Barbaro Updates: 647 – 706

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Posted September 23, 2006

Update 706: Strong Contender beat Lawyer Ron in the Louisiana Super Derby: ‘Contender Packs Big Wallop in Super Derby. Having watched the race on HRTV, I am not sure either will be able to step up and compete in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Two nice three year olds, and perhaps Strong Contender has a bright future down the road, but I don’t think either is currently in the same league as Bernardini ?

Update 705: Apparently the Queen Elizabeth race today at Ascot, won impressively by the Jackson-bred Georgeous George (George Washington), was a race of controversy which left one jockey banned: O’BRIEN AND DETTORI IN ASCOT ROW. Sue McMullen provided this on the spot report:

Some fall-out from today.

We had high drama and almost ‘high noon’ at Ascot this afternoon, following George Washington’s effortless victory in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, which has left some of us mystified and will do little to enhance relations between Coolmore and Godolphin.

Readers of this may wonder why I made no reference to the incident in my review of the race, and the truth is that it wasn’t worthy of comment in the context of an outstanding display, under hands and heels and no resort to the whip, from a horse described by Kinane as one of the best he’s ridden. And none of us could have known how this incident would unfold.

Shamus Heffernan on George’s stablemate Ivan Denisovich drifted slightly wide causing Frankie Dettori on Goldolphin’s Librettist who was challenging wide, to move further out. It happens in racing and jockeys here are duly censured. But it made no difference whatsoever to the outcome of the race as Librettist was already flat to the boards, going nowhere and George Washington had still to find a gap to make his run. Frankly, Librettist wouldn’t have beaten George today unless he’d been given a ride in the Godolphin horsebox, and even then I would have backed George.

Those of us close to the weighing room when Frankie walked back in realised from remarks he was making for all to hear that he wasn’t exactly happy with what had happened but Librettist was well and truly beaten, which must have been frustrating for him. I have to report that some of us thought it was just Frankie not being very happy with life but the stewards subsequently banned Shamus Heffernan for 14 days for careless riding and alleged team tactics. Many in the press room felt that this was a draconian punishment. Shamus looked dumbfounded and utterly shocked when he emerged from his encounter with the stewards. Careless riding? Ok. But team tactics? For what purpose exactly? George’s electrifying burst of speed when he finally saw daylight needed no help from anybody, other than the man aboard and even he wouldn’t have broken into a sweat.

It is likely that the incident will be reported in the US racing pages and it’s a desperate shame that a wonderful performance from a great horse and a fantastic training achievement to get him back should have such an unpleasant and sadly largely irrelevant allegation hanging over it. There was never any suggestion that it made any difference to the outcome of the race, with George Washington trouncing his opposition.

Aiden is a softly spoken, genuinely modest and mild-mannered individual but he looked very angry when he emerged from the stewards room. There was an ugly scene when Frankie swore at him using a four-letter word, in front of journalists and officials. Shamus was given quite a severe punishment for a dubious allegation that has left many of us mystified, so it will be interesting to see if Frankie is disciplined for swearing at a trainer in public.

On a happier note and before this drama unfolded, I had a quiet word with Aiden and told him the gist of my preview for this site when I touched upon the continued emphasis on George’s alleged fragile temperament and how much was made of this, with the BBC even using the services of a horse behaviour expert. He said ‘ have you ever known anything so ridiculous?’ He seemed really pleased and thanked me for expressing my views, shaking my hand in gratitude, which I found deeply touching. Modest as ever, he attributed George’s impeccable behaviour today to the team at home.

Update 704: I went over to New Bolton Center at lunchtime with Peter. Peter visited Barbaro while I relaxed and looked at the get well wishes that are in the reception area and hung on the outside fence. I did see some of the well wishes that appeared to have been left from those who visited NBC last weekend, very nice.

Peter groomed Barbaro, changed his bandages, and put on a massage blanket for 20 minutes. I think this is a typical routine when Peter visits. The entire visit lasted about 50 minutes. All is well, Barbaro remains comfortable.

Update 703: Sue McMullen e-mailed this report from Ascot:

Gorgeous George served it up to them today in fantastic style. Turning into the straight he was trapped behind horses with nowhere to go but seeing a gap Kinane went for it and yet another son of Danehill showed the way home. He went after Araafa, who beat him in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, like a heat-seeking missile and scooted past. It was a very, very impressive performance. I was secretly pleased to see him confound the detractors who describe him as quirky with a perfect display of cool. He walked around the parade ring like a lamb, taking everything in and looking around, without a bead of sweat and I was just a few feet away from him. It’s a very hot day and yet he was totally unperturbed, loading into the gate without a problem. As mentioned yesterday, much has been made of his ‘temperament’ and I noticed on one of the monitors that the BBC even had expert opinion from a well-respected horse behaviourist commenting on the George enigma. Front page of the Racing Post screamed ‘Can George Keep His Head?’. Well he did and he showed them! Ok, so maybe he does have a few quirks but to listen to some, you half expect a raging beast to appear, lathered with sweat, eyes bulging on stalks, pawing the air. It was also a great training performance on the part of O’Brien to bring him back after injury in the Irish Guineas and for helping him settle.

This is some horse and his fans can only hope he can continue to show his brilliance and remain as cool as he was today.

I was speaking to Mike Cattermole, presenter on one of our dedicated racing channels and race caller, (and one of the nicest guys on the planet) about Bobby and he said ‘he’s doing OK isn’t he? It’s a great story’. It’s good to know that Bobby has a big following here too!

This report is necessarily brief as I must allow Paul back onto his own laptop!

Update 702: Sue McMullen sent us this quick update from Ascot:

It’s a beautiful warm day here at Ascot and I’m able to send this with the invaluable help (his words!) of my occasional colleague Paul Wheeler from the Sunday Herald who has very generously allowed me to use his laptop. I wasn’t expecting to work today so although I have a press pass, I don’t have a berth!

There is an old saying that you should back the horse belonging to the first trainer you see at the course and when I arrived I just happened to bump into Jeremy Noseda, handler of Simply Perfect who has just won the Meon Valley Stud Fillies’ Mile. The ground is officially soft but they’ve been going off at a fair pace and this race was no exception. By tomorrow the ground should have dried out and be almost perfect. The unbeaten Sesmen was a bit rank early on and had to make her own running so it possibly wasn’t a true indication of her ability, but you can’t take anything away from the winner who Noseda described as a very tough filly who improved for this trip. The daughter of Danehill drifted close to the line, causing Jamie Spencer on Treat to snatch up but following the inevitable steward’s enquiry, the places remained unaltered.

Noseda confirmed that Sixties Icon will be supplemented for the Arc. It’s a bold move for this winner of the St Leger and they know they have three very good horses to take on, but he’s tough and frankly, good luck to them. When you have a good horse you might as well shoot for the moon. It’s a great position to be in to have one good enough to go for the Arc and all credit to them.

The O’Brien team won the Group 2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes for two year old colts with Admiralofthefleet, ridden by Mick Kinane. The ground had been a worry for this son of Danehill and they went off at a scorching pace, but Kinane just sat and bided his time. This impressive colt is one of 84 Derby entries from Ballydoyle.

QEII to follow

Update 701: Just saw Miraculous Miss coming back from the woodchip track. She had just worked 7/8ths under Ramon Dominguez. Everyone seemed pleased with the move, she went in 1:31. We have a visitor today, Debbie, and we are now in the clockers stand watching training and workers after the break.

Update 700: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (friday night). I saw Michael Matz as his third set was preparing to go to the track. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. Peter also noted he is planning to visit Barbaro today, so hopefully I will get an update from that visit. Its a quiet day for me today, ridden two, and two more to go. All two year olds, three of whom are doing a little breeze. Of the first two, the first breezed / open galloped, and he went well although a little slow, I had misjudged the clock!

This is a very poignant poem: Please come back for me… It is also in the comments of update 81, timestamp 4:19 am.
update, saturday, 7:40 am, september 23

Posted by Alex at 11:32 AM | Comments (535)
Barbaro Updates: 81
Posted September 22, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 699: Peter Brette just called, he had spoken to Michael, who had visited Barbaro this afternoon. Barbaro remains comfortable. Peter plans to visit Barbaro tomorrow.

Update 698: Rachel from Kennett Florist left this update (timestamp: 9:12pm):

Afternoon all!

Sorry I never got a chance to post yesterday, things were a bit busy here at the homestead. Everyone seems to be in good spirits at NBC… they a litte help from the sugar fairy today. Barbaro had his carrots and treats delivered in a timely manor… we don’t want him waiting on his stud muffins. We also found out he really likes the Nicker Makers, so Alie and I stopped and stocked up.

Mrs Jackson was at NBC today. She was out front getting her picture taken… forgot to ask her what it was for. She was standing in front of all the signs hanging on the fence at the entrance (one was hung on the day of our get-together by Della). The weather has gotten cooler here, it feels like fall. But I bet it feels good to graze on a crisp fall day!


The Bloodhorse has a page in rememberance to Lost in the Fog: REMEMBERING Lost in the Fog.

Update 697: A couple of races in North America to keep an eye on for the weekend. The Louisana Super Derby is the principle 3yo race: Super Derby a Classic confrontation. Lawyer Ron, Point Determined and Strong Contender will each need impressive performances to move forward to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. One of my all time favourites, Sunday Silence, used a win in the Super Derby to prepare for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The second race, The Sky Classic Stakes, a grade 2 turf race, to be run on sunday in Woodbine: Better Talk Now seeks return to winning ways in Sky Classic at Woodbine. Lets hope we see Better Talk Now return to his winning ways, and if we do, I can get an interview with Ramon Dominguez, who I think will be in Fair Hill next week. Graham is quoted in the article:

“I’ve said all year that he’s as good as he’s ever been,” Motion said. “I still believe that. But he’ll have to step up on Sunday and prove he is the same horse.”


“I still get emotional when I think back to the Breeders’ Cup. It was a turning point for me in my career,” Motion said. “Year in and year out, he gives everything he has. But to me, he has never gotten the respect he deserves. He’s a great horse.”

Update 696: One of my remaining sets was Chappy (me), breezing with Happy (Tim). Judge, who trains Chappy, had his neighbour and a couple of their friends visiting to watch. They all read this site, I thought that was very cool. For the breeze itself, Happy went very well, Chappy was fine, but I do think she prefers the turf (she seemed to handle the woodchip track when breezing so much better, which is a good signal to indicate a turf horse.) Her pedigree is also pretty much all turf. We shall see, we still have a little way to go before they are ready for the races.

Sue McMullen sent this e-mail, the preview of the key races at Ascot this weekend:

Saturday’s card at Ascot is billed as ‘The Mile Championships’ and includes the best all-aged mile race in Europe, the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. The winner of this race is often crowned champion miler of Europe and since the World Thoroughbred Racehorse rankings were first published in 1979, 11 winners of the QEII have headed the mile category, with seven occuping second place.

Not suprisingly, nine very classy horses line up tomorrow and all eyes will be on the enigmatic George Washington. Bred by the Jacksons, George won the 2,000 Guineas in the same imperious and exciting manner as Bobby won the Kentucky Derby, but that victory also labelled him, perhaps unfairly, as having a somewhat fragile temperament, which Ballydoyle have tended to play down. He was slightly reluctant to go down to the start, proved difficult to load into the gate and then, to the amusement of onlookers, refused flatly to walk into the winners’ circle, which prompted debate in the press about his ‘temperament’ and if it would withstand further racing. To be fair to him, he wasn’t leaping about or uncontrollable when refusing to go into the winners’ circle, just quietly planting his feet and saying ‘no’ but much was made of this ‘aberration’. He was beaten on his next two outings, first at the Curragh in the Irish Guineas, where he faced what was described as soft ground, but was in fact bog-like, and also pulled muscles, but still managed to finish second. His injury resulted in time out of serious training to recover, and he made his comeback last month at Goodwood in the Celebration Mile, where just about everything went wrong for him. He was slow to break, was rank early on and hung badly right and didn’t seem to like the straight, exhibiting the same erratic style of running as he had at Newmarket, but he still showed the electric acceleration in the uphill finish to grab third. In his defense, Goodwood is a totally different track to anything he’d experienced and it clearly didn’t suit him, plus his pacemaker River Tiber seemed to have forgotten he was there. Ascot should suit him better and he is now apparently accompanied everywhere by a retired stablemate to keep him happy. Aiden is always very defensive of his horses, understandably, and describes George as an intelligent individual who wants to do things his way and was just inexperienced at Newmarket. Horses aren’t machines and they sometimes get unfairly labelled especially by racewriters, some of whom have pretty fragile temperaments themselves and who know little about horses off the track, just because they are a bit different. As long as the seriously talented George can handle the pressures of the the big event, who are we to question how he does it and to be fair, he’s coped well since Newmarket.

In 11 attempts O’Brien has never won this race, coming close to it with the hugely talented and very unlucky Hawk Wing, who was dogged with problems throughout his career, and the awesome Giants Causeway, who was only beaten on tactics by Observatory in 2000. Everybody knew that if he saw the whites of their eyes, nothing could get passed ‘the iron horse’ in a battle, so they brought Observatory so ridiculously wide he was almost in the car park and Giants Causeway didn’t see him until it was too late. Sneaky, but the only way to do it.

Lining up against George, who heads the betting market, will be his stablemates Ivan Denisovich and River Tiber, plus his Irish 2,000 Guineas conqueror, Araafa and the Godolphin trio, Echo of Light, Librettist and Proclamation. And if that doesn’t set the scene for a mouth-watering clash, add the heroine of the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, Naninna, and Court Masterpiece, winner of the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood (ahead of Araafa and Echo of Light) and Killybegs, winner of this year’s Craven Stakes who finished ahead of George at Goodwood. Despite the quality and experience of the opposition, there is no doubt that an in-form George can beat this illustrious crew.

Another Group One on the card is The Meon Valley Stud Fillies’ Mile, always a useful pointer to the following season’s classics, won in the past by the likes of Nannina, Soviet Song, Reams of Verse, Oh So Sharp and Bosra Sham. Sadly it will be without the hot favourite for next year’s 1,000 Guineas, the American-bred and very exciting filly Sander Camillo (by Dixie Union) as her next target is the Chevely Park. But eight nice fillies line-up, including the unbeaten Sesmen, English Ballet, winner of the Sweet Solera Stakes and Simply Perfect, winner of the May Hill.

Update 695: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). I saw Michael Matz as I was heading out on my third set this morning. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. For the third set Tim and I took Chesapeake City Slew and Grandma out back to gallop up the hills. There were two other sets of horses out there galloping around, Tim thought it was a little like Newmarket Heath. I am not sure Newmarket has the deer we have, seemingly placed ready to spook the horses.

It is another beautiful morning at Fair Hill. During my first set, galloping on the dirt track, I saw Miraculous Miss galloping by me. She looks good, and I am guessing will be getting ready to work after her big win at Delaware. I also saw Red Aspen out grazing by Tim’s barn. Tim said she ate up well last night after her nice win.
update 8:00 am, friday morning, september 22

Update 694: This morning’s Barbaro update might be a little later, an hour or so. Just an FYI. In the meantime here is Fred Stone’s painting of Barbaro: A Legacy of Hope

The Bloodhorse reports Horse Slaughter Bill on Hold. While this is clearly a set back, do not let it derail your efforts. You can also sign this petition.

Mike Rea will get to spend a little time at home this weekend: Good Morning Everyone and has been out to watch some soccer: One Tired Man. I really hope the soccer team was more successful than mine, who were unceremonially dumped out of cup competition mid week in england!

The IN HONOR OF BARBARO RESCUE CHALLENGE continues, this fifth challenge is to honor Lost in the Fog.

Finally, The Daily racing Form confirms Sue McMullen’s e-mail yesterday (update 691): Dylan Thomas may go to Turfway.

Posted by Alex at 9:29 AM | Comments (453)
Barbaro Updates: 80
Posted September 21, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 693: Redaspen returned to the winners circle today! She won the ninth at Laurel, a never won four, other than, allowance race. I am very happy for Tim and his owners, Equivine Farm. Victor Molina was back in the saddle, and perhaps that was all that was needed. I have always admired Redaspen, she is a wonderful looking mare with plenty of talent. I am really happy she was able to show that today. I forgot to mention earlier, Master of Disaster won yesterday, a two turn stake at Monmouth. This was a nice return after a quick visit to Saratoga.

Update 692: Peter Brette just called. All remains well with Barbaro. He had spoken to Michael Matz who had visited this afternoon. Just a short update as I am at an MBA Admissions event in D.C.
updated 6:30pm

Update 691: The morning at Fair Hill finished up nice and uneventfully, and it is beautiful outside! Ed Fountaine’s piece on his interview with Edgar Prado is short, but it was nice to see Edgar interviewed about Barbaro and his visit: THROUGH THE BINOCS.

I asked Sue McMullen about Dylan Thomas’ plan to race in the US this fall, this is her e-mail reply:

Alex, I was waiting to see what they go for as he’s also been entered for the Grade 2 Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park next week. Whichever he goes for, this is very much a fishing exercise to see if he handles dirt. They don’t want to expose him to the hype of the Breeders’ Cup Classic without any preparation. Having said that, the Jockey Club isn’t exactly low key! But if he doesn’t handle either polytrack or dirt, plans will change and he won’t go for the Classic, for which he is currently around 10-1. Aiden O’Brien told The Indepent that the horse is in good form. “We are looking at giving him a run before the Breeders’ Cup Classic to see how he handles what will be a new surface for him.”

O’Brien doesn’t really appear worried about meeting Bernadini as he wouldn’t go for the Jockey Club expecting to win. “It would be a trial for him, a chance just to run a nice race and learn. We’d be throwing him in a the deep end, and no doubt he’ll be shocked. But he’s very tough, acts on fast ground, and never gives up,” he said. “He stays a mile and a half, but has the class for a mile, mile and a quarter. He is the right type of horse, a grinder, but first he has to get into a position to grind – that’s the tricky part.”

I think the Bloodhorse is a bit premature touting this as a clash to decide the honours for best horse, if Dylan does go for the Jockey Club based on the fact that it will be merely a trial for Dylan. The history to this is that Galileo, who also has a turf pedigree, just didn’t handle the dirt at Belmont in 2001. The imperious ‘Giants Causeway’ who we dubbed ‘the iron horse’ didn’t need a prep. He practically got off the plane and ran in the Classic the year before at Churchill, but he had a dirt pedigree and was just very unlucky to come up against Tiznow. Mick Kinane also dropped the reins, which didn’t help. I have the most vivid memory of hanging out of the press viewing balcony at Churchill and screaming for the iron horse as they came into the straight.

I will send you a review of Ascot tomorrow. We have the Queen Elizabeth II Mile on Saturday and a great card.

It was interesting to hear about Giants Causeway. I was at York the day he won the Juddmonte, and I was also at the Breeders’ Cup for his second in the Classic. My buddy was the exercise rider for another horse in that race … Fusaichi Pegasus.

Update 690: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (wednesday). Just saw Michael Matz on the track for my second set with Chappy. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. It is a beautiful morning this morning here in Fair Hill…if not a little chilly. For my first set, as I was coming back from the track, there were three deer on the horse path. As they moved away from me, they were silouetted by the rising sun. Another beautiful view as I hung on to my neck strap. I’m now walking back to the barn on Chappy, about to get on Chesapeake City Slew.
updated thursday 7:20am

Update 689: The Tribute to Barbaro Contest is now ready for voting. Given the limitations of polling on the discussion board Wendy has had to be creative with the voting process: TRIBUTE TO BARBARO CONTEST. Thank you to all those who participated in the contest, and to those of you who vote.

Here is another tribute to Lost in the Fog. It includes each of his winning races, and clips of interviews with his connections. I love the call for his maiden win: “Lost in the Fog, remember his name, its a very impressive debut …” This Daily Racing Form article: Fog was one of their own includes quotes from two fellow trainers at Golden Gate Field, and what it meant to have the Fog in their presence.

On the racing front, it seems the Dylan Thomas is coming over the pond for the Jockey Club to take on Bernardini and Invasor: Irish Derby Winner Dylan Thomas to Run in JC Gold Cup. This is shaping into an excellent race. Brother Derek has also put in a strong work: Brother Derek on Track With Bullet Work, and it looks like he will be pointing to the Goodwood, taking on Giacomo, on the same day as the Jockey Club.

Posted by Alex at 9:20 AM | Comments (610)
Barbaro Updates: 79
Posted September 20, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 688: Ed Fountaine, racing writer for the New York Post, did a quick interview with Edgar today about his visit with Barbaro yesterday. It will be in the New York Post tomorrow. Ed gave me a quick run down of the interview. It was Edgar’s fourth visit. Compared to his previous visit in July, Edgar said that Barbaro looked brighter, had gained weight, and was walking around as if nothing had happened. New Bolton sent me one of their pictures from the visit, taken by Kathy Freeborn. It is of course our featured photograph.

Update 687: I just spoke to Peter Brette, who had heard from Michael, who visited Barbaro this afternoon. All remains well!

Alie, from Kennett Florist left this comment from her visit (timestamp: 8:39 pm):

Hi All
NBC was in good spirts today. I delivered treats for Bobby & staff. Of course carotts. The weather is nice today. So I am sure Barbaro must have loved his time outdoors. Have a great night. God Bless.
We Believe

Update 686: This site is featured in the USA Today blog: Barbaro update: ‘Excellent week’, very nice.

I think one of our readers, Julie, is visiting Lost in the Fog’s team tomorrow. I wanted to provide links to the articles I had not yet highlighted of the Fog:

Lost in the Fog euthanized: Eclipse Award winner loses battle with cancer, probably the best article, with good quotes from both his trainer Greg Gilchrist and his owner, Mr. Aleo.

Champion Ocala-bred race horse euthanized, this article is a great perspective from his breeder, Susan Seper.

Former owners recall impressive presence of Lost in the Fog, this article covers the perspective from the Florida Farm where the Fog was broken as a yearling.

Update 685: Pictures from Edgar Prado’s visit yesterday are now available on Penn’s site. Very nice.

Update 684: I just spoke to Mrs. Jackson, the main purpose of the call was to discuss the state of anti-slaughter legislation and acquire some contact information. Of course I had to ask how Barbaro was during her visit today, and he remains comfortable!

Update 683: The remainder of my morning went well. I broke a horse out of the gate to get his gate card (need approval by the gate crew before a horse first starts). I also took Chesapeake City Slew to the gate, Tim was with me, on Grandma. We walked / jogged out, this is probably their fourth time to the gate. I took a 2yo Waquoit colt to the gate, he galloped out, so it seemed like a very busy gate day today. We have a cool gate crew, and as a rider you have to really trust those you are working with when working in and around the gate. It is also a beautiful morning here at Fair Hill.

The IN HONOR OF BARBARO RESCUE CHALLENGE continues with a fourth challenge, another $500 matching challenge. Amazing, they have raised over $7,000 in less than a week thanks to your collective generosity!

Update 682: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (tuesday night). I saw Michael Matz on the track after I pulled up on Chappy, my second set. He had literally just heard from Dr. Richardson. Michael let me know that Barbaro went out twice yesterday to graze! I also saw Kathy Anderson this morning who visited Barbaro yesterday. She too expressed satisfaction. Kathy noted dozens of red roses which were delivered! I have also heard there may be photographs of Edgar’s visit which I will of course try to follow up on later this morning. So basically, Barbaro had a slew of visitors yesterday and he remains comfortable.
updated wednesday 7:25am

Update 681: It has been four months since the Preakness, as noted by Barbaro’s supporters in New Zealand: Four months on – Barbaro doing well. They also note Edgar’s fourth visit!

I did want to return our attention back a little bit to current racing news: Countdown to the Cup: All Eyes on JC Gold Cup. The Jockey Club Gold Cup, October 8, will be our next big race to follow (although it is the Super Derby this weekend, featuring Lawyer Ron, so no doubt we will also take a quick look at that one too). The Jockey Club will be Bernardini’s first race against older horses, and he is scheduled to meet Invasor. A race of great interest. Bernardini worked on monday in 1:02 2/5ths at Belmont. I think this was his second work since the Travers.

Also on the work tab recently was Giacomo. He worked on sunday, 3/4s in 1:14 (and possibly change). I asked Steve Willard (his exercise rider) about the move, and he said he did it easily (I have never worked a horse that far, in that time, and can say he / she did it easily!) Anyway , it seems Giacomo is pointed to The Goodwood, which runs the same day, different coast, as the Jockey Club.

The article also has a piece on Bernardini contending for Horse of the Year with the idea that Barbaro could still get the three year old honours. Steve, I like your thinking!

Posted by Alex at 9:19 AM | Comments (431)
Barbaro Updates:78
Posted September 19, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 680: Just spoke to Peter, who visited Barbaro today at lunchtime. He gave him a grooming, and all was well. Peter confirmed Edgar Prado did visit Barbaro today, this morning. Dr. Richardson brought Barbaro outside while Edgar was visiting. This is the fourth time Edgar has visited Barbaro, and again, it appears he did this without any fuss. Very cool.

Update 679: Rachel from Kennett Florist left this comment (timestamp 7:08pm):

Hello to All,

Just got back from NBC. We brought a big ole basket for the donor horses as well as lots of goodies for Barbaro, and a few snacks for the staff. The donor horse “Mom” was VERY appreciative as always. You all are wonderful.

Word is that Edgar had been to visit Barbaro and was able to get outside with him. A very happy day for both I’m sure.

Rachel at Kennett Florist

And now for a more uplifting video clip on the Fog, during his racing career: Happier Times – Good Memory. Its an interview with Russell Baze, outside the Fog’s stall the day before one of his big races. Very cool. Russell did give us an interview when it was first announced the Fog had cancer, coincidentally when Russell had just ridden seven winners from seven mounts.

Update 678: Another moving tribute to Lost in the Fog: Lost in the Fog: A Champion Remembered, posted in the comments by Alex Fleming (timestamp: 6:38pm). When looking at this tribute you realize how much better the Fog was against his competition. To win sprint races with the ease he won sprint races is exceptional!

Barbara Livingston also e-mailed me that she has updated her Lost in the Fog Gallery.

Update 677: Here is New Bolton’s update: Barbaro continues to Improve:

According to veterinarians at Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital, Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro continues to gradually improve. “He had an excellent week,” said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “We replaced the boot on his left hind foot with a bandage because the hoof is doing well.”

In addition, Barbaro continues to be comfortable in the cast that has been on his right hind leg for the past three weeks. “We won’t change it unless there is a reason to do so, and we will continue to monitor his comfort closely before deciding when to replace or remove this cast,” said Dr. Richardson. “He is enjoying his daily excursions outside to graze, and his appetite is excellent.”

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

Update 676: The Daily Racing Form has this article on Lost in the Fog: Lost in the Fog euthanized. It includes the following quotes of Mr. Aleo, the Fog’s owner:

“We did everything we possibly could,” a subdued Aleo said from his office on Monday afternoon. “But it’s kind of heartbreaking. To have a great horse like that and he never got the chance to pass on his genes. And he never really got a chance to run his best races in his prime.”


“He did the right thing by us,” Aleo concluded, “and we tried to do what we thought was right by him, always. But there will never be another one like him.”

I called up the writer, Glenye Cain (we have corresponded a little over Barbaro over the last month or two), to get her perspective from the interview of Mr. Aleo. This is what Glenye told me:

Mr. Aleo’s comments made the story. I do not know Mr. Aleo personally and this was the first time I had talked with him. You can only imagine how difficult it is for a reporter to talk to someone for the first time under such circumstances.

The thing that struck me about Mr. Aleo was his question “I hope we did the right thing?”, he still questions whether they did the right thing for the horse, and that is and has been his sole concern. He did not want to allow him to suffer unecessarily. It was very touching. He was very subdued, a little shocked.

It is great that this summer we have seen two sets of connections to two great horses manage their decisions solely in the interest of the horse in question. They provide great examples to all of us.

Glenye also owns a horse, a retired thoroughbred race horse, that at one time in his career was trained by Graham Motion. Emperor Tigere is now a field hunter. Glenye acquired him from the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.

Update 675: I believe Edgar Prado is planning a special visit today. I called his agent who confirmed.

Update 674: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (monday night). I saw Michael Matz as I was walking on to the track with Chappy for my second set. He had just heard from Dr. Richardson. It is an appropriately foggy morning here in Fair Hill and I am jogging my second mile on Chappy as I call in this update from my cell phone.
updated 7:15am

Update 673: Tributes to Lost in the Fog continue unabated. A couple of examples on the discussion boards: Lost in the Fog: Forvever Running Free and THE LAST BATTLE.

Calder Race Track issued a news release: Farewell to a Champion: Goodbye, Lost in the Fog. The Fog made his final start at Calder. There is a nice picture of him under exercise rider Sue Milne.

Golden Gate Field also issued a news release: CHAMPION LOST IN THE FOG EUTHANIZED. The following are two excerpts:

Gilchrist said it was tough to say goodbye to Lost in the Fog.

“It was very emotional,” said Gilchrist. “I probably won’t ever get over it. I always said when it got too bad, Lost in the Fog would let me know. I think he did yesterday (Sunday). If he was a person, he would have said, ‘It’s time.’ That’s life and we have to deal with it. People come and go. I’ll just see him on the other side.”

Gilchrist said Lost in the Fog will be cremated and it’s likely his ashes will go to Southern Chase Farm in Florida, where he was raised.


When asked how he would like fans to remember Lost in the Fog, Gilchrist replied, “Just remember him for the great warrior and champion he was.”

Golden Gate Fields is planning to honor Lost in the Fog on Saturday, Sept. 30.

Here are the snail mail addresses of Lost in the Fog’s connections.


For those who wish to follow Erin’s progress, you can now view her web-site: Erin Brennan. Erin is the daughter of Annie from Kennett Florist.

Posted by Alex at 9:23 AM | Comments (416)
Barbaro Updates: 77
Posted September 17, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 672: Just spoke to Peter Brette, who had heard from Michael, who visited Barbaro this afternoon. Barbaro continued to have a comfortable day.

Rachel, from Kennett Florist left this report (comment timestamp: 8:31 pm):

We are so very sad to hear the news of Foggy. God give his family strength and know that he is at peace. He was and is surrounded by love. Our thoughts are with all who love him.

Glad to hear that Alex had a chance to talk to Mrs Jackson. What a remarkable woman she is indeed. When I spoke to NBC today, the report was the same. Barbaro was comfortable and happily chomping down his carrots.

Also wanted to note that we had such a lovely time meeting with a bunch of Fans that travelled this way for a get together. Thank you for including us in your trip and inviting us to lunch. The time seemed to fly and I hope next time we can visit longer.


Rachel at Kennett Florist

And the tributes to Lost in the Fog continue, here is another poem, from Kerrie (timestamp 9:56 pm):


SECRETARIAT had called for a meeting.
All the Horse’s in Heaven were there.
He wanted to announce a newcomer and to tell everyone to prepare.

“Gather ’round,” he said to the crowd. “I have something important to say.”
“A long time ago, when I first arrived, I was told I should wait for this day.”

Legend has it there’d be a great horse, that he’d come from earth down below.
he’d stay with us to eternity and the leadership crown we’d bestow.

All the horse’s sat and listened in silence, hearts raced with exciting suspense.
Then SECRETARIAT related this story while speaking with true reverence.

I had a dream about one year ago, that this Horse was now on his way.
he’d be our leader this side of the bridge and he’d cross on a crisp Summer day.

Each Summer I’d sit by the Bridge, not knowing which day It would be?
Get out his crown and a cloud for his nap, for You’ll soon meet the Horse they called FOGGY.

As the horse’s sat ’round listening in awe, a sound from below reached their ears.
Each knew the sound they had all heard before, it was that of a family in tears.

As they waited in sombering silence, SECRETARIAT whispered “he’s here!”
The Foals all ran to the edge of the Bridge to see the one they had learned to revere.

Then a spot in the distance got larger. The Great Horse was gaiting with ease.
FOGGY crossed the Bridge with his head held high and all the horse’s just fell to their knees.

FOGGY now waits at the Bridge where the horse’s have set up his throne.
When all his friends go to Heaven some day, he’ll be there to welcome them home.


Update 671: In honor of Lost in the Fog I wanted to highlight a couple of tributes, the first a video: Lost in the Fog: Tribute to a Champion. Listening the commentary of his race at Saratoga is amazing. The second, a poem by Linnie (timestamp: 8:25pm):

Just very quickly, I wrote the following humble tribute to a great hero:

Lost in the Fog
You are lost no more
The angels have beckoned
And have opened God’s door

Lost in the Fog
No more pain shall you bear
As the grief in my heart
is assuaged by my tears

Lost in the Fog
‘Twas a most gallant fight
Now you make your true passage
Through the comforting Light

Lost in the Fog
Down the backstretch toward Home
Your eyes fixed on the prize
Peaceful days now will come

Lost in the Fog
An incredible race
And a sprint to the Finish
With the stature of Grace

Lost in the Fog
Ne’er a Hero so strong
That will wear a King’s Crown
On a misty September Morn

Lost in the Fog
Angels wait at God’s door
To welcome the Champion
‘Twill be lost Nevermore …

Update 670: Gretchen Jackson just called. She wanted to thank everyone for all their efforts and was very happy that Barbaro had brought so many wonderful people together. She talked about the responsibility she felt that came with the ownership of a Derby winner, and was hoping that that responsibility can yield some good things. Mrs. Jackson is obviously very passionate about the anti-slaughter legislation, is doing everything she can to support the legislation, and is very appreciative of everyone’s efforts here.

Of course I had to ask her for a Barbaro update. He is doing well. Mrs. Jackson visited at lunchtime, and Barbaro was laying down, in an upright position, eating! He is very relaxed. I asked Mrs. Jackson if I could interview her in the near future for the site, of course she said yes.

Update 669: It is very sad to report Lost in the Fog was euthanized last night: Champion Lost in the Fog Euthanized. The following is an excerpt:

“We accomplished what we wanted to do,” said trainer Greg Gilchrist Sept. 18. “It was all about giving him quality (time). We did everything we could for him. He was happy and content right up to the end. He went quietly and easily.”

Gilchrist had just finished grazing Lost in the Fog outside his barn at Golden Gate Fields on the San Francisco Bay Sept. 17, which he did twice daily, and was heading to the paddock to saddle a horse when Lost in the Fog went into distress.

Very sad. This was first reported on the internet on

Update 668: And Chesapeake City Slew did go to the gate, along with Grandma (two of Tim’s we need to update in the horse section). Both were very good in the gate and galloped around nicely. The morning also included a first breeze for “Rocky”. He went in the company of another whose first breeze it was, we were clocked in 12.1, but I thought we went in 14 (secs.), so it just goes to show that us riders really are a little clueless to the clock. Since I was on the inside, I was setting the pace.

The discussion boards continue to be extremely active with people discussing best approaches for the anti-slaughter bill, which is obviously the principal issue at hand. We highlighted the Miracle Horse Rescue Barbaro challenge over the weekend (almost $6,000 raised so far) along with the offer of a free bracelet to those who contribute to a horse rescue organization.

One offer I have neglected to highlighted, but interesting and important nonetheless, is this unique fundraising idea (The Wild Animal Sactuary Fundraiser) for the Wild Animal Sanctuary that is being closed down. It seems a pretty cool chance for Barbaro fans to own some cool racing memorabilia.

Barclay Tagg is in Fair Hill this morning. I asked him how Funny Cide was after his race, and he said he was fine.

Update 667: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (sunday night). I saw Michael Matz on the track as I was leaving the starting gate. Michael had just heard from Dr. Richardson. It’s an absolutely beautiful morning here in Fair Hill…a crimson sunrise with the mist coming out of the ground. The horse that I took to the gate, I don’t think I had ridden before (not entirely sure) but he was here today to just stand in the gate. The plan is to then break him out of the gate Wednesday for his gate card. I’m now just getting on my third set, Chesapeake City Slew, who I am guessing may also be going to the gate.
updated monday 7:30am

Update 666: Peter called (3pm) to report that Michael had called, visited, and Barbaro was doing well. Another comfortable day, sunday. Barbaro also went out grazing, and today was certainly a lovely day to do that.

Posted by Alex at 10:50 PM | Comments (666)
Barbaro Updates: 76
Posted September 16, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 665: Sue McMullen e-mailed me this report from racing today in Ireland:

It was touted as a clash between the two of them and so it proved today when Teofilo and Holy Roman Emperor justified their billing as two of the best juveniles around, finishing first and second in the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh.

Jim Bolger has said all year that the unbeaten Teofilo is one of the best he’s ever trained and you have to take notice of the man who has top filly Alexander Goldrun in his yard and was responsible for St Jovite. Teofilo showed a real turn of foot to power away from his stablemate Slaney Time, who had ensured a decent pace, leaving Holy Roman Emperor, who was stepping up in trip, in hot pursuit but it wasn’t to be his day. The two colts now head the betting for next season’s 2000 Guineas and we must hope they fulfil the promise we’ve seen today. Teofilo looks as if he’ll improve physically with age and is a very exciting prospect. There’s consolation for Coolmore as Teofilo is by Galileo who is having a wonderful season as a sire, having produced the first three home in last week’s St Leger. Physically more imposing, Holy Roman Emperor, by Danehill, showed real acceleration in pursuit of Teofilo who had aleady slipped the field but he was never going to catch him. Let’s hope these two progress as we could see some real battles next year.

Another item of news from this side of the pond is that Big Timer is to head to Belmont for the Champagne Stakes next month, in the hope of getting an invitation to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The dirt shouldn’t inconvenience the impressive son of Street Cry, whose owners have turned down big offers for him. All credit to European trainers who continue to send horses to the US, which adds further interest to the big races for fans throughout the world. Racing is increasingly global and this season we’ve had three of Australia’s top sprinters in the UK to contest our big sprints and the Japanese sent Heart’s Cry to the King George, with Deep Impact, heading to the Arc. Both these superb colts are by the flag-bearer for Japanese Racing, the late, great and sorely-missed Sunday Silence.

You can also read Sporting Life’s summary of the 2yo race: TEOFILO LANDS KNOCKOUT BLOW. As I was making this update a friend of mine, Bob Hatfield (probably most famous for finishing second on BarryPhillipsDisco at Wetherby about 20 years ago, when a styrup leather had snapped at the first fence) called, he is now based in Louisville, so I have a floor reserved for the Breeders’ Cup if I make it out this year. I have been to more Breeders’ Cups than I have missed, since I have been in the US. The first was watching Sunday Silence win the Classic!

The IN HONOR OF BARBARO RESCUE CHALLENGE continues with its third challenge!

Update 664: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (saturday night). I saw Michael Matz as they were getting a set ready to go to the track at about 8:30 am. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. For me, no riding today, a nice day off, but it is a beautiful day here at Fair Hill today (at last).

Here are a couple of reports on the two Belmont races: Barclay Tagg and the Jackson’s Stormy Kiss was third (Win McCool takes first stakes) in the Floral Park while Funny Cide was fourth in the Brooklyn (Wanderin Boy easily takes Brooklyn). Barclay had this to say about Funny Cide’s early position:

Funny Cide, wheeling back two weeks after he finished eighth in the Woodward, stalked the pace under Cornelio Velasquez, dropped back around the turn, attempted to come on again, but never seriously threatened. He was beaten 5 3/4 lengths.

“I thought that was perfect,” Tagg said of Funny Cide’s early position. “I didn’t tell him to do that. I said don’t rush him and don’t grab a hold of him, just let him run any way he wants.”

There were two gatherings of “Barbaromaniacs” yesterday (three if you include those who visited Fair Hill). A group went to Calder Races and were treated very well judging by the report (comment timestamp 1:55 am), and a group met at NBC and then lunched in Kennett Square (trip to NBC). I was planning to attend the latter group later in the day, but unfortunately sleep took priority.

Update 663: Another comfortable day for Barbaro. I just spoke to Peter (6pm) who had heard from Michael who had visited. Peter is hoping to go over and visit himself tomorrow. A nice comment from Sallie on her visit to Fair Hill this morning (timestamp: 6:12 pm):

Alex, a big public THANK YOU for hosting us today at Fair Hill! It was fabulous. I can’t wipe the goofy grin from my face, thinking about my morning!

Fellow Fans of Barbaro, if you can, please do take Alex up on his offer of hospitality–Alex is even more kind and gracious in person than he is in text. Plus, you’ll see an absolutely gorgeous, top-of-the-line horse training facility, meet some wonderful horse people and in my case, some delightful fellow Web Site Afficionados, slog through the grass and up to the track to watch Alex do his thing, and like as not see some “celebrities” from this site, human and equine!!! (I am now totally taken with Chappy and look forward to reading more about her. Randy’s Bullet really caught me eye, too, he’s beautiful….)

Anyway, thanks again, Alex! I had a great time!!!

Update 662: A vigil tonight at 7 pm for Barbaro and Lost in the Fog. Whereever you are, whatever you are doing spare some thoughts for these two great champions.

Sue McMullen sent this review and preview of racing in Ireland this weekend:

The Aga Khan-owned filly Kastoria today beat Yeats, hero of the Ascot Gold Cup and the Goodwood Gold Cup, in the Irish St Leger at the Curragh. Kieren Fallon rode Yeats and sent him on 5 furlongs out, but it didn’t quite go according to plan as John Oxx’s filly, ridden by Mick Kinane, wouldn’t be shaken off and went passed Yeats to win by half a length. There are no firm plans for the filly but John Oxx says she might go for the Canadian International.

Some of the top babies will be on display tomorrow in the National Stakes, also at the Curragh. This Group One event for two year-olds has been won in the past by some of the best horses in the world, including Sinndar, Hawk Wing, Dubawi and George Washington (bred by the Jackson’s). This year’s event is already being touted as one of the season’s top clashes as it includes the Aiden O’Brien-trained Holy Roman Emperor, one of the yard’s top juveniles and the horse that Kieren Fallon fears the most, Teofilo, trained by Jim Bolger and ridden by Kevin Manning. Bolger rates the unbeaten Teofilo as one of the best juveniles he has ever handled and Holy Roman Emperor, winner of the Pheonix Stakes is currently 5-1 for next year’s first classic for colts, the 2,000 Guineas.

Finally, an update on the IN HONOR OF BARBARO RESCUE CHALLENGE, it is great to see how generosity can be contageous!

Update 661: Horses to follow today include Funny Cide in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap (Good Reward well-spotted in Brooklyn) and the Jackson’s Stormy Kiss (Stormy Kiss Gets Speed Tested in Floral Park) in the grade 3 Floral Park. These are the ninth and eighth races respectively at Belmont. Good luck Barclay and all concerned. The Jackson’s Enticing was also down to run at Ayr this weekend but has been scratched due to the soft ground. She will now be pointed to the Cheveley Park or Conrwallis Stakes (thanks Sue McMullen).

We had three visitors at Fair Hill this morning, two from Gettysburg, one from Ellicot City). These were the first visitors we have had for a few weeks. I hope they had fun. I had three left to ride while they were at Fair Hill, two on the dirt track and one out back. Anyway, it is fun having people visit, so if you want to stop by, saturday’s, 8 am, Parlo 1. Just e-mail me ahead of time so I know and can confirm I am around.

Update 660: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (friday night). I saw Michael Matz as I was going to the woodchip track to breeze Chappy. Michael had heard from Dr. Richardson. Michael confirmed Barbaro was good when he saw him yesterday. Chappy breezed very nicely on the chips- a luxury we have at Fair Hill given the rainy weather we have had lately. My first set, I open galloped a two year old for his second time. It was his first time in view of his owner. He went very well- possibly 14 seconds to the eighth, also on the chips.
updated saturday 7:45am

Update 659: A lovely article on Lost in the Fog, which also includes a picture of him grazing (for those without a Daily Racing Form subscription, which is free, this article makes it worthwhile): Vigil for an ailing champ, a couple of excerpts:

But then, a horse like Lost in the Fog tends to reorder priorities. More than just a reliable meal ticket or a lovable barn character, he raised the emotional stakes. Owner Harry Aleo would beam like a proud father whenever Lost in the Fog was mentioned. Russell Baze looked upon his most famous mount as a fellow artist and collaborator in high drama. Gilchrist treats Lost in the Fog like the younger brother he never had.


“This office was filled with baskets of carrots and apples, flowers everywhere, and a big pile of cards,” said Rowena Gilchrist, the trainer’s 92-year-old mother, who wears a Lost in the Fog ballcap and keeps her son’s office neat as a pin. “Look at this, what this lady sent from Novato, with the carrots and cookies.”

It read: “Mr. Gilchrist. Please accept this basket I made for Foggy. The statue is of Epona – the Celtic goddess of the horse – she is for healing and has been holding vigil in my home for Barbaro.”

“Here’s another one,” offered Patty Prospero, Gilchrist’s significant other, as well as the Golden Gate paymaster. “This man from Indiana even wrote a poem.”

The update on Barbaro this morning should be around 8 or 9 am.

Posted by Alex at 9:43 AM | Comments (576)
Barbaro Updates: 75
Posted September 15, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 658: I just spoke to Peter who had spoken to Michael, who had visited Barbaro today. All remains well with Barbaro today.
updated 6:15 pm, friday september 15

Update 657: And now for today’s report from Kennett Florist (timestamp: 9:13 pm):

Everything is good at NBC today. Brought Mr B a nice big baskets of green tops, pears, stud muffins and other treats to get him through the weekend. I will be stopping up tomorrow morning with a little something extra for him, just to make sure he is green top secure.

Also, wanted to repost the link for Senators that Mrs Jackson sent. Fans of Barbaro Unite. S1915 Passes Senate… sorry was thinking about the headlines.

I also wanted to note this offer (Fans of Barbaro Band for Horses), for those generously contributing to rescue organizations. Thanks Lisa and Skyler.

Update 656: Apparently Kennett Florist had trouble posting in the comments yesterday, so this was their report from yesterday, e-mailed to me by Rachel:

When we went to NBC Thursday we were told Barbaro was happily munching on his carrots and sharing some grapes with an ICU mate. We threw in some stud muffins as well since we know he adores them!

Check out the pictures from Mike Rea’s Birthday party. Nancy has them up on his snapfish site and they are so awesome!

Mrs Jackson has sent the list of Senators as promised. It is the best info we could ask for. It lists senators by state and how they are voting, as well as all of their contact information. If your senator is voting yes, please know you can still contact him or her to ask that S1915 get out of committee and on the floor!

Thank you all!!


Rachel at Kennett Florist

Update 655: Well, the rain returned so the morning was cut a little short (a couple of my later mounts were canceled). I did take two of Tim’s out back across the fields. The first, Gator Nation, it was his first bit of exercise since he ran over the weekend. He seems in good order. For the second, I nearly ran into the local hunt (foxes have no need to worry, the hounds are fat, and instructed not to kill I guess). In fact the local hunt feed the foxes in the winter time. I guess hearing the hounds speak is a signal that the fall is closing in on us.

A nice article on Lost in the Fog that also notes Barbaro: A grueling race for survival: Sprint champ Lost in the Fog now competing against cancer, the following is an excerpt:

Greg Gilchrist, who trains Lost in the Fog, knows the star of his stable will never again answer the call to the post, because he is in the race of his life, for his life.

“He’s a warrior, and this is a race he really needs to win right here,” said Gilchrist.

While Barbaro is strong enough to leave his stall to graze, Lost in the Fog recently began what most human cancer patients dread – chemotherapy treatments.

“He received his first one last Thursday and will need at least six more rounds of chemo,” said Dr. Gary Magdesian, a member of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at University of California at Davis.

Update 654: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (thursday night). I just saw Michael Matz coming back from their second set. The rain seems to have eased off which meant a pretty busy (chaotic) first set on the woodchip track. My second set, I was jogging Chappy around the dirt track and saw two deer butting heads on the other side of the quarter pole. It would have been pretty cool to watch if I wasn’t on a two-year old !
updated friday 7:45am

Update 653: Now that Michael Matz has returned to Fair Hill I am hoping the update for Barbaro will be back to an earlier time this morning. As we wait I thought I would alert you to this generous offer posted to the discussion board: IN HONOR OF BARBARO RESCUE CHALLENGE. One of our site regulars has made a wonderful matching offer for Miracle Horse Rescue.

Posted by Alex at 9:38 AM | Comments (612)
Barbaro Updates: 74
Posted September 13, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 652: The Keeneland Sales continue into their fourth day with a couple more seven figure purchases (Bloodhorse: Pulpit, Distorted Humor Colts Bring Seven-Figure Prices Thursday at Keeneland and Thoroughbredtimes: Jess Jackson buys Pulpit colt for $1.3-million). We do know Michael Matz has returned from Keeneland and is now back at Fair Hill. (I asked him how the sale was when I saw Michael this morning, he said he did a lot of walking!) Michael was on his way to visit Barbaro this afternoon when I called Peter, so while I have no update from the visit it is good to know things are back to a more usual routine for Barbaro!

I have been working on updating the FAQ (not finished updating, but keep the questions coming).

Update 651: Yesterday Juliet went to Golden Gate Field with a basket of goodies she had prepared in the hopes of visiting Lost in the Fog. Unfortunately despite the best efforts of those on the security gate she was unsuccessful (Tried to Visit Foggy Today). I think she was a little surprised to hear from Greg Gilchrist later in the day!

Update 650: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night). I just stopped by Michael Matz’s barn (10:00 am) and heard from Michael (yes, he is back from Keeneland). I would have seen him on the track this morning if the weather was not so grim. Rain, rain, rain. I rode one on the woodchip track first thing, shedrowed one a little later, and called it quits for the morning.

I did call up New Bolton to inquire about the status of the Barbaro Fund. This is what I learned, as of August 30th, the entire fund is a little over $1.2 million, with 1,431 donors. The funds received in honor of Dr. Richardson: $11,511. 243 donors! Impressive!

Update 649: Today’s Barbaro update will again likely be delayed, due to the sales in Keeneland (prices have settled down after the opening two days: Thoroughbred Times: Average price, median continue rise at Keeneland, Maktoum springs for third straight topper and Average, Median Rise During Day Three of Keeneland Sale).

It looks like Funny Cide will be running on saturday (as Barclay told us on tuesday): Funny Cide in Brooklyn off short rest, it includes the following excerpt:

Cornelio Velasquez worked Funny Cide five furlongs on Tuesday and though the final time of 1:02.36 was slower than the gelding normally works, Velasquez told trainer Barclay Tagg that everything went well.

“I had him in the Kentucky Horse Park by the time he got to the gap, but when I got back to the barn [Velasquez] he was so excited,” Tagg said. “I said to him ‘What’s wrong with him?’ He said, ‘I just eased up on him, the race is on Saturday.’ ”

The article also includes news on the Jackson’s and Barclay’s Stormy Kiss, also scheduled to run on saturday at Belmont, and options for Showing Up for the Breeders’ Cup.

We just added a picture of Mike Rea, who is “long reigning” a yearling. This is done to help with the horse’s mouth and get a little stearing etc. before we actually get on the horse.

Update 648: Rachel, from Kennett Florist left the following comment from today (updates 73 timestamp: 8:28pm)

So much to relay from NBC today. This morning Alie and I were on the road bright and early to serve 300 donuts, coffee and juice to the campus before their Town Hall Meeting. This is something that had never been done before according to Dr Sweeney, and we were happy to do it on behalf of a fan of Barbaro. The staff that we talked to were so grateful and send their thanks for everything that is done for them or any of the animals there. When I was bringing the leftover donuts to the main building, they asked if I was coming back with carrots for B. So before I got in my truck, I called the shop and told them to load them up, our boy needed carrots.

This afternoon, I brought up some baskets of those lovely organic green top carrots as well as some stud muffins (just got a new batch in today) and other treats. Mrs Jackson had just left visiting Barbaro, so sorry I had missed her would have like to have told her how you all are rallying behind what ever she needs. Let me reiterate what I had commented on yesterday. Mrs Jackson is asking all of us to contact our respective senators (I will post a list when I receive it), and pressure them to move on S1915. Ask them to get it pushed straight to the floor and by pass the committees… and that it needs to happen now, this year. What I know about governement wouldn’t fill a thimble, so I am only relaying what Mrs Jackson has requested. She is going back down to Washington on Friday, hopefully we will here something when she gets back.

I also had a chance to meet the donor horses “mom”/caretaker. We had a basket for her kids this afternoon and we had a chance to talk. She has been working there for 19 years and does truly feel as these animals are her kids. She has been buying them goodies out of her own pocket for years. So she sends very big thanks to all of those who have specifically sent baskets of apples, carrots, etc to her children.

Thank you to all you fans aka maniacs!


Update 647: I just did a telephone interview with Ramon Dominguez, who rode Bluegrass Cat in the Derby and Miraculous Miss last saturday at Delaware. I wanted to get his perspective not only on these two horses, but of course on Barbaro, who he rode against on a few occasions. Ramon is the leading jockey at Delaware Park, and just also seems to be very cool. Here is what he had to say:

On the Derby and Barbaro:
Bluegrass Cat is very cool horse, and was very easy to ride. Todd Pletcher, prior to the race, gave me little instructions. We had a great trip. He broke very sharply to gain a good position. Going into the first turn I was able to come over to the rail to save as much ground as possible. On the backside I was able to ease him out, and by the 5/8ths pole I was just behind Barbaro. Without question Barbaro was traveling the easiest of all the horses. By the 3/8ths pole I was getting pretty excited and at the quarter pole I tried to make my run. It was between the 3/8ths pole and quarter pole I realized Barbaro had too much, Edgar had let him lengthen his stride …

On the Preakness and Barbaro:
I rode Diabolical in the Preakness. I was in front of Barbaro when the accident happened, but I heard a jockey hollering, glanced back and saw a horse being pulled up. It was very very sad. It put a huge dark cloud over the entire race. I am now thrilled to see Barbaro has made it this far, and his prognosis looks more positive.

More on Barbaro:
I did ride against Barbaro a few times. For example in the race at Laurel (Futurity on the grass) I rode Diabolical who was second to Barbaro. Barbaro was as cool on the grass as he was on the dirt. He had a very quick turn of foot. He would pick up the bit like a sprinter would. He is a very good horse, I hope he makes it.

On Bluegrass Cat:
As a jockey I always check the form and follow the horses I have ridden. Of course I wanted to follow Bluegrass Cat (Johnny Velasquez returned from injury to reclaim his mount) as I rode him in the biggest race, you get attached to horses you ride in the big races. I was sad he was injured after the Travers but happy it is not considered life threatening. He should do well as a stallion, he is very well bred.

On Miraculous Miss and the Endine Stakes at Delaware:
She was very calm in the gate, absolutely no problem at all. She did break a little slowly. She is an extremely nice filly. This is the fourth time I have won with her. Each time she runs the same race, when it is time to go, she just explodes