Barbaro Updates: 896 – 950

Barbaro, with Messaging, at Fair Hill Training Center

Posted October 31, 2006

Update 950: No Barbaro update yet, as usual for this time of the morning.

I just spoke with Ramon Dominguez, who is at the airport waiting to fly out to Kentucky. He currently has three rides in the Breeders’ Cup races. He rides Better Talk Now, Rob Roy (Sir Michael Stoute) and Friendly Island (Todd Pletcher). He will get acquainted with Rob Roy tomorrow morning at Churchill when he will see him and gallop him for the first time. He won’t be riding Friendly Island before saturday (the Sprint race), and he won’t gallop Better Talk Now either, Lisa always does that. I will catch up with Ramon again tomorrow hopefully, after he has ridden Rob Roy and ask him how he likes each of his chances. Ramon will be leaving Kentucky to ride at Aqueduct on friday before returning to Kentucky for the big races on saturday.

I did ask Ramon who he thought would win the Classic (Ramon does not have a ride). He believes Bernardini is the real deal, and he seems to be improving with each race. Ramon does have a soft spot for Invasor, who he rode to win the Pimlico Special. Of course Invasor has been very consistent all year (and is Tim Woolley’s pick). Lava Man has also been super consistent, but as Ramon noted, Lava Man’s good form is all in California, and there are question marks about him when he travels.

Update 949: Again the Barbaro update will likely be late this morning.

So this is why Mike Jensen was at Fair Hill a couple of mornings ago: The Quest. Looking to the future of the current crop of two year olds in the area. The article concludes:

“Dreams are free,” said Peter Brette, Matz’s assistant trainer, as he watched Chelokee graze after a morning gallop, “and this time of year, it’s quite nice to have a nice crop of 2-year-olds.”

The article mentions Barbaro’s younger half-brother. His older half-brother is now retired: Holy Ground, half brother to Barbaro, retired.

Don’t forget, 3 pm east coast time, there will be a feature on Barbaro on “Inside the Lines” on ESPN.

Update 948: Peter did call, did visit Barbaro and Barbaro remains well. Peter took him out for a pick of grass, groomed him and changed his bandages. Another upbeat report.

Update 947: It looks like no update tonight for Barbaro, likely due to Halloween (Peter is probably tricking and treating).

A nice AP story: Matz Back at Scene of Barbaro’s Triumph that includes the following excerpts:

One moment, Matz’s voice breaks and tears well in his blue eyes as he talks about Barbaro, whose career ended with a devastating misstep in the Preakness. The Derby winner was supposed to be taking on Bernardini in the $5 million Classic on Saturday, with Horse of the Year honors at stake.

The next, Matz is composed and focused on saddling 4-year-old filly Round Pond in the $2 million Distaff.

“It’s nice to be back having such fond memories from before,” Matz said Tuesday, ducking inside the barn to escape rain drops. “I just hope we have the same results.”


Barbaro will reunite his human handlers — Matz, the Jacksons, Richardson and jockey Edgar Prado — on Wednesday night when they’re honored at the National Turf Writers Association awards dinner.

The Jacksons plan to attend, then return home and watch the Breeders’ Cup on television.

“Coming back, it’ll bring nothing but warm, good happy feelings,” Gretchen Jackson said. “Once you’ve won an important race at a track, you feel like that track is always a part of your life.”

Update 946: Lisa Davison just called to update us on Better Talk Now and Film Maker. Yesterday they walked and then shipped to Churchill from Keeneland. Today they galloped on the dirt track at Churchill, a light gallop. Tomorrow they will train on the turf. They both appear to have come out of their breeze on sunday in good order. I asked Lisa how it was at Churchill, she said there were plenty of photographers!

The Daily Racing Form has the following article on Graham and Film Maker: Last chance for Film Maker to reach the top. The following is an excerpt:

“I think Graham Motion is one of the fine young trainers, but he’s one of the finest young men that I know,” said Adam. “He’s a great family man, a great father – he has all the traits I look for, and besides that, he’s a heckuva horseman.”

Update 945: Many of you have inquired how Sabina Pierce is doing after her accident. Well here it is (comment timestamp: 7:05pm):

I just wanted to Thank YOu and all of the Fans of Barbaro for all their support while I convalese from my injuries from my riding accident during a x country event 2 weeks ago. All of the flowers, cards and gift baskets cheered me up immensely. I was laid up in the hospital with a burst fracture of my t12 vertabrae with 50% compression into my spinal cord. I had some great care at U of Penn’s hospital during my stay from the nurses, to the helicopter, to the trauma team and also a vey good surgeon. The surgeon fused 3 vertabrae with bone from my hip just like dr. Richardson did for Big B. I now have a fusion of bones, with rods and screws for support and a chiseled hip just like the big boy.. I feel closer to him now more than ever..and I just like big B, had a very serious injury, the drs told me it was a miracle that I was not paralyzed. That they had never seen anyone with that injury walk away. I find myself not just very lucky, but very blessed. Barbaro is my inspiration to get better now too! Thank you all for your support and love!

Bernardini had his final work at Belmont in preparation for his biggest race / challenge: Bernardini Has Final Work, Ready for Classic. The following are excerpts:

“I’ll never get on another like him again,” Harris said. “He’s the complete package. He does everything you want him to. He was tough today. He gave me a hard time. I had to break my reins. I looked around to see if there was something coming, I didn’t know what was going on. He’s just full of himself. He’s just that sharp right now.

“Once he got to the half-mile pole, he just settled in and it was easy sailing from then on,” the exercise rider said. “He galloped out really strong. The farther he goes the stronger he gets. He has never been doing better than he is now. He’s ready.”


Two Tex Sutton planes will depart JFK Airport in New York Wednesday morning with Breeders’ Cup horses. The first, to leave in the morning, will carry the horses trained by Albertrani, Jerkens, Shug McGaughey, Kiaran McLaughlin, and Rich Schosberg.

The second, slated to depart in early afternoon, will transport the Todd Pletcher-trained horses.

Update 944: I just spoke to Mrs. Jackson. She visited Barbaro (of course) today and all remains well. She will be on her way to Kentucky for an awards dinner tomorrow I think, the Barbaro team is being honored. On that note Mike Rea will also be heading out to Kentucky as a recipient of a White Horse Award nomination.

I spoke to Steve Willard. He shipped with Giacomo on a flight to Louisville today. There were about fourteen horses on the plane, including Brother Derek. Giacomo jogged yesterday, did not train today, and will likely jog / gallop a little tomorrow. As Steve said to me, Giacomo is back where he made history!

Update 943: I just completed an interview with Graham Motion, who runs both Better Talk Now and Film Maker in the Breeders’ Cup on saturday. The interview follows:

Me: On the recent Keeneland Meet and the Synthetic Track:
Graham: This was my best Keeneland meet. I really like the synthetic track. It is very good for the turf horses, there was no need to scratch when a race came off the turf onto the polytrack. The polytrack just seems to level the playing field between the dirt and turf runners.

Me: I asked Graham if he thought synthetic tracks would be adopted more widely:
Graham: Yes, in the longrun. All the California tracks are mandated to adopt the track and it just seems momentum is building. Churchill may take a little longer given they are the home of the Kentucky Derby. This will change things if the Derby is run on a synthetic track, but a Breeders’ Cup will inevitably return to California I guess.

Me: Better Talk Now and Film Maker, your two runners on saturday, have been consistent and good for a long time. To what do you attribute this?
Graham: A big part of the answer is they are both very sturdy horses. Fair Hill is also a huge part of it. They are away from the hustle and bustle of a regular racetrack. As they have gotten older, they have gotten better, and now we can pick our spots (i.e. Film Maker has run only three times this year with this upcoming race the season goal).

Me: And their chances on saturday?
Graham: I feel good about them both. Perhaps Film Maker has been a little more consistent over the year, but Better Talk Now has his best distance, a mile and a half, for the first time this year. For him he needs a race with pace up front, this was certainly not the case in the Arlington Million. Both these horses have done a tremendous amount for my career, and I am extremely fond of both of them. I have been pointing both for these two races since the beginning of the year, but you cannot expect this to happen.

Me: And who will win the Classic?
Graham: Bernardini has done nothing wrong. He has been very impressive. The only thing that would concern me is he has not been pressured. How would he respond if he was pressured? I think the english horse David Junior may be a live long shot. He has had this race as a target all summer, and he has a bit of an american dirt pedigree.

Update 942: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (monday night). I just spoke to Peter who had heard from Michael. Peter will try to get to see Barbaro later today.

Posted by Alex at 4:54 PM | Comments (375)
Barbaro Updates: 118
Posted October 30, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 941: Still no Barbaro update this morning. It was a lovely morning at Fair Hill. There likely won’t be too many more days like today. All horses seemed to train well. I took Hawty Creek to the track for the first time since she came in. She was pretty keyed up, but jogged around pretty well.

WGAL Channel 8 out of Lancaster (I think) came to do an interview about Horse Slaughter. They were at New Holland (auction) yesterday. The piece is scheduled to air thursday, November 9, either on the 6 or 11 pm news. I think I made some decent points, but we will see. Keep up the good work.

Update 940: A quick update from Sue McMullen re: the European Breeders’ Cup horses:

Ahead of Wednesday’s all important draw, a brief word about the euro raiding party, 11 of whom are now settled comfortably at Churchill Downs. The Ballydoyle horses travel today and if Aiden O’Brien runs true to form, they will not be seen on the track until the end of the week.

Connections of Ouija Board confirmed she had a trouble-free journey and they are delighted with her and the fact that the going on the Turf is fast, which she will relish. This wonderful mare is an old hand at the travelling game and nothing much bothers her. She apparently arrived at Churchill alone in the leading van in the convoy, as befits a visiting Queen! Watchers on the backstretch at Churchill might be fortunate enough to see her this morning. Last year’s race, when she failed to retain her crown, just wasn’t run to suit her as it was run at a muddling pace and she couldn’t get going properly.

As predicted, Frankie Dettori has elected to ride Echo of Light in the Mile so Christophe Soumillon will ride Librettist, already a proven Group 1 winner.

Ramon Dominquez has been booked to ride Sir Michael Stoute’s Rob Roy in the Mile. This talented four-year-old has been dogged with bad luck throughout his career but his good run in the Champion Stakes two weeks ago when he finished second might be a signal that the tide is turning for him. He is certainly a lot better than his form guide would suggest. Ramon is an experienced BC jockey, having ridden Better Talk Now to victory in the Turf at Lone Star Park.

Jamie Spencer, formerly stable jockey at Ballydoyle, will be reunited with Ad Valorem in the Mile, having ridden the horse for all three of his juvenile wins in 2004 and finished fifth on him two months ago in the Prix Jacques le Marois. Garret Gomez rides Aussie Rules, having won the Shadwell Turf Mile on him at Keenland and Mick Kinane rides Ivan Denisovich. Mick ‘the ice man’ Kinane also rides George in the Classic and as George will need all the help he can get for that much-debated engagement, Mick is the right man for the job as he has the coolest head for the big occasion and knows George well. He also rides Scorpion in the Turf.

Connections of David Junior, who also travelled well, await tomorrow’s draw hoping for a good position in the Classic for the colt who retires to stud in Japan after the race in a deal said to be worth $8 million. In a surprising move to many, trainer Brian Meehan elected not to run David Junior after his victory in the Coral Eclipse at Sandown in July, preferring to give him one last roll of the dice in the Classic. So he goes into the race after a layoff and despite having dirt in his pedigree, he has less experience of it than his American rivals, but he’s still as short as 7-1, such is his reputation and undoubted talent. Giving him a layoff will either look inspired or disastrous and we will know on Saturday, but if it works and he has luck in running and is happy on the surface, expect a very big run from him. The race should certainly be run to suit him as he likes a strong pace.

Stan Moore is confident of a great performance from his two-year-old filly Satulagi in the Juvenile. Winner of a Listed race at Ascot Satulagi is tough and has plenty of experience, which Moore hopes might give her an edge. She won’t do much on the run up to the race, but they plan to put her through the gate a couple of times, possibly on Thursday, as although she has never given any trouble at home, our gates are different and we don’t have a bell! It might seem a small thing, but preparation is everything with horses and the more that is done with the filly to show her how it works over there, the better chance she has of showing what she can do.

I plan to interview Ramon Dominguez before the Breeders’ Cup, nice to hear he has picked up a European mount!

Update 939: Again, this morning’s Barbaro update will be much later, due to Michael Matz being in Keeneland preparing Round Pond for the Breeders’ Cup.

The Daily Racing Form has a nice article on Michael, Barbaro and Round Pond: Still in wonder of what could’ve been. The following are a couple of excerpts:

“It sure would have been nice having this horse running in the Classic or, who knows, running in Europe next year,” Matz said. “It’s just such a shame. Maybe it’s a bigger thing what he’s done, bringing the racing public together – not just the racing public, but people in general.”

The interest in Barbaro remains intense. There are still signs of encouragement on the fence posts at the New Bolton Center. One reads, “Grow Hoof Grow.” Another reads, “Believe in Barbaro.”


“He’s done an awful lot for me, this is the least I can do for him,” Matz said following a recent visit with Barbaro. “I live 10 minutes from here. The kids go to school right alongside of here. [One day], I was grazing him and the school bus went by, and all the school kids yelled out for Barbaro.”

Update 938: Just spoke to Peter (6 pm) and he visited Barbaro today. He took Barbaro out for a pick of grass, groomed him and changed his bandages. An upbeat report.

My Breeders’ Cup tickets have arrived!

Update 937: Sue McMullen e-mailed to let us know “11 of the Euro runners have now arrived safely and are installed in the isolation barns at Churchill. It’s only the Ballydoyle horses that have yet to arrive and all being well, they should be there tomorrow.” With the contigent that were based in Keeneland also arriving at Churchill, and the Churchill meet opening yesterday, I am assuming there is quite a “buzz” at the racetrack.

While there were a lot of works over the weekend, today saw a few more Breeders’ Cup horses on the work tab. From Belmont Premium Tap, under Edgar Prado worked: Premium Tap Drills Sharp Half-Mile for BC Classic. What is not reported in the article is whether his tongue was hanging out for the work (Premium Tap’s, not Edgar’s!)

While the racing world will focus on the Breeders’ Cup this weekend, very shortly thereafter Australia will play host to its major race, the Melbourne Cup. Kieren Fallon is over there preparing Yeats. Sue McMullen had this to report on Kieren Fallon, Yeats, and a horse named Fields of Omagh:

As if he didn’t have enough problems, Kieren Fallon was in danger of missing his ride on Yeats in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday following a 10 day ban imposed last week by stewards at Moonee Valley for his winning ride on California Dane. Happily for a relieved Fallon the ban will be lifted on the eve of the big race, for which Fallon, who cannot ride in the UK and elected not to apply to ride in the US, has been personally preparing Yeats and gaining experience of Australian tracks and style of racing. The ban was imposed as stewards decided he had cut across too quickly from the outside to the rail, a move that would have probably earned him a caution at home but Australian stewards are very strict. Although Fallon admitted he was guilty of the maneouvre, he also pointed out his good record with stewards around the world, which is true but he is also very lucky to have got away with 10 days under the Australian rules.

Yeats, winner of the Ascot Gold Cup (run at Royal Ascot) currently tops the betting for the race that is famous for ‘stopping a nation’ and Fallon reports the horse to be in great form.

Following Collier Hill’s heroic win at Woodbine last weekend, it would be impossible to mention racing in Australia without reporting the victory of another ‘old timer’ whose win in the Group 1 Cox Plate had many observers in tears, including his trainer David Hayes. Fields of Omagh, now nine-years-old, has contested the race four times and never finished worse than fifth, in his first run in 2002. He won in 2003 and was second and third in the next two runnings. The horse enjoys celebrity status among racegoers in Australia and as a mark of respect to him he led the field out to the track but even his most ardent fans knew it would be a tough call.

In the year of so many fairytale racehorses it now seems almost inevitable that in his very last race, he was not going to be denied and fought all the way to the line, upside Pompeii Ruler. Fields of Omagh now joins the small and illustrious list of horses that have won the race more than once and, as a gelding, he heads to the ‘Living Legends’ retirement home for Australian champions.

The Bloodhorse on Fields of Omagh win: ‘Omagh Goes Out a Winner in Epic Cox Plate.

Update 936: A nice article from the Thoroughbred Times: Better Talk Now, Film Maker prepare together for Breeders’ Cup that not only discusses their work yesterday, but highlights the consistency these two have displayed over the years. I was talking about this with Tim this morning as we were jogging back on the track. Graham has two horses in the Breeders’ Cup and between them they have won a cup race, finished second and third! As I noted earlier there is only one other horse running next saturday who has won a cup race (I think), one of Film Maker’s biggest rivals, Ouija Board.

New York Post has this article on Bernardini: BERNARDINI FACES CLASSIC QUESTION which summarizes Bernardini’s dilemma well. He has done nothing wrong, yet his competition has been relatively weak. Lets see how he performs on the big stage. Any price better than even money, and I may have to go to the window (although I know from past experience betting Breeders’ Cup day at the host track is a nightmare).

Update 935: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (sunday night). I just spoke to Peter who had heard from Michael. Peter is planning to visit later today so I will try to get another update later.

I forgot to note earlier, Real Lace, Tim’s Maiden winner at Laurel over the weekend, appears to have come out of her race well. I asked Tim about the race, it seemed she was much the best. The jockey was looking around with 3/8ths left to race. I know Tim has liked this filly for a while, lets hope she continues to move forward.

For anyone on myspace, check out Better Talk Now!
update 11:45 am, monday, october 30

Posted by Alex at 4:41 PM | Comments (445)
Barbaro Updates: 117
Posted October 29, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 934: No update yet this morning for Barbaro. Well its almost like someone turned on the lights this morning. First set it was bright, which was nice (although first set will now be pushed to 6 am rather than 6:30 am starting tomorrow).

A good morning for a monday morning. Nothing too exciting occured. I saw Fen, who was in Keeneland yesterday breezing Film Maker. She concured with Lisa assessment of the work (update 929). I asked Fen about the Polytrack, she said it was great. Film Maker loved it. Fen has also galloped on the synthetic track at Woodbine (when Better Talk Now was in Canada for his last win) and is a big fan.

Rocky galloped out of the gate, then breezed 3/8ths. He went well, it was his first breeze without company. He’s learning. He went in about 38. Hawty Creek went out back again, I’ll probably take her to the track in the next couple of days. Mike Jensen (Philadelphia Inquirer writer) was at Fair Hill this morning, so it looks like another horse racing article in the works.

Update 933: Again, today’s Barbaro update will be likely to come late this morning.

The Keeneland meet is now over and records have been set: Keeneland Reports Record Attendance, Wagering. The following is an excerpt:

“This meet has been extraordinary for us in so many ways,” said Nick Nicholson, president and CEO of Keeneland. “While we are proud of the many records that were set, we are even more proud of how well the Polytrack surface performed. It remained very safe throughout the meet, despite getting more than twice the usual amount of rainfall during the month.”

For those interested in the adoption of synthetic tracks, our focus now switches to Hollywood Park, that meet opens this week with the “Cushion Track”. I spoke to Andy Durnin last night (exercise rider at Hollywood Park) and he said the backside at Hollywood Park is as full as it has been since he has been in California, a signal that horseman are supporting this new track. Andy has been very impressed with it during training hours.

Update 932: Just spoke to Peter, who visited Barbaro earlier today. Barbaro was actually sleeping when Peter visited, so he left him alone. All was well.
update, sunday october 29, 8:00 pm

Update 931: I spoke to Steve Willard, Giacomo’s exercise rider, earlier this afternoon. Giacomo breezed 3/4s this morning in about 1 minute 14 and change / 1 minute and 15 (Steve was not sure). A good work designed just to keep Giacomo ticking over and get some wind into him. He worked with another horse which he passed at the end of the work. He cooled out well, he blew for about 5 minutes. After cooling out he was picking grass, his normal routine.

They are looking for a good race from Giacomo. Steve knows its an awfully tough race (Breeders’ Cup Classic) but they expect he will run well based on how he is training. He will have tomorrow off and is shipping to Churchill very early tuesday morning. Steve will ride with him on the plane as will Frank, his traveling groom.

The Daily Racing Form reports on many other works for a busy Breeders’ Cup preparation morning: DRF Clocker Report: Sunday, October 29. This will likely be the last busy morning for horses working in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup.

Update 930: A nice article on Perfect Drift: Need a horse to cheer? Perfect Drift is a Classic. The following is an excerpt:

“Over the years, he’s become more professional,” Johnson said. “He almost knows exactly what we’re doing. When he gets with (exercise jockey) Joe (Deegan), he knows when it’s time to go and when it’s time to whoa. . . . He’s just a good horse who gives everything he has every time. He doesn’t come from any royalty. But he just keeps going. . . . He’s started 41 races. I’d like to think he could get another 20.”

I know Perfect Drift is popular with many on this site, and am grateful for Joe Deegan providing us updates on this great horse. His longevity is necessary for the sport.

Update 929: I just spoke to Lisa Davison, who worked Better Talk Now in company with Film Maker, this morning. They went 3/4s in 1:12 and change. Lisa said the track was riding quite fast (sounds like it to me!) They traveled well across the polytrack, it was a good work.

It was amusing, as I was talking to Lisa she was watching her work on TVG. TVG said that the work was a positive for Film Maker and a negative for Better Talk Now (Film Maker was going slightly the better of the two at the end of the work) but Lisa told me that the work was typical for both horses, and Film Maker is just a better work horse. So all remains well for the Motion Breeders’ Cup horses. They will walk tomorrow and ship to Churchill Downs for the final days before the big race day.

Update 928: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (saturday night). I just spoke to Peter who had heard from Michael. Peter had not yet visited Barbaro, so I will try to get another update later.

Jeannine Edwards e-mailed me to let us know the ESPN piece that will include a feature on Barbaro will air on Wednesday, November 1 at 3 PM. It should be about 5 minutes long. She also included a preview of the piece in this e-mail:

TRACK 9: As Barbaro continues to defy the odds, another more abstract question arises: What is it about this horse that has so captivated thousands around the world?

JEAN MANSAVAGE TAPE 2 He doesn’t have the bad character traits that so many of our professional athletes have today 02 22 52 he’s not getting caught with drugs, not getting caught with weapons in the back of his car, and he’s not kicking somebody in the head on the football field. // He’s a magnificent horse that represents something very fundamental to this country. 02 23 27

MICHAEL MATZ TAPE 2 // 02 27 03 // the day after we said that he was foundered, there was thirty five baskets of apples and carrots and flowers, the first day 02 27 45 (choked up) I mean, the support I think that’s the main situation that I would say how this horse brought so many people together (choked up).

EDGAR PRADO TAPE 2 02 18 43 // the first time I got on him, he showed me that he was a great horse with a lot of talent and a lot of class. // 02 06 37 I think he really have a special place in my heart.

DEAN RICHARDSON TAPE 1 20 45 // There’s a lot of people really deeply emotionally attached to this horse for good reason. It’s not just because he won a lot of money it’s more to it than that. 21:27 JEANNINE Q: What is it about him? // 21:29 R: He’s a charismatic horse. // He seems a little bit bigger than life because he did some bigger than life things.

JEANNINE Q: What’s the one derby moment that you think about more than the rest?

MATZ TAPE 2 I think 02 04 34 when I heard the announcer say “here comes barbaro!” (choked up)

Nat Sound Up: Kentucky Derby

JEANNINE Q: 2 02 20 35 how often does a horse like barbaro come around?

MATZ TAPE 2 I sure hope there’s another one soon. It was a lot of fun having him that’s for sure. Maybe never. I’ve gotten so many nice letters that say just think of the good times you had with him and not the bad times (REALLY CHOKED UP)

Posted by Alex at 4:32 PM | Comments (334)
Barbaro Updates: 116
Posted October 28, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 927: No update yet this morning for Barbaro, but all was well yesterday. I saw Peter this morning and he is planning on visiting Barbaro after work, so I will try to catch up with him later to get today’s update.

I have a new project, her name is Hawty Creek. She is owned by a friend and came in to Judge’s barn for a couple of months to get fit. I rode her out back today. Since she has not been ridden for a while we did not do too much. After she cooled out I turned her out in the porta pad, and of course she rolled. She got very muddy. Some of which I have now removed. The rest will come off tomorrow when i get her ready to train!

Update 926: Horseracing in the US faces many problems from a marketing standpoint. Perhaps the introduction of synthetic tracks will solve some of those problems and at least make the sport a little more attractive to the casual fan. Another problem is the economics of campaigning a top horse. It makes too much sense to retire them and breed from them. It has been speculated that this fate will end the brilliant, yet very short, career of Bernardini before he is likely to be at his very best: Enjoy Bernadini while you can.

The Fair Hill Halloween Party was fun. No update yet for Barbaro since yesterday morning, but I will endevour to get an update later this morning.

Update 925: An easy win for McDymano in the Breeders’ Cup Steeplechase: McDynamo Does It Again In Breeders’ Cup Steeplechase. I am now off to the Fair Hill Halloween Party, so no Barbaro update this evening, although that is not unusual for a weekend.

Update 924: A quick reminder, Barbaro vigil at 7 pm, every saturday. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some time for Barbaro.

Update 923: A nice win today for Real Lace, who broke her maiden at Laurel. She had a nice confident ride from Luis Garcia. Here is the chart. She seems to have come out of her race well. Congratulations to Equivine Farm.

Update 922: Joe Deegan just called. He breezed Perfect Drift this morning, 5/8ths in 1:02 and change. It was what they wanted for the breeze, a nice maintenance breeze. Enough to keep him ticking over. He is obviously plenty fit enough. He cooled out well after his work. He will walk tomorrow, which is usual after a breeze. This was also reported in the Bloodhorse: Perfect Drift, the Old Warrior, Tunes Up for Classic.

Update 921: For images of horses getting ready for the Breeders’ Cup go to For the last two days they have featured Lisa Davison, yesterday on Better Talk Now, today on Film Maker.

Update 920: As we close in on the Breeders’ Cup we should not forget there is actually a Breeders’ Cup race today: McDynamo chasing history in Breeders’ Cup Grand National Steeplechase. Of course McDynamo is by Dynaformer, father of Barbaro.

Update 919: I just spoke to Lisa Davison, who galloped both Better Talk Now and Film Maker this morning at Keeneland. All remains well with both, they galloped about a mile and a half – mile – 1 mile 5/8ths. They are both scheduled to work tomorrow. Lisa will work Better Talk Now, Fen is flying in to work Film Maker. Fen is Film Maker’s regular exercise rider, but stayed behind at Fair Hill.

It was windy and brisk this morning at Keeneland after the rain had moved through. Of course the rain really had no impact on the training surface (as it would on a dirt track). Lisa said, if anything, it just makes the track a little tighter, which is a good thing. The other thing Lisa noted was the lack of a need for a renovation break. With a dirt track you need to have a break to harrow the track at some stage of the morning so the track is more usable. Since the synthetic track does not have any kickback, there is really no need to have it harrowed, it remains pretty much the same all morning.

It is interesting to note in this article re: horses working this morning at Keeneland, preparing for the Breeders’ Cup that at least one horse shipped in from Churchill Downs: Keeneland’s Polytrack Popular With Breeders’ Cup Hopefuls on Saturday, an excerpt:

Trainer Dallas Stewart shipped Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Lemons Forever from Churchill Downs to work over the Polytrack instead of training on Churchill’s muddy dirt surface. Coming off a fourth-place finish in the Oct. 8 Spinster Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, the 3-year-old daughter of Lemon Drop Kid went five-eighths in :59 and 4/5 under exercise rider Lee Guidry.

“Her work was excellent,” Stewart said. “She was crisp and clean; everything was perfect.”

Update 918: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (friday night). I went over to Michael Matz’s barn and caught up with Peter Brette, he had heard from Michael.

Morning training was predictably pretty much a loss. I shedrowed four, I am guessing that’s what most people did. It looks like the rain has blown over, the sun is trying to get out, and the wind is picking up. I guess decent Halloween weather. There is a Fair Hill Halloween Party tonight, I think I will go in my Eagles T. O. shirt!

Posted by Alex at 3:51 PM | Comments (506)
Barbaro Updates: 115
Posted October 27, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 917: Rain, rain, rain, rain, as predicted. I assume training will be a washout this morning at Fair Hill. Likely I will have a couple to shedrow, but that will be about it. The Barbaro update will again be later this morning at its earliest. I’ll stop by Michael Matz’s barn to see Peter after training hours.

Sue McMullen sent this early preview of the European runners for the Breeders’ Cup:

A comprehensive round-up of European runners will follow next week, after the post draw on Wednesday morning, but in advance of that it’s worth noting various bits of information on some of the horses. First, the awesome, globe-trotting mare Ouija Board is pleasing connections ahead of her attempt to reclaim her crown in the Fillies and Mares and she is described as ‘thriving’ and currently showing no sign that her very long season has taken its toll (this shouldn’t be underestimated as it has indeed been a long one). This will be her final appearance in the BC, after which, all being well, she will follow last year’s route and head to Tokyo then Hong Kong. But owner Lord Derby has stressed they will take it one race at a time and knowing his love and pride in this wonderful mare, the minute she shows signs of having had enough, they will call it a day. The ultimate test of whether a horse is ‘over the top’ is sometimes the race itself as it is only then that they are really stretched, but the signs are hopeful and she is currently regarded as the best chance of a European victory. Frankie Dettori will ride and after partnering her in a recent gallop, he was very bullish about her chances. Our horses certainly travel and I’m sure her fans in the US will be pleased to see her one last time.

Hurriance Run will be reunited with French champion jockey Christophe Soumillion in the BC Turf. This somewhat suprising news follows Soumillion’s alleged falling out with Hurricane’s trainer Andre Fabre, after which he was replaced by Mick Kinane for Hurricane’s run in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. Neither have had much to say about this riding engagement and Fabre has been quite dismissive saying that jockeys are not his main concern and he’s more interested in the horse’s ability and the conditions he will face. Since winning the King George in great style (and it was the manner of Soumillion’s victory celebrations that allegedly upset Fabre) Hurricane has been beaten three times, in the Arc trial, the Arc itself and the Champion Stakes. The first of these wasn’t so much a race and more of a piece of work and the Arc was not run to suit him. In what is likely to be his last race it would be wonderful to see this top horse, who is a great favourite of Fabre’s and who has been such a force over the last couple of seasons, return to winning form. He needs a good pace and plenty of cover, so hopefully he’ll get both.

Alex Solis has been booked to ride John Gosden’s Sleeping Indian in the Mile as regular pilot Jimmy Fortune will be serving a suspension. Alex has ridden for Gosden previously, when the latter was training in California and when he has sent horses to the US.

Without his adversary George Washington in the race, connections of Araafa are very confident of his chances in the Mile and he’s been in great form, better it is said than before his good run in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes when he ran second to George. He also had a good view of George’s tail in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, but managed to finish in front of him in the Irish equivalent when George pulled a muscle. John Valazquez rides and all trainer Jeremy Noseda now hopes for is that he travels well and gets a good draw in the race as it is likely to be a big field.

Watchers on the backstretch at Churchill shouldn’t expect to see Araafa do any fast work, as he is set to do his final piece of serious work today and will just be ticking over on the run up to the race.

The Godolphin horses are all said to be doing well and of their two contenders for the Mile, Librettist and Echo of Light, Frankie Dettori is reported to be favouring the latter as he seems to be in particularly good form.

More to follow next week.

Update 916: I just spoke to Peter Brette, who visited Barbaro this afternoon. Peter took Barbaro out for a pick of grass before the rain started. He groomed him, changed his bandages and fed Barbaro a couple of apples. Another good report. I asked Peter how Round Pond was doing in Keeneland. He said she was doing well, and likes the Polytrack, which they had suspected. She will likely work this weekend (Sunday) before they have to ship to Churchill Downs.

A couple of people have already answered my question in Update 915: Ouija Board. I think that places Better Talk Now in great company!

Update 915: Just spoke to Lisa Davison, who is at Keeneland with Graham Motion’s two Breeders’ Cup horses, Better Talk Now and Film Maker. They traveled (flew) to Keeneland on tuesday of this week, and will remain at Keeneland until they have to leave, which I think is the end of October, at which time they will head to Churchill Downs.

On wednesday they had an easy spin around the training track, thursday and friday they both galloped about a mile and a half / five eighths on the main track (both tracks are Polytracks). They will likely both work this weekend, most likely sunday. Lisa said both horses are doing well, and she was very positive about the Polytrack. They seem to bounce across it while getting very good footing. Lisa noted that turf horses seem to be doing pretty well on the Polytrack, something that we have heard before. There seem to be quite a few other Breeders’ Cup horses at Keeneland, Lisa has seen both Lava Man and Gorella.

Graham has a few other horses at Keeneland and they are having a pretty good meet, including a winner today. Better Talk Now is a prior Breeders’ Cup race winner. Do you know which other horse(s) fall in that category who are planning to run in this year’s Breeders’ Cup ?

Update 914: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). I just spoke to Peter who had heard from Michael. Peter is again planning to visit Barbaro this afternoon, so I will try to get another update later.

I caught up with Joe Deegan, Perfect Drift’s exercise rider. He says Perfect Drift is doing as well as ever. All is well. Today he galloped a pretty handy mile. Tomorrow he is scheduled to work (5/8ths) and that will be his last serious piece of work before the Classic. The plan would be then to walk him on sunday, jog monday and back to galloping tuesday.

Lava Man worked this morning in preparation for the Classic: Lava Man, Other O’Neill Horses, Work at Keeneland. The following is an excerpt:

“We had a great morning,” O’Neill said. “Lava Man looked great, Tony did his job perfectly — we just wanted a maintenance work for each of these horses, and that’s exactly what we got.”

Romero said he was thrilled with the way Lava Man is training off his seventh consecutive win for the year, the Oct. 7 Goodwood Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. II) during the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting.

“He’s put on some good weight here and he’s stronger than ever,” the exercise rider said. “I’m very happy with the way he’s pulling; he feels better than he did before the Pacific Classic, even. Bernardini is a tough horse to beat, but he should watch out with the way our horse is training.”

Posted by Alex at 4:34 PM | Comments (449)
Barbaro Updates: 114
Posted October 26, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 913: No Barbaro update yet. It was another chilly morning this morning at Fair Hill, although there was more cloud cover. A lovely sunrise, just a shame it was appearing coming back from the second set (ok, clocks really do need to change). As suspected, a pretty busy morning. Quite a few breezers, one loose horse and just plenty of things going on.

It is nice to see New Zealand continue its Barbaro coverage: Barbaro has a good week.

Sue McMullen sent this regarding the recent sale of Shirocco, and the less than spectacular success of Godolphin in Europe this year:

We reported earlier this week that a sale had been agreed between Sheikh Mohammed and Baron Georg Von Ullman for the purchase of Shirocco and this has now been completed following a satisfactory veterinary report. The five-year-old son of Monsun has been retired and heads to Darley Hall Stud at Newmarket. Sheikh Mohammed’s racing operation regard this attractive horse, winner of four Group 1s and described as having a ‘fantastic temperament’, as a great stallion prospect. They must also be hoping he will bring them some good fortune in what is by their standards, a very lean time at the top level. This year they failed to achieve even one Group 1 victory in the UK, the first time this had happened since the establishment of Godolphin in 1994. They have also been very unlucky with the death of their top horse Electrocutionist and now Iffraaj is to retire to Kildangen Stud in Ireland following a minor injury, plus Shawanda, the dual Group 1 winner purchased from the Aga Khan has also retired through injury without representing Godolphin on the racecourse. This classy daughter of mighty Sinndar was to be another star in their line-up and had been due to make an appearance for them in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, but although she had been reported as training well she went lame only hours before the race. Her previous appearance had been in last year’s Arc, when she finished a valiant sixth but suffered a leg injury in the process. Shawanda will prove an immensely valuable addition to the paddocks.

Of course in the US, Godolphin is represented by Discreet Cat, and Bernardini is owned by Sheikh Mohammed (under the Darley banner rather than Godolphin).

Update 912: A quick reminder, the Barbaro update will likely be late morning again. Fair Hill will likely be quite busy this morning in anticipation of some wet weather coming through tonight, which will leave the dirt track either closed or in grim shape tomorrow.

The Daily Racing Form provides a quick update on some Breeders’ Cup contenders preparing for a week on saturday: DRF Clocker Report: Thursday, October 26. I will try to catch up with a couple of the contenders today to see how things are going.

The Cushion Track at Hollywood Park is preparing to play host to its first meet: New ‘Cushion Track’ Attracts Out-of-Towners. This will be the second major racetrack in the US to adopt a synthetic racetrack. Lets hope the favourable reports from training over the track persist during the race meet.

Update 911: Rachel, from Kennett Florist left this comment (timestamp: 8:33 pm):

All is quiet at NBC today… I think they are recovering from the Halloween parade last night! They entered the parade (it’s a judged event) as they have in the past. They have a miniature pony that in the past has been Smarty Jones, etc. He was dressed in a blue drape with fake casts on his hind legs… yep a Barbaro stand in! It was so cute. They had a little boy dressed in scrubs that had “Richardson” across the front and “but cuter and nicer” across the back! There was a little girl dressed as Edgar in the jockey outfit. They had adults carrying picket fences with get well posters all over them (representing the main entrance of NBC). They were also pulling a cart of flowers and carrots that had our logo on it! What a hoot! I hope someone got pictures for NBC, because mine came out really dark. It was a great night, even as cold as it was. Love, love, love this town!

We brought the big guy all his favs today!

Update 910: Peter Brette visited Barbaro again today, which is looking like the routine while Michael Matz is overseeing Round Pond’s training at Keeneland. Peter took Barbaro out for a pick of grass, groomed him and changed his bandages. All remains comfortable.

Update 909: Just spoke to Steve Willard, Giacomo’s exercise rider. All remains well with Giacomo as he gets ready for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Steve is very happy with the way Giacomo feels. He is training well, jogging a mile and galloping a mile and a half each day. He will likely work one more time, sometime this weekend. He will ship to Churchill either on the 29th or 31st of October. Once at Churchill they will likely paddock school him a little just to help him get used to his new surroundings (of course they are not entirely new, he is one for one at Churchill).

Update 908: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night). I just spoke to Peter who had heard from Michael. Peter again plans to visit later today so hopefully I will catch up and get another later report too.

For those curious about the shipping plans for the Breeders’ Cup for the european runners, here they are (from Sue McMullen):

I’ve just spoken to the IRB at Newmarket. The euro runners are travelling on three flights; two on Sunday, one of which carries the Godolphin horses and the other the rest of the euro runners apart from the Ballydoyle contingent, who fly on Tuesday (they usually travel a bit later than the rest).

So George Washington will be coming over on the tuesday flight next week.

Posted by Alex at 4:52 PM | Comments (675)
Barbaro Updates: 113
Posted October 25, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 907: As we wait for our Barbaro update, I wanted to post this commentary about the Breeders’ Cup Classic, from a European perspective, and with obvious focus on the Jackson-bred George Washington (via Sue McMullen):

We are flagging up the BC Classic as one of the best in the history of the race. With Bernadini, Lava Man and George Washington currently level in the ratings, and you add to that David Junior, Giacomo and not forgetting Perfect Drift, it’s an awesome prospect.

Commenting on the continued debate about running turf superstar George Washington in the Classic, the first time he’ll face dirt, trainer Aiden O’Brien told the Racing Post they’ve never had a horse with pace like his out of all their good horses (which is some compliment): “Everyone says that Danehills won’t go on the dirt and that’s very possible, but we won’t know until he runs. It’s a gamble but we are hoping maybe he can overcome all this.

“George is so quick and has natural early pace. I have always thought he could get a mile and a quarter. He is a very rare horse. What we are hoping will help is that this horse travels so well in his races and he has never been stopping at the end, even over a mile.

“Not having raced on dirt will be a big disadvantage, but that’s been the case for many horses and, if it’s possible to overcome it, then this horse could do it. The circumstances are all a danger more than any horses.

“We haven’t seen much of Bernardini. Everyone knows about him, he looks a good horse and Tom Albertrani knows what to do and what not to do. We’re going in at a big disadvantage, but it’s probably going to be his last race so we might as well explore.

“We know what he can do over a mile on grass. I don’t want to blow him up but all I can say is we’ve never had anything like this before.”

So George will take his chance and we must hope that he does indeed ‘overcome it’.

Given the wealth of talent that Aiden O’Brien has had in his charge, to state “we’ve never had anything like this before” is incredible praise. What is equally intriguing is I think Tom Albertrani will say the same for Bernardini.

Update 906: Once again the Barbaro update will be later in the morning.

The following: Barbaro: We Believe in Miracles is a new, up to date, video. It is very nice, but there are a couple of shots from the Preakness.

The following article: Barbaro still the focus of much support, well-wishers is another that highlights Barbaro’s persistant support through his long recover. The following are excerpts:

“He has a nice hair coat and he looks good,” says Richardson. “Since he started grazing in August he has put on over 50 pounds. But he doesn’t look like a racehorse. He has been on the equivalent of bed rest other than to go outside and get walked once a day.”

The right hind foot remains encased in a fiberglass cast, primarily to help protect his left. “We’re pretty sure that he could be out of the cast in his right hind, except that we don’t want to take any risks of overloading his left hind,” Richardson explains. “In some parts of the left hoof he has good growth but other parts are slower.

“He’s bright and inquisitive. He seems to have a real desire to go on.”


“This summer Barbaro received a beautiful wedding invitation with an RSVP and everything,” relates Rench. “Dr. Richardson wrote a little note to the couple saying: ‘Thank you very much for the invitation and best of luck. At this point Barbaro does not have any interest in remaining monogamous.'”

In Richardson’s opinion, if Barbaro makes an optimum recovery he will be able to be used as a stallion. Given his pedigree and brilliant record in his brief racing career, he probably would become a multi-million dollar stud.

But the Jacksons’ primary concern isn’t for Barbaro to someday have a love life. Like countless others across America, they just want him to have a long and happy life.

Update 905: I just spoke to Peter Brette, who visited Barbaro this afternoon. Barbaro remains comfortable. Peter groomed him, took him out to graze and changed his bandages. His usually routine when Peter visits.

Update 904: Alie from Kennett Florist left the following comment (timestamp: 9:19 pm):

Hope everyone is after the senators today. So just a quick upate, Beautiful but cool day here in Kennett Square. I Delivered treats for the big boss horse around 1:30. All was good at NBC. I felt a happy mood while visiting. Everyone in town is getting ready for the parade tonight. It is going to be cold. Our Christmas celebration parade is for Kennett square is Nov 24th. For a little town we have lots going on. That’s all, for now. Good night & God Bless.
We Believe

I have also made a few updates to the FAQ.

Update 903: Here are details on those pre-entered for the Breeders’ Cup, saturday, November 4: Contention Runs Deep in 2006 World Championships; 127 Pre-Entered. From Fair Hill we have Round Pond (Michael Matz: Distaff), Film Maker (Graham Motion: Fillies and Mares Turf), and 2004 Breeders’ Cup winner Better Talk Now (Graham Motion: Turf).

Sue McMullen sent this list of european contenders:

Juvenile – nothing
Juvenile fillies – Satulagi
Fillies and Mares – Ouija Board
Sprint – nothing
Mile – Ad Valorem, Aussie Rules, Araafa, Echo of Light, Librettist, Rob Roy, Sleeping Indian, Ivan Denisovitch.
Distaff – Nothing
Turf – Hurrican Run, Red Rocks, Scorpion
Classic – David Junior, Discreet Cat, George Washington

Note, Discreet Cat is only entered in case Bernardini does not run in the Classic.

Update 902: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (tuesday night). I saw Peter after work. He had heard from Michael. Its likely Peter will again be visiting Barbaro today so I will try to follow up later.

The following is my interview with Dean McKeown, who just rode his biggest race winner in the Canadian International last sunday. Thanks to Sue McMullen for helping me get Dean’s number. I used to work with Dean twenty years ago at Richard Whitaker’s.

Dean On Collier Hill
A few years ago, 2002, I was riding Hugs Dancer and beat Collier Hill in the Cumberland Plate at Carlisle. I thought Collier Hill suited the way I like to ride, sitting just off the pace. I kept asking Allan Swinbank, Collier Hill’s trainer, if I could ride him. Eventually he gave me the ride at York, this was in 2004, and we finished third in a group 3 race. He then ran poorly in the soft ground. He had bad joints so they preferred to run him on the more forgiving ground. If they (trainer and staff) could manage his legs I thought he would be a better horse on the firm going. We ran in the Stockholm Cup in September of that year, on good ground. The bends had been watered so there was a little give in the ground. When we jumped off from the start he was feeling the ground in the early stages, he sat last. This was not ideal, but they were going too quick. Foreign Affair made the running and I was 16 lengths behind. Collier Hill lengthened his stride around the final bend on the more forgiving ground (watered), he was 8 lengths behind at the eighth pole and just got in front at the wire. This was the first group win for Collier Hill, a group 3.

In 2005 we pointed him for the Irish St. Leger, 1 mile and 6 furlongs. He went to Dubai and won a group 3 again, he was then third in the Sheema Classic, a $3m race, he won $500,000 for third prize. He won a group race in Germany beating a Canadian International winner. He was then beaten a short head in a group 1 in Germany. Collier Hill kept improving all the time, and his joints seemed to also be improving. Collier Hill then won the Irish St. Leger.

In 2006 Collier Hill had two runs at the beginning of the year at Ascot, he then went to the Curragh to take on Kastoria. While he was beaten in a photo by Kastoria, he had had a significant hoof problem going into the race, he was also giving 6lbs. Going into the Canadian International his form looked good and it was surprising to see him at 12 – 1. It seems that because he is trained by a less fashionable trainer, and ridden by a less fashionable jockey his accomplishments are continually overlooked. I was convinced he would finish in the first three. The ground was on the soft side of good, which while not ideal for Collier Hill, is less ideal for north american-based horses which are used to only firm ground. I was in Canada to ride Collier Hill before the race, thursday – sunday (Collier Hill exercised the morning of the race). One thing I did notice was the turf close to the inside rail on the straight away was two inches shorter. This type of observation clearly helped in my tactics. The race set up very well for Collier Hill. He was allowed to sit just off a fast pace, we then kicked for home, he was perhaps headed a little by Go Deputy, but had enough to get his head in front on the wire.

Dean McKeown Background
This was the biggest win in Dean’s quite long career. I joked with Dean that big wins are supposed to come early in one’s career so you can parlay it into something special. That being said, if you look at Dean’s career he has actually done very well. He was written off at the age of 21, at 24 he rode 3 winners the entire season. At 25 he came north to Richard Whitaker’s to get a fresh start (this is where I met Dean). From that new beginning he did have a few years with a lot of winners. The fastest horse he ever rode was Orient (I rode Orient work once, her first bit of work as a 3yo. I was to never ride her again after that, and she blew away her work partner).

Collier Hill Background
As for Collier Hill. He was bought for $5,000 from John Gosden’s stable, George Strawbridge was his owner. He won a bumper race at Catterick for his first start for his new connections, the idea was to take him hurdling. He was a “crap” hurdler. He switched to the flat and was a decent handicapper for a while. Once they figured out his preference for the going, and got his joints in order, the horse kept improving. He is now being pointed for a race in Hong Kong.

On racing on synthetic tracks.
I asked also asked Dean about synthetic tracks in the UK. Dean noted that initially they got it wrong in the UK in terms of the mix used for the tracks. There was kickback which was entirely unpleasant. The two polytracks they have now at Lingfield and Kempton are great. There is no track bias, a horse can win from anywhere, come from behind, sit on the front, wherever. I asked if the times were a little slower, and he noted that perhaps they were, but a track can control for that depending on how deep the surface is. The Lingfield times are generally quicker than the Kempton times. I mentioned that perhaps turf runners were enjoying this type of surface as much as, if not more than, the dirt runners. This did not surprise Dean. With no kickback, a horse can get a hold of the track much like they would a firm turf track. It will be interesting to see how these types of tracks get adopted in the US. Hollywood’s meet opens shortly with the Cushion track.

Posted by Alex at 4:13 PM | Comments (586)
Barbaro Updates: 112
Posted October 24, 2006

updates are now here.

Update 901: Still no Barbaro update (as expected). I saw Peter on the track (he was on Chelokee) and he had not heard anything yet. It is another chilly morning at Fair Hill, yet quite pleasant. A couple of the two year olds I ride went to the gate for a little schooling. We seem to have plenty of Canada geese around, I assume they are in transit.

I spent some of my morning interviewing Dean McKeown, who won the Canadian International last weekend (Collier Hill digs deep to hold off Go Deputy in Canadian International). He gave some great insights on Collier Hill and his relationship with the horse, as well as racing on synthetic tracks, which has been a part of british racing for a few years now. It may take me a little time to post.

Today is national call in day! Get busy!

Update 900: Today’s Barbaro update will again be later this morning.

Here is the race order for the Breeders’ Cup: Breeders’ Cup Race Order, Post Times, Wagering Menu Announced. For anyone planning to be there, please feel free to call me the friday before and we can arrange a time / place for everyone to meet up.

Update 899: I just spoke to Peter Brette. He visited Barbaro earlier this afternoon and all remains well. He groomed Barbaro and took him outside.

Update 898: Fred Stone may be the most famous equine artist, its certainly the only name I would recall without prompting (although that does not mean a lot). This Thoroughbred Times article: Barbaro’s spirit provides latest inspiration to equine artist Stone discusses the struggles Mr. Stone went through before determining to paint Barbaro. The following is an excerpt:

“Emotionally, I was so hurt by what happened that I said to my wife [Norma] that I’m never going to paint another horse again, and I meant it,” Stone said. “I painted a little dog on a surfboard, and I started painting other things.”

Gradually, Stone’s stance began to soften as he watched the courageous three-year-old Dynaformer colt battle for his life while his owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, and the staff at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center did everything in their power to save Barbaro.

Here is his work.

Update 897: New Bolton’s Barbaro update for the day: Barbaro had another good week:

It has been a little over five months since Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was brought to the University of Pennsylvania’s George D. Widener Hospital at New Bolton Center. “I am happy to report that Barbaro had another good week, and his appetite and vital signs remain excellent,” said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery at Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital.

Barbaro’s right hind leg remains in a fiberglass cast. “We are being very conservative with the right hind (fractured) limb in order to help protect the foundered left hind foot.” said Dr. Richardson. “The hoof is growing slowly and not uniformly so it has a long way to go before it is acceptably strong and functional,” said Dr. Richardson. “The foot will require meticulous care for a long time and setbacks here and there are probable.”

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.

Due to Barbaro’s continued improvement, the University will now be posting updates biweekly. The next update will be posted on Tuesday, November 7, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Update 896: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (monday night). I just spoke to Peter, who had heard from Michael, who had heard from Dr. Richardson. Peter is also planning to visit later today, so I will try to catch up again later.
update, tuesday, 12:00 pm