Barbaro Updates: 748 – 828

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Posted October 13, 2006

Update 828: The Barbaro update may be delayed this morning to after training hours (10:30 am) unless I can find a few minutes to get to the clocker’s stand at Fair Hill (where there is a computer). I think I have a full morning of horses to ride, and a couple of visitors coming. So if it is delayed, that is the reason. It also seems like it will be chilly again this morning!

Another nice Barbaro article: Barbaro still year’s top feel-good story, which includes the following excerpt:

What we can enjoy, however, is the slow, meticulous recovery of Barbaro. No, we never saw Bernardini and Barbaro charge down the stretch in tandem, and that’s a shame. But we can appreciate that the same courage that made Barbaro a champion on the race track is still prevalent as the son of Dynaformer battles for his life every single day.

Update 827: Just spoke to Peter Brette (6:10 pm) who had spoken to Michael who had visited Barbaro today. Barbaro remains comfortable, another good day.

Update 826: Rachel from Kennett Florist just left this message in the comments (timestamp: 9:24 pm):

Just back from NBC. They are definitely in Friday mode. Everyone’s spirits seem very good, and when I asked about the big guy, they said he was in a really good mood today. We had some carrots to bring him today along with something for Dr Dean. I also had printed out a very nice letter from the forum that was addressed to him and left that. He was not there when I stopped up today, but I know he will get them later. It is the most perfect fall day here. We had a really nice visit from a few FOB’s at the shop today. We love getting a chance to meet some of the folks we’ve gotten to know through this site! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


The letter to which Rachel refers is here: Open letter to Dr. Richardson.

Update 825: This morning I discovered it was Kathy Anderson’s birthday today. A party to celebrate was scheduled for noon. It was a very nice party which included the following attendees, Michael Matz, Michelle Matz, Peter, Kim and Nicholas Brette, Tim and Penny Woolley, Tim (Barclay Tagg’s Fair Hill assistant), Steve and Lil Klesaris, among many others. What did I learn from the party ?

Sweet Talker (Graham Motion’s very cool mare) is scratched from tomorrow’s stake at Keeneland, she has a temperature (bummer).

Steve Klesaris is sitting on 96 wins for the year, their goal for this year is 100 wins and one grade one win. The former looks very achievable (they have a 31 or 32% strike rate, and about 50% strike rate with their Fair Hill runners). The latter might be very tough, but they have one more shot tomorrow in the Frizette at Belmont: Ticket to Seattle.

Anyway, it was a nice gathering, which ruined my plans to run this afternoon (they served some champagne).

Update 824: Sue McMullen just e-mailed this in anticipation of Newmarket’s racing on saturday as well as a further update on Breeders’ Cup news:

Fondly referred to as ‘HQ’ by the British racing community, Newmarket is the heart of racing in the UK, a unique concentration of the sport and entirely synonymous with racing. Located near Cambridge, the small town of Newmarket is the home of the National Stud and has the most extensive training grounds, with the world’s largest expanse of maintained grassland. Some 70 licensed trainers operate in this area, with more than 2,500 horses in training at any time and over 60 stud farms. Originally the home of the Jockey Club (racing’s original ruling body in the UK), Newmarket is also the home of several national and international racing organisations. There are two racecourses, the ‘Rowley Mile’ and the ‘July Course’, both of which host some of the UK’s premier racing, including the first Classics of the season, the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas. This is the largest of the concentrated pockets of racehorses in the UK, the others being Lambourn in Berkshire and Middleham in Yorkshire.

The first race under written rules was run at Newmarket more than three hundred years ago, when King Charles II, who spent much of his time there, rode his own horse to victory (who was going to pass him?). Since then some of the finest horses in the history of horseracing have graced the Newmarket turf and tomorrow the Rowley Mile hosts one of its premier days with ‘Champions’ Day’, so named as it includes the all-aged Group 1 Emirates Airline Champion Stakes over 10 furlongs and the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes for two-year-olds, one of the main pointers to the following season’s Classics.

This year’s renewal of these two races are exciting huge interest here as the Champion Stakes sees the long-awaited reappearance of the Epsom Derby hero, Sir Percy, who faces older horses for the first time, including Hurricane Run, Pride and Maraahel. Sadly, the field will be without two intended runners, the fabulous, globe-trotting mare Ouija Board who bypasses this race to head straight for Churchill Downs where she will attempt to regain her crown in the Fillies and Mares Turf, which was always her main target for this part of the season. Her absence means that British fans have seen her race here for the last time. The other absentee is Araafa, winner of the St James’s Palace Stakes and the Irish 2,000 Guineas, and second to George Washington in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, who heads straight for the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Trainer Andre Fabre will be hoping Hurricane Run can regain winning form tomorrow after his defeat in the Arc trial and lacklustre showing in the Arc itself when he finished fourth. While the muddling pace of the Arc can provide one plausible explanation, Hurricane has a reputation to defend tomorrow and he will be ridden by Mick Kinane, who replaces Christophe Soumillion, the darling of French racing (he’s actually Belgian) as he has lost the ride on Hurricane, allegedly as a result of Fabre himself after tension between the two surfaced recently. The precise reason has not been disclosed but it is known that Fabre disapproves of Soumillion’s ‘showman’ antics.

Pride’s gallant second to Rail Link in the Arc was her second defeat of Hurricane Run and it is difficult to see the form reversed over this trip as Hurricane has not run below 11 furlongs since his juvenile days but you could never discount such a talented individual. Sir Percy suffered with various problems prior to the Derby and Marcus Tregonning and his team worked a minor miracle to get him there, never mind win it and it says a great deal for the horse that he won, and in good style. A mere 16,000 gns as a yearling, the modestly-purchased Sir Percy was an impressive winner of the Derby, a real test for any young horse due to its camber and unique undulations. A horse must demonstrate great balance and co-ordination in addition to speed and stamina, to win the 12 furlong event. Sir Percy also had to show a real turn of foot to make up ground in the home stretch and was asked to go through a very narrow gap by jockey Martin Dwyer, an invitation that many horses would have declined. In the words of the lad who looks after him, ‘he’s tough and never gives up’. His problems resurfaced after the Derby and he was given a good break, with the intention to bring him back for the Arc, but he wasn’t quite ready. In a race usually trawled by some of the wealthiest owners in the sport with seven-figure colts, Sir Percy is a fairystory and enjoys a big following here. Many will be rooting for him tomorrow and he certainly has the pace for this trip.

The Darley Dewhurst Stakes will probably determine the season’s champion two-year-old and the highly impressive and unbeaten Teofilo will attempt to frank the form of his last meeting with Holy Roman Emperor, when he beat Aiden O’Brien’s colt at the Curragh. Holy Roman Emperor will have the services of a pacemaker, Naigani, to ensure a decent pace and the line-up also includes the useful Hamoody, but Teofilo is likely to go off favourite. The eagerly anticipated rematch between these two looked uncertain as O’Brien was considering withdrawing Holy Roman Emperor but thankfully the rain bypassed Newmarket. Two mouth-watering races in prospect.

On the Breeders’ Cup front — Sheikh Mohammed’s unbeaten Discreet Cat is unlikely to run, unless Bernadini suffers a setback. The rationale for this decision is that Bernadini retires at the end of this season and Discreet Cat remains in training next year so Sheikh Mohammed would have little reason to run both colts in the Classic.

George Washington was due to work (gallop) at Southwell today to give him a prep for his possible run in the Classic. Southwell’s Fibresand surface is the closest available in the UK and Ireland to an American dirt track. Aiden O’Brien also took Giant’s Causeway there for a spin before his attempt on the Classic but the ‘iron horse’ was bred for the job and there is continued debate here about the wisdom of running George on dirt. Aside from the different feel of the track underfoot, George has never faced kickback. But Coolmore likes to market stallions in the US for which they must have dirt credentials on their resume, hence George’s agenda is motivated by a commercial decision that some here regret. George was due to fly from Ireland with a handful of other horses from Ballydoyle but fog at the airport appears to have foiled the plan, at least for today.

News from Japan is that wonder horse Deep Impact, son of Sunday Silence, will retire at the end of this season. Despite never having run at a track anything like Longchamp, without the benefit of a prep race and being used to finishing off a fast pace, Deep Impact nevertheless managed to claw his way into the frame finishing third, a mere length or so off the winner. It was a case of what might have been and many here believe that with a run in one of the Arc trials, he would have taken the Arc in his stride.

Update 823: I just spoke to Barclay Tagg about his two horses running tomorrow in the graded stakes at Belmont: Showing Up and Nobiz Like Shobiz. He said they were both in good order coming into the race (would not be running them otherwise were his actual words).

I asked Barclay about running Nobiz Like Shobiz in a grade one, coming directly out of his only start, an impressive maiden win. Barclay said that it is very unusual for a 2yo to win first time in a mile race, and on top of that win as impressively as Nobiz Like Shobiz won. He said while they got a late start with him, it is now three weeks since his win. This race (winning it) will determine whether they move forward to the Breeders’ Cup. (Barclay actually asked me what I would do with him under the circumstances, my response … you’re the trainer, i can only gallop them, and sometimes can’t get that right).

Update 822: A must read from today’s Philadelphia Daily News (Barbaro and Dr. Richardson are the front cover of the paper): DOC STEADY. The following is an excerpt:

“I was in tears by the end of that day, at home,” said Richardson, whose eyes were getting moist during the telling. “I almost get emotional just thinking about how upset I was about that day, because I thought we were going to lose him.

“Then, I was exhausted, physically and mentally. I don’t even like to think about that day.

“Getting him up was so stressful. Getting him up out of the pool and not having him stand and then fight us.

“It’s one thing for everybody else who was there, because there were tons of other people involved in this. They were all stressed. But I’m sure that on that one day, as stressed as everybody else was, that’s the one day I would say I’m sure I was more stressed than anybody else, because I knew that every decision that was made basically was mine – good decisions, bad decisions were my responsibility.

“That was an awful day. That’s when he was foundering. At that point, I knew we were in trouble. You second-guess every single thing you did from the day after the Preakness.”

Update 821: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). I saw Michael Matz as I was on the track for my second set … jogging Chappy, after her breeze the other day. Michael had heard from Dr. Richardson. It is positively chilly here this morning (my hands are still a little cold as I try to type) although it is also a cloudless sky, so hopefully a nice day ahead.
update 7:38 am, friday, october 13

Posted by Alex at 12:35 PM | Comments (527)
Barbaro Updates: 101
Posted October 12, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 820: I hope to have a Barbaro update by about 8 am. Of course I will post if things are otherwise (like yesterday). In the meantime I thought I would highlight a couple of posts from our discssion boards: the first, a note from Stephanie at Miracle Horse Rescue SPONSORING MHR RESCUES, SUPPLIES NEEDED and the second, an update from those of you who have sponsored horses from the MO tragedy List of MO Mommies & Horses.

It is also nice to see New Zealand continues to follow Barbaro’s progress: Barbaro healing ‘surprisingly well’.

Update 819: I have been a little lax lately in keeping up with the big races. Barclay Tagg is running his recent, and very impressive, maiden winner in the Champagne on saturday: Nobiz Like Shobiz Ready for Close Up in Champagne. If he performs well I guess he is considering the Breeders’ Cup. This race is one that is being shown by ESPN. With Showing Up also slated to run at Belmont on saturday (All Eyes on Showing Up in Jamaica) lets hope for a big day for Barclay.

Update 818: Rachel, from Kennett Florist just left this comment (timestamp: 8:51 pm)

Sorry we haven’t posted in a few days, it’s been busy and we’re still a bit short handed. It was a beautiful trip up to NBC today. Looks like we get one more nice day before the cold snap hits. I had a chance to talk to Dr Sweeney when I went up to drop off the big guy’s carrots and stud muffins. She said he’s doing well. He’s really enjoying his time outside to graze and she commented on how remarkable he’s doing. Of course we all know he’s a remarkable horse, with amazing spirit!


Update 817: Jeannine Edwards just sent this e-mail, which includes a nice anecdote concerning Tom Albertrani and Bernardini as well as a quick preview to ESPNs racing coverage on saturday:

Last weekend at Belmont it was great to witness the breathtaking performance of a champion in the making, Bernardini. In the paddock before the race, Bernardini just stood out… he was like Adonis. He was a man among boys, even though he was competing against older horses. One touching moment was when he paraded around the walking ring of the Belmont paddock, and the large crowd that had assembled started applauding him, as if he were a rock star. It was something to see. Tom Albertrani, his trainer, is truly in awe of the horse. He says each race the colt seems to get stronger, and it just seems to get easier, he does everything effortlessly. I think Tom was nearly in a state of shock after the race. What was cute the day before the race, was Tom brought his wife Fonda (who used to gallop Cigar) and his two daughters Teal and Noelle, to our TV truck. I gave them a tour of our “production unit/control room on wheels” and they loved it. Tom’s 13-year-old daughter Teal would like to get into broadcasting one day, so she was truly amazed at the whole setup and how everything comes together. I asked the girls if they missed Dubai, where they were born and raised, and they said, rather melancoly, “Oh yes!!” Let’s wish them the best of luck on Nov 4 in the BC Classic! They are wonderfully genuine people who deserve all the success in the world.

This weekend is our last regular show of our summer horse racing series. (ESPN, 4-6pmET) We just have the BC telecast left after this. We have a 2-hour show that features 4 live races, the Queen Elizabeth and First Lady, both for F&M on turf at Keeneland, and the Champagne and Frizette, for 2-year-olds at Belmont. We also have a feature on female turf standout Gorella, and on the latest European runners pointing for BC. We also have planned a feature on the new Polytrack and other changes here at Keeneland, a preview of Todd Pletcher’s numerous and talented BC runners (he may set a record for number of starters), taped coverage of the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes from Newmarket Sat morning, as well as various interviews. It’s a packed show!

Update 816: Peter just called (1:45 pm) and had just visited Barbaro. Barbaro remains comfortable. He groomed him and changed his bandages. Michael is now on his way over to take him out grazing etc. Its a lovely breezy and sunny afternoon.
update, 1:45 pm, thursday, october 12

Posted by Alex at 6:51 PM | Comments (528)
Barbaro Update: 100
Posted October 11, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 815: Peter just called, and he is on his way over to visit Barbaro. Once he has visited I will endevour to get an update.

Update 814: Still no update. I just spoke to Michael (10 am) and he still had not heard. Since we operate under the notion that no news is good news, there is no concern. Of course when I do get an update (will call Peter later) I will post it. I did speak to someone from New Bolton about the possibility of an interview with someone there. I think that is my next interview project.

Update 813: No update yet this morning. I saw Michael Matz as they were returning from the track. Michael had not yet heard from Dr. Richardson (not unusual for the time I saw Michael). Michael did mention Barbaro was well yesterday evening. It will be a few hours now until I do get an update, probably around 10:30 ish. In the meantime, here is an update on Stephanie’s (Miracle Horse Rescue) work via Michelle: IN HONOR OF BARBARO RESCUE CHALLENGE.

Update 812: Another Barbaro article, this one the October edition of the Mid Atlantic Horse: Barbaro’s Road to Recovery. Some nice pictures too. Cheryl (comments timestamp: 2:58 AM) highlights some of the material from the article. This is pretty funny:

“He’s a public figure now,” said Richarson, who also has become something of a media celebrity himself. Apparently word leaked out that Richardson was taking dancing lessons. Next thing he knew he was invited to dance on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, much to the mirth of Matz and Richarson’s colleagues at New Bolton.”

The Barbaro update should again be around 8 am.

Update 811: If you are reading this, we are live with the new dedicated server!

And more importantly, another comfortable day for Barbaro. I just spoke to Peter Brette (6:45 pm), who had heard from Michael, who visited Barbaro as usual. Barbaro did also get out to graze.

Update 810: Off to the dentist, shutting the comments down during the visit (see update 808 for an explanation). In the meantime enjoy the article in update 809.

Update 809: A great article from the UPenn Bellwether: How New Bolton Center Staff Joined Forces to Help Barbaro. It really details pretty much everything that has occured thus far.

Posted by Alex at 6:56 PM | Comments (353)
Barbaro Updates: 99
Posted October 10, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 808: The USA Today story I highlighted this morning is actually on the front page of their paper today, along with a lovely headshot. I was talking to someone about another project I am supposed to be working on (have not started) and she noted Barbaro was on CNN this morning. I love that he is in the main stream media.

OK, those of you who have a fear for their dentist will empathize with this. Imagine you have a toothache, which comes and goes. At times it gets pretty bad, but then it goes away. You know you need to go to the dentist, but you keep putting it off. Now you have made your mind up, and you are committed to your trip to the dentist. You know it may hurt, and actually may be quite painful, but you hope it will cure the toothache you have been experiencing. OK, that is how I feel about needing to move this site to a dedicated server, which is going to happen, I hope, over the next 24 – 36 hours. There may be glitches, but I am hoping that after the move, all will be well, and the problems we have had will be behind us. Therefore if the site behaves badly over the next 24 – 36 hours, you know why (or at least you will know it is a result of us trying to fix the site more permanently).

Update 807: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (tuesday night). I saw Michael Matz and his crew coming to the track after I had finished my second set. While they were approaching me Michael and others in his set were making light hearted remarks about some (hurdle) schooling efforts of Michael McCarthy (x Delaware jockey) that was going on outside a neighboring barn. This light hearted banter was a good signal things were well with Barbaro.

Another warm morning this morning at Fair Hill, although it seems rain may be coming in a little later. My first set was a mile gallop, after a 3/4 mile jog. The second set we went to the gate. The 2yo I was on had been to the gate before, but not at Fair Hill, and thus not with me. We cantered out of the gate, he was pretty good really.
update 7:55 am

Update 806: A nice article in the USA Today: Against all odds, Barbaro perseveres, it also includes some new pictures. The following are a couple of excerpts:

A surgical resection was done July 12, resulting in the removal of 80% of the hoof wall from Barbaro’s left hind foot. That also explains the white sign with blue lettering that greets visitors at the entrance to the facility: “Grow Hoof Grow.”

The sign is the first indication, but hardly the last, of an unwavering show of support for Barbaro.

The New Bolton lobby is filled with tributes, including 12 oversized cards from Churchill Downs. Beneath the heading “Once a Derby winner, always a Derby winner” are greetings from scores of fans:

“Hi, Barbaro. I hope you get well soon. Love, Mia.”

“Best wishes, Barbaro. You’re a winner and you’ll pull through. Much love, Jim.”


“He loves pushing people around. He absolutely knows he’s the big boss horse,” Richardson says. “He’s got lots of star power — and he knows it.”

Barbaro has not required pain medication for close to six weeks. His right hind leg, with 27 screws used to repair fractured cannon, sesamoid and long pastern bones, is becoming increasingly stable. His cast was changed Monday. His left hoof is growing gradually.

If it’s too soon to declare Barbaro a medical marvel, his comeback is further evidence of the fortitude that helped him to the largest Derby winning margin, 61/2 lengths, since Assault’s 8-length rout in ’46.

I was actually interviewed for this article, but did not make it to the final piece. The Daily Pennsylvanian (University of Pennsylvania’s School paper) called up last night for a brief interview, so that piece might be coming out later this week. They were looking for others to contact them for the story: Daily Pennsylvanian Article. Now that will be fun to be in, I worked at Penn for about seven years.

The Barbaro update should be about 8 am again.

Update 805: I just spoke to Peter Brette (6:15 pm), Barbaro had a good day after the cast change yesterday. Peter had spoken to Michael who had visited. Barbaro had been out and looked comfortable.

I spoke to Steve Willard (Giacomo’s exercise rider) earlier today. They were happy with his race in the Goodwood, especially the way he finished (he was third to Lava Man and Brother Derek). The extra eighth of a mile in the Breeders’ Cup Classic may well suite him. They are looking to that race for now. Giacomo seems to have come out of saturday’s race well.

Update 804: The rest of this morning at Fair Hill went well. I breezed Chappy on the turf, across the road on the steeplechase track. It was actually the first time I had breezed one on the turf for many years. She went well, she stretched out nicely coming up the hill from the quarter pole to the wire.

As I was going over to the turf track I passed Graham Motion’s set coming back. Better Talk Now galloped over the turf course. There is still no decision as to his next start (Canada or the Breeders’ Cup.) It seems Film Maker came out of her Belmont race well. She has yet to train, but will likely tomorrow. Round Pond, Michael Matz’s mare, actually did train today. I think Peter took her out back, and also appears to have come out of her race well.

Barclay Tagg was at Fair Hill this morning. He said Showing Up will likely race on saturday at Belmont, in the Jamaica. Funny Cide is being pointed for a race the following saturday, a New York Bred stake: Empire Classic.

Update 803: New Bolton’s update regarding the cast change yesterday Veterinarians change Barbaro’s right hind leg cast:

Veterinarians at Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital changed Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro’s cast yesterday, Monday, October 9. “We placed Barbaro under general anesthesia to remove the old cast on his right hind limb and took new radiographs to assess the continued healing of the original injuries,” said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “I was pleased with the continued progression of healing and the overall condition of this leg.” Barbaro had another successful pool-recovery, and was resting comfortably in his stall after the procedure. In addition to replacing the cast, doctors trimmed his feet and applied a new shoe on the right hind foot. A few hours after recovery, he was taken back outside to graze and was comfortable on both hind legs.

“There are no signs of infection and the primary incisions have healed surprisingly well,” said Dr. Richardson. “Because he has had a cast on for so long, there are a few cast sores, but nothing serious.”

Barbaro’s left hind foot, which had laminitis, continues to gradually improve. “There is good growth along the quarters (closer to the heel) but there will need to be much more healing along the front of the hoof,” said Dr. Richardson, who cautioned that “we still have many months of healing ahead of us.”

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, October 17, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Posted by Alex at 2:51 PM | Comments (578)
Barbaro Updates: 98
Posted October 9, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 802: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (monday night). I saw Michael Matz on the track for my second set. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. Again, another beautiful morning at Fair Hill. A lovely sunrise with a very thin layer of mist close to the ground, it is also warm! For my second set I breezed Rocky (Holy Bull 2yo) with Tim (on Grandma). Judge (Rocky’s trainer) caught me galloping out in 24 and change (breezed an eighth, galloped out an eighth). I thought they went well, but sometimes I wonder about the clocking accuracy of the trainer!

Quick funny story. Judge (who also ships horses) was shipping a horse to New Bolton. He took his son with him (little Judge). He asked Little Judge if he wanted to see Barbaro. Little Judge was pretty non-commital about it. When Judge got to New Bolton, he asked someone there if his son could go and see Barbaro. As he was asking his son said “Daddy it was you who wanted to see Barbaro, not me”. Of course they were not allowed to see Barbaro anyway, but it was pretty funny the way Judge told it to me.
update 7:45 am, tuesday, october 10

Update 801: Again, this morning’s update should be around 8 am. New Bolton will also be publishing an update later today, which I assume will detail yesterday’s cast change.

Update 800: A very interesting Breeders’ Cup update from Su McMullen:

Breeders’ Cup update – there is a possibility, as it has yet to be discussed with all involved, that the brilliant and charismatic George Washington (bred by the Jacksons) might be rerouted to the Breeders’ Cup Classic now that Dylan Thomas, who was key to Ballydoyle’s BC plans, will be switched to the Turf. Ballydoyle have Aussie Rules and Ad Valorem as likely candidates for the Mile so they are tempted to send Gorgeous George for the Classic. But it would be his first run on dirt. It’s an interesting prospect, with Sheikh Mohammed’s Bernadini lining up against the Ballydoyle standard bearer but many of George’s fans might deem it unfair to send another turf superstar to an untried surface against an awesome individual like Bernadini. It would be a sad day for the sport to see George suffer the same, and equally unnecessary, humiliating defeat as Dylan who to suggest didn’t like dirt is as much an understatement as suggesting the Pope is slightly religious. The best horse wins on the day, but you at least want the competition to have the chance of running a race and go down fighting.

Meanwhile, an understandably elated Sheikh Mohammend watched Bernadini’s casual stroll to victory in the Jockey Club from a TV feed to Dubai. His racing manager John Ferguson told the Racing Post: “It’s fantastic for us all, for the farm here in America where we bred the horse and for Sheikh Mohammed. It’s such a wonderful day. It was simply awesome. It’s an honour to be involved but just as a racing fan it’s so wonderful to watch such a special horse. It’s fantastic for us all, for the farm here in America where we bred the horse and for Sheikh Mohammed. It’s such a wonderful day.”

Having lost his great favourite, Dubai Millennium (as a result of grass sickness), a horse who was very close to his heart and given the fact that they are not enjoying their best season in Europe in terms of the top level victories, it is especially pleasing to see Sheikh Mohammed, a true horseman, bask in Bernadini’s glory. It is an odd feature of racing in the UK that the ruling family of Dubai have been so prominent for so long they are as much a part of the racing scene here as the Newmarket Heath. Impossible to imagine racing life without them.

Update 799: As noted earlier Barbaro did have his cast changed. New Bolton will provide detail in their scheduled update for tomorrow. My understanding is all is well with Barbaro from a brief conversation with Peter.

Update 798: Sorry, we have had terrible site problems today. Its a silly thing that caused the problems, but I am hoping that within the next couple of days all silly things will be over with as far as the site is concerned! I am planning to get a Barbaro update a little later.

Update 797: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (sunday night). I saw Michael on the horsepath as I was going out on my second set, Chappy. Michael also noted there is a planned cast change for this morning. It is a beautiful morning at Fair Hill. A lovely sunrise during the first set. For the second set Chappy actually went to the gate for a little gate schooling. We just stood her in the gate, make sure she is calm. Next time she will break from the gate. She has done that once or twice before. She is a real pro in the gate, and should soon get her gate card.

For those following Mike Rea’s recovery, you can sign Mike’s petition for his Extreme Home Makeover entry.
updated 7:36 am, monday, october 9

Posted by Alex at 12:00 PM | Comments (442)
Barbaro Updates: 97
Posted October 8, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 796: This morning’s Barbaro update will hopefully be around 8 am. Just an FYI.

Update 795: Sue McMullen just sent this e-mail about Dylan Thomas and …:

Needless to say, Aiden O’Brien has now confirmed that Dylan Thomas will not go for the Breeders’ Club Classic but he might go for the Turf.

John Valazquez told O’Brien that Dylan didn’t handle the dirt at all and it was obvious to everybody that after only a furlong the horse was very unhappy. This was always going to be an experiment and it didn’t pay off. Dylan had worked on the Polytrack before shipping to Belmont but that particular artificial surface is completely different to a dirt track.

It is curious to note that as Bernadini grows in strength and seeming invincibility, he also looks increasingly lonely up front as if there is something missing, which of course there is. The better Bernadini becomes and the more imperious his performances, serve as an even greater reminder of how much the sport misses Barbaro, the horse who could have joined him in battle. Even in has absence from the track, Barbaro casts a long shadow.

Update 794: No later update for Barbaro, which is not unusual for a sunday. It was reported on the discussion boards that Michael interviewed on TVG yesterday and noted a cast change for Barbaro tomorrow, monday. While I cannot confirm this (I forgot to ask Michael this morning) the timing for a cast change tomorrow appears to make sense. Things may yet still change however. A nice maiden win today at Delaware for Michael, Chelokee, in his second start.

Update 793: More on my visit to Belmont yesterday. I had the pleasure of meeting Ernie and Grandma Bea. As Ernie explains, it was very easy to get around and see everything you wanted to see (the advantage I guess of a poor crowd attendance). I also met Teresa from this site. She and her friends we hung out with for the last couple of races. They were cool, and there was an added incentive! Emily, who I went with, was a great host. She seemed to know everybody. We met up with Barbara Livingston, I also saw Lydia Williams.

I took an opportunity to thank Edgar Prado for the interview he provided (I had him sign a picture of him with Barbaro out grazing.) I also saw Tom Albatrani, and thanked him for the interview. He was also very gracious. All in all, a very fun trip.

Another article on the opening of the synthetic track at Keeneland: Barbaro’s Injury Gives Synthetic Surface Urgency. It ends:

“We’ve always been thought of as traditionalists, sometimes for the worse,” Nicholson said. “But we’re glad we’ve honored the tradition of giving anything we can back to the horses and the sport. Horses are what we’re here for, and we believe this surface is going to go a long way in keeping them safe.”

This is a positive sentiment. We are here for the horse, not the business of the horse.

Update 792: I just saw Lil Klesaris in the local store (Prizzios). I asked her about Miraculous Miss’ fourth. Lil thought MM needed more pace in the race so she would have something to run at. I think the fractions were a little slow (49 and change for the half). She was also happy with Diabolical, who aside from the Kent at Delaware, which was run on an aweful turf track, remains unbeaten since the Preakness. He won his sprint in 1:08 and change. Clearly he is fast.

I received this e-mail from Sue McMullen which covers the performance yesterday of the Jackson’s 2yo filly Enticing, as well as covers some european Breeders’ Cup news:

Enticing finished a creditable third, two lengths off the winner, in the Cordwallis Stakes at Ascot, a Group 3 for two-year-olds. The winner, Alzeera, has earned herself a 25-1 quote for the 1,000 Guineas. The Jackson’s filly travelled well off a strong pace in the first three furlongs but she was running up the stands’ rail and had to squeeze through a gap and couldn’t quite match the speed of the first two home. She’s clearly a talented filly and it will be interesting to see what plans they have for her.

On the Breeders’ Cup front – the Coral Eclipse winner David Junior has pleased trainer Brian Meehan with a piece of work (gallop) at Manton and he will ship to Kentucky the Sunday before the BC Classic. The American-bred David Junior, by Pleasant Tap, is a very attractive 4 year-old chestnut colt with flaxen mane, who bypassed the Juddmonte International at York and the Irish Champion Stakes as they wanted to give him a break so he would be fresh for the Classic. This is something of a departure for European horses who usually go to the BC off the back of a tough, championship season. Despite his successes, which included last year’s Group 1 Champion Stakes at Newmarket when he beat the very good mare Pride and this season’s Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Nad Al Sheba, beating The Tin Man, David Junior hasn’t quite been given the credit he fully deserves, for some unaccountable reason. His fans would love to see the gamble to keep him fresh pay off enabling this tough little horse to run a big race in the Classic.

Oddly I was talking to someone after the races yesterday at Belmont about who can possibly compete with Bernardini. This guy was pretty high on David Junior.

Update 791: Here are how the main racing press are reporting some of the key races from yesterday:

Jockey Club Gold Cup
Daily racing Form: Bernardini makes it look easy
Bloodhorse: Bernardini Easiest Kind of Jockey Club Gold Cup Winner
Bernardini rolls into Breeders’ Cup with easy Gold Cup victory

Daily Racing Form: Lava Man remains perfect on year
Bloodhorse: Lava Man Cements His Classic Credentials
Thoroughbred Times: Lava Man continues California dominance with clear Goodwood win

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic
Daily Racing Form: English Channel outclasses Hirsch foes
Thoroughbred Times: English Channel dominates Joe Hirsch Turf Classic

Daily Racing Form: Henny Hughes highly impressive
Bloodhorse: Henny Hughes Sizzles in Vosburgh
Thoroughbredtimes: Henny Hughes continues to dominate with Vosburgh victory

Flower Bowl
Daily Racing Form: Honey Ryder noses out Film Maker
Thoroughbredtimes: Honey Ryder wins Flower Bowl Invitational

Bloodhorse: Fleet Indian Game Victor of Beldame for 8th Straight Win
Thoroughbredtimes: Fleet Indian keeps win streak alive with Beldame victory

India takes Cotillion; Miraculous Miss fourth
Bloodhorse: India Cruises to Victory in Cotillion Handicap
Thoroughbredtimes: India easy winner of Cotillion Handicap

Update 790: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (saturday night). I just saw Michael Matz, who had heard from Dr. Richardson. It is a gorgeous morning this morning at Fair Hill.
update 8:20 am, sunday october 8

Posted by Alex at 12:47 PM | Comments (408)
Barbaro Updates: 96
Posted October 7, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 789: Bernardini was his usual impressive self today. I watched Dylan Thomas galloping by warming up for the race and he clearly did not like the dirt. Bernardini was brilliant. A nice round of applause after the race. We didn’t see Dylan Thomas run today though as he did not handle this racetrack.

On to the Breeder’s Cup now for Bernardini. We can’t fault him for the lack of competition. The only question for Bernardini is we don’t know what will happen when another horse stares him in the eye but try to find a horse that’s running now who can do that!

Update 788: Three Grade I races run so far. Round Pond looked to run a good race, was very close to the pace early on but seemed to get a little tired. She came home a respectable third.
What can you say about Film Maker? She was awesome. Beaten on a head bob but to me, the best horse in the race. A massive performance. Honey Ryder won. For the sprint, heading for home Henny Hughes was absolutely galloping, he came past us two lengths ahead at the 1/16th pole. A nice performance. They are now loading in the gate for the turf classic.

Update 787: I just spoke to Peter Brette and Barbaro had another comfortable night last night (Friday night). Peter took Bobby out for a graze and then groomed him. I called Peter just as Round Pond was leaving the paddock. I was guessing he’d timed his visit to Barbaro in order to get somewhere afterwards to watch Round Pond run. She looked lovely in the paddock. Five Grade I races coming up and a very disappointing crowd in terms of numbers but the weather is nice.

Update 786: Arrived at Belmont…I went to the backside and saw Round Pond and Film Maker (the Fair Hill contingent). Both looked well and relaxed after their early morning van ride from Fair Hill. It’s a little overcast here in New York but nice and breezy. I just bumped into Steve Jordan who used to be a trainer at Fair Hill. He now manages the Detention Barns at Belmont.

I’m still waiting for an update from Peter on Barbaro. He was a little late leaving the barn this morning to go for his visit. I’m hoping to hear from him shortly.

Update 785: Still no update. Michael has left for Belmont. I will see Peter before I leave, and I know Peter is planning to visit Barbaro today so I will get an update at some point. I’ll have it posted here by a friend.

The rest of the morning was mostly the shedrow, which is actually probably the most dangerous of the “training tracks”. A couple of the horses I shedrowed were pretty wild, I guess getting a little stir crazy from less exercise recently! Anway, we did survive, just.

For those going to Belmont, feel free to call me. It would be fun to meet up. I am not sure how busy Belmont will be, but I will have a Breeders’ Cup hat on (Fusaichi Pegasus).

Update 784: No update yet this morning, Dr. Richardson has been away for the last couple of days and I assume that is still the case. Michael did say Barbaro was good last night when he visited, so last night is now the current update. Well the rain has not totally eased up. It is pretty drizzly. Nevertheless most horses will go out and train today, given tomorrow is sunday a day many like to take off. Thus far I have jogged two, two miles each. I’ll likely have three – four more to do the same.

Update 783: I am not entirely sure when the Barbaro update will appear this morning. It seems the rain may have eased off. I imagine the dirt track will be sealed, so there won’t be a lot of the usual saturday activity (breezing), but no doubt the track will be busy.

The Polytrack surface made its debut yesterday at Keeneland: Opener finds room for past. It appears to have received positive reviews from horsemen, here is an excerpt:

“I like it,” jockey James Graham said after riding in the first two races Friday. “The horses seem to be getting over it okay. No problems. They might be going a little slower than they used to, but slow ain’t so bad, is it?”

Veteran trainer Merrill Scherer, who sent out Tequila Party to a fourth-place finish in the second race, said he likes Polytrack because of the way it seems to keep horses sounder, but he added: “It’s one-dimensional. You never get slop or mud or anything but the same old thing. That’s good, I guess, but I kind of like the variety. This way, it’s just, boom, here you go, same thing every day.”

Posted by Alex at 10:18 AM | Comments (529)
Barbaro Updates: 95
Posted October 6, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 782: Rachel from Kennett Florist posted the following (comment timestamp: 9:50 pm):

All is well at NBC today. We were there early this morning with bagels and fixin’s, juice and coffee and tea. They were so excited to have hot bagels on such a dreary, cold day… we’re smack dab in the middle of a noreaster. There was a line behind us before we finished setting up, and eveyone kept saying “thank you, thank you;” before they even got to the food!

Of course the big guy had his breakfast of green tops that were taken right up to him… and we headed back in the afternoon with a nice basket of goodies. Hope the weather improves so he gets his grazing time. Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Rachel at Kennett Florist

Well we know he got some grazing time.

Ashley posted this poem (timestamp: 1:04 am):


Because of You
I have known the highest of highs
As you effortlessly won the Kentucky Derby
In a sublime performance
and remained the Undefeated Champion.

Because of You
I have felt the deepest sorrow
As I watched you take that fateful step in the Preakness
Your Triple Crown dream faded
and you began to fight for your life.

Because of You
I have seen the wonders of medicine
As you were put back together by doctors at NBC
in the most difficult of circumstances
and given the chance to live.

Because of You
I have witnessed the power of prayer
As a nation came together and prayed
to heal your left hind leg when you foundered
as you once again fought for your life.

Because of You
I believe in miracles
As you began to enjoy daily grazing outdoors
you continue to defy the odds against you
and still remain the Undefeated Champion.

Thank you Barbaro

And finally, Stephanie, from Miracle Horse Rescue is now leaving for her trip to Eugene, OR. Thanks to your wonderful support she will have at least $9,835 to spend to rescue horses. Best of luck!

Update 781: Another comfortable day for Barbaro. I spoke to Peter Brette (6:15 pm) who had heard from Michael, who had visited this afternoon. I asked Peter if Barbaro had been out, and despite the weather we have had, Barbaro had been outside for a short while (I guess there was a little break in the weather).

Update 780: A nice article on synthetic racing surfaces: Sport of kings has its eye on fake dirt, celebrating the opening of Keeneland. The following is an excerpt:

Trainers and jockeys familiar with synthetic surfaces say they provide a better cushion for pounding hooves. They also present a more uniform surface than dirt tracks, which are usually a loamy mix of sand, silt and clay.

“The feeling is like if you were to run across a lawn after running across a sidewalk,” said longtime trainer John Ward, whose horse Monarchos won the 2001 Kentucky Derby. “This is not grass but it has the same feel that a good, rich lawn has.”

I will try to get an interview with a jockey riding at Keeneland. I asked my Breeders’ Cup host, Bob Hatfield, an exercise rider at Churchill Downs, what he knew about the synthetic surfaces. He said he had yet to gallop on one, but each time one of his horses runs at Turfway Park (Polytrack), it seems to come out of its race better than when they would run on a regular dirt track.

Update 779: I just spoke to Steve Willard (Giacomo’s exercise rider) to get a final update on Giacomo going into the Goodwood tomorrow. Steve said all is well, Giacomo jogged his usual mile and a quarter, and then galloped his mile and a half. It sounds like they could not be happier going into this race. They are looking for a good gallop early so Giacomo can close, and hope he does not get stuck on the inside. Anyway, all seems well. The Goodwood is a seven horse field, and also includes Lava Man (Pacific Classic winner in his last start) and Brother Derek: Streaking Lava Man Tackles Six in Goodwood.

Steve and I also talked about exercise riding in general. It turns out Steve is the other side of 60, and still enjoys galloping horses. He says he has remained pretty healthy, and as long as he can avoid the more crazy horses he will continue to enjoy the business. I asked him at what point does someone lose his nerve (a common problem for exercise riders), Steve said the day it happens to him is the day he would retire.

The Goodwood is one of six races to be televised on ESPN 2, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm tomorrow. The others: Vosburgh (G1) – Bel, Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (G1) – Kee, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Inv. (G1) – Bel, Shadwell Turf Mile (g1) – Kee, The Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) – Bel.

Fair Hill’s key runners tomorrow include a trio of fillies / mares, Round Pond (Michael Matz), Film Maker (Graham Motion) and Miraculous Miss (Steve Klesaris: at Philadelphia Park).

The Jackson’s Enticing is also scheduled to run tomorrow at Ascot.

Update 778: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). I just wandered over to Michael’s barn to get the update. Michael had heard from Dr. Richardson. Michael also mentioned he visited twice yesterday (quite usual, Michael’s schedule permitting) and Barbaro was in good order. Michael’s crew still had another set to shedrow. I was done after four horses to shedrow. The weather is wet, and pretty chilly.
update, friday october 6, 10:25 am

Update 777: It has rained, rained and rained all night. This will play havoc with training this morning. Typically the dirt track will be closed with this kind of weather. Now that the woodchip track is finished (it is being redone for the Tapeta surface) I am not sure whether they will open the dirt today. If they do it will be sealed and only good for light jogging. But likely it will remain closed and packed down so that it does not take in too much moisture, and will be usable in the coming days once the rain stops. Thus today, it is likely many horses will have the day off, or just shedrow (under a rider, walking and jogging). This will also play havoc with getting an update on Barbaro, as I will likely have to go over to Michael’s barn, after training, so don’t expect anything until later in the morning.

I have not seen the forecast but I really hope the weather improves for the great racing in New York tomorrow (a couple of articles: Henny Hughes, Silver Train Head Vosburgh and Bernardini Faces Elders for First Time in JCGC). I tried to get a press pass for tomorrow’s racing, to no avail.

Runners are also starting to arrive, for their quarantine period for the Melbourne Races: First Batch of Shippers Arrive for Melbourne Races.

Posted by Alex at 10:12 AM | Comments (503)
Barbaro Update: 94
Posted October 5, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 776: Just spoke to Peter Brette (6:30 pm), who had heard from Michael, who visited Barbaro later today. Barbaro remains well. Another comfortable day.

Update 775: The following is a brief phone interview I have just completed with Mrs. Jackson. She was very gracious to agree to the interview, and very apologetic when she was not available when I initially called this afternoon. She called me back shortly thereafter. I have enjoyed all the interviews I have conducted so far, but I have to admit, this was the first one in which I was nervous! That being said, Mrs. Jackson gave me no reason to be nervous. Anyway, I am rambling, here it is!

Me: Yesterday was the anniversary of Barbaro’s first win, what were your impressions?
Mrs. Jackson: We sure did not think much beyond the moment. It was a nice exciting win, but who knows? We were celebrating after the win, but it was for that nice win. We got a little more excited when Michael (Matz) brought up the Laurel Futurity (for his next race). We take each race at a time, first it was his maiden, then a listed stake, and another stake, and each is a step up, and you get more excited with each step. We were amazed when Michael thought about the Kentucky Derby, which was mentioned maybe before the Holy Bull Stakes. We really needed to switch to dirt to see what we had.

Me: What was the emotional experience like, to win the Kentucky Derby?
Mrs. Jackson: It was unbelievable, and it is hard to explain. It is every bit as exciting as you can imagine it is going to be. We are so lucky, thanks to Barbaro.

Me: Are you surprised at Barbaro’s continued following?
After his surgery, at New Bolton, when things started arriving, from all parts of the US and around the world, we realized he had touched a lot of peoples’ hearts. People were standing on the overpasses of I 95 when he was in transit from Pimlico, and then they followed up with notes and gifts at New Bolton. It was amazing. The unidentified donor who began the Barbaro Fund in Barbaro’s honor started a momentum all of its own. The momentum has continued, it is just amazing how wide reaching it has become. We are honored.

Me: And visiting Barbaro?
Mrs. Jackson: Today (9 am) We had a great visit, he was nickering for his grass, which I pick from our farm. I will be returning again this evening. It is no big deal for me to visit, I live so close and usually visit twice a day. Bringing the grass gives Barbaro something to do while I visit, and of course he likes it a lot. I like to visit, he has done so much for us, it is the least I can do.

Update 774: I just spoke to Steve Willard, to get a quick update on Giacomo going into saturday’s race, the Goodwood. He said Giacomo is doing very well. Since his work he had a day off, jogged a day and has now galloped the last two days. For his gallops he has had his usual training routine, jogging a mile and a quarter, turning around and galloping a mile and a half. Steve seems very happy with him. I will follow up with Steve again tomorrow. On the east coast, Bernardini has drawn post one for the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

I also wanted to note the availability of Barbaro wristbands, approved by the Jackson’s. All proceeds go to the Barbaro Fund.

Update 773: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night.) Peter just called to let me know (1 pm) and Michael is now on his way over to visit.
update 1:10 pm, thursday

Update 772: Still waiting for today’s Barbaro update. I saw Peter at about 11 am. He had not heard anything which he assumed was a good thing.

Sabina Pierce, Barbaro’s ICU photographer, posted this in the comments, timestamp: 2:42 pm:

HI Everyone, Just wanted to let you know that Ryerss farmed for aged equine ( the oldest and a local retirement/rescue farm based in Chester cty, Pa is trying with the help of the local Spca coordinator to take in 2 horses from the tractor trailer crash in Missouri of the horses destined for slaughter.
It would be great . I came up with the idea after checking them out on the web, and as I’m
connected to Ryerss, and have a horse that was destined for slaughter as a PMU foal, my Toby.. (which just happens to live at Ryerss).. I put the bug in the right ears over there. So wish us luck that we can get them here where they can live out their lives knowing they will get lots of love and a stall to keep warm and green fields to graze in.
cheers, sabina

Update 771: The update for today is going to be delayed, Dr. Richardson is out of town. Michael did note that Barbaro was well yesterday evening. Thus far I have ridden two horses. The first, a new 2yo, went out in company with another new 2yo. Both seemed pretty sensible, which is all you can ask for at this early stage. The second was Chappy, galloping a mile and a quarter. Coming off the track I asked to Lil (Klesaris) about the change in jockey for Miraculous Miss on saturday (Pino is named on her). She confirmed Ramon Dominguez is scheduled to be in New York that day. It must be tough for the jockeys when their top horses are running the same day, at different racetracks. I know Ramon worked Miraculous Miss her last two works at Fair Hill.
update 7:40 am, thursday

Update 770: An encouraging move at Woodbine: Horsemen start fund for LongRun. The following is an excerpt:

“There are a lot of horses a year that are no longer able to compete at a racing level but just need some time for rehabilitation before being fostered into a new kind of life,” said Leslie. “It’s a huge cost. Even with this funding, there are going to be a lot of horses that we’re not going to be able to help. But there are going to be a lot of horses we can help.”

It was Leslie, acting on LongRun’s behalf, who initiated the chain of events that led to the HBPA windfall.

I thought this was an interesting story from Australia, a $1374 (AU) purchase has turned into a likely sprint champion: Joe’s new Takeover Target: the world’s greatest galloper. An excerpt:

From the day his trainer Joe Janiak, father of Ben (and at the time a taxi driver in Queanbeyan), paid $1375 for the galloper at a tried-horse sale in Sydney four years back, to his first win on his home track, to his first Group 1 win in the 2004 Salinger Stakes at Flemington in Melbourne Cup week to international success in London and Japan this year.

And for racing this weekend at Belmont, the Daily Racing Form includes an article on Dylan Thomas and Fair Hill’s Film Maker: Classic audition for Dylan Thomas. A couple of excerpts:

By sending Dylan Thomas to Belmont Park for Saturday’s $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup, O’Brien will find out not only if Dylan Thomas can handle the dirt, but if he can handle it against Bernardini, North America’s premier dirt runner. If Dylan Thomas can handle this assignment, O’Brien may have a candidate for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic next month at Churchill Downs.


Film Maker has made only two starts this year, winning the Grade 3 All Along Breeders’ Cup Stakes at Colonial Downs and finishing second in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park, where she wound up in traffic turning for home.

“I don’t know if steadied is the right word,” said trainer Graham Motion. “She had to wait, and that gave Gorella a chance to get the jump on her.”

Posted by Alex at 10:10 AM | Comments (635)
Barbaro Updates: 93
Posted October 4, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 769: Just spoke to Peter Brette who had spoken to Michael, who visited Barbaro. Barbaro remains comfortable. Another good day. Given it is the anniversary of Barbaro’s first win I asked Peter about his thoughts that day and what he knew of Barbaro going into the race. He said he figured Barbaro was a very good horse going into the race, and the result was more a relief than anything. He proved that day he was a good horse. Peter has ridden plenty of good horses to compare Barbaro with given his time in Dubai and Europe.

Update 768: Well you all now own an Appaloosa Gelding, congratulations and may he be one of many!

A couple of items on the racing front.

Miraculous Miss is back in the entries: Miraculous Miss Heads Cotillion Field. This is Philadelphia Park’s biggest race this year. Miraculous Miss is stretching out for the first time (I think), but her running style should suit this race. I know she has worked the last couple of weekends, good 7/8th mile works in preparation for the longer race. The article notes that Mario Pino will take the ride, I must then assume Ramon Dominguez will be at Belmont.

I spoke to Joe Deegan, exercise rider for Perfect Drift. I mentioned to him how unlucky I thought they were last weekend in the Kentucky Cup. He agreed. It was a muddling kind of race, slowly run, and Perfect Drift had nowhere to go. He said he came out of the race well, and they are pointing for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. I believe Perfect Drift is the current leading money earner, and if he starts in the Classic he will have set a record for the most consecutive starts in the race. When I spoke to Joe he was actually at Timonium Sales, less than an hour from here!

Alie, from Kennett Florist left this note in the comments, timestamp: 8:01 pm:

It’s a beautiful day in Kennett Square. I just returned from NBC. Delivered Barbaro’s
Treat basket. All seemed well. Dr Sweeny had someone in her office, so I didn’t get to see her. Kathy at the front desk is always a joy to see & talk to. They were very busy. People were running around every where. I hold them about breakfast coming on Friday; you can’t image the excitement that made. NBC is just a wonderful place for animals & people. Today we are celebrating; 1 year ago was Barbaro’s first win. Wow how time goes bye. We can’t wait to celebrate Barbaro being well & leaving NBC. We are so lucky to have found this wonderful world at TWR that B has opened up to us. We are truly blessed. God Bless Barbaro, the Jackson’s, NBC, Michael, Alex, & all connected.

Update 767: A mixed bag of racing updates. Belmont Stakes winner Jazil will not be pointed for the Breeders’ Cup. While he is currently in training, it does not appear he has yet worked and clearly won’t be ready: NO BC CUP FOR JAZIL. Henny Hughes and Michael Matz’s Round Pond are scheduled to run on saturday at Belmont: Henny Hughes has McLaughlin upbeat. And finally a Jackson bred horse fetched the top price on the opening day at Tattersalls: George Washington’s Half-Brother Tops Tattersalls October’s First Session.

A challenge has been established to raise funds for the Missouri Horses: MISSOURI HORSES NEED OUR HELP CHALLENGE. Here are instructions for the challenge.

Update 766: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (tuesday night). I just saw Michael Matz as I was coming onto the dirt track for my second set, to gallop Chappy a mile and a quarter. He had heard from Dr. Richardson.
update, wednesday, october 4, 7:35 am.

Update 765: Again, the Barbaro update will be after 8 AM. That is looking like the new standard time to expect an update. Many of you following Barbaro have realized today marks a special anniversary, one year since Barbaro made his debut, and of course one year since his undefeated record began. Here is our interview with Jose Caraballo, who rode Barbaro that day.

Bernardini did his final piece of work on tuesday, before the Jockey Club on saturday: Bernardini Breezes for Jockey Club Gold Cup. He went five eighths in 1:03 1/5th, which seeme to me like a simple maintenance breeze and nothing more. I am planning on going to Belmont for the races on saturday. And now for something slightly amusing.

Posted by Alex at 9:52 AM | Comments (417)
Barbaro Updates: 92
Posted October 3, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 764: Peter Brette just called (7pm). Barbaro continued to have a good day today. Peter had heard from Michael who had visited. He was out of his stall for about an hour. No doubt a great day for grazing.

Update 763: I have just returned from visiting Mike Rea. I am amazed at how well he seems to be doing. He is kind of emotional, and gets a little frustrated he is not progressing faster, but I think he seems to be progressing very well. We had long chats, his lovely mum was there, I think she has basically moved to Elkton! Mike is so touched at everyone’s support. Anyway, just as I was leaving he (or his mum) mentioned he may be up for an award. I had heard something about this in Fair Hill this morning (Tammy, who along with Mike rescued four horses from the terrible barn fire, mentioned something to Tim). Anway, he and Tammy have been nominated for the White Horse Award. They are two of five nominees (I think it is five altogether), and as a nominee have been invited to this year’s Breeders’ Cup for awards ceremonies and prizes etc. And then of course, they might win! Anyway, I was pretty excited for Mike. I am not sure if he can get to Kentucky early November, but I think its great that he (and Tammy) have been recognized for their heroic actions.

During the visit we also talked about Barbaro. I mentioned to Mike that it is one year tomorrow since his first win. Of course Mike mentioned that he was there that day … had a runner in the race. I asked him where his horse was when Barbaro crossed the wire … Anyway, all in all a very good visit.

Rachel from Kennett Florist left this quick report in the comments of their visit to NBC, timestamp: 9:17 pm:

Not only ACN, but a “very, very well” from Dr Dean! Way to go Big guy… of course we know how well his appitite has been.

Spirits were good at NBC today. We dropped off some treats for our boy as well as some for the beloved donor horses. It’s a good day to graze, I think we’re getting out Indian Summer here this week, it’s warm today and supposed to be crazy hot tomorrow. I’m sure Big B is enjoying the sun on his back!


Rachel at Kennett Florist

Update 762: This afternoon I think I will go over and see Mike Rea. I have not seen him since his birthday party, and I have a couple of bracelets that Lisa and Skyler wanted me to pass along. Catching up with his blog it seems he is able to get out and about a little, so he might not even be there when I visit. Anyway, if he is, it will be good to see him.

Sabina Pierce (Barbaro photographer) left the transcript of Andy Rooney’s 60 minutes piece in the comments, timestamp: 2:02pm.

Update 761: New Bolton’s weekly update: Barbaro had another good week:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro had another good week, and continues to please veterinarians with his progress. “He is doing very, very well,” said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. “His appetite and vital signs continue to be excellent.”

Veterinarians plan to change the colt’s right hind leg cast within the next week, if needed. Barbaro’s left hind hoof remains in a protective bandage, which is changed daily. He still goes out to walk and graze each day.

While pleased with Barbaro’s progress, Dr. Richardson is cautious about his prognosis. 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, October 10, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Update 760: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (monday night). I saw Michael Matz when I was on my second set (Chappy), Michael was on Messaging, stood by the gap on the dirt. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. It is another beautiful day here at Fair Hill.

It is also the end of an era, the last day of the woodchip track, Fair Hill’s original training surface. It will be replaced by the Tapeta surface (synthetic track) which will hopefully be ready in a couple of months. Chappy was my last horse to gallop on the woodchip, and she was in great company. Graham Motion was breezing a few of his horses, they included Film Maker and Sweet Talker.
update, tuesday october 3, 8:25 am

Update 759: The update for Barbaro this morning will again be after 8 am.

NPR did a piece on Precisionist yesterday on “All Things Considered”: Precisionist Nears a New Pasture, you can now go to the link and listen to the audio online.

Steve Haskins (Bloodhorse) writes a nice summary of last weekends’ racing activities and the implications for the forthcoming Breeders’ Cup: Countdown to the Cup: Where Will the Cat Strike Next? A very good read for those getting ready to enjoy the Breeders’ Cup.

Posted by Alex at 10:20 AM | Comments (481)
Barbaro Updates: 91
Posted October 2, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 758: Just spoke to Peter Brette (6 pm). As far as he is aware, all remains well with Barbaro. He did note Michael was on his way over to see him after the races at Delaware (they had a second in the stake).

I also spoke briefly with Steve Willard, Giacomo’s exercise rider. Giacomo breezed yesterday, his final work coming up to the Goodwood on saturday (Lava Man Ready to Glow in Goodwood BC). Steve said Giacomo worked well (although Art, another exercise rider actually rode Giacomo in the work). Today he had a day off (usual after a work) and looks good, eating well. Tomorrow he will jog either a mile or two miles, and be back to galloping on wednesday. I’ll catch up with Steve again then.

Much discussion here and on the discussion boards has centered around horse slaughter and rescue issues. MSNBC’s week in pictures features a very poignant image of a horse that survived a crash in MO, the horses were in transit for slaughter (image is slide 12).

Update 757: A few interesting posts in the comments today.

The first, from Eddie Kilroy, timestamp: 11:30 am:

Let me introduce myself. I do the morning show On XM satellte Radio channell 13, or 811 if you ahve Direct TV. I haven’t posted before but reall look forward to the updates on the “Big Guy”. Dee Mullins was kind to post my horse “Chief” when he was in PN. Tim Parente did a tie back with super success. And thanks to Staci Hancock for arranging through Gretchen for my wife and I to meet Barbaro. That was a special moment. I trust we all have the dedication to reach out to our respective Senators to shut down the slaughter houses.

The second, from Cate Kane, timestamp 4:22 pm:

On Saturday, four friends and I visited Fair Hill.I feel like I have spent time in another world – what a great place! It was awesome to see and feel so much horsepower assembled in Tim’s barn. The horses themselves are magnificent. It was fun to see those who were formerly just names to me. Luke is my special! Alex didn’t lose a minute, going back and forth from his riding to spending time showing us the highlights.What most impacted me was being close enough to the track to hear the hooves strike and the horses breathe. The perfect end to the day came when we drove to NBC to find no obstacles to our entering the lobby area to view the many tributes to Barbaro.

And finally, from Janice Palmer, timestamp 5:56 pm:

hi bobby and family, this is my first time typing.
I read this site everyday and pray for Bobby.
I met Barbaro in Kentucky two weeks before the Derby. There is a vibe he exudes and you know you are standing next to greatness! I wished him luck, told him I knew he would win the Derby and then petted him. Just as I was having my picture taken with him, he bit me on the arm.
It is the day I will always remember.
Glad to be aboard. I love him!
Keep up your miraculous fight, Bobby!
Posted by: Jan of Wor.

Update 756: I just spoke to Mrs. Jackson, who visited Barbaro this morning. She said Barbaro remains comfortable. His status is unchanged, a good thing. When I called her I interrupted her working on the anti-slaughter issues that have become so important to all of us who are following Barbaro’s recovery. Not surprisingly I tried to get off the phone pretty quickly.

Update 755: Another report from a visit to the Lost in the Fog tribute.

Over the weekend I updated the FAQ. Keep the questions coming.

Update 754: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (sunday night). I saw Michael Matz on our third set. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. It is another beautiful morning this morning at Fair Hill. A little crisp, but a lovely clear sky for the sunrise. The morning for me thus far has been uneventful, but a guy did fall off right in front of me as I was pulling up after my first set. He managed to keep a hold of his horse, which was a good thing, she was a filly, I was on a colt, it could have been ugly. All seemed ok from the fall.
update, 8:15 am, monday morning october 2

Update 753: The Barbaro update this morning will again be sometime after 8 am. Just a quick FYI. We had some very exciting racing yesterday. Here’s a review of the Belmont race: Discreet Cat Wins Jerome Under Wraps (OK, so this race was not exciting, but it did include one exciting horse). The review does include the following:

“We’ll keep our options open for the Breeders’ Cup or Cigar Mile,” bin Suroor added. “This horse has the class to run in big group I races. Everything we’ve asked, he’s done so easily. That gives us a lot of confidence for the future. We’ll probably give it 10 days, and then decide with Sheikh Mohammed (bin Rashid al Maktoum).”

So perhaps there is a small chance of seeing Discreet Cat in the Breeders’ Cup.

The racing from Longchamp was terrific, Sue McMullen provided us a great review (update 751). Here are a couple of other reviews: Rail Link Gives Fabre Seventh Arc Victory and LINK DERAILS ARC RIVALS.

Posted by Alex at 10:24 AM | Comments (487)
Barbaro Updates: 90
Posted October 1, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 752: The Thoroughbred Times reports on the Fog tribute: Golden Gate Fields honors champion Lost in the Fog. Robbie in Fresno reported her experience at the tribute (comment timestamp: 5:41 pm), the following is an excerpt:

And my final special moment to share – I had noticed a small flock of geese flying in and out of the ponds and water features in the center of the field. Just as the service for LITF ended, that small flock of geese came out of nowhere and flew down low right over the winners circle. It was as if they were doing a flyby. And instead of an even 10 (geese mate for life) there were 9 – one was missing. For me it was magical – and truly a day to remember.

Discreet Cat crushed the short field in the Jerome Handicap at Belmont this afternoon. I think after the first half a mile the remaining runners had just had their hearts’ broken! He galloped home the rest of the way, and won very easily. He only beat allowance horses, but it was a grade two so you cannot blame him that no one really showed up.

Update 751: Sue McMullen’s Longchamp report from today’s racing action:

Yet another Arc win for the Maestro trainer, Andre Fabre and his seventh winner of this race, but perhaps not with the horse most thought would come out top of his three, which included Shirocco and Hurricane Run. You have to discount the run of these two as Shirocco clearly wasn’t himself and Hurricane Run got boxed in and wasn’t suited by the muddling pace. But you can’t take anything away from the winner, Rail Link, who was the most improving horse in the race. Ironically, this Arc had been criticised for the small field, which, although containing superstars, was lacking the usual mix of the top three year-olds from the Classic generation (the Epsom Derby winner had been due to run but had a minor setback) but it was an improving three year-old who won it and he has now shown himself to be a very good horse. The mare Pride ran the race of her life finishing very fast to take second and the Japanese hero Deep Impact ran well but couldn’t shake off Rail Link when he made his challenge. The slow early pace made it a bit of a messy race, run in a style that Deep Impact was not used to and which didn’t help his chances, but trainer Yasuo Ikee is already talking about coming back next year.

Five other Group 1s on the card included a very, very emotional victory for British racing fans as Sergeant Cecil won the stayer’s race, the Cadran, coming with a very late run from last to first in the home stretch, to a roar from the crowd that his jockey Frankie Dettori described as ‘never having known anything like it.’ This 7 year-old, bought as a youngster for a few hundred pounds, is a great favourite in the UK and was voted last year’s ‘horse of the year’ having won all three of the big staying handicaps. This year he stepped up to Group company and this was his first victory in a Group 1. Tears were shed as he was led back to a the sort of reception usually reserved for the Arc winner.

Mandesha won the Prix L’Opera in fine style and, according to owner Princess Zahra Aga Khan, may go for the Arc next year. Jim Bolger is a man to be envied as he trains the current ante-post favourite for next year’s 2,000 Guineas and the Derby with Teofilo and now adds the filly Finsceal Beo (which means Living Legend) to those at the top of the betting for the first fillies’ classic, the 1,000 Guineas after her emphatic win in the Prix Marcel Boussac. Desert Lord won the Prix de L’Abbaye, in the second fastest running of the race and continued a long history of this race being farmed by British or Irish sprinters, just getting the better of Reverence who was not suited by the lively ground. Ballydoyle’s Holy Roman Emperor paid a compliment to Teofilo, who defeated him when they last met, by winning the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere for two year-old colts. These two might meet again later this month in the Dewhurst Stakes.

Update 750: The racing from Longchamp today was special. I noticed how relaxed the horses appeared, both in the paddock, cantering down to the start, and loading in the starting gate (stalls). I will look forward to Sue McMullen’s report, but it was nice to see the festival of racing. I was really rooting for the Japanese horse Deep Impact, he looked awesome. Perhaps two months away from the races was his undoing, he was traveling soooo well close to home, and just seemed to flatten out a little. Anyway, will wait for Sue’s report.

Another report from a visit to Golden Gate Fields yesterday for the Fog’s tribute, from Shelley, CA, timestamp: 4:23 pm. Here is an excerpt:

I had ordered a Foggy Forever T-Shirt from Ernie (Covino) here, and it arrived in 2 days from NY, just in time for me to take it with me to GGF for the other Fan of Barbaro I was meeting to wear (I already had my Delgado Fog T-shirt). After the touching ceremony for Fog, (many ears were wiped away, which may not have shown on the TV coverage) during which Greg thanked everyone for the cards, letters, carrots – and he said even songs – we were walking around when an usher in the upper areas spotted Ernie’s Foggy T-shirt with the beautiful photo, and said we had to show Harry. He literally dragged us to meet Harry, and we had a wonderful conversation with him and his wife. He said he still cannot believe all the cards and letters he has received, and his wife asked if we knew he answered all of them. I told them, WE KNEW, and thanked him again for their careful and compassionate guardianship of Fog. They loved this horse without reservation, and said again they just cannot believe this journey they have been on with Fog. They were very happy about Quite a Rush, but the bittersweet nature of the day was obvious. Over and over, we heard from everyone – including the USHER, who must have been at GGF for 110 years – that these are very real, very down to earth, wonderful people. For the last two races, Harry and his wife sat alone in their box in the upper stands, looking directly at the finish line and the beautiful wreaths with the banner celebrating Fog from the Fans of Barbaro.

Update 749: The following is a REPORT FROM MEMORIAL FOR THE FOG from Nancy. Margaret actually went to Golden Gate Fields yesterday, while she did not stay for the tribute, she reported her experience in the comments (timestamp 3:12 pm). An excerpt:

I was at the saddling paddock and learned something about schooling in the paddock. I learned that if a horse comes in without a number hooked to their bridle they are just “schooling”. But I saw at least one horse come from the isolation barn (?–the one where they put horses before their race.

I saw one of the prettiest grays ever. I have a pic of this horse and it just doesn’t do justice to this horse.

Update 748: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (saturday night). I saw Michael Matz coming back from the track. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. He also noted that Barbaro was well when he visited yesterday.

HRTV is covering the Arc card this morning: HRTV to Air Arc and Entire Longchamp Card, an excerpt:

HRTV’s duo of Jon White and Becky Witzman will anchor the network’s morning coverage, which begins at 8:30 a.m. (all times Eastern). The network’s coverage will encompass the entire Longchamp card, which also includes three other stakes contests. The Arc has a scheduled post time of 11:30 a.m.