Barbaro Updates: 503 – 574

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Posted August 31, 2006

Update 574: Peter Brette just called, he had just spoken to Michael. Barbaro remains comfortable. Michael had visited a little earlier this afternoon, and was now on his way back to visit again. It is certainly a great thing Michael lives so close to NBC, and it is obvious how important Bobby is to everyone!

Alie left this comment re: Kennett Florist’s visit today (timestamp: 9:07pm):

Hello Team BARBARO
I went to NBC 1:30 today. Steve went up earlier.
All was good. Our boy is going well.
We are so happy for his continued healing.
We are praying for Lost in the Fog.
Also please add a girl named Special to prayer list.
Thank you for lunch today, what a surprise!
You guys are unbelievable.
God Bless, have a wonderful evening.
We Believe

I also received an e-mail from Kennett Florist that the Barbaromaniacs are in the local Kennett Paper (its not online yet, I hope it will be).

The cartoon caption contest has been “judged” (thanks Sabina Pierce) and you can find the results on the discussion board: Just For Fun Caption Contest Winner!.

Finally: Michael Matz and Barbaro: Horse of a Lifetime.

Update 573: Jeannine Edwards has just spoken with Greg Gilchrist, Lost in the Fog’s trainer. She sent me this e-mail:

Just spoke to Greg Gilchrist… Lost In The Fog is being examined and having his ultrasounds as I write this. They are scanning him to see if there has been any reduction at all in the size of the tumors. Greg seemed hopeful, albeit realistic, that there may be some options for Foggy. He said by this time next month… NEXT MONTH…they would have a better idea of whether or not Foggy is going to make it. That’s a whole lot better than the “2 weeks to live” we heard 10 days ago. Greg said Foggy has gained some weight back, they are feeding him smaller meals 4 times a day, and when I asked what his daily routine is, Greg said “Whatever he feels like doing.” They walk him, take him out for grass, take him near the track to watch training, give him baths, etc. He said right now the horse seems happy and perky, and because of the cancer treatment options available to humans, they are hopeful of being able to try something on Foggy. The problem is that cancer is very rare in equines, and so the treatment data is relatively obscure. Perhaps Foggy will become the “poster horse” for successful cancer treatment. Greg said he will give me an update on the ultrasound findings tomorrow.

Racing this weekend is on ESPN at 4:30 pm, NOT ESPN2 as reported yesterday in update 565.

Update 572: Bluegrass Cat has returned to his breeders in Kentucky in preparation for stud duty next year: Bluegrass Cat returns to the Blue Grass. The article includes a short video clip of his arrival.

Circle of Life: another lovely video by Melissa Harden.

Update 571: Just spoke to Barclay Tagg to catch up with Funny Cide. Barclay said he galloped three times around the “Clare Court” track today. When I first heard that I thought Barclay was kidding with me, then he went on to explain it is a small training track at Saratoga, about 3/8ths / half mile round. Funny Cide relaxes more galloping on that track. I know he is a very strong horse to gallop, so I guess anything to help him relax. Anyway all remains well for saturday. The Daily Racing Form had this article: Team Funny Cide thrilled to be back which noted the following:

There is a caveat to Funny Cide running in the Woodward. Trainer Barclay Tagg said he would not run if the track came up wet, and the weather forecast is iffy, based on the path of Tropical Storm Ernesto.

I asked Barclay about this and he confirmed that if the track came up really sloppy they would likely not run. Lets hope for better weather. The article also notes Funny’s next objective, the Hawthorne Gold Cup, September 30.

Update 570: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (wednesday night). Michael Matz gave me the news as I was coming off the woodchip track on my first set. I was surprised to get the news so early so I hung around by the tunnel that goes under the dirt track so that MIchael could catch up and confirm that’s what he had told me which he did. Just about to get on my second set which I presume will be Chappy who I think we are planning to breeze tomorrow.
updated thursday 6:40am

Update 569: This morning we have two more articles that discuss the merits of this outstanding three year old crop. The first: THOROUGHBRED BEAT showcases Bernardini, Barbaro, Lawyer Ron, Henny Hughes and Discreet Cat. The second: Bernardini towers over 3-year-old peers now discusses Bernardini and Barbaro, and interviews the trainer of Sweetnorthernsaint (who was actually betting favourite of the Kentucky Derby) Mike Trombetta. A couple of excerpts:

“The only thing you can say with any certainty is both were bound for greatness,” said Mike Trombetta, trainer of Sweetnorthernsaint, the Laurel-based gelding that finished seventh behind Barbaro in the Kentucky Derby and second behind Bernardini in the Preakness. “Everyone saw what Barbaro could do. And now everyone is seeing what Bernardini can do. It’s hard to compare them. They’re alike in that they both win. All the time. No matter what happens, they just keep winning.”


“We’ll obviously never know what would have happened if they had run against each other at their best,” Trombetta said. “It’s too bad. I know I would have loved to see it.”


Trombetta hopes to run Sweetnorthernsaint for many years, but he harbors no illusions. Asked if he expected to run into Bernardini again, he just laughed.

“Not on purpose,” he said.

Its a big day for Lost in the Fog, here is a lovely poem, by Gloria (updates 60: timestamp 4:39 pm):

“In Our Hearts”

Lost in the Fog, such a mystical name,
For a magical horse who’s achieved so much fame,
A sprinter who soars above mere mortal ground,
A champion who’s proved that his talents abound.

Excitement and joy you have given us all,
And thankful we are that in your special stall,
Surrounded by comfort and care of your friends,
You can see all that love through your own special lens.

Your spirit is shining, to vanquish this foe,
And we will hold on until you say “let go.”
We’re with you, in this your most challenging race,
And praying that you will receive extra grace.

You’re not “lost”, but we’re “searching” for ways to convey
How much you have shown us that words cannot say,
Please know that we value what sets you apart
For, Lost in the Fog, you’ve been “Found in our Hearts.”

Posted by Alex at 8:47 AM | Comments (621)
Barbaro Updates: 60
Posted August 30, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 568: Best of luck tomorrow for Lost in the Fog (thanks Anna).

Update 567: Just spoke to Peter Brette, he visited Bobby earlier this afternoon. Barbaro was comfortable, Peter was happy with him. Peter brushed him and changed his bandages etc.

Quick reminder, Lost in the Fog vigil, 7 pm tonight, east coast time. Whereever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some thoughts for the Fog.

Update 566: Sue McMullen sent me this e-mail this morning in reference to the Jackson’s horse Enticing who recently ran at York.

I’ve just spoken to William Haggas, trainer of Enticing and asked him how she’d come out of the Nunthorpe, his thoughts on the race and where she goes next.

Willaim said she was absolutely fine and it had been an ambitious plan to go for the Nunthorpe, which on the day just didn’t come off. He said she clearly wasn’t happy on the ground and she was also up with the pace early on, which hadn’t really been the plan so overall, it just didn’t go right for her. But she has lots of speed and all being well, she will now go for the Flying Childers, at York on 8 September. This race normally takes place at Doncaster during the St Leger meeting, but Doncaster is currently closed for extensive rebuilding so the meeting has been transferred to York. The Flying Childers is a Group 2 over 5 furlongs, but her participation will depend on the ground as she won’t run if it’s soft.

I may have to pursuade Sue to become our European racing correspondent. Anyone want to volunteer for other racing jurisdictions around the world ?

Update 565: Jeannine Edwards just e-mailed me the following for their telecast on saturday.

We are televising the Woodward and Forego Handicaps on Sat, 4:30pm, espn. Right now we are planning a Funny Cide feature, a look back at Forego (who won the Woodward 1974-77), an interview with Nick Zito (he has Commentator in the Forego and Sun King in the Woodward), a possible interview with Eugene Melnyk who owns Flower Alley, a tribute to the horsemen who died in the Lexington plane crash (one of whom was the breeder of Flower Alley), and of course, an update on Barbaro and most likely Lost In The Fog. This is our last show until Sept 30 when we will begin our “Countdown to the Cup” series before the Breeders’ Cup. Those shows, (3 total, on Sept 30, Oct 7, and Oct 14) will be 2 hours long and will take place at Santa Anita, Belmont, and Keeneland. Each show will also have a cut-in from another track hosting big races on that day. These shows will highlight all the major horses in their final preps for the Breeders’ Cup… they should be very exciting!!
edit: racing is on espn not espn2 this weekend.

Update 564: Just spoke to Barclay Tagg. He did not breeze Funny Cide today, apparently the track was not suitable, they have had A LOT of rain in Saratoga. Funny Cide did a gallop today. They may give him a short breeze tomorrow, if the track is great, otherwise he will gallop into the Woodward on saturday. Barclay also noted Stormy Kiss came out of her race on sunday (third Ballerina) in good shape. I will catch up with Barclay again tomorrow.

Annie (Michael Matz exercise rider) rode Round Pond today, her first outing since her race on sunday (Molly Pitcher at Monmouth). She had a nice quiet trip outback (although Annie did mention a few deer) and does appear to have come out of her race well from the weekend.

Update 563: Michael Matz just let me know Bobby had a comfortable night last night (tuesday night). Passed him on my way to the gate on my fourth set. On the third set, Randy’s Bullet and I saw plenty of deer going up Goat House Hill out back.
updated 8:05am

Update 562: Just spoke to Michael Matz who said he hasn’t heard anything yet this morning (wednesday). I wanted to make sure nobody worried that there is no early update today. Possibly I will get one closer to 9am during my short break time. It’s a cooler, rainy morning which actually makes it a pleasure to ride. The woodchip track at Fair Hill handles the rain well and thus the rain does not overly disrupt our training. And of course, we can always take the horses out back now that the rain has taken the sting out of the ground. For my third set, I’m about to get on Randy’s Bullet and take him up Goat House Hill. Finally, I’d like to thank those that contributed to my gift basket on Saturday and Michael said that there is another gift waiting for me in his tackroom this morning.
updated wednesday 7:20am

Update 561: It seems to be becoming conventional wisdom now that this year’s crop of three year olds is very strong. Those leading the crop include Barbaro, Bernadini, Showing Up, Discreet Cat and Henny Hughes, and that list does not include Jazil who won his last start: The Belmont! Anyway, the following are a couple of articles that highlight the leaders.

The first article: Current class of three-year-olds judged excellent. The article begins:

The 2006 class of three-year-old thoroughbreds can now be rated as excellent. Bernardini’s runaway victory in the Travers Stakes puts him at the top of his generation among active three- year-olds.

Imagine what type of rivalry there could have been if Barbaro had not suffered his career ending injury in the Preakness Stakes. Bernardini and Barbaro may have reminded racing fans of Affirmed and Alydar.

The second article: Rail Chatter takes a look at the “buzz” behind Discreet Cat. It does however also discuss Barclay Tagg, who is having a good Saratoga meet, excerpt:

My buddy Barclay Tagg is having a great meet at the Spa. He’s been winning at about a 30 percent clip. He’s taken a couple of stakes races already, and he has Funny Cide in the Woodward this Saturday. Kenny Mayne is the one, I think, who said about Barclay during the Triple Crown run of Funny Cide three years ago, “Here comes Barclay Tagg for an interview with as much anticipation as a man going to an IRS audit.”

Yet Barclay has entered the psyche of the nation, as I saw on Saturday in a very unusual way. I went past a group with a baby in a seat. The mother was making it laugh – as parents do – by doing the old peek-a-boo thing. But instead of saying “Ah, boo!” she was saying, “Ah, Barclay. Barclay , Barclay!” The baby was laughing heartily. What can you say? Barc, you da man!

In the spring a leading contender for three year old honours was Brother Derek, he has been rested since his consecutive fourths in the Derby and the Preakness, he will be back for the second half of his three year old campaign on saturday: ‘Derek’ back and not forgotten. The following is an excerpt:

The exploits of Barbaro, Bernardini, Discreet Cat, Henny Hughes, and Showing Up have provided ample evidence that this crop of 3-year-olds is truly special. Brother Derek was at or near the top of that list earlier this year. With plenty of time to recover from the rigors of the first two legs of the Triple Crown, and with a series of strong works at Del Mar in the past month, Brother Derek appears set to launch his comeback on Saturday in the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes.

“We had a lot of fun with the Derby, the whole thing,” Hendricks said at his barn. “It was fun to be part of the Kentucky Derby, which is the biggest race in the world.

“Cecil and I,” Hendricks said, referring to owner Cecil Peacock, “tried to take it in and enjoy it, and not get caught up in the win-at-all-costs mentality, because that’s devastating if you get beat. Now, it’s on to Phase 2.”

Posted by Alex at 9:03 AM | Comments (595)
Barbaro Updates: 59
Posted August 29, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 560: Just spoke to Kathy Anderson who visited Barbaro this afternoon. She reported Barbaro looked comfortable. Michael had also just left as Kathy was arriving.

For those of you interested in the anti slaughter campaign, a group is forming and becoming quite active, you can learn more on discussion boards: HR 503 Phone Campaign. They are seeking support for a phone campaign. The vote is coming very soon (september 7).

Update 559: Alie, from Kennett Florist just left this comment (timestamp 8:41pm):

I returned from NBC about hour & half ago. I’ve been tiring to post ever since. Everyone I was in contact with, seemed up.
Very much excited about the NBC (UPENN) BARBARO FUND. Since Friday another $4196.00 has been donated in honor of Dr Richardson’s birthday. That’s big news.
I can’t wait to hear what tomorrow is, since it’s really Dr R’s birthday. It was very busy they had a lot of appointments coming in. I was told thing are good. Nothing gave me any impression of a problem. We delivered big cookies for very one at the main center. And of course carrots & horse treats for Bobby.
Next week NBC is having a big meeting with all staff not just the main building. They have never had anything serviced at this meeting. We are (KF) going to do coffee, tea, cream, sugar, cups. This will be for all 300 people. It’s going to be an early morning for us.
We have a lunch in the works for next week. Not much else, for next week. This week is cover, except basket for sat. If no one calls for it, we will use fund money.

Amazing generosity!

Update 558: Just spoke to Barclay (Tagg) to catch up with Funny Cide and Showing Up.

Funny Cide is targeted to run in the Woodward this weekend at Saratoga. He galloped a mile and a half today, which is his usual gallop in between breezes when he is training. Barclay said he likes to breeze him every six days, and he is scheduled for his final breeze tomorrow. Unfortunately the weather may not fully cooperate so the breeze is still up in the air, and if he does not breeze tomorrow he may breeze the next day, a shorter distance (these are typical issues a trainer faces coming up to a race). Either way, he will run. Funny Cide is training well and all is good.

Showing Up’s next start looks like the Man of War at Belmont on September 9. That is their current preference, if not, they will look at the Sky Classic at Woodbine on September 24. Their goal is to prepare him for the Breeders Cup with one race beforehand.

Update 557: Another Fog article: Peaceful days and hope for Lost in the Fog, which include the following excerpts:

“If so, we’re on the right track,” Gilchrist said. “His last two days have been his best in two weeks.”


“I wanted to take him back for the quality of life thing, but I also decided I’m just not going to give up on this horse,” Gilchrist said after Lost in the Fog had walked around his barn’s shedrow and had a bath. “Right now, I’m standing right in front of him and if you didn’t know the situation, you wouldn’t even know anything was wrong with him. He’s a pretty happy horse right now, enjoying life pretty good. That doesn’t mean he’s cured; he’s still a very sick animal. But we’re doing all we can to get him well.”

We will have a Fog vigil, wednesday evening, 7 PM. Whereever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some thoughts for Lost in the Fog. He will have an exam thursday to determine his progress.

I asked Graham Motion this morning how his horses are after this weekend’s races at Saratoga. He said they all came back well. He has had seven winners at Saratoga so far for the meet, so not a bad meet.

Update 556: Spoke to Michael Matz this morning, he said that Dr. Richardson reported Barbaro had an ok night last night (monday night). I got the update from Michael as I was coming off the woodchip track from my second set. For my first set, I took a two-year-old to the woodchip track for his first time and he was leaping so high in the air he would have made a Lippanzaner jealous. Michael Matz viewed the performance and afterwards asked if I was ok and I said “as long as I have my neck strap, I’m fine!”.
updated tuesday 7:20am

Update 555: I think we knew this, but a quick reminder Fog to have new exam on thursday of this week, excerpt:

Lost in the Fog will be examined Thursday by veterinarians from the University of California-Davis to determine if the three cancerous tumors discovered two weeks ago have shrunk. Lost in the Fog has been treated with the steroid dexamethasone since last week.

The article also notes that The Fog sometimes also goes to the track to watch other horses train! This florist has been mentioned on the discussion board as one that might be able to help those wishing to send good wishes. One of our readers discovered a nice note posted on another forum noting Vic Stauffer’s (race caller) visit to Lost in the Fog: Lost in the Fog update.

Brother Derek is nearing his return to the races after a long absense since the Preakness: Brother Derek Flashes :58 4/5 Work at Del Mar. His trainer, Dan Hendricks, was kind enough to provide us a Barbaro interview. I had forgotten to mention Lawyer Ron’s return to the races: Lawyer Ron Takes Inaugural St. Louis Derby, who was another triple crown hopeful until Barbaro dominated the Derby.

Most Barbaro news yesterday was a rehash of the New Bolton update: Barbaro May Soon Get Cast Removed Completely and Barbaro’s cast may be off soon.

Posted by Alex at 9:15 AM | Comments (657)
Barbaro Updates: 58
Posted August 28, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 554: Horsetalk from New Zealand continues to be one of the most persistant online sites with Barbaro updates: Barbaro injuries highlight need for laminitis research. Again they cited this site re: yesterday’s cast change. If you look at their homepage Barbaro has his own section of the site. Awesome!

Update 553: Just spoke to Peter Brette, and while he was unable to visit Barbaro today he had heard from Michael who had visited, and all remains well. He also noted that Round Pond appeared to come out of yesterday’s fine effort in good shape.

An interesting poll question has been posed on the discussion board: Have you started watching more horseracing because of Barbaro?.

Update 552: Thank you Cecil Whig for the lovely front page article: Online outpouring of support for Barbaro.

I asked Michael this morning if Dr. Richardson had finally gone away for a few days (this was after Michael had given me the morning report). Michael said he had, and he also said he had told Dr. Richardson that given he was away on vacation there really was no need for the morning updates. They then wondered a little about what I would do ? So I guess (and HOPE) Dr. Richardson will still be calling in the reports!

Finally, something I had meant to get to for a little while, Mercy T. had a great idea to support Mike Rea, it is posted on the discussion board: A Barbarian Response to MikeRea’s Letter. All feedback and support would obviously be welcome!

Update 551: Dave Wallace (Tom Albertrani’s assistant) just called to give us a quick update on Bernardini. A few things about the Travers itself. When they were leading Bernardini over for the Travers he was very cool, calm and collected. Dave said it was very impressive to see considering his youth and all the attention he was getting. After the Travers, leaving the test barn (all winners and some other runners are tested after a race to check for drugs etc.) he was bouncing and was very full of himself, as Dave noted, just proud of himself. Dave also mentioned Bernardini’s reaction to Javier Castellano’s light tap of the whip with his left hand … which caused Bernardini to swish his tail and pin his ears, almost as if Bernardini was wondering what the problem was since he was winning so easily at that point! (I think I noted something similar in my update directly after the race.)

Anyway, Dave said he has come out of the race in great shape. He will hand walk around the shedrow for a few days (probably about three days) before he goes back to the track and starts training again. I will plan to follow up with Dave later in the week to see how he is progressing.

Update 550: New Bolton Center’s press release concerning yesterday’s cast change: Barbaro has cast change:

Veterinarians at Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital changed the right hind leg cast of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro yesterday, Sunday, August 27. “The cast was changed because there was a small crack in it,” said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “Based on new radiographs that were taken, the leg looked excellent under the cast. The pastern joint looks completely fused, and there is only a small area in the long pastern bone that has a little farther to go before we take him out of the cast completely.”

In addition, the radiographs showed that there were no signs of infection. The cast change took place under general anesthesia, and Barbaro had another successful pool recovery before returning to his stall.

The colt’s left hind foot has laminitis, but Barbaro seems comfortable with that foot as well. The bandage on the left hind foot continues to be changed daily.

According to Dr. Richardson: “Barbaro is bright and happy this morning with an excellent appetite.”

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, September 5 unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Update 549: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (sunday night). Just spoke to Michael Matz behind the gate. He said that everything looked good after the cast change yesterday. He expressed that everyone seemed happy with Bobby’s progress.
updated monday 8:15am

Update 548: The New York Times has the following article: Bernardini and Barbaro: A Rivalry That Wasn’t that does a nice job of highlighting both horses’ accomplishments without make sweeping statements on who is the better. I also like the note of comparison with Cigar from Tom Albertani. He should know as he is closely connected to both horses. I think that comparison just illustrates that this year we have been blessed with superb 3yos.

A quick recap from the races yesterday. We know Round Pond was a very close second, here is another report: Promenade Girl wins Molly Pitcher. Stormy Kiss (Jackson owned, Tagg trained) was third in the Ballerina: Dubai Escapade takes Ballerina and George Washington (Jackson bred) was third O’BRIEN UPBEAT DESPITE GEORGE DEFEAT after a slow start.

Next weekend we will focus on the Woodward at Saratoga. Funny Cide is scheduled to run, he breezed 5/8ths in 1:00 in preparation for the race last thursday: Funny Cide Preps for Woodward With Bullet Work, an excerpt:

“I thought the track was slow, but safe,” Tagg said. “He really worked well over it. I thought it was a serious workout for him. But we wanted to be safe with him because he’s going to run for big money next Saturday.”

I am not sure when this morning’s Barbaro update will occur. If Dr. Richardson is indeed on vacation it may be a little later, but he may well still be providing Michael his morning update, I just don’t know.

Posted by Alex at 9:29 AM | Comments (525)
Barbaro Updates: 57
Posted August 27, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 547: Round Pond was a very close second in her first start for Michael Matz: PROMENADE GIRL HEADS ROUND POND IN G2 MOLLY PITCHER AT MONMOUTH; GOTTCHA GOLD, PRETTY IMPOSING TRIUMP. Excerpt:

“She ran a good race considering she’s been out so long,” Matz said. “I was disappointed with the result, but I was pleased with her.”

Bravo said, “I wish we had faster fractions. It was her first race in a while. She had her nose in front at the eighth pole. She ran a winning race.”

I just spoke to Peter and they were pleased with her effort. He thinks she will come along a lot for the race. Unfortunately I did not get to see the race. I don’t have a Barbaro update this evening, and since Peter and Michael were at Monmouth its unlikely I’ll get one later. Peter reiterated to me Dr. Richardson’s positive report from this morning.

This site will be featured in the Cecil Whig tomorrow, I think on the front page, celebrating 100 days since the Preakness.

Update 546: Just spoke to Peter Brette, who was driving up to Monmouth when I called. The cast change has been completed and Dr. Richardson was happy with what he saw. I don’t have any other details, but thought that was good enough for me for now!

Update 545: Bluegrass Cat is now retired: Bluegrass Cat Retired Due to Pastern Injury. The following was posted in the comments directly after the race by Susan E (updates: 56 timestamp: 10:41pm)

Very impressive, Bernadini!

Everyone made it home safe!

Did anyone else think BGC was a bit stiff in his right rear leg when he galloped out? Maybe I’m seeing things that aren’t there.

Apparently you were not “seeing things”.

Update 544: Just spoke to Michael Matz. They are planning to replace Barbaro’s cast today on his right hind. While this was not something we had anticipated, I think it is basically because Dr. Richardson is planning a few days off early next week, and wanted to get this done before he was able to relax. It has been a few weeks since the previous cast change, so that makes sense to me. Once I hear anymore after the cast change, I will let you know.

On the racing front today, we have two fillies races to focus on and a european race. I was talking to Michael as he was getting ready for Round Pond’s debut at Monmouth. Apparently there is a scratch and it is now a five horse field for the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher: Round Pond back to races. The Jackson’s Stormy Kiss, trained by Barclay Tagg, is running in the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga: Dubai Escapade looking to wire ’em. Finally, the Jackson bred George Washington is running at Goodwood: George Washington returns after a three month absense. He won 2,000 Guiness at Newmarket on May 6. This is considered one of the English Classics (like a Triple Crown race). You can imagine that was an amazing weekend for the Jackson’s.

Update 543: Today’s Barbaro morning update will be delayed. I will try to have something by lunchtime, it was just hard to get started this morning!

Another lovely Tribute to Saint Liam, this one by Jessica Frank. We also have great news from Mike Rea, he has moved closer to Fair Hill: We’re Back!.

It was great racing yesterday, and a great show from ESPN which included pieces on Barbaro, Lost in the Fog, Saint Liam, as well as the recorded win of Discreet Cat from the day before. Here are a couple more Travers reports: Bernardini seizes control and Bernardini streaks to impressive Travers score.

Posted by Alex at 12:38 PM | Comments (592)
Barbaro Updates: 56
Posted August 26, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 542: The Bloodhorse are the first with a Travers race report: Bernardini Bounds Away in Travers, which includes the following excerpt:

Trainer Tom Albertrani said afterward that Bernardini would shoot for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park Oct. 7 next. Looming, of course, is the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I).

Before a crowd of 40,785, Castellano drove Bernardini to the lead heading into the clubhouse turn when he appeared he might get trapped behind Todd Pletcher-trained entrants High Cotton, who led coming out of the gate, and Bluegrass Cat on the outside. That proved to be the winning move as Bernardini overtook High Cotton easily and set a realistic pace while Bluegrass Cat stalked.

That’s the way they ran until the head of the final turn when Bernardini responded to hand urging from Castellano to begin to pull away. Bluegrass Cat tried to stick but by the time the pair hit the top of the lane, it was clear that it was all over. Castellano gave Bernardini a light tap of the whip left-handed at the eighth pole but otherwise allowed his charge to run out.

I assume that light tap with the whip was when Bernardini swished his tail (as if to say, are you kidding me ?) It was very impressive. It is racings loss we were never able to see Barbaro and Bernardini compete. I am sure that is something both horses’ connections would have truly wanted to witness (and have been quoted as such). Two great horses, no matter who wins end of year honors. Of course Discreet Cat might make it three!

Update 541: A sublime performance from Bernardini. Congratulations to Dave Wallace, Tom Albertrani and the rest of the crew, and thanks for providing us some insight coming up to this huge race.

Update 540: Just spoke to Peter (5:30 pm) and he had heard from Michael, Barbaro remains comfortable. A quick reminder of the vigil planned for tonight, 7 pm east coast time, where ever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some thoughts for Barbaro and the Fog!

Update 539: Quick Fog update: Lost in the Fog Given ‘Reasonable Chance’. An excerpt:

The doctor treating sprint champion Lost in the Fog for cancerous tumors said Friday that the colt has “a reasonable chance” of reducing them to a size that’s conducive for chemotherapy or surgery.

Dr. Gary Magdesian, chief of equine medicine at University of California at Davis, said Friday that Lost in the Fog is being treated with Dexamethasone, a corticosteroid sometimes used in treating lymphoma.

“We want to see if (the tumors) will respond to the extent that they are reduced to a size that will make them amenable to surgery or chemotherapy,” Magdesian said

Steve Willard left me a voice mail. Giacomo is doing fine after his race in the Pacific Classic. He went back to the track a couple of days ago and is training lightly. They are training him lightly and will take it one day at a time and see how he goes. I’ll follow up with Steve in a week or so and see what their plans are. Just good to hear he is back to the track after the race.

Update 538: Just spoke to Tim, who was in the National Museum of Horse Racing (Saratoga). Barbara Livingston was doing a book signing as we talked, and there are pictures of Barbaro for sale. Tim was able to get on the backside of the racetrack this morning thanks to another trainer. He said all was quiet and calm before the big day of racing. The main track closed early (9 am), and people were putting their final preparations in place. He was positioned close to Bernadini’s barn, but did not venture over in order to maintain their privacy. The weather should be good for racing, Tim said its a little cloudy, with intermittent showers, but pretty pleasant. He saw Steve Klesaris briefly last night, which reminds me, Master of Disaster (another Fair Hill trainee) is running in The King’s Bishop, the race prior to the Travers.

A couple of nice pre-Travers articles. The first: A midsummer dream dashed: Prado, others wonder what Barbaro could have become, includes the following excerpts:

“Like they say, faith is the last thing you want to lose,” Prado said Thursday. “The doctors had faith, and they continued to work real hard to make this happen. He’s become one of the most popular horses ever.”


“We always thought he was a great horse and who knows how good he could have been,” Barbaro trainer Michael Matz said from Maryland. “Unfortunately, we’ll never get the chance to see. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

“But it would have been great to see them race. Bernardini looks like a real good horse and it just would have been great for the racing public.”

The racing public and the animal-loving public continue to heap affection on Barbaro as he continues his gallant struggle.

“I think there are thousands of people who have been keeping the faith for him,” Matz said. “The response, the outpouring, everything, and things are still coming in every day. Fruit baskets, signs, cards. It’s really unbelievable the support people have given.”

The second article: Bernardini? Bluegrass Cat? Travers will decide. The following is an excerpt:

As one of the most lightly raced Triple Crown race winners in modern times, Bernardini’s sensational 5 1/4-length Preakness score was overshadowed by Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro’s life-threatening breakdown 100 yards after the start.

“Understandably and deservedly so,” Jimmy Bell, president of Darley USA, said of the emphasis on Barbaro. “Barbaro was, and is, a very unique and gifted horse. … (Bernardini) has gone on about his business, and both horses are writing different scripts, and I think both are champions.”

Update 537: Another comfortable night for Barbaro (friday night). Saw Michael Matz coming back from my second set this morning and he reported the good news. Also, just a reminder that tonight will be another vigil at 7pm so wherever you are, whatever you’re doing…spare a few thoughts for Barbaro and the Fog.
updated saturday 8:20am

Update 536: A moving tribute to 2005 Horse of the Year, St. Liam, by Melissa Harden (at my gentle request).

Update 535: Those closest to Barbaro are to receive some well deserved awards: National Turf Writers to Honor ‘Team Barbaro’ The following are excerpts:

“Team Barbaro” — the group of Barbaro himself, owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson, trainer Michael Matz, assistant trainer and exercise rider Peter Brette and jockey Edgar Prado — will receive the Mr. Fitz Award during the 47th annual NTWA Awards Dinner on Nov. 1 at The Olmstead in Louisville, Ky.


Richardson and the New Bolton Center will receive the Joe Palmer Award, named for the former New York Herald Tribune turf writer and presented annually for meritorious service to racing.

Round Pond is now ready for her return on sunday: Round Pond back to races. The following is an excerpt:

“It’s always nice to have a horse of her quality,” Matz said. “She’s a real nice horse to be around, and she showed it last year in her 3-year-old season. John did a real nice job with her, and hopefully we can continue.”

Round Pond is 6 for 8 lifetime, including a win in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park last year.

Round Pond shows five workouts this summer, with two on wood chips, at the Fair Hills training center in Maryland.

“She’s come back good,” Matz said. “She’s had a long time in between races. We’re happy with the way she’s working. We’re happy with her feet right now, and hopefully that will continue.”

Today is of course a big day for three year olds, the Travers: Travers Analysis: Pletcher and the Accidental Rabbits, but lets not forget Graham Motion has Sweet Talker running on the undercard. Tim has gone up for the weekend, so hopefully he will provide some first hand reports. Today’s Barbaro morning update may be a little later this morning, just an FYI.

Posted by Alex at 8:54 AM | Comments (604)
Barbaro Updates: 55
Posted August 25, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 534: Just spoke to Peter. He had just spoken to Michael who visited Barbaro this afternoon. The report remains the same. Michael took Barbaro out for a walk.

It looks like Edgar will plan another visit to see Barbaro when he returns from Saratoga: One ride enough to impress Prado:

It is times like this when Prado really misses Barbaro, who had won all of his starts before the Preakness. Prado said he keeps in contact frequently with Michael Matz, the trainer of Barbaro, and with the colt’s owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson. Prado said when the Saratoga meet ends he plans to take another trip to the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., to visit Barbaro.

“I miss him overall because he was a special horse who ran good races,” Prado said. “Knowing that his life is in jeopardy, I’m always thinking of him and hope that he continues on the road to recovery.”

Update 533: Upenn’s thank you site includes more pictures of Dr. Richardson’s birthday celebrations: Thank You. It includes the following caption:

Thank you to everyone who helped contribute to the wonderful party celebrating Dr. Richardson’s birthday. He was truly touched and honored by the generosity of the Barbaromaniacs in making this a special occasion.

The “Barbaro Effect” continues, this time: Barbaro Injury Highlights Need for Laminitis Research Funding. The article concludes:

While Barbaro and his doctors wage battle against laminitis, hundreds of additional horses will be diagnosed with the disease each day. Funding laminitis research is vital to unraveling the unanswered questions about the disease and developing reliable preventative and therapeutic measures, for all of the equine population.

Finally, Discreet Cat got his US racing account underway. I had thought of highlighting him as a horse to follow going into today’s race, but we seem to already have a few to focus on. Anyway, Discreet Cat was an undefeated winner of the UAE Derby (Dubai) who has been in the US ever since. They have had a few niggling problems with him and finally got him to the races this afternoon at Saratoga: The Cat is Back; UAE Derby Winner Romps at Saratoga. He may well contend for year end honours in the three year old division.

Update 532: Dr. Richardson posted a thankyou note to everyone (timestamp: 7:55pm):

Kathy Freeborn at the admissions desk here at NBC told me that this website was the best place to respond to the truly extraordinary birthday that I was given today at noon! To all of you who gave to the Barbaro fund and to me personally, I am deeply grateful. I don’t claim to be a humble person (no one will argue that one too much!) but it is profoundly humbling and intimidating to be responsible for a patient that has this much love going his way. I am very grateful that there is so much concern out there for Barbaro (sorry, I cannot bring myself to call him Bobby……)and I assure you all that we all will continue to do our best for him. As you all know, he is a very special horse.


Update 531: Kennett Florist have just returned from NBC with this birthday report:

OK Gang, take a breath… We’re back from NBC!!

The “party” was a huge success! Dr R was very surprised to which he stated “it’s not my birthday”. We told him “today it is!” He was overwhelmed with the gifts, cards, flowers and all that had been sent. I am forwarding the pictures to Alex and he can hopefully post a couple.

We got there just before 11:30 to set everything up. We were in a more secluded area. We had the gifts and flowers laid out over two tables with the cakes and ice cream. The carrot cake from Bobby had two big carrots on the top, and the choc/vanilla cake had a picture of Bobby (from one of his first times out grazing) with green and blue trim on the white frosting.

Dr Sweeney had told Dr Richardson that they were going to have a meeting at 12:00 and she made sure we were ready when she went to meet him. She had notified a bunch of people so there would be plenty there to yell surprise. (Unfortunately, Mr and Mrs Jackson were unable to attend.) Dr Sweeney told us when she was going to get him and we lit the candles… He was very surprised. He blew out his candles and started to cut the cakes (the one thing he said he knew how to do). Dr Sweeney and Alie took over on cake duty and I dished out the ice cream so the man of honor could enjoy his cake and open some presents. He was overwhelmed by the gifts. Because of your contributions, we were able to get substantial gift certificates to two very nice restaurants here in town, theater tickets (gift certificate), three different golf course gift certificates that he can use either for greens times, the pro shop, or the restaurants, a packet of golf cart tickets for the golf course he belongs to, as well as a gift certificate to the pro shop at that same course. We also made up a very large gourmet basket of goodies; swiss chocolates, pastas and gourmet sauces, plates, glasses, napkins… the works. It even had a special box of note cards with a big brown bay on the front. We decked the place out with baloons (including one that sang Happy Birthday)! The triple crown arrangement was a huge hit… he really liked the idea of that. All in all it was absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much for letting us be a part of this, you all have been so generous and sweet to talk to, email, etc.

And of course, Bobby had some baskets of carrots and his favorite treats! They called us this morning asking if we were bringing carrots, so we loaded the big guy up good!

Also, almost forgot… We made up a big “publisher’s clearinghouse” type check from the Barbaromaniacs, made out to UPenn Barbaro Fund in honor of Dr Richardson. Dr Sweeney presented him with the check that was made out for $3,851.00 to date. We let him know that others are donating on or closer to his birthday! You all are amazing!!!!


Alie, Rachel and the gang at Kennett Florist

Congratulations to everyone who contributed, amazing.

Update 530: Dave Wallace (Tom Albertrani’s assistant) just called and reported all systems are a go for Bernardini for tomorrow’s Travers. Bernardini did much the same today as he did yesterday, galloping a mile and a quarter after jogging back a half a mile and then jogging forward. While Dave does not gallop Bernardini he does gallop Balletto, their runner today in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign. He said she is doing well, acting like she did when she went into her last race (a close second in the Go For Wand). Its a small field, and Todd Pletcher’s horse (Fleet Indian) is the obvious concern and clear betting favourite.

Update 529: My morning galloping was a little messed up in terms of horses to ride, so Tim put me on three extra, which turned out to be quite cool. The first was Randy’s Bullet, who I had not ridden for a long time. We went out back and jogged the hills (the ground really needs the rain) and I met a fox on my way home. The second was Gator Nation. Some of you wondered if he was OK, since he was scratched from a race at Laurel. Yes, he’s in great form, galloped a mile and a half and went very well. The reason for the scratch ? He was on the “also eligible” list, thus not in the main body of the race. He did not draw in (no scratches) and was thus a scratch himself. Finally I rode Something Wild, galloped him a mile, and he went well. As he was training Michael Matz and Peter Brette had Round Pond out training (we were all on the dirt track). She surely is a good looking filly, and is getting ready to run very soon.

More coverage on Lost in the Fog: Lost in the Fog undergoing treatment to shrink tumors, which includes the following:

“He’s doing well. I was just giving him a handful of carrots a minute ago,” Gilchrist said from his barn at Golden Gate Fields on Thursday evening. “We are treating him to try to shrink the tumors he has.

“If we could do that, they would become operable, and then he would have a chance. We’ve gone to a little more drastic measures using a few drugs that we didn’t have before.”

Gilchrist said Lost in the Fog will undergo a sonogram in ten to 12 days to check on his progress. In the meantime, Lost in the Fog is living in his stall, eating, and walking twice a day, much like a normal horse.

Update 528: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). Just saw Michael Matz as I was going to the track on my third set (on Chappy), he had heard from Dr. Richardson. Its a muggy morning at Fair Hill, and we have not had the rain that seemed to be in the forecast (yet).
update 7:35 am, friday, august 25

Update 527: This Baltimore Sun article provides further details on the current status of Barbaro: Barbaro’s surgeon pleased with colt’s progress and reveals the left hind hoof has grown a centimeter, excerpt:

Richardson said Barbaro’s hoof has grown about one centimeter since the hoof wall was removed in early July and his broken right leg has healed well enough that without the left-foot laminitis, he would be out of the cast.

A nice Sports Illustrated article on Michael Matz: What could’ve been…
As Barbaro fights for life, Matz reflects on fateful day. A short excerpt:

Matz is a competitor, a three-time Olympic equestrian. “It hurts to be standing on the sideline,”‘ he says. “I wish I could send Barbaro out there to run. I can’t, and I have to accept that we were lucky to have him as long as we did.'”

And finally: Barbaro casts long shadow over Travers: Injured horse has greatly boosted sport with incredible will to survive. I think this site confirms the subheader. I enjoyed this excerpt:

In essence he is much more. Barbaro is a horse who continues to demonstrate what it means to be a thoroughbred. Intelligent and strong, showing a will to live beyond anything we’ve seen in four decades of watching horses do what they were bred to do.

Barbaro’s struggle for survival has provided inspiration for Internet poets and his daily regimen has been chronicled nightly on network broadcasts whenever newsworthy developments arose.

Posted by Alex at 8:46 AM | Comments (761)
Barbaro Updates: 54
Posted August 24, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 526: Kathy Anderson called and she had visited Barbaro a little later in the afternoon (she left about 5:30 pm). She was there as Dr. Richardson had Barbaro out grazing. All was well. She did note Bobby saw a goat on his way back into his stall which interested him. Kathy also noted that Bobby is weighed each day (he walks over a weigh machine on his way back into the ICU) so the weight gain that is being reported is not just a visual thing, but documented weight gain from the scales.

Update 525: Just spoke to Dave Wallace (Tom Albatrani’s assistant). He reported that Bernardini is doing well as he readies for the Travers. Today he galloped about a mile and and eighth. He was led to the track, was handed off to a pony and was ponied the wrong way (anti-clockwise) for a half mile. He turned around, left the pony, and jogged about three eighths of a mile before his gallop. He is in great spirits, yet very self controlled. He will likely do something similar tomorrow (but I will catch up with Dave to confirm once he has trained). Dave galloped Cigar, so I will quiz him about that once the Travers is over.

They (Albatrani) have a runner tomorrow in a grade 1 stake at Saratoga, Balletto: Fleet Indian’s speed, durability hard to beat.

Update 524: Peter Brette just called. He visited Barbaro this afternoon (about 3pm). He was very upbeat in his report, and also noted Barbaro was devouring “stud muffins” during the time Peter was visiting.

Update 523: OK, they are trying: Lost in the Fog ‘Not Done Yet,’ Gilchrist Says, excerpt:

Returning to his barn after spending the previous five days in Florida for the Ocala Breeders’ yearling auction, Gilchrist said Lost in the Fog is being treated in his stall with medications designed to shrink two football sized tumors found in his spleen and beneath his spine along his back, as well as a third, smaller mass. The trainer said he was encouraged by the 4-year-old colt’s feistiness.

“This horse is not done yet,” he said. “We are trying to shrink the tumors if that would be possible. If we can shrink them 50 percent, there’s a chance we can remove them (surgically). It’s a long shot but long shots happen all the time in this game. It’s something to hang on to. We’re not dead in the water yet.”


Gilchrist said Lost in the Fog, who returned to the stable Aug. 20 after a week at the University of California at Davis’ Large Animal Clinic, is “doing fine and holding his weight well.”

He said the popular colt with the oddball blaze has been given walks outside his stall and has been happily enjoying the carrots, apples and other things sent to the barn by admirers. The get-well cards, e-mail wishes and flower bouquets have been overwhelming, Gilchrist said.

“I finally took all the flowers up to the (administration) office and gave them to all the girls there,” he said.


The trainer had originally planned to allow the horse to live out his final days in familiar surroundings and to be cared for by those that know him best. Without giving into what he called “false hope,” he now thinks it could be some time before a decision to euthanize the colt might be necessary.

“He still has quality life ahead of him,” Gilchrist said.

In particular, he said, the horse has enjoyed being reunited with his favorite human, groom Pascual Garcia.

“Everybody is glad that he’s back,” Gilchrist said of the atmosphere at the stable. “Everybody realizes the situation. But I won’t let anybody get down. I refuse to allow any negativity.”

Update 522: A couple of articles on St. Liam’s untimely death: Owner Warren reflects on Saint Liam’s tragic death and Freakish Accident Causes Saint Liam’s Death. The articles highlight the severity of the break and thus the need for the very tough decision to euthanize St. Liam. ESPN will provide some St. Liam coverage during their saturday racing coverage (5 – 7 pm). A nice post on the discussion board of a visit to DancingInMyDreams. We have a Fair Hill horse to follow on saturday in Saratoga: Hard to Argue With Sweet Talker in Ballston Spa. Here is an excerpt:

Sweet Talker missed winning her second grade I race in the Diana Handicap at nine furlongs July 29 at Saratoga. Angara rallied along the outside to beat her by a head.

“I thought she ran a huge race,” said trainer H. Graham Motion. “It’s tough to be disappointed when she ran so hard. That race might have been longer than what she wants to go.”

Motion wasn’t originally considering the Ballston Spa because it came up a little sooner than Sweet Talker’s customary five-week spread between races.

“I had not originally planned on this last race,” Motion said. “But she came out of the Diana so well that we thought this would be a good spot for her. She’s a very tough filly. I think the distance will help her.”

I saw Sweet Talker this morning, coming off the wood chip track. I think she was shipping up to Saratoga this afternoon (by horse van).

Finally, a Cecil Whig photographer was at Fair Hill this morning taking pictures (of me and Tim). I think they are writing an article to celebrate 100 days since the Preakness. Anyway, a lot of jovial banter was had as we were coming onto the track from Michael Matz’s crew leaving the track. There are people reading the discussion boards thinking some of the discussion is quite amusing!

Update 521: A nice letter from Mike Rea to Barbaro, dictated to his sister (from updates 54: timestamp 3:19):

Hello everyone. I am Mike Rea’s sister, Cathy. When I arrived at Kernan today Mike had Barbaro’s letter ready and asked would I send it to Barbaro. So here it is:

Wed. Aug. 23rd 2006

Dear Barbaro,
Thank you for being a super star and thinking of me. People write on your web site and talk to me. There is no other way they would have talked to me because they talked to you first. Your trainer and owners are so famous and that way I get mentioned on a equal basis as you do. I feel like there is no other way those people would have considered me in their thoughts if they hadn’t considered you first. It is very touching that I am considered by the same caliber of people who considered you. I feel privledged because of all this. I just want the story to show people what my life is about and how much my family loves me and how much I love them. Thank you Barbaro so much. My prayers and dreams are with you.

Mike Rea

As you can tell, I didn’t edit any of his words. Mike is so overwhelmed with everyone caring so much about him. Again my thanks to everyone for helping my brother with his recovery. Cathy Rea Bosley

The above message was also posted on the discussion board: Mike’s Message to Barbaro. I think Round Pond is nearly ready to make her first start for Michael Matz, look for her in the entries at Monmouth.

Update 520: Sue McMullen e-mailed me this report of Enticing’s race in the Nunthorpe at York today:

Alex, I’m working at York today and paid particular attention to Enticing (needless to say!). It was moving seeing those colours again, especially over here.

She was a bit wound up beforehand so they saddled her in the stables rather than the saddling boxes close to the track. But she was ok really, no more than you’d expect from a young filly and was quite relaxed down at the start. The horse that won, Reverence, loves the soft ground and shortened in price for that reason. There was a great deal of rain here at York last night. Not seen Willie Haggas (trainer) yet but I think Enticing hated the ground. She was ‘grabbing’ at it in the early part of the race and didn’t look that comfortable to me. When her chance was gone she was eased down. She’s definitely better than that and we didn’t see her best form today. The trainer of the winning horse is another of what you might call the small guys, so it was nice to see really.

The trainer to whom Sue refered is Eric Alston.

Update 519: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night). Just saw Michael Matz coming back from the track. He had just gotten a message from Dr. Richardson this morning. Michael also reiterated to me his positive report from his visit with Bobby yesterday.
My last set, I breezed one 3/8 mile in a comfortable 38 and am now walking back up to the track on Chappy. Just passing Peter who is saying to please express his thanks to everyone for all of your support. It’s another gorgeous morning in Fair Hill.
updated thursday 7:17am

Update 518: The Jackson’s are running Enticing today at York: Lael Stables homebred Enticing puts undefeated record on line in Nunthorpe. You will note two unusual things about this spot for their horse. She is running against older horses (she is two) and against the boys. This type of placement of a horse is perhaps a little more common in the UK than it would be in the US (pretty much unheard of):

The lone two-year-old in the open field is Enticing, one of two females among the Nunthorpe entrants. The other female is the five-year-old Paris House mare Mecca’s Mate, winner of the 2005 Land O’Burns Stakes.

Racing at York is beautiful!

Jeannine Edwards sent me this e-mail about ESPN’s Travers coverage on saturday:

We are planning a brief Barbaro update in the show Sat (5-7pm ESPN) as part of the news segment. We will also have a separate tribute to LITF, since we are televising the King’s Bishop live and he won it last year. We are doing a feature on the matchup between Bernardini and Bluegrass Cat… why each trainer thinks their horse is better and how they compare. They’ve never run against each other… Should be interesting. Right now that feature is also scheduled to air on SportsCenter Friday night at 6pm and possibly 11pm. (Last month when we covered the Jim Dandy, we did a 2:30 minute feature on Bernardini, the Preakness, and how Barbaro’s injury affected Bernardini’s connections. That feature was also on SportsCenter the night before the show.) We also have a feature on Sheik Mohammed in Dubai (owner of Bernardini)… one of our Associate Producers, Joan Ciampi, produced this one and she’s very excited about it. We have 3 Associate Producers on this show, Tim Turrell and Chris DeMaio are the other 2 and they put together most of the features and taped elements you see on the telecasts. They all do a super job! Right now we are also scheduled to do a “behind the scenes” interview with Tom Albertrani (who I used to work with at Belmont, we galloped together for Mark Casse) we will accompany him out in the morning as he trains B. and get an up close look and his insight on the horse. It’s a 2-hour show with 4 races, so we’ll have the usual pre-race analysis and post-race interviews, etc.

In a follow up e-mail Jeannine noted that they will also have some coverage on St. Liam (co presenter Jerry Bailey rode St. Liam in his final start) and that there are 46 people at ESPN involved in putting this show together!

Posted by Alex at 8:37 AM | Comments (669)
Barbaro Updates: 53
Posted August 23, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 517: Barbara Livingston’s album of St. Liam.

Update 516: Just spoke to Peter Brette (5:30 pm), and while he as been at the Fair Hill barn all day he had just heard from Michael. Barbaro has had another good day.

Update 515: A quick update from Rachel at Kennett Florist (timestamp: 8:29 pm):

Lots to do at NBC today! We had breakfast for the staff; bagels, spreads, fruit salad, juice and coffee. They were piled high in the main area before Alie could finish setting up. Much appreciation was expressed as usual.

This afternoon when I went up with our treats for Bobby and staff I had a chance to ask if the Jackson’s would be invited to Friday’s event, and they are going to extend the invitation. Also heard from a staff member that they were going to get a total on the Barbaro fund donations that have been made in Dr R’s honor and present him with that in a card on Friday. It’s just so exciting! We’re working on finilizing all the gifts… will post about them after Friday, incase anyone is snooping LOL!

Also, passed Sabina as we were heading in (she held the door for us) and was hoping to have a chance to talk to her, but she was gone by the time I got out. Can’t wait to post for you all on Friday! Thanks again for everything!!


The post position draw has occured for the Travers: Classic Winner Bernardini Even-Money Favorite in Travers with Bernardini drawing post position 5:

With a compact field in the Travers and a long run to the first turn, post positions will not be extremely important. Bernardini drew post 5 with jockey Javier Castellano.

“The horse makes it a lot easier for Javier,” Albertrani said. “He’s easy to rate and he never fights the rider. Javier is very patient with him and never overreacts.”

The following poem Barbaro’s Goodnight Whisperer includes the following horse banter:

Still, Barbaro wishes Bernardini and Bluegrass Cat Good News.
To Preakness and Haskell Winners – sporting their lucky horseshoes,
“Yahoo Jim Dandy King” – dominating one the toughest races,
“May Luck ride with you Bluegrass Cat at Travers, next of this week’s races.”

“Would have loved to see it for myself,” says Barbaro beaming wide.
Bernardini tosses a look his way saying, “rather had you by my side.”
“Competitive sports with friendly banter, that’s what I love to see,”
snorts Blue Grass Cat through video cam jamming just like Bernadini.

Update 514: Dave Wallace, assistant trainer for Tom Albertrani, has agreed to provide us brief updates on Bernardini as we approach the Travers. He noted how well Bernardini worked yesterday (see update 511 for details of the work). Dave said that as he was watching him start his breeze, you would not know he was breezing unless you were clocking him. Anyway, they were very pleased with the work and he has come out of the breeze in very good shape. Today Bernardini walked in the shedrow (note: this is quite usual the day after a work). Tomorrow he will return to the track, and gallop a little bit. I’ll catch up with Dave tomorrow to follow up.

Update 513: Here is the CBS video: Barbaro’s recovery update. The video footage was filmed yesterday, tuesday. This is a must see!

Text version (links to video): ‘Thrilled’ About Barbaro’s Progress There is an extended version to the video, under the header “Barbaro’s Steps to Recovery”, listed under the video on the right hand column.

Update 512: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (tuesday night). Just saw Michael Matz coming on to the track for my third set. Michael did mention that Dean Richardson had said Barbaro will be on TV this morning. I think he said 7:30am on CBS.
Another beautiful morning in Fair Hill. I am currently jogging around on Chappy as I talk…holding on to the neck strap with my left hand!
updated 7:05am
edit, it was on CBS, not PBS, lets hope their is a video clip online.

Update 511: Bernardini worked on tuesday (Albertrani looks to a big weekend) in preparation for the Travis, going 5/8ths in 1:02.12. This will be the last of three works he has had since his facile win in the Jim Dandy. Excerpt:

With exercise rider Simon Harris aboard, Bernardini went in fractions of 13.08 seconds, 25.91, 38.00, and 50.12 seconds and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.36. He pulled up seven furlongs in 1:28.39. It was his third and final move in between his nine-length Jim Dandy score and the Travers.

“It looked like he worked really good this morning, looked like he was just galloping down the lane,'” said Albertrani, who moved the work up from Wednesday to beat potential wet weather.

This appears to be a nice easy work, where he quickened slightly in the final quarter. I assume it was designed just to keep him ready for saturday. He will probably just do a couple of routine gallops in the meantime.

The Bloodhorse also noted the work: Trainer Albertrani Has Bull’s-Eye on Back and includes information on the likely field:

Expected to challenge Bernardini in the Travers is Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) winner Bluegrass Cat, Minister’s Bid, Doctor Pleasure, High Cotton, and Hesanoldsalt.

“I think post position will play a little bit of importance in this race,” Albertrani said. “I would rather be on the outside of High Cotton and Bluegrass Cat. We’re just going to run our race and whatever happens is going to happen.”

I think (not certain) the post position draw is today.

Here is a little more on poor St. Liam from the Daily Racing Form: Saint Liam dies after freak fall, excerpt:

“Apparently he was just goofing off, and he fell,” Bramlage said. “Horses’ legs are made to go front-to-back very efficiently, but they don’t go side-to-side very well. Somehow he got his leg underneath him and just so happened to land on top of the leg.”

Bramlage said the horse arrived at the hospital at approximately 3:30 p.m. Eastern. The decision to euthanize the horse was made approximately 45 minutes later after Saint Liam’s broken leg was radiographed.

“On the X-rays you could see that there wasn’t anyplace at all where you could put any screws to stabilize the leg,” Bramlage said. “There were no options to stabilize it or put it in a cast.”

Bramlage also said that the fracture had broken the skin, and that “infection was an issue.”

Thoroughbred Times: Saint Liam euthanized because of leg fracture and Bloodhorse: Horse of the Year Saint Liam Dead.

Posted by Alex at 8:37 AM | Comments (585)
Barbaro Updates: 52
Posted August 22, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 510: Saint Liam, who was horse of the year last year, had to be euthanized today: Horse of the Year Saint Liam Dead.

Update 509: Just spoke to Peter Brette, who had heard from Michael Matz. Barbaro had another good day.

If you want more insight into my morning exploits (i.e. want to see some of Fair Hill), check this Fair Hill clip, provided to us by HRTV. I am even in it a couple of times! Thanks Tina for sending this over. Tina, who works for HRTV, put this together. Tina used to gallop at Fair Hill, for Dr. Fisher and John Kimmel.

Update 508: A quick update from Kennett Florist:

I just returned from NBC. Bobby is doing well. But mood is a little subdued. Has you might expect after the sad new of Alcor. As always NBC loves the treats. Bobby got a nice basket of baby carrots with green tops, His favorite.
We would like to thank team Barbaro for all the support to Bobby, NBC, and us. You all are truly amazing people. We love you.
We Believe!
God Bless Barbaro & all of you.

Here is a photo album put together for Mike Rea and everyone supporting him. Mike is continuing his recovery: Hair Trim Today.

A nice article in the Thoroubred Times Jockey Baze recalls the rush of riding Lost in the Fog. It includes the following excerpt:

“He made my job real easy, he had tons of speed, but he wasn’t real crazy about it,” said Baze, who was aboard Lost in the Fog for 13 of his 14 career starts. “If someone wanted to go out there and go faster, he’d relax and sit off of him. Just a very nice, easy horse to ride.”

I am still amazed that the day Lost in the Fog was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the same day Russell Baze rode seven winners taking his streak to nine winners, he had time to give us an interview on The Fog (update 481).

Update 507: New Bolton’s latest Barbaro update: Barbaro remains a happy, comfortable horse:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro remains comfortable according to veterinarians at Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital . “Barbaro is doing well on both hind limbs,” said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “Because of this, we do not plan to change his right hind cast in the next two weeks.”

The colt’s left hind foot has laminitis, but Barbaro seems comfortable with that foot as well. “He needs to continue to improve over the next few months before we will have a better idea about his long term comfort.” said Dr. Richardson. “Barbaro’s appetite and his attitude right now are phenomenal; he attacks his feed and when he goes out to graze, he acts like he thinks he could train.”

Doctors remain cautious about Barbaro’s prognosis because, according to Dr. Richardson, there is no assurance that he will surmount all of his medical problems. “Right now, he is a surprisingly happy horse,” he said. “He is gaining weight and has had his pain medications reduced without any effect on his well being. His strength and overall appearance have been improving since he became well enough to be walked outside each day.”

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

Also, the Cartoon Caption Contest ends tomorrow at 2 pm eastern. Some great entries so far.

Update 506: A quick update on Lost in the Fog from the Daily Racing Form: Lost in the Fog update. Its short, and includes the following:

Lost in the Fog, who was diagnosed with inoperable cancer at at the University of California at Davis last week, remains his normal, aggressive self in his stall at Golden Gate Fields.


Gilchrist’s staff are carrying on in a professional manner, but the mood at the barn is undeniably subdued.

He was featured on wire 2 wire, with some barn footage (hand walking round the shedrow and eating in his stall). I will try to find out of it was current footage, but he looked fine for sure if it was.

Update 505: Jeannine Edwards just texted me, she is currently taping wire 2 wire, which is scheduled for ESPN2 at 2 pm today. There is going to be coverage on Barbaro and Lost in the Fog.

Update 504: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (monday night). Got the news coming back from my third set as I saw Michael Matz who had just heard from Dr. Richardson. Another beautiful morning here in Fair Hill.
updated tuesday 7:10am

Update 503: I am afraid Alcor did not recover from surgery: Polar bear operated on by Barbaro doctor dies. Discussed here.

This weeks racing focus will switch to the Travers, which will be part of a two hour broadcast on ESPN, from 5 – 7 pm on saturday. The Travers is restricted to three year olds (like the triple crown), and unlike the Pacific Classic which was for older horses. The favorite will likely be Bernadini, the easy winner of the Jim Dandy. he is trained by Tom Albatrani who provided us a nice interview on Barbaro. Bluegrass Cat (comfortable winner of the Haskell) will probably be second choice. I will try to get more insight into this race over the next few days.