Barbaro Updates: 428 – 502

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Posted August 21, 2006

Update 502: Polar Bear Has Surgery in Chester County is a nice article that combines Alcor, Bobby and our friends from Kennett Florist. Kennett Florist had this short report today (timestamp 8:31pm):

Lots of activity at NBC today. The press is even back in town… everyone’s excited about the polar bear being there!

We put on our caterer’s hat again today, but for the first time, it was lunch. We delivered pizzas, salads and soda for all the very hungry staff. They were all very excited and send their thanks to all who contributed. The pizzas were gone in minutes! We had a special side of carrots and treats for our boy, because he should be pampered as well. Thanks to everyone, lunch was a lot of fun, and very much appreciated!


Dave Letell reported on Bobby’s last work for the Kentucky Derby (timestamo 8:23 pm):

Why Barbaro is a “Superhorse” and how he crushed the best field in the “Derby” in the last thirty-five years.

Barbaro had an unconventional breeze at Churchill-fast and a very long stride (over 25 feet). His internal speed figures were super, best of the week. Barbaro never really quickened–he simply extended his long stride down the stretch and showed complete superiority. He had a stride length of 24 feet going into the first turn, on the backstretch and on the far turn. He maintained the same basic speed for each quarter to the end–but when he hit the stretch, he extended his stride length to 24.9 feet. Thus, he covered the last quarter in fewer strides than he took for each previous quarter. For another horse to beat him that horse would have to have been on even terms at the quarter pole and had a stride length of a minimum of 25 feet down the stretch. And that would have been a real stretch.

I remember Peter Brette describing this breeze, basically saying it seemed he took four strides down the lane.

Update 501: The Bearbaro report from New Bolton: Polar bear’s broken leg repaired at Penn’s Widener Hospital

Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery at Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals, today operated on Alcor, a 750-pound polar bear from the Erie Zoo. Dr. Richardson is the surgeon treating Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro; he was assisted in today’s surgery by Dr. James Orsini, Dr. Jessica Dahlberg and Dr. Liberty Getman.

“It was an extremely difficult surgery,” said Dr. Richardson. “The ulna was broken just above the carpus (the wrist) and we were able to repair it satisfactorily with two Synthes locking compression plates. However, the radius was shattered in too many pieces to allow accurate reconstruction, so we used a single plate to partially stabilize it.”

Alcor’s broken bones were just above his right paw; zoo officials do not know how he broke his leg, but they suspect he did it while playing with his brother Mizar, another 7-year-old bear who has been at the zoo with Alcor since 2001.

“His prognosis is guarded,” said Dr. Richardson. “He is a very large animal and it will be impossible to fully protect the area post-operatively. He will have to take good care of himself.”

Update 500: Another comfortable day for Barbaro today. I just spoke to Kathy Anderson, who was just leaving New Bolton Center (5:45 pm). She was with Michael Matz as Michael was grazing Barbaro. All is well. Kathy then provided a quick “Bearbaro” report (she said it not me). Apparently there are plenty of media trucks at New Bolton following this story. Kathy saw Alcor being lifted back into his refrigerated truck, post surgery, I guess going elswhere for recovery.

Wow, update 500, who knew!

Update 499: A nice Barbaro editorial halfway through this article, quite refreshing. I am hoping to get another Barbaro update later today, Kathy Anderson said she might visit, she has not been able to visit for a little while.

Anna has a nice image of my reporting endevours! and someone spotted me “behind the gate”.

Update 498: I am playing around with the search feature on the site. Please leave a comment below if the site is not displaying properly for you (i.e. the update content is not where it should be when you click on an update).

A couple of Lost in the Fog tributes, the first is over at J. Carson Black: Lost in the Fog. The second, a poem by WM & CL, comments timestamp: 2:45 pm:


Remember the good times friends have together.
That’s what helps endure all kinds of weather.
Who knew what time her story would tell,
As Barbaro gets better to bid farewell.
He sees like we do that Lost In The Fog,
Spend time with Greg Gilchrist & the family dog.

While our Bobby enjoys more freedom each day,
Grazing on grass and prize Timothy mix hay.
He understands what it means for best friends apart.
He whinnies so softly that you’re just as smart.
He’ll whisper some prayers your pain stays at bay.
Let His Light of Hope keep fears and doubts away.

He knows what it is like to suffer the blues,
He wishes so much better recovery cues.
Though times may be tough in the weeks ahead,
Maybe months left to rest in your special bed.
Just enjoy your time breathing fresh air and love.
Heaven’s own gift to you from ALL His Angels above.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that plays a tribute for you,
You were the best sprinter of any horse we knew.
Until Barbaro came of age and ran alongside your race.
In sleep’s dreams you’ll relive Bay Shore’s first place.
2005 was your winning year with Eclipse Award.
Spending quiet times with your traineris more reward.

Why do you mean so much to Greg?
Is a horse more than speed of leg?
What makes Barbaro and Lost In The Fog the same?
Are they not greater than horse flesh by name?
Why do we find it so hard to understand,
The answer stares squarely upon one’s own hand.

A horsewhisper for Barbaro can clearly foresee,
These two extraordinary horses are like you and me.
That’s what Gilchrist knew all along,
when Lost In The Fog won more than furlong,”
“This horse is like a brother to me”
Replied Greg to ESPN and Horseracing TV.

Continuing Lost In the Woods tribute he finds,
These immortal words that might change others’ minds–
“More respect for this horse than most people I deal with”
“If he were human…you want to be around him”–no myth.
It will be a tough time for him to bear,
While Lost In The Woods gets top home care.

Returning to Golden Gates Fields Sunday mid-noon,
Barbaro sends his best wishes to be with Greg soon.
The two will find time like Mike Matz and Barbaro.
The bond between trainer and horse beyond high and low.
Let us not shed sorrowful tears today,
Rather rejoice in their union as we pray.

If there’s something to learn when all’s said and done,
Barbaro’s Champion spirit sends blessings to everyone.
“Celebrate each day as if it were your last”
“Take nothing for granted in the present or past.”
“Find joy in the day’s moments shared together with you.”
Barbaro whispers, “dearest Eclipse Sprinter like Seattle Slew.”

So with horsewhispering wisdom left here to see,
“May you be as pampered like they do me at NBC.”
“Your groom Pascual Garcia will caress you with love.”
“Just as Seabiscuit, Your Honor, Secretariat above.”

And finally a note on the journey to NBC for the polar bear Alcor: Dr. R and his new patient, Alcor.

Update 497: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (sunday night). Just saw Michael Matz as I was heading to the track on my third set. He had just spoken to Dean Richardson who also noted that he is planning to prepare for surgery on the polar bear today.
It’s an absolutely gorgeous morning here at Fair Hill although my early guiding light, the moon, seems to have all but disappeared.
updated monday 7:05am

Update 496: A great article from the New York Times: With Loving and Costly Care, Barbaro’s Long Odds Improve notes Barbaro’s current status. The following are excerpts:

“He’s been very, very good on his legs,” said Dr. Dean Richardson, his surgeon and the man who leads him outside each day. “It’s exciting. He’s improving.”

Dr. Richardson warned that Barbaro was hardly out of the woods and that a full recovery would not be evident for months. Still, he said he was encouraged by the progress.

On July 13, Dr. Richardson had to compose himself when he announced that laminitis had ravaged Barbaro’s left hind hoof wall and that the chances of survival were poor. Now, his hoof wall is growing back, and his fractured right hind leg appears to be mending, Dr. Richardson said. But he cautioned that until the cast was removed, he could not be certain the leg would be strong enough to bear Barbaro’s weight.

“I think he’s got a 50-50 shot,” said Dr. Richardson, echoing the prognosis he gave May 21, after performing an operation on the colt’s leg for more than five hours. “He’s back to that level. Now, if you would have asked me the same question six weeks ago, I would have told you they were a lot — a lot — less than that.”


Not only has Barbaro not shown signs of distress, he appears to be growing stronger each day. The foam sneaker is changed daily as the veterinarians continue to watch for the regrowth of his hoof wall.

“I go over there with the grass because I love him and want to break up his day,” Gretchen Jackson said. “Now that he is getting outside, he is an even happier horse.”

The following is a nice article on Lost in the Fog’s trainer Greg Gilchrist: Trainer lost in the heartache. An excerpt:

He didn’t want to go and he’s a guy who loves going to the sales.

He wanted to be back at his home base at Golden Gate Fields in San Francisco. You can’t blame the trainer for that.

He wanted desperately to be there so he could be with Lost in the Fog, the best horse he ever trained.

Posted by Alex at 8:41 AM | Comments (495)
Barbaro Updates: 50
Posted August 20, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 495: Lost in the Fog returns home. Excerpt:

Dr. Don Smith, the colt’s veterinarian, said the Eclipse Award sprinter was his normal, aggressive self when he returned to the barn and had eaten well after his arrival.

Update 494: Steve Willard just called. He was with Giacomo as he called (about one hour after the Pacific Classic). He said it just was not his day. Giacomo is cooling out well, he looks good and is walking well.

Update 493: A nice win by Lava Man, the favourite for the Pacific Classic. He seemed to accelerate well at the 3/8ths pole and put the race away. He should be considered a top contender for the Breeders Cup Classic at this point, although they did mention they may consider a turf race next. Perfect Drift and Giacomo did not appear to really get into the race, finishing fourth and fifth. Will try to learn more later. There was also a quick clip on Barbaro, good to see it on the big screen (it was part of the Penn video clip).

A nice post on the discussion board on Dancing In My Dreams, who had faced a similar surgery to Barbaro. We noted her first foal’s success in update 432.

Finally, another lovely tribute to Lost in the Fog: Tribute to a Champion.

Update 492: Another quick story to follow in the Pacific Classic. We interviewed Dan Hendricks a while ago (trainer of Brother Derek) about his thoughts on Barbaro. He noted the sad story of Cozy Guy. Well Cozy Guy’s connections have Top This and That in the race! Jeannine Edwards spoke with the owners and e-mailed me:

they are extremely excited and said this is like being in the KY Derby! They are from the San Diego area and have always dreamed of running a horse at Del Mar.

Update 491: ESPN2 is broadcasting the Pacific Classic from 7 – 8 pm this evening. It will be a great race. All is go for today’s big race from the Giacomo camp. I just spoke to Steve Willard (his exercise rider) who has been providing us training updates for the last few days. He is pretty upbeat. Giacomo hand walked today (walked around the shedrow). He’s been cleaned up by the barn foreman (Frank), and is now relaxing in his stall as I type. He will be led over to the receiving barn about fifteen minutes ahead of the time that he will be led over to the paddock with the other runners. Steve has positive feelings for the race, everything has pretty much set up the way they want it to be. The distance of the race will suit Giacomo (a mile and a quarter) and Mike Smith (his regular jockey) will start letting him run likely at about the half mile or 3/8ths pole. Steve said it looks to be a great older horse race, with Lava Man and Perfect Drift (who Giacomo just beat in his last start at a less favourable distance for Giacomo) among the eight entries. Anyway, I want to thank Steve for giving us a little insight into the preparation of Giacomo, and wish him (and the rest of this quality field) the best of racing luck.

Jeannine Edwards provided us a great update about tonight coverage in Update 486 and Joe Deegan has also weighed in from Perfect Drift’s camp (update 487).

Update 490: A little “housekeeping”. Given the overwhelming response of poems, videos and other content created by everyone, I am no longer going to be able to keep up with it all in these updates and on the fan media page (this is a good thing). Fortunately the discussion board includes a folder (labeled: Barbaro Poems / Videos etc.) for such content so I hope people will continue to post their wonderful content there, and others will visit the boards to enjoy everyone’s inspiring work. Melissa Harden is also collecting all the creative work at: For the love of Barbaro. Melissa will get the content from the discussion boards, and you can also e-mail Melissa your work ( That being said, I did want to highlight this tribute from Jessica Frank: Lost In the Fog, Champion Always.

This site has now served more than 1.5 million page views! and is currently ranked 30 in google for the keyword Barbaro. You will notice we have now signed up for the google adwords program (google ads). This will help defray costs associated with the site, and we will also allocate a portion of the earnings to a charity appropriate for this site. We will be very transparent re: the site earnings and what we do with the money. With current traffic we estimate the google ads. could generate $1,000 / month.

Update 489: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (saturday night). I had a nice long chat with Michael as he was ponying a horse (and Stephanie) back from the woodchip track. Dr. Richardson showed Michael the left hind foot yesterday and it appears to be doing whatever it should be doing at this stage of its “recovery”. Michael also noted he walks sound (as we saw on the Barbaro grazing video) and is starting to gain some weight.
update 7:56 am, sunday morning

Posted by Alex at 11:53 AM | Comments (583)
Barbaro Updates: 49
Posted August 19, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 488: Due to further tests, Lost in the Fog will not return to Golden Gate Field until sunday: Lost in the Fog nears the end. Russell Baze’s incredible nine race win streak remains that: Baze’s 9-Race Streak Ends at Bay Meadows.

A tribute to Lost in the Fog.

Update 487: Many of you have shown interest in Perfect Drift, also running tomorrow in the Pacific Classic. I just spoke with his exercise rider, Joe Deegan, who was boarding a plane I think when we spoke I think. Joe reports Perfect Drift is training well and is as good as he has ever been right now. He has settled in really well at Del Mar and should be a major factor. As Jeannine also noted, Perfect Drift has made $4.5 million in his career thus far, Joe noted that would be over $5 million if it was not for a couple of head-bob decisions. He was twice second in the Pacific Classic so they are hoping to put that right. He is a gelding, and is a big strong horse. He is a tough horse and you have to be careful around him. Anyway, in sum, Joe reports his is training well and should put in a big effort tomorrow.

The Daily Racing form on the Pacific Classic: Classic has ‘tough’ written all over it.

Update 486: Jeannine Edwards just e-mailed me about the big race tomorrow (Pacific Classic) and ESPN2s coverage (7 – 8 pm east coast time). The following is an excerpt:

I did see Steve this morning before he got on Giacomo, we had a nice chat. It seems they’re all pretty excited about Giacomo’s chances tomorrow. I can tell you he looks fantastic! Always been a big, eye-catching horse, but he’s really blossomed into a he-man since last year. Nice to hear that all his little problems seem to be behind him. Someone else who looks fantastic is Perfect Drift, what a cool horse he is. He loves travelling, loves seeing different places, and nothing fazes him. He’s a handsome brute of guy. You’d never know he’s 7. He spends each winter at his owner Dr. Reed’s home/farm outside of Kansas City, just turned out, growing a shaggy coat, getting spoiled by Mrs. Reed, and being a horse. Trainer Murray Johnson said Perfect Drift knows he’s officially “off duty” when he gets to the farm. If ever a horse deserves credit for running his heart out every single race, it’s Perfect Drift. And by the way, he’s by Barbaro’s sire Dynaformer, and he has the same head and face as Barbaro. Only Perfect Drift’s ears are bigger! Perfect Drift will be making his 40th start tomorrow, and he’s earned $4.5 million!! It’s going to be a great race. We will also have in the show a feature on Giacomo, an interview with his owners (Jerry and Ann Moss), a Lava Man feature and interview with his owners, and a report on poor Lost In The Fog. Incredibly sad. Hard to get a grasp of this … and I can’t even imagine what his owner, trainer, and stable personnel are going through right now. I remember seeing him at Saratoga last year, and playing with him over his webbing. He was a very personable, inquisitive colt who took his owner and trainer on a remarkable journey last year … 10 straight wins all around the country and an Eclipse Award as the Champion Sprinter. It will be a very sad day when he leaves us.

Jeannine forgot to mention (which she confirmed in a subsequent e-mail) that there will be a Barbaro update during the show tomorrow.

Some of you have pointed out that Sabina has posted a few new pictures of Barbaro!

Update 485: Peter Brette just called, he visited Barbaro at about 1 pm today. All remains well. He gave him a good brush. He pretty much confirmed Bobby had been out grazing everyday since he first started grazing. Peter and Michael will be on grazing duty next week I think.

Kennett Florist visited Fair Hill today, this is their comment (timestamp: 6:12 pm)

Not too much to report from NBC today. All was quiet when we dropped off our goodies this afternoon, but that is normal for a Saturday.

Our prayers and thoughts are with LITF and his family. May he be comfortable in his final time at home with his family.

On a lighter note, Alie, my son Jacob and I had the wonderful duty of delivering a special gift to Alex this morning, from many of the TWR web family. He was absolutely wonderful to talk to and was graciuos enough to let my son meet a couple of the horses (he’s 4 and now thanks to Barbaro, a horse fanatic). We took a couple pictures and I will forward them to Alex to do with as he pleases.

Alex, again, thank you for all that you do and for taking the time to meet with us this morning. We hope you enjoy your gifts. CHEERS from all of the thankful family members here on TWR and all of us at Kennett Florist!

PS – Before you all start calling, we don’t have any fish on hand for the polar bear!! (but of course you know we’d take care of it if need be!) LOL



It was fun meeting Alie, Rachel and Jacob. I really get a kick out of seeing how easy it is to entertain people around horses. And of course, all your generosity is amazing, I was pretty overwhelmed, but very thankful! I did decide to regift the basket of goodies, I asked Annie (from Michael Matz) if she would give it to Eduardo, Bobby’s groom. She was delighted to do so. I will plan another Whip gathering very soon! Again, thank you, it means a lot.

Update 484: Steve Willard (Giacomo’s exercise rider) just called to provide us an update for Giacomo as he prepares for Sunday’s Pacific Classic. Everything is a go. He had his last gallop before the big race and will likely tack walk or jog tomorrow morning. Steve noted his training today was similar to the last two days. He jogged back (anti-clockwise) a mile and a quarter. He turned around and galloped a mile and a half. Everything feels fine, he is training forwardly and feels good.

A couple of people have mentioned to Steve that they have been reading these reports, which is pretty cool. I think one of those people was Jeannine Edwards, who is preparing for ESPN2s coverage tomorrow (7 – 8 pm). ESPN2 will also be providing a Barbaro update I think. I will plan to contact Steve and get one more update before the big race tomorrow. A few people have asked why I am covering Giacomo specifically for the Pacific Classic. I chose Giacomo because like Bobby, he’s a Derby winner!

Don’t forget, we are planning a Barbaro vigil, 7 pm east coast time tonight. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some thoughts for Barbaro.

Update 483: Peter Brette may be visiting Barbaro today. If he does, I will follow up and get a report. I just saw Lisa, Better Talk Now’s exercise rider. He is doing well after the Arlington Million. He has be out twice (training) across the fields. He will likely do that for a week. They are considering the Melbourne Cup as an option for him later in the fall. That would be TOO cool!

I created a separate folder on the discussion forums for Lost in the Fog. Here is contact information:

Attn: Greg Gilchrist
Golden Gate Field
1100 East Shore Highway
Berkeley, CA 94710

Dr. Richardson is getting ready to operate on a polar bear! The following is an excerpt:

Dr. Dean Richardson will operate on Alcor, the 750-pound polar bear with two badly broken bones just above his right paw, sometime next week at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, where Barbaro is being treated, officials said.

“This doctor is one of the best in the world and they’ve got a state-of-the-art medical facility,” zoo spokesman Scott Mitchell said. “There couldn’t be a better scenario, given the circumstances.”

Update 482: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (friday night). I saw Michael Matz on my third set, we were behind the gate. The conversation behind the gate quickly turned to Lost in the Fog. Very sad. I want to thank Russell Baze for the time he gave me last night to provide us an interview, and some insight into The Fog. I also learned, after the interview, that not only did Russell ride seven winners yesterday, but he is on a nine race streak!.

The two year old I was riding was gate schooling. It was only his second time. We walked through the gate a couple of times, then walked him in, stood him and closed up the gates. We then opened them up, he walked out, nice and straight. He was very good for a second time visitor to the gate. I did learn this morning about his pedigree (from his owner). I used to gallop his mother, and she is now 21. (Yikes!)
update 7:45 am, saturday morning

Posted by Alex at 11:37 AM | Comments (439)
Barbaro Updates: 48
Posted August 18, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 481: Russell Baze just called back so here is our interview (what a class act btw):

I worked him all but once or twice since he was a two year old. I rode him in every race he ran bar one. He was a real genuine horse to be around. He was the best horse I have ridden throughout his career. He did everything, against allcomers. His temperament, ability and enthusiasm were unmatched. He had natural speed. He was so quick out of the gate, but he did not need the lead. He had a lot of natural speed, you could sit back and relax, switch leads in the turn, and keep going (when most horse were stopping). He would ship everywhere to run. Just a very rare racehorse.

Greg (trainer) and Harry (owner) have done an exemplary job with this horse. Throughout the horse’s career he has always given his best, now looking back its amazing how well he ran in Churchill (his win this year), knowing what we know now about the horse. It’s all very sad, but he is shipping back to Golden Gate and I will be fortunate to get to see him one more time. He has really been important to me as you can imagine.

I asked Russell what his barn name is: The Fog
I asked about any idiosynchrosies: he’s agressive, and displays it, especially before races trying to bite the pony on the way to the gate

Update 480: I just spoke to Russell Baze, Lost in the Fog’s jockey (who also happened to ride seven winners today). I will post our interview tomorrow (once I have typed it up and run it by Russell). I thought I would highlight this comment from Bubbranch, timestamp: 11:28 pm:

I got to watch his work at Golden Gate Fields in 2005 prior to shipping to Belmont for Breeder’s Cup. The track was closed so he could work alone, and a ton of employees spread out along the rail to watch. By chance an acquaintance of mine saw me in the public box and said come on over here, we picked out a spot on the rail, and then Hary Aleo and his daughter came along and stood right next to us, right next to me. If I had burped I would have bumped elbows with him.

Will never forget how I could feel – physically, like a tingle transmitted – his excitement, pride, and affection for this horse, and I got a great taste of what it must be like to have a truly spectacular horse. Unforgettable. I hope that feeling never goes away for him, and that he’s comforted by that and everyone’s sincere support.

Signed very sadly,
Bubb in California

And finally, Lost in the Fog by Barbara Livingston, again.

Update 479: I am attending the NTRA conference, scheduled for 6:45 pm re: Lost in the Fog (thanks Ed Fountaine, New York Post for alerting me to the conference). A transcript will be available on monday. LITF’s trainer and vet are online for the teleconference.

Unfortunately two more tumours in his abdomen, and another very large tumour along the roof of his back, about the size of a football (not that shape). This one cannot be removed surgically. His condition is terminal.

He is not in a lot of pain, he just gets uncomfortable at times. The end is inevitable, and do not want the horse to go through things he does not need to. Want to provide some final quality of life, pampered and cared for with his own people around him. He won’t take it too far. Mr. Aleo (owner), Harry is a tough old guy, but this is bringing him to his knees. LITF is a hell of a warrior.

I typed the above as I was listening, I missed some stuff.

Thanks Alex Fleming, who reported this in the comments, timestamp 10: 20 pm and alerted us to the situation:

Gilchrist was on TVG at 6pm EST and announced he will be brought back to GGF in his stall with his groom to keep him comfortable during his last week. He did not want to euthanize him up at Davis where he would be all alone. He will be cremated and be buried at Ocala Florida where he started his life.

I am sorry, I watched LITF in his debut, and on two different occasions. I am borderline obsessed with my favorite horse, and I am devastated.

Update 478: Peter just called (6:00 pm), Barbaro remains well, Michael had just visited and called Peter.

It does not appear yet we have any updates for Lost in the Fog. We know today is a big day for him. I have left a message with Russell Baze’s agent in the hopes Russell will share some words with us about his relationship with Lost in the Fog. Shelley Haysed left this message in the comments:

Good afternoon, everyone out there on pins and needles – I only have a minute and found Cheryl’s (hopefully!!) positive info, and I have to let you know I called UC Davis and talked to a person who is a public contact for the Large Animal Clinic. She also SOUNDED OPTIMISTIC, she had good warm tones in her voice, when she said she could not yet release any information.

She did tell me that we could send BEST WISHES TO LOST IN THE FOG by posting to UC Davis website,


The messages are sorted out by the campus and forwarded to the appropriate department. Guess they have no idea what they’re in for…

To send cards by USPS snail mail, the address is:

VMTH – Large Animal Clinic
UC Davis
1 Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

If anybody has better info, please let everyone know. I think the vigil yesterday was very powerful and I have all hopes for another miracle.

Bless Bobby for his power.

We also posted a link last night to Barbaro Livingston’s pictures, here it is again: Lost in the Fog.

Update 477: Steve Willard (Giacomo’s exercise rider) just called and all remains well as Giacomo continues his preparations for the Pacific Classic. His training today was very much the same as yesterday. He came onto the track at about 9:30 am. He actually hand walks before he trains, he then gets to eat a little bit and rest up. Training later also ensures a quieter race track.

Once on the track, Giacomo stood for 4 – 5 minutes, and then jogged the wrong way (left handed) for a mile and a quarter. He turned in, and around and galloped a mile and a half. He was a little more relaxed today overall in his gallop. He then jogged back to the gap, all was well. He has had plenty of visits from fans in the area, getting their picture taken with him and so forth (as a Derby winner should). John (his trainer) is very happy to let people visit him. The barn is conveniently located near the stable gate. For those in the Del Mar area, you can watch the morning training from the grandstand, Giacomo should be out again about 9:30 am tomorrow.

ESPN2 will be covering the Pacific Classic on sunday, 7 – 8 pm. Their coverage will also include Barbaro coverage.

Update 476: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). I was just driving back in to Fair Hill for my third set when I saw Michael’s crew heading up to the track. I stopped, got out of my truck, asked the inevitable question, and got the good, positive response. There appears to be a pretty obvious upbeat mood within the barn judging by the poor jokes being cracked at my reporting efforts!
updated friday 7:10am

Update 475: No update just yet, its still a little early! I had a break after my second set and thought I would try to describe the morning activities thus far. For the first set we left the barn at about 5:25 am, there were two us of, Linsey and I, on two two year olds. It was pretty dark out for sure, and the tractors were still working on the main dirt track (note to self, are we starting a little early at this point ?) We thus had to go to the inner wood chip track (my two year old had not been there before). We jogged back a mile (counter clockwise) together, and basically followed the tractors that were on the outer track, they had big lights on them, which helped! There was one other horse out on the woodchip track, and I kept looking to see if he was going to gallop by us (it would have likely set our horses off a little). Fortunately we met no (horse) traffic. We turned them around after jogging back a turn, and galloped a turn together. On the way home there was a fox cub, ON the horsepath. He was not moving until we got _very_ close to him (her ?) Then he just wandered off to about 10 foot away, as if to say, what the heck are you doing at this time of morning!

My second set went out back across the fields. OK, so now it was beautiful. The sun was just rising, and it was a lovely sunrise, and there was a low mist coming from the damp grass (although it beats me how the grass gets damp, we have not had rain for ages and the ground is rock hard)! Anyway, Deer everywhere, which is usual if you are first to take a horse outback, which meant my horse was scooting around a little, but he does enjoy jogging up and down the low gradient hills.

OK, I think we may have a couple of visitors today, which will be great. I have about six more to ride. The Barbaro update may come at its usual early time, OR it might be around 8:30 ish. I am not riding my third set at the usual time (now) which is when I normally run into Michael after he hears from Dean. I just wanted to let you know.

Update 474: A few of you have set up web-sites in honour of Barbaro. I may not have highlighted them all, please e-mail me your web-site URL and I will compile them all into an update and add them to the Fan Media page. On that note SharonLynn sent me a note about an online book she is compiling at (Book ID: 428640). You can contribute some comments, thoughts, remembrances and/or photos to make this book as wonderful as possible. Sharonlynn is planning to purchase the original for the Jackson’s, and make copies for those connected to Barbaro.

Posted by Alex at 8:34 AM | Comments (639)
Barbaro Updates: 47
Posted August 17, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 473: Barbara Livingston just put this album together of Lost in the Fog. Her e-mail to me included the following:

Man, I LOVE Lost in the Fog. Mr. Gilchrist is as kind and generous an individual as I’ve ever met….

I just put this together. I’ll try to add more, perhaps at the end of the weekend.

Thanks Barbara.

Update 472: Rachel at Kennett Florist just left the following comment:

It’s a beautiful day here and at NBC. They were digging into the baskets of goodies as soon as we got there today! There were a few staff members bustling about and when I asked how things were the reply was that “they were doing good work here” (Like we didn’t know). The respect they have for all animals continues to amaze me.

Things are rolling right along for Dr R’s day. The cake and ice cream are now all taken care of (for those who have asked). We’re getting really excited, and hope that it is a big surprise… we just have to absorb it all so we can paint a good mental picture for all of you!

As always, thank you to all of you!


I asked how Giacomo got his name, Cheryl was first with the answer (timestamp: 7:45pm), followed by Jen (7:55pm). He is named after Sting’s son. Sting is a friend / associate of Giacomo’s owner, Jerry Moss.

And here is a quick update on Mike Rea: They Say the Brain Healing has Started.

Update 471: Just spoke to Peter Brette (4:45 pm) and all remains well with Barbaro. Michael had just called him and Michael is at New Bolton now visiting Barbaro. One day at a time!

Update 470: I just spoke to Steve Willard, Giacomo’s exercise rider, to get an update on Giacomo today. This is what he had to say:

Giacomo is a happy camper. He is currently grazing outside his barn (10:45 am pacific time) after training this morning. This morning he entered the track at the 3/4 pole shoot (his normal place to enter the track). He stood in for a while, as he normally does, then set off the wrong way to jog a mile and a quarter. He turned in, stood a while, then turned around and galloped a mile and a half. He was a little fresh at the beginning of the gallop and wanted to do more, but then settled down nicely and relaxed. He came home well. A nice routine training day for Giacomo as he gets ready for the Pacific Classic on sunday.

He is the second choice on the morning line (3-1) and has drawn post 4 of 8. Steve did not think the draw mattered much for Giacomo as he will come from behind. Steve talked about how he got his name, does anyone know the story ? If not, I’ll post tomorrow.

For those looking for more background information on Lost in the Fog, this is a good article: Lost in the Fog in critical race Career already finished, cancer threatens survival. I remember one time seeing an interview with someone connected with Lost in the Fog and was asked why he was restricted to sprinting (versus going for classic distances). I think the answer was simply he was very good at it. He was pretty close to being seriously considered for 3yo of the year going into the Breeders Cup!

Update 469: Given that it appears Lost in the Fog is undergoing an examination tomorrow, friday, to determine his prognosis, we are planning a vigil for tonight, 7 pm east coast time. Whereever you are, whatever you are doing, spare a bit of time for Lost in the Fog.

Update 468: I did catch up with Barclay Tagg this morning and asked him a few questions about his horses, and one about the Jackson’s.

On Showing Up:
Today was his return to the track (in Saratoga) after his Secretariat win. He jogged off great and jogged one turn of the track. It looks like he has come out of his race well. Barclay is thinking two more races for him this year, but this plan is tentative. The second race the Breeders Cup Turf (mile and a half), the first race to be one of the following three:
Man of War, September 9, 1 mile and 3/8ths
Canada Sky Classic, September 24, 1 mile and 3/8ths
Joe Hirsch Turf, Belmont, October 7, 1 mile and a 1/2

Basically his races remain on the turf and he will be facing older horses for the first time. Stormy Kiss, another Jackson horse trained by Barclay is being pointed for the Ballerina at Saratoga (August 27). I asked Barclay how the Jackson’s were doing and what it is like training for them. He clearly enjoys training for them, he said they really deserve good forture (Barbaro’s progress, Showing Ups performances etc.) and they are just good people. He noted that you could not ask for nicer people to train for, they let you do your job and are very open.

Finally I asked Barclay about Funny Cide. While he is being pointed for the Woodward (September 2) towards the end of the Saratoga meet, Barclay believes a mile and a quarter is his best trip (Woodward is a mile and an eighth). There is a race in Hoosier Downs (I think) September 30 that they are looking at closely. Again, all remains tentative.

Barclay then went on to tell some very funny stories (as he does). He would make a great book!

Update 467: New Bolton Center’s update today: Barbaro has had a very good week:

­Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro continues to do well, and is being hand-grazed for 20 – 30 minutes a day. “His blood work is completely normal and his vital signs are good,” said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “I can’t complain. Barbaro has had a very good week.” Dr. Richardson also reports that Barbaro is no longer using the sling. “His comfort level has improved to the point that when he was in the sling, he wasn’t “using” it at all. The sling is only bearing the horse’s weight when he wants it to, and Barbaro’s comfort level has improved to the point that he was not using the sling to support his weight.”

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

Update 466: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night). Just walked over to get the news from Michael Matz after I came off my third set this morning. He mentioned that Bobby was out grazing for 30-40 minutes yesterday.
Also, Barclay Tagg is in town for a couple of days. I will try to get an interview with him a little later. Meanwhile, another spectacular morning in Fair Hill today.
updated thursday 7:10am

Update 465: We have a couple of video tributes: A Tribute to Barbaro (from argentdesign) and When You Believe (from Shannon). We also have an article from the Washongton Post: Barbaro Now Walking Regularly in Recovery, which includes a couple of quotes from Dr. Sweeney:

“We who see him every day know he has been moving well and looking pleased and happy,”


“He’s gotten down to where he’s getting almost nothing,” she said of pain management.

Finally a poem by Susan E (from update 46, timestamp 1:18am):


What does it take to make Barbaro whole?
A massage, some sunshine, fresh grass in a bowl?

Stud muffins, apples,
Baby carrots with greens,
Green and white peppermints dance through his

Michael and Peter and Gretchen and Roy,
Their love and devotion for their brave boy.

Nurses and interns and Doc Dean so keen,
Alie and Rachel and the KF machine,

Posses and prayers and lights that do heal,
A website where everyone says how they feel.

Smartness and courage and Old Soul and heart,
A will to live that has burned from the start.

Posted by Alex at 8:43 AM | Comments (533)
Barbaro Updates: 46
Posted August 16, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 464: Daily Racing Form has an article of Lost in the Fog: Doctors think Lost in the Fog has cancer that appears a little more current. The following is an excerpt:

“They know the mass is in the spleen itself,” he said on Wednesday. “Right now, it looks good. It hasn’t metastasized and moved to other parts. But when you look at a sonogram, it won’t show very small things. That’s why they’re doing the camera search.

“If they find more, it is not a good thing. At that point, we probably wouldn’t do surgery. If it does look good, at the middle of next week surgery will be performed to remove the spleen. It’s a very delicate operation. They say there’s a 50-50 chance he will make it through. If all goes well, he will recover and live a normal life.”

Update 463: Kathy Anderson just called (7:45 pm) and she was just leaving Barbaro, who was laid down, in an upright position, eating fresh picked grass from a bowl! As she was leaving his masseuse was arriving, who prefers to massage him laying down as he is then less active. Kathy’s report was upbeat.

Update 462: Dr. Richardson Chat at the Bloodhorse. Interesting excerpts below:

The only reason I became a vet was because I fell in love with horses, and I became very involved working with horses. If you do that, you get to point where you love working on horses. I can’t deny the fact he is a very smart and particularly charismatic horse. He is remarkably quick to pick up when you’re trying to help him. Those are the sorts of things that make you like the horse a lot. You are also talking about being in the presence of greatness, and I think he truly was a great horse who did not have a chance to show it. All those things combined, it is hard not to be emotionally involved with it. I also have a long relationship with and like for the Jacksons and Matzes.


My favorite part initially was the challenge of the procedure and the aftercare. My favorite part now is simply trying to save his life. He is a very personable young colt, truly charismatic.


He gets ICU checks by the nurses four times daily (vital signs, checking how much he is eating, drinking, manure/urine production etc.) He is fed grain mixes four times daily. He receives free choice alfalfa and timothy mix hay. I change his LH foot bandage around 6 am and walk him about 30 minutes in the late afternoon. He is no longer being put in a sling. Previously, we were letting him out of the sling from about 7 pm until 9 am. The Jacksons and Mr. Matz visit at various times and Mrs. Jackson always brings some Lael Farm grass hand picked for him. He gets groomed and bathed at various times. Medications are given at various intervals. Previously he was on a number of constant intravenous infusions and epidural pain medication. His management is much simpler right now because he is doing so well.


The hoof wall (the hard [keratinized] portion) including the sole was removed. We eventually removed about 90% of it. The time to completely regrow a hoof varies, but a reasonable estimate would be 9-12 months.


He actually is spending no time at all in the sling right now. His comfort improved to the point that when he was in the sling, he wasn’t “using” it. The sling is only bearing the horse’s weight when he wants it to. It isn’t possible for a horse to continuously hang with all of their weight in the sling. If they do so, they nearly always eat and breathe poorly. Also, nearly all will get serious rub sores if they are constantly hanging in the sling.

Update 461: Quick reminder, Dr. Richardson will host a chat at at 6 pm east coast time. I will post the direct link to the chat here once the link is live.

Kennett Florist provided this update today:

What a fun day to go to NBC! We delivered ice cream and all the fixin’s for sundaes… fudge, carmel, whipped cream, nuts and cherries! Dr Sweeney was kind enough to send out an email yesterday, so there was quite a crowd! The place is just electric (maybe partially from the sugar), but in my opinion because of all the good news this week! Bobby gets to feel the sun on his back each day and snort and chomp to his hearts content, what could be better!!

Bobby got his carrots and treats to go along with the staff’s sugar high. We also brought up some goodies for some of the other shifts, since they miss out on breakfasts and such.

Thanks to all of you the spirits continue to be high!


WM & CL left this poem about Mike Rea (comment timestamp 5:15 pm):

Loving husband, horsetrainer, father, family man-
Getting stronger improving as you can!

The Lord’s light surrounds you
easing your family’s mind-
The Lord’s love protects you-
helping you and friends unwind.

The Lord’s miracle continue your healing-
His arms wrap around you whatever you’re feeling!

Under His protection, you always will be-
While His Miracles continue in you to see.

Another good day closer coming back home-
Therapy allows you to walk better to roam!

Lord’s and His Angels presence watch over thee-
Your family’s updates bring joyful news about ye.

God’s Love, Light, Protection stay here-
Rest now, enjoy His Power erasing all fear!

May each day bring forth joyfully great news-
Keep walking stronger after putting on shoes!

May our Lord’s miraculous grace-
Allow coming home to your family’s place!
Heal Mike – pulling for you to win your own race.

Update 460: Jeannine Edwards just e-mailed me to let us know ESPN2 will be covering the Pacific Classic on sunday, 7 – 8 pm. They will include Barbaro coverage which will include the grazing video and other recent updates. The Pacific Classic is a great older horse race (not restricted to 3yos like the Kentucky Derby) and includes many of the best handicappers in the country (Lava Man, Giacomo and Perfect Drift for example). Given Giacomo won the Kentucky Derby last year I thought it would be appropriate for us to highlight him going into this race. The Daily Racing Form has a nice article today on him for good background information: Shirreffs wants Giacomo to be a hero again which includes the following excerpt:

Giacomo, though, is the stable star. Shirreffs still receives mail asking about the colt, and gets aggravated with himself if he doesn’t have time to answer a letter or a request for a photo that day. For someone not accustomed to the limelight, Shirreffs immediately sensed that winning the Derby brings special requirements to those connected with the colt.

“I think it’s a big-time obligation,” Shirreffs said. “It’s no longer just Mr. Moss’s horse. It’s sort of everybody’s horse. I got a letter from an elderly woman the other day asking for a picture of Giacomo. I sent her one. People like that, this might be one of their only contacts with the outside world.”

I thought it would be interesting to contact his current exercise rider (Steve Willard) and see if he would be willing to provide us some updates on Giacomo as they prepare for the Pacific Classic (I acquired his cell phone number from Andy Durnin, good friend and closely tied to last year’s Pacific Classic winner Borrego). This is what Steve had to say in our call today:

John Sherrifs should take a lot of credit for this horse. He has shown a great deal of patience, and the patience is starting to proove out. I have been around Giacomo since he was two, but I was not his regular exercise rider until about 3 – 4 months ago. Frankie (Herrate) used to gallop him when he won the Kentucky Derby last year. He has had 3 – 4 different exercise riders during his time with John. I am just very fortunate that I have been involved with him most recently.

He is now training very forwardly, very good attitude, he is very focused in the mind, strong yet easy to control. He breezed the other morning (monday), and as is the case with all John’s breezes, was never asked for more than he can give, we always make sure the horse has something left, whatever speed we are going. He accelareted on his own at the 16th pole but it was easy. He worked in hand in 1:12 (3/4s), galloped out the mile in 1:39. On tuesday he walked the shedrow (John walks all his horse the day after a breeze) and today (wednesday) he jogged two miles, he felt great. I’ll provide an update each day as we prepare for the Pacific Classic this weekend.

So we will hear from Steve each day as we approach the big race!

Update 459: A worrying update on Lost in the Fog who was presumed to be colicing: Mass in Lost in the Fog Believed to be Cancer. The following is an excerpt:

Gilchrist said that preliminary tests indicated that the lymphoma appears to be confined to the spleen. He said the mass is about the size of a cantaloupe. Lost in the Fog has won just one of his three starts this year, and Gilchrist had originally thought that quarter cracks were the culprits for the champion’s sub-par efforts. “It turns out he’s been running with this thing inside him this year,” the trainer said. “It shows you what kind of warrior this horse is.”

Gilchrist added that owner Harry Aleo is extremely concerned about his star, and that “We will do anything we can for the horse. It’s almost a Barbaro-type situation.”

Don’t forget the Bloodhorse chat with Dr. Richardson tonight at 6pm. For those who cannot attend, they will be providing a transcript. I will provide a direct link to the chat (and subsequent transcript) just before 6 pm tonight.

Update 458: I just watched Miraculous Miss work a half mile on the wood chip track in 47.1 secs. That is a very handy time, and she did it quite nicely. Miraculous Miss looks like she might be getting closer to her first race back after the horrifying gate incident in the Acorn. She is now off the starters list, which required her to return to the gate at least three times to school.

I also had a nice chat with Adrian Rolls (Graham Motion assistant) about the horse flights over the weekend (Better Talk Now and Film Maker flying to and from Chicago). He was pretty amazed by the entire experience. They vanned down to BWI, vanned right to the airplane and loaded right up. Once airborne the flight was _very_ smooth. They were the only two on the outward bound journey (which was also nicely air-conditioned). On the return journey they came back via Albany to drop off the Saratoga-based horses (which of course included Showing Up). They were not on the ground for long at all before taking off again for Baltimore. It seems the plane can hold about twenty horses, there were about fourteen on the return journey to Albany. I asked Barclay’s Fair Hill assistant (Tim) how Showing Up was after his (fantastic) performance. He said all was well.

Update 457: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (tuesday night). Saw Michael Matz as I was coming back from the track on my third set. Before I could even ask how Bobby was doing, Michael gave me the positive report.

On my first set this morning (5:30am), I was jogging back with Man in Havana…or at least that’s who I think it was, it was a little hard to see. As we were coming back, two fox cubs were chasing eachother around in circles right on the horsepath. Which while very cute, required me to tighten my grip on the neck strap and my horse’s mane.

Second set, I went out back and not only saw another fox cub but was surrounded by many deer. Of course, I again didn’t let go of my neck strap! It’s really a beautiful morning here in Fair Hill.
updated wednesday 7:10am

Update 456: A nice article from ESPN with some new quotes: Barbaro walks outside, grazing on grass. The following are excerpts:

“I thought he was thrilled the first time he went out,” Dean Richardson, chief surgeon at the New Bolton Center, said Monday. “He just seemed very happy to be out. You can tell he’s looking forward to it every day. It’s absolutely normal. Horses love to be outside, obviously, and he’s pretty excited about it.”

Barbaro stepped outside his ICU stall and started daily walks on a grassy area near the unit last Wednesday for the first time since having catastrophic injuries in the Preakness nearly three months ago.


“It’s a big step just to know he feels good enough that you can take him out of the stall and walk him around like a normal horse and he eats grass like a normal horse,” Richardson said in a telephone interview from New Bolton. “That doesn’t mean he’s healed. It just means things are going well right now.”

The 3-year-old had made only a couple of brief walks back and forth from his stall to the surgery room at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center until last week. Now Barbaro is walked daily for about 15 to 20 minutes in a secluded area not far from the George D. Widener Hospital ICU.

The USA Today blog On Deadline linked to us in their most recent Barbaro update: Barbaro update: He’s grazing outside.

And finally Philadelphia Park will name a race in honor of Eugene Dixon (long time patron and friend of Michael Matz): Philadelphia Park Notes – Track Set To Honor The Late Eugene Dixon. An excerpt:

“Fitz Dixon’s distinguished tenure as Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission was earmarked by his love for thoroughbred racing and his unflinching commitment to the integrity of the sport. Philadelphia Park is proud to memorialize these contributions by naming the Cotillion Handicap in his honor,” said Greenwood racing Chairman Bob Green.

Posted by Alex at 8:39 AM | Comments (634)
Barbaro Updates: 45
Posted August 15, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 455: Peter just called, Michael visited after his nice win at Delaware (No Fair) and Barbaro remains comfortable.

A quick update from Alie at Kennett Florist:

What a great day!!! NBC was so upbeat & happy. Dr R’s birthday will be wonderful. I can’t wait to see his face when he sees all of this. Going to see Alex sat, Can’t wait.
We were very busy today. Rachel & Bernie were off & Diane is on vacation. So I could not answer emails. Will try to answer you’re your messages, tonight. But my 11 yr old granddaughter is here. Not much time. I wish you all could see the love & joy you have given to Bobby, NBC, Kennett Square & KF. We love team Barbaro. And of course Barbaro, Alex, The Jackson’s and all connected to NBC
We Believe.
Love to Bobby
Good night from Kennett Square & KF

HRTV will be running a short segment (somewhat randomly) about Fair Hill today and tomorrow. It includes some photos we have on this site. Tina (x Fair Hill from a longtime ago and the original owner of my helmet and helmet cover) put it together. Talking of HRTV, I watched Something Wild (no excuse, had a good trip, seemed closers did better in the race, cooled out fine, finished 5th), Bond Beauty (duked it out up front, looked good for a long time, seemed to fade in the final furlong) and No Fair (nice winner for Michael Matz at Delaware Park.)

Update 454: A few people had mentioned Lost in the Fog getting colic. Here is the story: Lost in the Fog Treated for Colic. It seems it is not a severe case, here is an excerpt:

“If it wasn’t Lost in the Fog, we would have taken care of it at the barn,” Gilchrist stated. “This is a very slight case of colic. We are not anticipating surgery being necessary. They are running tests on him now, and I would expect to have him back in the barn Thursday or Friday. When he got off the van at Davis, he was feeling good enough where he was looking around for the racetrack.”

Lost in the Fog was a brilliant sprinter last year (maybe this year too, not really been following him). For more information on colic: Wikipedia: Colic.

While looking for an article on this, I discovered Dr. Richardson is hosting a chat for Bloodhorse tomorrow, August 16, 6 pm eastern time. Submit your questions!

Update 453: A quick update re: Dr. Richardson’s birthday planning. New Bolton Center’s next update will be thursday of this week. Skyler has provided an update on the status of the bracelets that are being produced with Lisa, comment timestamp: 3:03 pm below, a quick excerpt:

The wristband with the Lael Stables’ colors (blue/green) has yet to be produced. This is the band that says “Believe in Miracles, Believe in Barbaro”. Proper steps have been taken to ensure that this band, this slogan, these colors are done the right way. Additionally, further movement is contingent on the Jackson’s approval.

WM & CL offer us this (timestamp 3:52pm below):

by Wm & CL Shaw August 15, 2006
Champion of Champions including
Words like Hero, Champion, Spirited One,
Fierce Warrier, Heart Like No Other, Other Worldly,

Seabiscuit’s Spirit, Beloved Barbaro & Bobby,
Bravehearted One, America’s Favorite Son,
Blessed One, Lucky Swift-Footed, Magnificent One Intelligent Smarty One, Courageous, Graced by

Sweet Barbaro, Old Soul, Victorious Champion,
Miracle Boy, Handsome Big Guy, Equine Hero,
Folkhero, Heaven’s Wings, Perfect Motion,

Graceful Elegant One, Loving Boy, Champion Spirit,
A Loving Champion, Remarkable Barbaro, One-in-a-Million,

Barbaro’s Swagger, Graceful Presence, Superhorse,
Thriver, Mild-Mannered, Light of Hope, Unbeatable,
Sweetest Precious, Miraculous Power, Smartbrains,
Our Kentucky Derby Winner 2006
His Legacy Continues…

And finally, Something Wild is running today in the 8th race in Philadelphia (Tim’s horse), and Debbie’s Bond Beauty is also running at River Downs in the 9th!

Update 452: Excellent article from the Baltimore Sun: Barbaro takes big step forward provides good insight into how Bobby is doing. The following excerpts are only a few of the interesting quotes:

“I was at Saratoga, when Mrs. [Gretchen] Jackson called me and said, ‘You’ll never guess where I am. I’m outside with Barbaro and he’s eating grass!’ ” said Barbaro’s trainer, Michael Matz. “I was very happy to hear that. It was the first time he’s been outside the building since the day he arrived there.”


“He’s always been calm when taken out to graze,” Matz said.

Anderson said Barbaro “has gone to the next level of rehabilitation” and has reached the point where “it is safe to walk him out a short distance.”

“We hoped to be able to take him outside six weeks ago, prior to his foundering,” she said. Anderson was referring to how Barbaro had developed laminitis, a painful inflammation, in his left hind foot, which resulted in the removal of 80 percent of his hoof wall.

“But his fracture wasn’t strong enough [for the exercise],” Anderson said. “If he did anything stupid, it would have made it a very bad decision. Obviously, he’s progressed from there, and the walk provides a little stimulation to both of his legs, even though they are still both in casts. And it is very good for his attitude.”


Susan Danner, Matz’s farm assistant who was present for the first outing, said the horse was extremely docile when his stable door was opened, not expecting anything unusual. But once he was led outside, “he brightened noticeably.”

We do know however that there remains a long road ahead, and Bobby is not yet out of the woods. The next vigil is planned for this saturday, 7 pm east coast time, August 19.

It also seems Barbaro remains in the local news this morning. Some have also noted he was on CBS national news last night, is this correct ? (I was watching a riding lesson at the time).

Update 451: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (monday night). Spoke to Michael Matz coming back from my third set. He also noted that when he visited last night, all was good.
updated tuesday 7:05am

Update 450: Our friends at Horsetalk, NZ continue their Barbaro coverage: Grazing a small, exciting step for Barbaro (this site is quoted).

Melissa is the first to celebrate the grazing upgrade with a video: Barbaro Celebrating Grazing in the Grass. And to further celebrate this news WendyinMI has proposed her own contest along with some very cool golfing prizes: Bring Out Your Best Barbaro Tribute Contest. I am looking forward to the continued creativity!

Posted by Alex at 8:36 AM
Barbaro Updates: 44
Posted August 14, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 449: Kathy Anderson just called, she was just leaving New Bolton (8:15 pm). Another positive report. Barbaro had a bath today, he has been outside. He was laying down again when she visited, and got up without any problem. Kathy had not visited for a few days (she was away at a conference) and thought she could see a slight positive uptick in his attitude now he has been able to go outside. Despite his ability to go outside, he still gets the hand picked grass in his stall!

Update 448: Spoke to Peter Brette at about 7 pm this evening. He visited Bobby at 1 pm. Barbaro was lying down, asleep. Peter’s report was upbeat, much as we have been hearing lately!

Update 447: NBC10s six o’clock news will show a Bobby update. I am sure other local news channels will do the same.

Update 446: Dr. Richardson’s birthday is coming up soon apparently. An idea for honoring this occasion is being discussed on the discussion board: Dr. Richardson’s Birthday.

Kennett Florist have reported on their visits today to New Bolton (timestamp: 8:37 pm)

What fabulous news!! Seeing Bobby out and grazing brought tears to all of our eyes today!

We had two trips to NBC today. Bright and early Alie and I brought hot bagels and spreads, juice and coffee to all the hungry docs and staff. As always they were very thankful to all who send them treats – even though they all say they’ve gained weight since Bobby’s been there! We also brought up Bobby’s favorite carrots so that he was not neglected in the breakfast festivities!

This afternoon things are still upbeat and everyone just seems so excited that he’s been able to get out into the sun and graze. We brought some snacks for the later shifts. Thank you all, again and again for all that you do! We are so honored to be a part of this team.


Update 445: Bobby is hot on the AP wire today (not sure if that is how you say it but …) The following articles appear identical other than their headlines: Barbaro Walks Outside, Grazing on Grass, Barbaro takes a walk outside and Barbaro walks outside, grazing on grass. They include the following Dean Richardson quotes:

“It’s a big step just to know he feels good enough that you can take him out of the stall and walk him around like a normal horse and he eats grass like a normal horse,” Dean Richardson, chief surgeon at the New Bolton Center, said Monday. “That doesn’t mean he’s healed. It just means things are going well right now.”


“I thought he was thrilled the first time he went out,” Richardson said in a telephone interview from New Bolton. “He just seemed very happy to be out. You can tell he’s looking forward to it every day. It’s absolutely normal. Horses love to be outside, obviously, and he’s pretty excited about it.”


“I think we’re lucky his tissues are fairly healthy,” Richardson said. “I don’t know why he’s more comfortable than some horses with the same condition.”

Barbaro had the cast on his injured right hind leg changed last Tuesday and Richardson said it might not need to be changed for about another three weeks. The left hoof, which needs to completely regrow if the colt is to have any shot of walking, remains the biggest concern.

“He’s got to get this left hind foot to the point where it’s a solid structure that can sustain long-term weight bearing,” Richardson said. “Could there still be some major things resulting in him having to be put down? Yeah. He’s absolutely not out of the woods yet.”

Update 444: New Bolton’s video: Barbaro Video, August 14. You need quicktime. Its 3m 51 secs. and includes a short interview with Dr. Richardson at the end. It clearly shows Bobby walking comfortably, and enjoying the great outdoors!

Update 443: Thoroughbred Times reports Bobby’s grazing: Barbaro grazes outside following cast change which includes the following excerpt:

“That’s the first time he’s been outside since we brought him in,” said Gretchen Jackson, who bred and campaigned Barbaro along with her husband, Roy, in the name of their Lael Stables. “Dean took him out, and he just stood there for easily five minutes, looking at the scenery like, ‘Oh my God, I’d forgotten about all of this.’ He just looked around for some time before he put his head down, and then he ate away and was probably out for a good 20 minutes, enjoying himself. It was just the nurses out there and maybe a few vets and I think there were quite a few tears shed to see him do that.”

Update 442: New Barbaro pictures: Barbaro hand-grazes at the New Bolton Center with Dr. Dean Richardson..

Update 441: New Bolton Center’s press release today (not yet on their site): Barbaro well enough to hand graze outside:

After almost three months in the Intensive Care Unit of Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital, Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro has begun brief outings to some grassy areas adjacent to the ICU to hand graze. “We felt he was ready for a change of scenery, so last week we took him outside to pick his own grass,” said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “He’s not outside for a long time, but it’s enough to let him enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. If he remains this comfortable, he will be hand-grazed daily.”

Photos will be available on the Penn Vet Web site later today that show Barbaro being walked to the ICU’s grazing area. “I’m very pleased with his progress,” said Dr. Richardson. “His appetite remains strong, he sleeps well, and we continue to monitor him closely. He is measurably gaining weight and his overall attitude is great.”

The photos show the cast on the right hind leg, which encloses the foot and extends up to just below the hock, the bandage on the left hind foot and support wraps on Barbaro’s front legs.

Update 440: As many have noted in the comments, Barbaro was on Good Morning America this morning. Here is the video from GMA (check top stories). The video they used will be posted to New Bolton’s site soon (as Dr. Richardson told us this morning) along with photographs! I believe the footage is from friday. Here is a comment that fairly represents many other comments (Posted by: marie from atl at August 14, 2006 02:03 PM):

Just saw the video. WOW! Barbaro looks great and Dr. R looks very happy.

Good morning everyone. What a nice way to start the day.

Update 439: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (sunday night). Just saw Michael Matz as I was going to the track on my third set…he was literally hanging up the phone with Dr. Richardson. Dr. Richardson also said that there will be new video of Bobby on the New Bolton Center site today. I believe there will be new photos as well.
updated monday 7:05am

Update 438: I am hoping Michael Matz is now back from Saratoga (I won’t know until I see him at Fair Hill). If so then I hope our morning update will be that, in the morning! I have about nine to ride, but should be able to get a little free time if I get the morning report. In the meantime, keep enjoying the cartoon caption contest, there are already close to 100 entries and it was only posted yesterday!

Posted by Alex at 9:04 AM
Barbaro Updates: 43
Posted August 13, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 437: For fun: We have a cartoon caption contest at: Just for FUN, a Contest. The deadline for entries is 2 pm eastern time, august 23rd. We look forward to your creativity / imagination. Thanks Anna for putting this together.

We have another Arlington Million Report: Arlington Million Day Wonderful and “landesign” also took some pictures, available on snapfish. Some great ones of Showing Up, Film Maker, the Jacksons, Better Talk Now, and more!

And finally a limerick from Susan E (timestamp: 7:16pm):


One day our young stallion named Bobby,
Was visited by Daddy and Mommy.
When the keen Dr. Dean,
Saw the grasses so green,
And suggested a little hob-nobbing.

So Bobby went out in the sun,
To the delight of everyone.
He nibbled and grazed,
In the sunshine he lazed,
Another race Bobby has won.

Update 436: Another comfortable day for Bobby, just spoke to Peter. He was unable to visit today but had heard from Michael. It does appear that all in all, this has been a good week. Despite that, we do need to remember that we have a long way to go, we should however be thankful for the progress that we are hearing.
update sunday, 6:30 pm

Update 435: Jeannine Edwards just e-mailed me this note to provide more information on her interview with the Jackson’s yesterday at the Arlington Million (the transcript of the interview has been transcribed by Jean i the comments, see her comment timestamped: 2:44 below):

Just wanted to follow-up on the interview I did with them yesterday and add a few tidbits for the site if you’re interested and if it isn’t old news by now…. Gretchen and Roy were kind enough to come down to the paddock at Arlington earlier in the day and do a taped interview with me for the 3pm CT ABC telecast. They were very upbeat about Barbaro’s current condition. They both said they thought it was the end when Dean told them Barbaro had foundered badly in the LH foot. They said everyone, including Dean, was crying. Gretchen said Dean has really fallen in love with Barbaro, and that there is only one other horse that he ever became really attached to…. an Arabian stallion that also had alot of charisma and intelligence. The Jacksons said they are so pleased with how Barbaro has kept the fighting spirit and appears to be turning a corner. He is no longer on continual IV drips, the epidural is out, he just receives some pain management shots. He’s spending less time in the sling. And it was Dean’s idea to take Barbaro out for grass the other day…. Gretchen said they were all there visiting and out of the blue Dean said “Let’s take him outside!” So out he marched (Dean leading him), eyes wide and eager, and Roy said Barbaro just stood there looking around for a few minutes, just taking it all in, before finally dropping his head to graze. My interpretation of that would be Barbaro thinking “Where the hell am I, and has it really been 3 months since I’ve seen daylight???” 🙂 The Jacksons both said Michael has tirelessly gone to see Barbaro every day…. he is so personally and emotionally invested in his horse’s ordeal. Roy said he continues to be amazed at the interest in and outpouring of support for Barbaro’s condition…. they simply can not believe it. He said it is baffling, but wonderful. And they are happy to help keep the world informed of how Barbaro is doing, because they know how people are yearning for updates. And one other note…. The Jacksons said they visit!! It’s official, you guys have become the Go-To Site for Barbaro!! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Jacksons for graciously spending some time with me yesterday afternoon and sharing some of their personal thoughts on Barbaro. And congratulations on a wonderful victory by Showing Up!

Update 434: Just spoke to Peter. He has not visited yet today, and today’s update will likely be later this afternoon. He did note Bobby had a good day the remainder of the day yesterday.

Here is a nice article on Tin Man’s win yesterday in the Arlington Million: A horse that’s all heart.

I have also been meaning to note Bernadini’s breeze on friday as he prepares for the Travers Stakes. It seemed like a nice “maintenance breeze”: Bernardini strong in first workout back in a nice leisurely 1:03.48 for the five furlongs. I imagine this breeze was designed just to get some wind into him and stretch his legs. He will likely have one or two more breezes before the Travers.

It also looks like Funny Cide is getting closer to running again: Funny Cide prepares for the Saratoga Woodward.

Update 433: No update yet this morning. I think Peter Brette is planning a visit to Barbaro so will try to catch up with him a little later. Gloria wrote this report of her visit to the Arlington Million yesterday: Arlington Million day report. Thanks Gloria, and for those going racing, it is great to read about your experiences.

Here is another nice review of Showing Ups race yesterday: Showing Up wins Secretariat Stakes. Clearly like everyone else, Marcus Hersh really had Bobby on his mind (thanks JS).

Its always nice to hear from people from afar following Barbaro’s progress. This comment was left (updates 42 timestamp 11:44):

Greetings from Sydney Australia!!! Even though I’m half way around the world I continue to check on Barbaro. I am heading to the Hunter Valley today which is supposed to be THE place for the Australian racehorses – hope to catch a horseback ride while I’m there.

Much Love to Barbaro!!!!!


Posted by Alex at 11:23 AM
Barbaro Updates: 42
Posted August 12, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 432: Dancing Forever won the 10th at Saratoga. Her mother suffered a severe injury, she went to New Bolton and recovered. I need to find the article that discusses this, but nice to see her baby win. (Thanks Ed Fountaine). OK, here is the Bloodhorse article, very cool: Barbaro’s Injury Similar to Dancinginmydreams’ Years Ago.

Update 431: Showing Up showed up, nice wiring performance! Congrats to the Jacksons. Here is the Bloodhorse’s report on the race: Showing Up in Sparkling Secretariat Win. It was also nice to see the Steve Klesaris trained Diabolical win today at Delaware: Diabolical overpowers rivals in Nick Shuk.
edit: added the bloodhorse link and Diabolical performance.

Update 430: Just spoke to Adrian Rolls (Graham’s assistant with the two Arlington runners.) He said it seems both horses are cooling out well. To me it looked like Film Maker ran a big race, no real excuses, a good second in a very good race. Better Talk Now seemed to be compromised by a slow pace up front. He needs a quick pace, from which he is usually held up for a late challenge. When the pace up front is slow, the horses up front also still have a late kick, which makes it harder for the closers. While he finished 6th or 7th, he was only beaten about 6 lengths for everything ad looked to be galloping out strongly.

We have a few reports from our Fair Hill visitors today. Jazz posted on the discussion board: Todays visit with Alex in Fair Hill and also took pictures. Lynn left comments below (timestamp: 5:21 pm and 7:28 pm), a quick excerpt:

I understand why people fall in love with horses. I understand why they love to race. I understand now why the Jackson’s and Michael Matz have put so much on the line to save Barbaro.

Thanks Emily for showing us around Michael’s barn (and congrats on Tin Man)!

Update 429: ABCs interview with the Jackson’s was short but VERY sweet. Its confirmed, Bobby has been led out to graze. This was earlier reported by Jane (update 41 4:54 am):

Just got back from a week in Saratoga where I saw Michael Matz, the Jacksons and Dr Richardson in the paddock on Sunday. Dr Richardson presented the trophy for a race sponsored by New Bolton. He looked relaxed and happy and the Saratoga Special reported that during Dr Richardson’s afternoon there, he was asked well over one hundred times about Barbaro and he was able to report that all was well.

Yesterday, Edgar Prado was autographing pictures of his winning ride in the Derby on Barbaro. The proceeds went to the Race Track Chaplaincy. I thanked him for being so good to Barbaro and he replied that Barbaro had been very good to him, too. Edgar did say to the man in front of me that he had heard that they had taken Barbaro out to graze on Thursday morning. Whether that can be verified or not, I don’t know. But he did say that he was up there to see him about 2 weeks ago and was very pleased with how well he was doing. Edgar is certainly a very nice person and a class act. You can tell how much he truly cares about Barbaro. His face, which is normally quite solemn, lights up when he talks about him.

Update 428: Another comfortable night (friday night) for Barbaro. Just heard from Peter who had heard from Michael Matz.

ABC will broadcast a brief Bobby update (which may include soundbites of an interview with the Jackson’s if they are able to do the interview) about 30 minutes into their show. They will also broadcast an interview with Graham Motion as a lead up to the Beverly D.
edit, changed ESPN to ABC!