Barbaro Updates: 829 – 895

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Posted October 23, 2006

Update 895: Still no Barbaro update, but its a logistical issue, nothing more. Joe Deegan just called to give us an update on Perfect Drift as he prepares for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Perfect Drift worked last saturday, he went 5/8ths of a mile in 1:02 and change. He worked the last eighth in 10 and 4/5ths, so finshed very well in his work. He walked on sunday, jogged yesterday and galloped this morning. Joe says he is doing very well. He will likely work again on saturday, which will be his final serious work (he may do something mid week, but not as long / fast).

I asked Joe if he was getting on any other Breeders’ Cup horses. While that would have been quite common as many horses ship in to prepare for the big day of racing, it seems many of the horses are actually over at Keeneland getting ready for the races. It seems that a few trainers are taking advantage of the Polytrack for their final preparations. I know this is where both Michael Matz and Graham Motion are preparing their horses.

Update 894: No Barbaro update yet. I saw Peter on my third set, he had not yet heard from Michael. This morning not only was it dark, it was cold! I have galloped a couple and shedrowed one. I am now getting ready to breeze one “over the road” on the turf track. It will be his first time breezing on the turf, and the trainer really hopes he likes it! We shall see.

Update 893: Much like yesterday, and for the near future, the Barbaro update will be later this morning at the earliest. There is of course also a New Bolton update for Barbaro scheduled today.

Sue McMullen sent me this e-mail with a piece of European Breeders’ Cup news:

It is very unlikely that Shirocco, the reigning Breeders’ Cup Turf champion, will be at Churchill Downs to defend his title as a sale has been agreed between owner Baron Georg Von Ullman and Sheikh Mohammed for an undisclosed sum. Subject this week to a satisfactory veterinary inspection Shirocco will retire immediately and head to Dalham Hall Stud at Newmarket. The five-year-old son of Monsun won seven of his 13 races, including four Group 1s and victories over track stars Electrocutionist, Ouija Board and stable mate, Hurricane Run who now looks as if he’ll be Andre Fabre’s only runner at the Breeders’ Cup when he lines up for the Turf on 4 November. Shirocco’s final engagement for this season, assuming he came out of the BC in good order, would have been the Japan Cup but it looks almost certain that we’ve seen him for the last time.

Update 892: Peter Brette just called. He visited Barbaro today, took him outside and gave him a good grooming. A positive report.

Update 891: Rachel from Kennett Florist left this comment (timestamp: 9:16 pm):

We had a nice trip to NBC today. A wonderful FOB came for a visit and supplied lunch and dessert to the very grateful (and hungry) staff at New Bolton. They were treated to pizza, salad, cake and various chocolates. Needless to say they were thrilled… they always are when food is involved!!

Big Boss was of course not left out of the festivities. Lots of green tops and stud muffins for him to enjoy… he’s always thrilled with his treats as well.

It’s turning cold here again, as we get ready for our annual Halloween parade in town… Kennett goes over the top for Halloween, all the area businesses put up scarecrows to decorate main street. Then they close the streets and have a big parade with all the bands in costume, of course. After which all the stores in town stay open and the kids get to go trick-or-trating. So instead of just having a scarecrow, we created a venus fly trap EATING a scarecrow… come on we are a flower shop, not just Barbaro’s cafe!!

Update 890: Jeannine Edwards just called (4:45 pm). She was leaving New Bolton after interviewing Dr. Richardson for the “Outside the Lines” piece ESPN is putting together. While she did not visit Barbaro she noted Barbaro remains comfortable (thus our latest update).

The Outside the Lines piece will air a few days before the Breeders’ Cup (once I know when I will post). It is about how Barbaro has effected those close to him. They have interviewed (or are interviewing) Dr. Richardson, Michael Matz (Jeannine said this was a wonderful interview, better than the Delaware Park “We only need one miracle” interview), a fan and Edgar Prado. It should be a five minute segment. Some of the Dr. Richardson interview will also appear on the Breeders’ Cup telecast.

Update 889: I just spoke to Barclay Tagg and neither Showing Up or NoBiz like ShoBiz (I hope I got that name right) are running in the Breeders’ Cup. Showing Up will be pointed for the Hollywood Derby and NoBiz the Remsen (New York). Barclay explained the decisions like this.

For Showing Up there really is nothing to be gained re: winning a championship for him by running in the Breeders’ Cup (and there is no three year old Breeders’ Cup race). While he ran his best race in his last start, this is a decision that will hopefully help the horse in the future.

For NoBiz it would have been tough to ask him to run his third race in six weeks in the two year old Breeders’ Cup race. He is still green and has something to learn. By avoiding the Breeders’ Cup he will likely benefit in the longer run. The Remsen will be run towards the end of November.

Basically I think both these decisions were made to help the respective long term future of the horses, rather than the short term potential financial gain. I equate these decisions to that of Bernadini’s connections when it was decided not to run him in the Belmont. While they knew they had a good horse, they were thinking a little more long term and he was only just getting his career underway.

Update 888: An interesting article from the Washington Post on the introduction of synthetic tracks: On New Artificial Surface, the Difference Is Real. At first I thought the author seemed in favour of synthetic tracks, but his final comment leaves me wondering a little:

The people who have championed synthetic racing surfaces should take a careful look at Keeneland and decide if this bizarre, go-as-slow-as-you-can style of racing is what the sport really needs.

There are many good points made in the article that suggests that the new surface would be:

a. safer for the horse (and jockey)
b. more entertaining for the viewer watching the race

The obession we currently have with speed from the gate does not make for an attractive product when the horses tire badly towards the finish and are strung out the length of the stretch. Racing in europe has always appeared to me to be more attractive. Lets hope the Keeneland meet is a success, and then the Hoollywood Park meet is a success. I can only imagine what will happen when an important grade one race is run on this type of surface (a triple crown race or a Breeders’ Cup event). Now that will be interesting. My limited knowledge thus far from people I have spoken to with experience with synthetic tracks is the horses seem to train on them with ease and they recover from their races more quickly. (I am guessing european horses tend to run more often that dirt running US horses, this is likely due to the ease of recovery from a race on the turf / synthetic track.)

Update 887: I just spoke to Steve Willard, Giacomo’s exercise rider. Giacomo breezed today, 3/4s in 1:12 and 4/5ths. John (trainer) was looking for a work in 1:13 so only 1/5th of a second off, which is very good (I am lucky if i am within 2 seconds of the time a trainer is looking for and I certainly have never breezed a horse 3/4s in 1:13!). Giacomo breezed in behind another horse, was eased out at the eighth pole when Steve let his reigns out a little and went by. He did not need to be pushed out. Sounds like a nice work. Steve said he cooled out well, he quit blowing in about 8 – 10 minutes and drank a half a bucket of water.

Overall he remains very bright and alert, and is holding his weight well. They take him out for a pick of grass each morning after his exercise and he just seems to be doing very well. They are still in California, but will likely ship to Churchill Downs the very end of October. I will call to get another update in a couple of days.

Update 886: Here is the Today Show clip: Barbaro is beating the odds. The New Bolton footage was filmed October 12.

Update 885: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (sunday night). I caught up with Peter after the last set, he had heard from Michael.
update 10:20 am, monday october 23

Posted by Alex at 3:21 PM | Comments (590)
Barbaro Updates: 110
Posted October 22, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 884: Barbaro “mania” continues as Barbaro is on the Today Show, the front page of the Wilmington News Journal (update 883) and Channel 4 news in New York (I think from an e-mail I received). Five months!

A lovely morning at Fair Hill, and certainly crisp. For me work has quietened down considerably (phew). First set I galloped a 2yo in company a mile and a quarter. Both went very nice and evenly. This was after a day off after their first “work”, so it could have been anything but relaxing. For the second set I just shedrowed a horse. She will do this for a couple of days before going to the track. The third set, well I could not wait for this. He was going to the gate. The gate crew are big Eagles fans. I wear my Brett Favre shirt with pride everyday day from fall to spring. Well all I can say is after yesterday’s football the banter at Fair Hill this morning is quite fun! (and the horse was good in the gate, then worked a half).

As I was behind the gate I got to talking to Fen, who gallops for Graham Motion (and gallops Film Maker). Film Maker and Better Talk Now both worked yesterday on the turf (steeplechase track) and went well. They are due to ship to Keeneland tomorrow (fly) and will likely have one more work this weekend as they prepare for the respective Breeders’ Cup races.

No Barbaro update yet, will know more about when that will happen when I get back from Fair Hill after my last set.

Update 883: A nice article on Barbaro and New Bolton Center in general: Kentucky Derby winner’s spirit wins over medical staff. The following is an excerpt:

“He definitely has a personality,” said Kasey McCafferty, the charge nurse in the intensive care unit and natal intensive care unit at the hospital. “He has bit me and kicked me. He can be feisty. He’s not nasty and he’s not trying to hurt anybody, but he’s a stinker. He can get full of himself.

“Every time you see him, you have to pay attention because he’s always messing with you. He makes you prove that you know what you’re doing. Once you do that, he’s fine.”

McCafferty was laughing when she said that, as she looks forward to seeing him every day.

She watches him bend his ears back and scrunch up his face like a kid trying to avoid eating spinach when he doesn’t like something. She said he breaks out in a sort of smile when he decides he wants to have some fun with the staff.

A quick reminder that today’s update will be later today now that Michael is in Keeneland preparing Round Pond for the Breeders’ Cup.

Update 882: Just spoke to Sabina Pierce, who is now out of hospital and back at home. Sabina is very grateful for all the support she has received from the site.

Update 881: No update for Barbaro this evening. I just spoke to Peter who had no further information since this morning. It is likely that as we approach the Breeders’ Cup updates will likely be once a day now that Michael is in Keeneland.

Update 880: Collier Hill took the Sky Classic in Woodbine: Collier Hill digs deep to hold off Go Deputy in Canadian International. I have to confess I did not see the race, but I am so psyched Dean McKeown rode the winner. I worked with Dean many years ago at Richard Whitaker’s. It was a time when Richard’s stable was pretty decent. I am not sure of its status now, but then we had Orient, Clantime, Jo Sugden and Tobermory Boy. Basically some pretty good sprinters. Dean was the stable jockey, coming up from Newmarket where he could not buy a winner. When he came to Richard’s he had his three horses to look after and basically rebuilt his riding career. He is also a great horseman, and a good guy. Anyway, I have not followed his career much since I have been to the US, but I assume this is a big winner for him. Another person working at Richard’s that same year is my Beeders’ Cup host, Bob Hatfield. Basically not only did we have a pretty good year at Richard’s, but it was fun too.

I went to the Fair Hill Three Day event today for a couple of hours. It turned out one of the competitors was someone I knew when I was a kid in England, Robin Walker. Unfortunately he was eliminated before the final day so I did not get a chance to catch up (either that or he just decided not to compete in the final leg). May be I will get over there a little earlier next year!

Update 879: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (saturday night). I just spoke to Peter, who had heard from Michael, who had heard from Dr. Richardson.
update sunday, october 22, 11:00 am

Update 878: Today’s big race is in Canada: Sky Conqueror aims to keep on rolling in Canadian International. As the name of the race suggests, it does attract plenty of international interest. Here is Sue McMullen’s preview of the horses running in the race that have traveled from Europe:

Included in the European line-up for today’s Canadian International at Woodbine are the Aga Khan’s mare Kastoria, trained by John Oxx who wouldn’t take a horse across the Irish Sea on a wild goose chase let alone the Atlantic, plus the daughter of Selkirk is in great form having won her last three including the Group 1 Irish St Leger (beating Yeats who is due to run in the Melbourne Cup), a Listed race and a Group 3, when she beat another in this field, the grand old veteran Collier Hill who at eight-years-old has won 13 of 43 races, including two over jumps and been placed 16 times (10 seconds) winning more than £1 million in prize money. This extraordinary and consistent individual is trained by Alan Swinbank in Yorkshire and although he doesn’t exactly have a typical profile of a horse running at Group level nobody’s told him that and he even mixes it occasionally with the ‘big boys’, including a valiant second to Japanese superstar Heart’s Cry in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March. Good luck to the old boy and what marvellous fun his owners must have shuttling around Europe, Dubai and now Canada to watch him.

Blue Monday is a definite danger among the overseas raiders, having been only a length third behind David Junior (who heads for the BC Classic) in the Coral Eclipse, third in the Juddmonte International and won his last start, the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Arc Trial at Newbury. Another to fly the flag for the UK is also the youngest horse in the field, the Galileo three-year-old The Last Drop who ran second to Sixties Icon in the St Leger.

Update 877: Today’s update will be delayed. Michael is on his way to Keeneland (Round Pond is there preparing for the Breeders’ Cup). I will call Peter later today to get an update. Its likely coming up to the Breeders’ Cup updates will be later in the day.

While we are waiting I thought you might enjoy this quick conversation Michelle Matz had with Eduardo Hernandez, Barbaro’s groom. I had asked Michelle if she could ask Eduardo a few questions for us as Michelle speaks great spanish. Here is the brief conversation:

Michelle: When did you start taking care of Barbaro, and what were your initial impressions?
Eduardo: I started taking care of him last year in December. He was a very happy horse.

Michelle: When did you realize Barbaro was “special” ?
Eduardo: I realized he was a great horse after he won the Tropical Park Derby at Calder.

Michelle: What were your thoughts when you won the Kentucky Derby?
Eduardo: I was very happy, and I wanted to keep on winning.

Michelle: What are your thoughts now as Barbaro continues his recovery?
Eduardo: I am very happy he is recovering well. I really just want him to keep getting better.

Five months and counting.

Posted by Alex at 1:02 PM | Comments (339)
Barbaro Updates: 109
Posted October 21, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 876: Another comfortable day for Barbaro. I just spoke to Peter (6:00 pm) who had spoken to Michael, who had visited.

Update 875: A quick reminder, there is a 7 pm vigil tonight for Barbaro. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some time for Barbaro.

Sue McMullen sent this report of the Racing Post Trophy:

Trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam is enjoying great success with his two-year-olds and has much to look forward to next season as he has now added the winner of the Racing Post Trophy to his line-up. Authorized, under Frankie Dettori, was an emphatic winner of the race that always seems to throw up a very good horse and has been won three times in recent years by horses who have gone on to win the Epsom Derby.

Run on heavy ground the first three horses home were all above 20-1 in the betting market and it has to be said that the going was too soft for many who appeared to be finding conditions underfoot just too much, including favourites Eagle Mountain and Regime.

Sometimes heavy ground throws up an odd result, which is quickly discounted by form experts, but although the winner is now being described as a ‘surprise victory’ at 25-1, the surprise is only to those who overlooked the horse in the market and nobody told Authorized that he was a longshot and unlikely to be a maiden winner in this race. His performance was less of a surprise to the owner and trainer who knew he had the talent as he has continued to improve. Frankie Dettori tried to persuade the owner not to run as although he knew the horse didn’t lack talent, he thought he needed more time to mature mentally before tackling such a big race.

The Montjeu colt proved him wrong in the nicest possible way and also vindicated Chapple-Hyam’s last minute decision to let him take his chance as he was nearly withdrawn due to the testing conditions. He heads to the Dante at York, then the Epsom Derby for which he’s now earned himself a quote of 12-1. For this observer, he won in spite of the ground and not because of it as he moved like a very good horse and this was no fluke victory due to heavy going.

By the way, the winning trainer, and Michael Bell (a trainer who was mentioned in yesterday’s report from Sue) both worked for the same trainer many years ago. So did I. Anyone know the name of the trainer (not very likely).

Update 874: The rest of the morning at Fair Hill was reasonably uneventful. Lydia Williams was at Fair Hill taking pictures. She has contributed some pictures to this site (Lost in the Fog, Miraculous Miss etc.).

Annie (Michael Matz exercise rider) let me know how excited Eduardo was to receive his gift baskets (we were walking back from the track after our last set). Yolanda, his wife, was also thrilled. They wanted Annie to make sure to let me know to say thank you. This is yet another outcome of everyone’s generosity on this site.

On the Breeders’ Cup front it looks like Graham Motion will be represented by Film Maker and Better Talk Now. Both are still at Fair Hill. Michael Matz has shipped Round Pond, along with Messaging, to Keeneland (I think).

A great day for the Fair Hill International. Today is the cross country phase, always the crowd favourite.

Update 873: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (friday night). I saw Michael as I was walking to the track for my third set. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. Michael also noted that when he visited yesterday he took Barbaro out to graze, within five minutes had to bring him back in. I guess the wind was getting him a little excited (Barbaro, not Michael).

It is looking like a beautiful day at Fair Hill. First set was a little lighter than yesterday morning given the clear sky, but only a little lighter! For the first set I opened galloped a 2yo, in company, for three eighths of a mile. His first open gallop at Fair Hill. They went well together, and picked it up nicely down the lane. No one clocked us, and even if someone wanted to, they would not really have seen the work. The second set was a quarter mile breeze, Rocky (Holy Bull 2yo) with Grandma (one of Tim’s 2yos). They went a very nice 26 and change together. Rocky has not yet learned how to carry me through the breeze. I need to hussle him a little to get him to cruise, but then when I just sit on him, he eases himself back. He’s just learning. He does share some of the same characteristics as Giacomo, who is also by Holy Bull. I was talking to Steve Willard (Giacomo’s exercise rider) to get a report the other day and he noted that unless you really get hold of him to gallop, he tends to hop up and down a little galloping. Well, that’s Rocky too! Would be nice if he shared more characteristics with him down the road!

Posted by Alex at 1:08 PM | Comments (537)
Barbaro Updates: 108
Posted October 20, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 872: Another comfortable day for Barbaro. I just spoke to Peter, who had heard from Michael, who had visited.

Funny Cide is running tomorrow: New York-breds at center stage. Here is an excerpt:

While Tagg said he’s been pleased with Funny Cide’s training and soundness, he admits he’s not sure what to expect from the gelding.

“When he wants to run he can run with anybody,” Tagg said. “When he doesn’t want to run it doesn’t matter what the hell you do with him.”

Update 871: Rachel, from Kennett Florist left this comment about their visit to New Bolton today (timestamp: 8:36 pm):

What a day we’ve had here. The wind and rain have been crazy here… thankfully we still have power, not so much down the road.

But even with the horrible weather, in came Martita… our lovely little dancer from NY. She had quite a trip but I will let her post about that later. She had us bring apple cider donuts and hot apple cider for all the folks up at NBC. She even did a bit of dancing for Dr Sweeney, Dr Richardson and some of the staff as they snacked. What a lovely treat for us all. What a doll Martita is and I’m sure that she brought everyone at NBC a bit of joy to their day.

And of course, Big Boss Horse couldn’t be excluded, we brought him a couple of baskets of his favorites so that he could enjoy… he didn’t get to see the dancing, but I think maybe he and Dr Dean do a little two stepping when no one’s looking! Have a great weekend!!


Rachel at Kennett Florist

Update 870: The key two year old race tomorrow in England is the Racing Post Trophy. Sue McMullen sent this report:

14 colts are set to line-up for tomorrow’s Group 1 Racing Post Trophy for two-year-olds, another useful pointer to the following season’s Classic generation. Relocated to Newbury this year due to refurbishment at Doncaster, the race is subject to a 7.30 am inspection following very heavy rain that led to today’s racing at Newbury being abandoned. Parts of the course are currently waterlogged and even if racing goes ahead, conditions are likely to be fairly testing and there may be a few late withdrawals.

Included in the field are four from Aiden O’Brien, who has won this race four times in the last ten years, most notably with High Chaparrel in 2001, and this year’s challenge from the formidable Ballydoyle armoury is led by Eagle Mountain, son of the imperious Rock of Gibralter, known to all here as ‘The Rock’. Following his impressive win at the Curragh 12 days ago, the highly regarded colt has been installed as favourite for tomorrow’s race and although soft ground won’t inconvenience him, heavy going is an unknown quantity for all the field. He is also seen as very much a serious contender for the Epsom Derby. Great Sphinx, Red Rock Canyon and Malacara complete the Ballydoyle team.

Another useful performer to face Eagle Mountain is Regime, trained by Michael Bell who won this race with Motivator two years ago. Regime has impressive credentials and demonstrated his disregard for mud at the Curragh when he beat all except Group 1 performer Miss Beatrix in the Goffs Million, including the very good filly Finsceal Beo who won at Longchamp and has won since. By Golan, Regime is also seen as an Epsom Derby candidate and his training has focussed on an autumn campaign ready for the serious business next year. One colt who has proved himself on heavy ground is Prince Golan, trained by Kevin Ryan who won this race last year with Palace Episode. If the race goes ahead, the going underfoot is inevitably going to play a part in the result as some will handle it better than others. Even horses that perform well in soft ground sometimes don’t handle heavy going. This year’s renewal is seen as tough, not just in terms of the going, but the quality of the field.

Oddly I used to work with Michael Bell, many many years ago. So long ago that when I saw him at the Arlington Million a few years ago he had obviously forgotten!

I also asked Sue about the pending retirement of George Washington. Her response:

George Washington is to retire after the BC Classic. It always seemed unlikely they would keep George in training next year. He’s shown his brilliance and the rationale will be that whatever happens in the Classic it won’t tarnish his reputation as he’s proven himself so emphatically on turf. Ad Valorem and Aussie Rules will also retire, after the Mile.

Hurricane Run, also a Coolmore stallion, retires to stud at the end of this season. Shame he didn’t hit winning form again after his victory in the King George but he’s a truly awesome, imposing individual and as a son of Montjeu, he will be a valuable asset to their line-up.

Update 869: I just spoke to Mrs. Jackson. I wanted to see if she would sign some Barbaro prints that would then be auctioned for Freedom Hills. More importantly, she had visited Barbaro this morning and all remains well. She is also very grateful for everyone’s work and commitment for the anti-slaughter legislation. Please keep up the great work.

Update 868: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). I saw Michael Matz as I was driving out of Fair Hill after a pretty unproductive freelance morning (no worries about that though, its nice to have a break). Michael had heard from Dr. Richardson. It looks like the rain is easing off, although the dirt track was closed this morning. With the woodchip track finished, there were no racetracks available to train. Likely a few horses trained outback, but the ground has got to be getting pretty soft. I hope this weather does not seriously impact the Fair Hill three day event, which is just getting underway.
update 8:25 am, friday, october 20

Update 867: This morning’s Barbaro update may well be delayed to mid morning. Its raining pretty hard which will impact training. I’ll likely stop by Michael Matz’s barn after training.

Nice to see Sweetnorthernsaint back at the races: Sweetnorthernsaint Wins in Return at Laurel. The field scratched down to three runners, I am guessing no one wanted to take on the luke warm Kentucky Derby favourite. Here is an excerpt:

“I wanted to get a race under him and I didn’t want a big one today,” Trombetta said. “He isn’t ready for that. I didn’t want to do too much. He worked four times and then he got this under him. Now I am going to see how he trains next week. Hopefully this didn’t take anything out of him — I don’t think it did — and then we’ll move on. This was my plan and it went well. I am happy with it. It was what we wanted to see.”

There is also a nice article in the Washington Post about this comeback: Sweetnorthernsaint Wins Easily.

Posted by Alex at 10:54 AM | Comments (485)
Barbaro Updates: 107
Posted October 19, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 866: Steve Willard just called to give us an update on Giacomo as he prepares for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Giacomo breezed on tuesday, a half mile in 49 seconds. A nice easy breeze. He usually gets the day off after a breeze but apparently the breeze took nothing out of him as he jogged yesterday, and did a light gallop today. Steve said he is moving very well and appears to be just doing very well right now. I asked Steve about their plans for going to Kentucky (they are based in California). Steve was unsure yet when they were going to go, but of course they know Giacomo is comfortable with Churchill Downs (home of his Derby win) so they are not concerned about getting their too early. All is well in the Giacomo camp.

Update 865: Just spoke to Peter (6:10 pm), and Barbaro had a comfortable day. He had heard from Michael who visited Barbaro this afternoon.

Update 864: I just spoke to Sabina, who is continuing her recovery. She sounded a little less groggy and more lucid than the last time we spoke (she also stayed awake through the entire conversation!) She thinks she will be leaving the hospital tomorrow. She received gifts today from Kennett Florist and elsewhere, she was pretty psyched about that. Anyway, she seems to be doing well all things considered.

Tech. note: Prospero, which gave us a free license for our discussion boards for two months, is allowing us to continue.

Update 863: The use of drugs in racing is another of the contentious issues racing needs to face. While I am not offering, nor have, any real opinion, there are racing jurisdictions with a zero tolerance for drugs. The following e-mail from Sue McMullen notes that Deep Impact was caught foul of France’s zero tolerance policy:

Japanese racing has been rocked with news that Deep Impact, their wonder horse and son of the late Sunday Silence, is highly likely to be disqualifed from his third place in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe having tested positive for Ipratropium, often used to treat respiratory problems. The Japanese Racing Authority is currently awaiting a decision about his disqualification. The authorities in Europe have zero tolerance of any medication (eg, we don’t run on Lasix), even that which is administered purely for genuine, veterinary purposes and not designed to enhance or aid performance. Both the A and B sample have tested positive so the French authorities will now determine the level of punishment. It should be understood that the medication in question was administered legitimately but sadly not withdrawn sufficiently early for him to test clear.

The Japanese are still on a learning curve in terms of racing at this level outside their own country, hence the curious decision to run Deep Impact in the Arc without a prep race, and especially a run in one of the Arc trials which would have given him some experience of Longchamp. His third placing was therefore all the more impressive and a case of what might have been. This news, attached to their most high-profile, flagship horse, will inevitably cast an unfortunate shadow at home, especially among his legion of fans, but it should be put into context. Due to the policy of absolute zero tolerance, it sometimes happens that harmless medication isn’t withdawn in sufficient time for race day when random testing will take place. There have also been high profile cases here where miniscule traces of a banned substance have been found in feed, subsequent to the horse being disqualified from a big race, even where such tiny traces could have no effect on performance. Some consider this harsh but aside from any other consideration, equine athletes unlike their human counterparts, have no control over what is given to them and their welfare should be of paramount importance. Laboratories have become so sophisticated in the testing procedures that even innocent and minor transgressions, such as Deep Impact’s, are sometimes caught up in the overall battle to eradicate more sinister, deliberate drug abuse.

The four-year-old colt is due to retire at the end of the season, having earned in excess of £5 million on the track.

Update 862: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night). I walked back from the track with Michael Matz, coming back from my second set. Michael had heard from Dr. Richardson. Michael also mentioned Barbaro seems to have gained some weight (about 1100 lbs, I think he is weighed very regularly) and might have actually grown a little during his recovery. He was never actually measured while in training, but Michael thinks he might be about 17 hands now.

This morning it was dark, dark going to the track on my first set, and dark coming back from the track. The clocks need to change, and hopefully soon.

Update 861: Lost in the Fog’s cancer appears to have been more extensive than first thought: Fog’s Cancer Extensive, Necropsy Reveals. The following is an excerpt:

“What absolutely amazed me was how tough this guy was and how well he tolerated everything,” Wilson said. “It just floors me; the extent of this cancer and how he handled it with a minimum of discomfort. He had to have had it for at least several months.”

What a wonderfully gifted, and incredibly tough, racehorse.

The Thoroughbred Racing Association is hosting a simulcast conference in Philadelphia to discuss racing issues, of which racehorse safety is obviously a big concern: Equine safety essential to ensuring fan confidence. The following is an excerpt:

“Barbaro was a wake-up call,” said trainer Michael Dickinson, who invented Tapeta Footings, which Golden Gate Fields will install for use next year. “The industry had taken a blind eye to safety issues but no longer. If it had moved any slower on [safety issues], then it would have moved backwards.”

Turfway President Bob Elliston said that racing benefited from having a ready-made answer to the question, “What is racing doing about safety in the wake of Barbaro and breakdowns at racetracks?”

“We needed to show that we were taking steps to improve the situation,” Elliston said. “If we don’t make an effort, then we risk alienating our fan base, and we need new fans to support the economics of the game: owning horses and betting on them.”

Sorry, I think the fan base is pretty alienated already. Aside from the very big race days (triple crown, breeders’ cup etc.) you see few fans. Belmont Park had five grade one stakes a couple of weeks ago, the crowd was very thin. Go to your local racetrack on a regular race day, if you do it twice they will know you by your first name. Racing has huge problems, and things need to happen very differently I think in order to build a new fan base. OK, off my soap box …

I was talking to Andy Durnin, who is an exercise rider in California, and currently at Hollywood Park. He loves the cushion track they have recently installed. He said there has been nothing but positive feedback from everybody at the track. Horses get a great footing on the surface, no slipping, its very consistent. Their meet will open in a few weeks I think, it will be interesting to see how it fairs during the races.

Posted by Alex at 10:38 AM | Comments (601)
Barbaro Updates: 106
Posted October 18, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 860: No update tonight, which is not unusual. I did think this comment from Brandi was amusing (timestamp: 4:45 pm):

Last week, while on a cruise in the Caribbean, I was making my way to the ship’s computer area to check on Barbaro when I happened to pick up the ship’s single page “newspaper”. There, to my pleasant surprise, was the news of Barbaro’s cast change and the update from New Bolton Center. I was thrilled to see that his story continues to make headlines and capture the hearts of an international audience – even onboard a ship!

Update 859: I just spoke to Joe Deegan, exercise rider of Perfect Drift, who is getting ready for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Perfect Drift breezed last saturday, 5/8ths in 1:02. His final eighth was a sharp 11 seconds. Joe says Perfect Drift is training really well. He will breeze again this coming saturday, and they are looking for a similar kind of move. He galloped a mile and a half today, galloping on a little bit the last part of the exercise. He will likely jog tomorrow, and gallop again on friday before his breeze.

Overall Joe says that Perfect Drift is in good form. He came out of his last race (Kentucky Cup, close second, bad trip) very well, better than the previous race (Pacific Classic). Without Bernardini Joe thinks Perfect Drift has as good a shot as anyone, if the race sets up right for him. A fast early pace and a patient ride from the jockey.

I wanted to note that Mike Jensen, Philadelphia Inquirer reporter, Inquirer duo honored for racing coverage was honored for his Derby coverage. Mike did a great story on this web-site (To check up on Barbaro, check out his blog for which he was not nominated for anything!)

Update 858: ESPN (Jeannine Edwards) was at Fair Hill this morning, with Michael Matz’s crew. They are doing an in-depth piece on Barbaro that will air right before the BC on “Outside The Lines”. They will also be intervewing others connected to Barbaro. Very cool. I saw a couple of Matz’s riders at breakfast and was asking about the shoot. Michelle (Matz) apparently did some broadcasting of her own last week, covering the Maryland Million for Fox. I have Michelle on “special assignment” for this site, she speaks fluent spanish.

Ali, from Kennett Florist left this note in the comments (timestamp: 2:04pm):

Jen is going to take stuff down to Sabina early tomorrow morning. She will pick up here this afternoon. If you want to sent anything to the hospital. Sabina is doing well jen said.
Will post again later
We Believe

Update 857: I asked Sue McMullen (our Euro racing correspondent) to comment on the decision to run (the Jackson-bred) George Washington in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. This is her e-mailed response:

There is quite a bit of negative comment about George’s proposed run in the Classic. The consensus is that it is due to Coolmore’s commercially-motivated desire to produce a ‘dirt Danehill’. George is American bred, but his pedigree is Turf, unlike Giant’s Causeway who could claim dual credentials. Danehill hasn’t produced a serious dirt horse. The obstacles George will face cannot be overestimated. In addition to the journey and the overall differences in how things are done, even relatively minor differences such as the loading into the gate, he will run on a surface that is totally alien to him. After Friday’s abortive attempt (due to fog) to fly him to Southwell to work (gallop) on the nearest surface we have in the UK and Ireland to an American dirt track, we are told he’s now worked well on the Polytrack at home. The only similarity is they are both artificial surfaces. Horses bounce off the Polytrack and there is no kickback. Many of our turf horses work on artificial surfaces such as this as trainers have laid them to aid training when the weather is bad or when the ground is hard in the summer, but they are NOTHING like dirt. Kieren Fallon knows the horse well and even he says that until they race on dirt, you don’t know how they’ll take to it.

The rationale appears to be that even a gallant, two length defeat to the brilliant Bernadini in the Classic would better enhance George’s credentials to stand at the Coolmore stud at Kentucky than an outright win in the Mile, where Ballydoyle is already represented with Aussie Rules and Ad Valorem. The cynics say he isn’t seriously expected to beat Bernadini at his own game and in his ‘backyard’. Even his style of racing doesn’t enhance his chances. George is a hold-up horse and in his last two races has dwelt in the stalls allowing him to be ridden in that way. He can’t dwell in the stalls in the Classic and our horses don’t have the best record for breaking out of the gate in the Breeders’ Cup. It’s worth noting here that our horses are ridden differently from the start of a race so missing the kick at home doesn’t always prove disastrous. But if he’s to come from off a likely very fast pace he’ll be chasing it from the start and, with a possible inside draw, he’ll have to face significant kickback for the first time in his life behind a wall of horses, ploughing through an alien surface and his ‘action’ (way of moving) doesn’t suggest he’ll enjoy a switch to dirt. The hope must be that a brilliant George, at his best on the day, will somehow cope with all this.

This site has addressed the ongoing furore over George’s alleged ‘fragile’ temperament and the belief by some that too much has been made of it. Indeed Aiden O’Brien himself expressed appreciation to the author at Ascot that it had been put into a sensible context on this website. For many of his fans who watched George’s exemplary behaviour at Ascot when he was victorious in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, it was hard to see what the fuss was about. But in the ongoing debate about the widom of sending him for the Classic, it is inevitable that his alleged ‘fragility’ has cropped up and sited as yet another reason that he will struggle in the US.

Many of us here were saddened to see Dylan Thomas struggling on an alien surface (in the Jockey Club) and questioned the merit of asking a seriously good Turf horse to try and switch for what appears a largely commercial decision. And yes, racing is a business but you couldn’t escape the sneaking feeling that he’d been let down. Horses know nothing of their value and just give the best they can, which makes it even sadder when too much is asked of them. Dylan has now retired for the season as it has been decided he’s had enough hard races this year.

On the same day in May two Jackson-bred, bay horses blazed equally impressive trails on both sides of the ‘pond’. One in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill and one in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. Not only was this a first for breeding, but we also witnessed the emergence of two great racehorses, one on dirt and one on turf. Barbaro now has a greater fight ahead of him, just to survive, and George, by a curious quirk of fate, now heads for Churchill Downs.

If George does run in the Classic his fans will be praying fervently that he copes with it all and returns none the worse for it. He is a turf superstar and brilliant at his best, but with just about everything stacked against him, does it really seem fair?

Update 856: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (tuesday night). I saw Michael Matz as I was heading to the track on my second set. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. It is a very foggy, and somewhat humid, morning this morning. The track is sealed after all the rain we had yesterday. A quiet day for me this morning, only three – four to ride.
update 7:50 am, wednesday, october 18

Update 854: A nice article from the Thoroughbredtimes: Jacksons still wonder about Barbaro versus Bernardini which notes the rivalry that never was. The following are excerpts:

The second jewel of the Triple Crown could have been quite a battle between the two talented colts, and would have likely determined the Eclipse Award for the three-year-old division.

“It would have been great; I would have loved to have seen that,” Jackson said. “It would have been interesting, and who knows? Obviously, both camps feel like they have the best horse.

“I think Barbaro had a tough race in the Kentucky Derby … and the fact that he won by 6 1/2 lengths and the fact that he galloped out ahead like 15 lengths–he put on a performance. That was one race, and all of the races Bernardini has compiled, gosh, it’s amazing what he’s done.”


Jackson said she and her husband have not thought about winning an Eclipse Award so much as just wishing Barbaro had the opportunity to compete against Bernardini, and hoping he is able to continue to overcome a dire set of circumstances.

Posted by Alex at 10:51 AM | Comments (628)
Barbaro Updates: 105
Posted October 17, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 853: Another comfortable day for Barbaro. I just spoke to Peter Brette, who had heard from Michael who had visited Barbaro earlier this afternoon.

Update 852: New Bolton’s Barbaro update for today: Barbaro remains comfortable, continues to improve:

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro continues to improve a week after his right hind leg cast change. “Barbaro is wearing his new cast comfortably and his vital signs and appetite remain excellent,” said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery at Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital.

Barbaro’s left hind foot, which had a large portion of the hoof wall and sole removed because of severe laminitis, is gradually improving. “The hoof is growing slowly, but he has a long way to go, especially along the front of the hoof,” said Dr. Richardson. “We still have many months of healing ahead of us. The foot will require meticulous care for a long time.”

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

I visited Sabina Pierce at about lunchtime. She had surgery yesterday, which I assume was a success. Her mom is with her. She is pretty groggy, but also in pretty good spirits. She should be out by the end of the week. I told her she had a lot of well wishers here, so she will get to appreciate that when she leaves the hospital. A short, but good, visit.

Update 851: Just spoke to Barclay Tagg, who is currently down in Ocala. I asked Barclay about both his stakes horses that ran at the weekend. He thought it was Showing Up’s best race. He settled much better. He thought Nobiz Like ShoBiz was unlucky. He got compromised coming out of the gate, and ran a winning race. Both horses are doing well after their respective races, although they have not trained yet. Barclay usually gives horses three days off after a race and then jogs for a day. At the moment the two year old is being pointed for the Remsen, and Showing Up for the Hollywood Derby. The Breeders’ Cup has not been completely ruled out for either horse, there is another week to go before they need to enter for the Breeders’ Cup.

Funny Cide breezed 5/8ths this morning in a minute. He is scheduled to run in a New York bred stake race on saturday.

The Daily Racing Form had this article on the same topic from yesterday: Tagg considering BC for two.

Update 850: Barbaro continues to be popular in main stream media (more so than in racing media these days I think). This time it is the turn of the Washington Post: Diminished Body, Persevering Spirit. A must read, here are a few excerpts highlighting some of the staff at New Bolton:

DeFazio, 27, works the midnight to 5 a.m. shift at New Bolton every other week. She was scheduled to work that night. After the race ended, DeFazio took a nap — missing further coverage of the tragedy on the evening newscasts — then got ready for work. When she arrived at New Bolton at 10 p.m., she learned that the horse in her care would be Barbaro.

“When I got in and saw him, I was just awestruck,” she said. “He looked like an athlete in his prime. I half wanted to cry and half was excited. You didn’t know how to explain it: He’s a horse — one of our patients — but he’s Barbaro, and he won the Derby, and he’s all over the news, and he’s right in front of me, and I need to make sure he makes it through the night.”


“It’s kind of odd because we’ve gotten used to it now, but it’s very surreal,” said Liberty Getman, a third-year resident physician who fills in for Richardson when he is elsewhere. “You can’t go anywhere wearing a New Bolton shirt. You can’t go to the grocery store or anywhere without being stopped and asked how he is. When you leave here, it becomes more obvious.”


Sweeney said. “No one wanted this tragedy to occur, but once it did occur an awful lot of good things happened.”

And they continue to happen to Barbaro, the odds-defying patient who happens to be a star.

“I will be able to look back,” McCafferty said, “and say to my children and grandchildren, ‘I worked with Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner.’ ”

Update 849: Another comfortable night for Barbaro (monday night). I saw Michael Matz as I was heading up the horsepath on my second set on Rocky. Rocky was supposed to breeze this morning but the track was sealed in anticipation of a bucketload of rain. So, we jogged a mile and galloped a mile instead. I am just pulling Chappy out now for my third set.
Updated 7:40am tuesday morning

Update 848: Another great Barbaro article: His crowning success. It includes the following excerpts:

But it was Barbaro’s attitude, his will to survive, that inspired them all to continue with treatment and with efforts to save him, Matz said. If Barbaro was still fighting, they would.

It was never about saving him to be a stallion, never about money. It was only about saving life, about saving what Richardson described as a “magnificent” creature.


The goal and hope, Jackson said, is to allow Barbaro to be a healthy normal horse again, so that he can survive without pain or discomfort. If he’s ever able to be a stallion, “that would just be a bonus,” he said.

And if not, well, he’s already accomplished much, even without racing. Because of Barbaro, Jackson said, people are more sensitive to equine safety, more aware of the need for research into laminitis and other conditions. And because of Barbaro, thousands and thousands of people who never followed the sport suddenly found themselves investing their emotions in a racehorse’s wellbeing.

Posted by Alex at 10:56 AM | Comments (613)
Barbaro Updates: 104
Posted October 16, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 847: Peter Brette just called, Barbaro remains well. He had heard from Michael who had visited today.

Kennett Florist left this comment (timestamp: 9:17 pm):

Just got back from NBC. We had carrots and treats for Barbaro and the research horses today, to get the week started off right.

I talked to Jennifer at New Bolton. She said that Sabina was going to have surgery this afternoon. She is going to visit her tmorrow, and I will stay in contact with her. I will pass along updates as we get them. Please pray that her recovery goes smoothly.

Also, please, please if you have not done so already, please sign Mike Rea’s petition for the Extreme Home Makeover. Now more than ever they need to make this happen and soon! Thank you everyone for all your love and concern for all beings great and small (2 or 4 legged)!!


You can send your virtual good wishes to Sabina: Good Wishes for Sabina Pierce’s Recovery

Update 846: I see George Washington is now being pointed for the Breeders’ Cup Classic: George Washington Definite for BC Classic. I can only think this decision is simply the result of Dylan Thomas’ clear dislike for the dirt, and not in the best interests of Georgeous George. I would love to see him win the Classic, but to run against Bernardini, for his first race on the dirt, on a different continent …

Update 845: I just visited Mike Rea, with Shell (pinkwellies on the discussion board) and Allan. He was in good sprits, even if a little emotional at times. He is slightly frustrated at not seeing his own progress, but there is clear progress. We sat around and chatted for about 45 minutes. He is actually going home this weekend (for good), and will start new therapy on monday at another facility. I think that is a clear signal he is doing well. He is also scheduled to go to the Breeders’ Cup as part of being nominated for the White Horse award. As I was leaving his sister, Cathy, arrived. She was talking about all the work Mercy and others are doing for Mike’s nomination for the Extreme Home Makeover competition. Very cool. More information is on Mike’s blog.

My last set this morning, I took a 2 year old out back for the first time. He refused to cross from some grassland to the road. Not wanting to get too “agressive” I decided to back him onto the road (this usually works quite well). Anyway, as we were backing up he anchored his hind legs, and basically sat down! With few options remaining, I dismounted! It still took me five minutes to coax him onto the road. Once we got going I think he quite enjoyed himself.

Update 844: Sabina Pierce, Barbaro’s photographer, had a nasty horse riding accident over the weekend. She damaged her back quite considerably and will undergo surgery today at UPenn’s hospital. I spoke with her yesterday, and she seemed in pretty good spirits. She gave me details of which I don’t remember other than its not a situation where they are concerned about Sabina being paralyzed. She will be out of hospital before the end of the week, and I plan to visit tomorrow. I just thought I would let everyone know as Sabina has not only done a wonderful job photographing Barbaro during his recovery for everyone to see, but she has also been a contributor to this site. If you want to send wishes, please send them to New Bolton, care of Jennifer Rench.

Update 843: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (sunday night). I saw Michael Matz on my first set, he had heard from Dr. Richardson. While it is another chilly morning at Fair Hill, it was a gorgeous sunrise and looks like it will be a lovely day. So far I have ridden two horses (a Carson City 2yo gelding and Chappy), probably three to four more to go. Nice easy morning for the beginning of the week.
update 7:40 am, monday, october 16

Update 842: The Daily Pennsylvanian has a story about Barbaro and you ‘Colt’ of personality surrounds star horse. Some really good quotes, the following is an excerpt:

While the Barbaro Maniacs – people of all ages with widely varying levels of experience with horses – initially frequented the Tim Woolley Web site primarily for Barbaro, they have since turned the site into an activist page for horse-related issues. Among their many initiatives: They recently planned and financed a surprise birthday party for a horse trainer named Mike Rea, who incurred severe brain damage in a horse-riding accident, sent gift baskets to a horse – Lost in the Fog – who was battling cancer in California and “adopted” horses that had survived a tragic trailer accident in Missouri and had been bound for a slaughter house.

I asked a(n ex) colleague at Wharton how often the Daily Pennsylvanian comes out (after they interviewed for the story), you wonder why I no longer work at Penn!

Posted by Alex at 10:27 AM | Comments (437)
Barbaro Updates: 103
Posted October 14, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 841: Another comfortable day for Barbaro. Peter just called (6:30 pm), and had heard from Michael.

Update 840: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (saturday night). I saw Michael Matz in his barn sunday morning, he had heard from Dr. Richardson. He also showed me some print outs he had about Barbaro, this was the most amusing: Indian Charlie: October 14.
update 8:00 am, sunday, october 15

Update 839: The following are the racing media coverage of the major stakes yesterday from Belmont and Keeneland:
Daily Racing Form: Scat Daddy gives Pletcher another record
Bloodhorse: Pletcher’s Scat Daddy Pops Champagne Cork
ThoroughbredTimes: Pletcher breaks stakes win record with Scat Daddy

Daily Racing Form: Sutra pulls upset in Frizette
Bloodhorse: Surprising Sutra Sews Up Frizette
ThoroughbredTimes: Sutra rallies with powerful kick to capture Frizette Stakes

Daily Racing Form: Showing Up finishes fast in Jamaica
Bloodhorse: Showing Up Sparkles in Spirited Jamaica Win
ThoroughbredTimes: Showing Up dominates in Jamaica Handicap

First Lady
Daily Racing Form: Gorella’s victory wins BC Mile berth
Bloodhorse: Gorella Holds Off Karen’s Caper in First Lady
ThoroughbredTimes: Gorella holds off game Karen’s Caper to capture First Lady

Daily Racing Form: Vacare 4 for 4 after QE II victory
Bloodhorse: Vacare Stays Perfect With QE II Cup Upset
ThoroughbredTimes: Vacare rallies to win Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup

Update 838: A nice article: Barbaro’s Journey that includes an interview with Mrs. Jackson. The following is an excerpt:

Cures cropped up from all points across the globe. Barbaro was given a sacred silk cloth that was hung near him in his stall. Someone sent the colt holy water from Lourdes. One sheik involved in racing shipped holy water from the River Jordan.

When the medical staff was changing the bandages on the colt’s leg, Jackson knelt down and sprinkled on the holy waters.

“I’m sure they (the staff) probably think I’m a little bit nuts,” she said with a laugh.

The massive outpouring of public support and love continues.

One of the times I went over to New Bolton Center with Peter, he was taking over some of the holy water from the River Jordan.

Update 837: Another comfortable day for Barbaro. I spoke to Peter Brette earlier this evening (6:15 pm) who had heard from Michael, who had visited Barbaro.

Update 836: Nice win by Scat Daddy, but sorry, NoBiz Like ShowBiz looks like the one with the future. To me he ran very green, and in “snatches”. A nice second. A much better run race than the ridiculous Frizette. Slower early fractions (24 for the first quarter) and thus ultimately a faster time (by more than 3 seconds I think). No disgrace for NoBiz Like ShowBiz.

Update 835: An impressive performance by Gorella. While she only just got up and won, it was a stakes record performance (a minute and 34 and change), and the last eighth of a mile was run in eleven and change.

Update 834: Showing Up took the Jamaica by five lengths. A very professional performance, settling just off the early pace. He started to close around the turn, when he was asked a little he just galloped past the leaders. Congratulations to the Jackson’s and Barclay Tagg!

Update 833: The Frizette Stakes, sorry, in my mind it is reflective of everything that is wrong with racing in america. They went waaaaaaay too fast early, and collapsed in a heap. They ran the mile in 1:40 after a first fraction of 22 and change. An aweful race. Congrats to the winner, Sutra.

Update 832: Su McMullen sent us this report from today’s key races at Newmarket:

Those fortunate enough to be at Newmarket today weren’t disappointed. The clash between Holy Roman Emperor and the unbeaten Teofilo lived up to expectations with one of the most exciting finishes in the history of the Dewhurst Stakes, Europe’s top race for two year-olds.

He might have got closer this time, but Teofilo yet again fought off Holy Roman Emperor in a thrilling duel to the line, beating Aiden O’Brien’s colt by a head. Commentators were quick to highlight the narrower margin of victory compared to the last time these two met, in the National Stakes at the Curragh, when Teofilo scorched to win by a length and a quarter. But at the end of the day, it’s all about winning and on ground that didn’t entirely suit either colt,Teofilo found that bit more when challenged by Holy Roman Emperor. These are two extremely good colts, with Teofilo remaining at the top of the betting for next year’s 2,000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby. We look forward to seeing these two next year and Teofilo, described by Jim Bolger as the best colt he’s ever trained (praise indeed) and mentally like a four-year-old, looks very much like a two-year-old physically so will grow even stronger over the winter.

Champion Stakes – She was the bridesmaid in last year’s race when beaten by David Junior and bridesmaid to Rail Link in the Arc just 13 days ago, but this time the rain fell and six-year-old Pride, the oldest winner of the race, took full advantage of her preferred ground and scorched home by three lengths beating Rob Roy with Hurricane Run in third. Pride’s victory was all the more impressive coming so soon after the Arc, a very tough race to bounce back from and go on to win at this level. The Hong Kong Cup is being considered as a finale to her career as she won’t race next year. Once again, the lack of pace and small field might have accounted for Hurricane Run’s defeat but trainer Andre Fabre wasn’t making excuses for him or taking anything away from the gallant mare. His next outing is likely to be either the Japan Cup or the Breeders’ Cup Turf, but the need for pace will continue to concern Fabre. The long-awaited comeback of Epsom Derby victor Sir Percy proved disappointing for some but perhaps too much was expected as he hasn’t run since June and although travelling well he faded on the run in beating only one home. This wasn’t a true indication of a horse that won the Derby in very impressive style and it will be interesting to see how he comes out of the race. Rob Roy might stay in training next year as he put up an enouraging performance following some disappointing runs this season.

Update 831: Rachel, from Kennett Florist, just left this note (timestamp: 7:33 pm):

Afternoon Barbaro Family!

All is quiet at NBC, our usual Saturday report. As Alex mentioned we made an early morning run to Fair Hill. We had two big baskets to deliver to Eduardo, thanks to a lovely group that got together to honor him for his love and dedication to Barbaro. One basket was filled with all sorts of Mexican goodies. The other basket included two beautiful pictures of Barbaro, one from Sabina and another gorgeous shot of Eduardo giving B a bath; A beautiful statue of St. Francis, jewlry for Senora Hernandez; the brush with the engraved plaque; the Breyer Barbaro model has not come in yet, but we will bring it down as soon as it comes. I’m sure that he will be very touched. Thank you to everyone involved, you are such an amazing group! Thank you Alex for taking good care of this for us! Have a wonderful weekend!


Update 830: Races on ESPN begin at 4pm. The two major races at Newmarket were won by Teofilo (narrowly) and Pride (easily).

We will have a 7 pm (east coast) vigil for Barbaro, and do the same each saturday. There are two things we know currently about Barbaro’s condition, he is doing well BUT it remains serious and day-to-day.

Update 829: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (friday night). I saw Michael Matz on my second set when he gave me the news, I was on Chappy. It was a chilly beginning to the morning, but it now looks like a beautiful day. We had three visitors and Kennett Florist also stopped by to drop off two baskets of gifts for Eduardo.
update, 11:00 am, saturday, october 14