight how our horseman have been impacted by Barbaro while also providing insight into our leading trainers.

While I did not know Tom Albatrani before my interview, I did know many people who knew him, so I was pretty hopeful of getting to talk to him. I do not know anyone who knows Dan Hendricks, so I had no idea if I he would talk to me. Anyway, once I got his number, I called. I was hoping for his answering machine so i could leave a detailed message in the hopes he would call back (this is what happened with Tom, and he called back within 15 minutes). Not the case for Dan Hendricks, he answered his phone. I tried to explain the purpose of the call, and as I was explaining he simply said, sure, ask me what you want. It was a great conversation, and Dan was very forthcoming. We ended up talking about places back in the UK etc!

Anyway, the purpose of the interview was Barbaro, here is what he had to say when I posed a very open ended question: “Tell me about the Preakness and your thoughts for Barbaro”:

Dan Hendricks: The Preakness turned out to be the biggest roller coaster of emotions a lot of us have ever experienced in horse racing. I came with one of the favourites (Brother Derek) to win the race. As we waited for the race with all the build up first Barbaro broke through the gate early. . Subsequently Brother Derek broke poorly, which took him out of our game plan.Then the devastating site of Seeing Barbaro being pulled up so soon after the start just left a big hole in my stomach. It was the biggest drop in the roller coaster ride. I find it very difficult to explain how you feel when things like this happen. I was asked shortly after the race how my horse was. I knew he was OK, but we were all more concerned with Barbaro.

Everyday we come to work. We read and learn what we can about Barbaro’s condition. My thoughts are for him, the Jackson’s and Michael Matz. They showed tremendous class through all of this. There are still lingering effects to this incident and were all pulling for Barbaro. Its certainly not business as usual. We feel for horses more than people typically know. Recently we had a horse, Cozy Guy, a gelding, who we tried everything we could do to save his life after a sickness knowing he would never run again, it was very sad when he did not pull through. Good luck to all.

Dan Hendricks also let me know Brother Derek breezed this morning, 59 4/5ths (5/8ths mile).

For information on Cozy Guy: Long, costly fight for the life of a barn favorite (thanks Ernie)

Update 360: Saw Kathy Anderson as I was leaving (a very hot) Fair Hill this morning. She also visited Bobby yesterday and said he was “chipper”. Mrs. Jackson was visiting at the time Kathy was there. We talked a little bit about the issues that Bobby faces, especially given the positive news we heard yesterday. It seems there are three issues:

a. the left hind needs to grow hoof, there has been some growth around the coronet band. This is very important, and obviously something they are checking and working on everyday (I think we know they change the bandage / cast on it everyday etc.)

b. they need to avoid Bobby contracting Laminitis in any of his other three feet. I do not know what they are doing to prevent this, but know they are doing everything experts would do. I did ask Kathy if she had checked the front feet for herself, and she had.

c. the right hind needs to continue to heal, we have heard only positive things about this lately.

Its nice to see Bobby coverage when there is good news, apparently Good Morning America had a little coverage (comment 1:15 Cathy):

Guys, “Good Morning America” this morning was running on the bottom of their screen about our sweetie Barbaro and how is leg is heeling and that the owner commenting he continues to seem bright and happy. I did not listen to the entire broadcast as they may have slipped in a 10 second update from the announcers, but was still great to see on national tv at 7:00AM EST.Barbaro got billing on his health along with Pres. Bush and Castro! Out of the three, you know who I would pick for President!!

Update 359: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (tuesday night). I saw Michael Matz as I was coming on to the track for my third set. He had just heard from Dean Richardson. Barbaro also received another massage last night after Michael’s evening visit.
updated wednesday 7:15am

Update 358: This site has now served over a million pageviews! Yesterday’s article in the Philadelphia Inquirer helped the site to its second largest day, about 17,000 visits. The site was also mentioned in Horsetalk NZ and this Philly Inquirer blog.

The creativity continues with the following poems:

TLC (Laura), posted in update 29: 7:38 pm

For Barbaro…

Happy thoughts,
healing prayers,
filling up our minds.
All being sent for the glorious cause,
exquisite equine.

Inspiration to so many,
strong in countless ways.
With bated breath, on pins and needles,
we patiently wait out the days.

Our hope is that we will someday see you
grazing in a beautiful pasture.
Head held high, no more pain,
A blessing from our master.

Dear, sweet boy, how our hearts cry out
each and every day,
That the miracle of you, Barbaro
will continue to light our way.

So continue to heal,
get stronger with time,
we’re cheering you on from the stands.
For you are the definition of courage,
of hope, placed in God’s hands.

WM Wm & Cl, posted in update 30, 11:22 PM

Barbaro’s Recovery Road

Another day that goes into night –
Our Barbaro “Bobby” continues his fight!
Powerful will and spirit so strong –
Keeps healing right as time marches along!

The resounding cadence he clearly hears –
Turns prayerful tears back to joyful cheers!
Stable and comfortable, caring and able-
Now he is greater than legend Clark Gable.

This Hero brings nations to vigilant prayer-
and his GOOD NEWS travels faster than air.
Peoples voices heard far and wide-
Cheering our “Bobby” on his new ride!

Songs of praise ring through our land-
Adapts to his sling with a helping hand!
Loving nuzzles Team Barbaro returns-
Wiser and smarter than man, “Bobby” learns!

He’s captured our hearts and given us hope-
Be soldier or child, he helps everyone cope!
Setbacks in life will only be fleeting-
As Barbaro “Bobby” hears our song’s greeting!

Raises us all to stand on mountain tops —
Barbaro’s recovery road never stops.
Mystifying faith, he walks on stormy seas-
O’ Lael legs move gracefully as you please.

Glimpses of him in us, inside ledge’s boulders-
‘We are strong when we are on your shoulders.’
Moving slowly, trotting faster, eager to see-
Keeps raising us up greater than we can ever be!

Our Barbaro’s recovery road may be long –
His hero’s heart rhythms inspire poetic song!
Ambassadors from all states must unite-
Campaigning for Barbaro’s toughest fight!

One that will change horseracing forever –
Horse and Jockey athletes safer together!
Make up your mind and do what you must-
For our Barbaro’s sake, he’s asking your trust!

“Citizens unite” says Barbaro’s voice-
Show Congress Track Safety is the right choice!
Sixteen thousand have visited this site.
No small feat in facing Barbaro’s plight!

Help make a difference, heed Barbaro’s call-
When this goes before Congress this coming Fall.
Take time to review all the facts of this case-
Go to Petition Online thinking with grace.

What if I had to travel recovery’s road too?-
How would I make things better for you?
Won’t you please take some time to stop in?
Where positive difference helps Barbaro win!

Recovery road may appear seemingly long-
But our Barbaro continues to keep us strong.
“The pen is mighter than the sword”, once said.
Rest easier now Barbaro comfortably in bed.

Reporters and journalists are helping out too-
Spreading good news on campaign’s trail for you.
Come join voices and hands with our Barbaro-
Be his ambassadors to correct life’s “uh oh”!

Change for better, recovery’s road new name-
Help Barbaro with us make our new claim!
Our Congress listens and understands-
What is needed for Track Safety in our lands!

Go to

Posted by Alex at 8:23 AM | Comments (609)
Barbaro Updates: 30
Posted August 1, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 357: Kennett Florist visited NBC today and had this to report (updates 29: 7:49pm):

Breakfast this morning, was a hit as usual! Fresh bagels and all the fixin’s… They were still hot! Before they even announced it there were people waiting to dig in. I had the chance to meet a fellow Barbaromaniac, Kathy (who was so generous to supply breakfast for NBC today), as she was on her way to NBC to hang a sign. I hope she has a safe trip to IL the next couple of days. It was so nice to finally meet one of the people we’ve spent time talking with… You know, if anyone is planning a trip this way, we reccommend coming during the mushroom festival in September – one of Kennett Square’s main events.

All is quiet this afternoon. I hid away a big basket of goodies for the 3rd shift and brought up some treats for Bobby. It’s so wonderful to hear from Dr. Anderson that he still has that ‘larger than life’ personality! Thank you all again for all the love and support for Bobby and the NBC staff.


Rachel at Kennett Florist

Vicky Jasch, who was interviewed for our Philadelphia Inquirer story had this to add about the interview (updates 29: 7:43pm):

It was a lot of fun answering Mike’s questions for his article posted today. AS I said in the article, Barbaro blew me away the first time he ever set foot on the track, and I was his #1 fan before most people knew he existed. And I still am. I am so glad there are so many people rooting for him, and praying for him. But from the very start, I felt such a strong connection with him as I felt his mighty power that he exerted. He made my heart beat fast, as I knew from his first start, he was something so special. Something that we had not seen in over 2 decades. He is the first horse since the Bid in 1979 that I thought had a very good shot at the crown. Now, my prayer is only for his full recovery. He has made his mark in the history books, and in my heart forever.

Update 356: Must read AP interview: Barbaro’s right hind healing well. its an interview today with Dr. Richardson. The following are excerpts:

“If he hadn’t had the founder (laminitis) on his left hind, he’d probably be out of the cast and he’d probably be in a splinted bandage on the shoe,” Richardson said in a telephone interview. “That’s where we’d likely be. I can’t do that because his left hind is the more sore of the two legs right now.”

Barbaro’s left hind hoof, which was stricken with a severe case of laminitis, is improving and started to show slight signs of re-growing after 80 percent of it was removed. Barbaro needs to regrow the hoof if he is to have any shot of walking – albeit with a hitch in his gait.


“It’s too early to see true hoof wall forming,” Richardson said from the New Bolton Center. “But the coronary band, the part of the hoof that’s the equivalent of the nail bed where the hoof is going to grow down from, that looks very good. It’s too early to see a lot.”


Richardson said the colt’s prognosis was “poor” after it was stricken with laminitis, but eased off that grim outlook Tuesday.

“I don’t know. Everyday that goes by, it’s great,” he said. “He has so long to go I don’t even think about the prognosis. We just work on the horse and hope he continues to be happy.”

Update 355: New Bolton Center’s Press Release: Barbaro’s condition continues to remain stable:

Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson reports that Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro’s condition continues to be stable. The colt’s left hind foot, which has laminitis, is monitored closely for signs of infection. “We change his left hind foot bandage daily, and it looks good,” said Dr. Richardson. “His right hind leg also looks good, and his appetite remains strong.”

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

The next update will be posted on Thursday, August 3, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Congratulations to the Jackson’s for a nice win at Goodwood: Lael Stables’s undefeated Enticing wins Molecomb Stakes.

I am continuing to interview racing personalities, I have just got off the phone with Dan Hendricks, trainer of Brother Derek. I hope to have his interview posted tonight