Barbaro Updates: 29
Posted July 31, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 354: As we wait for the press release from New Bolton I thought I would highlight some more content from the comments. Mike C has composed race calls in honour of Bobby, this is the latest (3:20 pm post time):
MORE OF THE CALL...And the horses thunder down the backstretch,Barbaro still has a lot of work to do", says Durkin. "He's back in the race, but he's not in his usual up close stalking position after the 2 disasterous mishaps in this race".As the leaders begin to hit the far turn Durkin is calling the positions of the horses in the race using names and colors to describe them in his adjective littered call.As he gazes thru his binocs and he gets to BARBARO, now in mid pack we pick up his call." And now BARBARO IS BACK,here in mid pack an unlikely spot in both a bad and good way, he's usually close to the pace but with what happened today its already an amazing comeback.Edgar pulls down a pair of goggles and he almost seems to be smiling now, WHY COULD HE BE SMILING??.DID WE NOT SEE THE BEST OF BARBARO ALREADY TODAY??.Edgar still has a handful of reins ladies and gentleman meaning he still has a ton of horse under him"..This could be a comeback of TITANIC proportions, Edgar is smiling like a guy holding 5 aces, he knows he's on a time bomb here waiting to explode, but after all the hardships thrown BARBAROS' way just how much is lift in the tank???.But by the look on Edgar's face, and determination in BARBAROS eyes I'm not willing to bet against the miracle we may just see here today".....The crowds roar heightens with every stride of the horses,you can now hear cries of "C'MON BARBARO,LETS GO BOY" becoming more evident above the thunderous roars of the thousands anticipating the tremendous finish that lies ahead.....
Bobby left this poem (1:36 pm):
Barbaro In The Hospital
I hear the cottonwoods
horse that we love
the breeze from the paddock
keeps murmuring low
we love you so
Does he really know
through his trials we go
with him each day
our hearts beat so painfully
when in his swing
But in time we know
will always prevail
He's never lost
no mind the costs
his spirit will not fail
So in miracles
we never doubt
and will love him each day
until he's healed
and it is time
Mighty Barbaro will
proudly walk away
Update 353: This site was featured in an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer today: To check up on Barbaro, check out his blog. I wanted to thank Mike Jensen for the great story, and Michael Bryant for the cool pictures (they are in the real paper, page 5 of the sports section). The paper actually has a more complete story than the online version. I see the online version is also available via mercurynews etc. I really appreciate the coverage! As I am sure people are aware, this site would not be possible without the support of many, I am going to name some, but no doubt will forget others who are important: Michael Matz, Peter Brette, Kathy Anderson, Tim Woolley, Eliza, Jen, Annie etc. Mike and Michael, thanks for coming down to Fair Hill.
Update 352: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (monday night). Michael Matz gave me the update as I was heading out to the track on my third set this morning. It was good to see Michael back at Fair Hill.
Kathy Anderson visited Bobby yesterday evening and also reported that he was doing well. He was in good spirits and looking for a good rub which he of course received, in the form of a massage from Kathy!
updated Tuesday morning 7:35 am
Update 351: As we wait for an update this morning we have an article and a new poem. The DailyLocal.com: Vet: Barbaro's smarts aiding his recovery, is a nice article on the intelligence of Barbaro, and how he has adapted to his current situation, it quotes both Peter Brette and Kathy Anderson. The following is an excerpt:
"Barbaro is not aggressive, but he is very confident," Anderson said.
"He has always been in charge of his space, and he continues to assert that at the hospital. He's become known as a sneak biter. When people turn their back on him, he tries to bite them. They turn around and he's like, 'Who did that, butter wouldn't melt in my mouth.' I think that's pretty clever."
Anderson added: "He's adapted to the sling. I like to think he understands that if I shift my weight this way, I feel better. I'd say that's not typical of racehorses. They're so competitive, they just react, rather than having a planned action."
Bernell Kress could not sleep, so wrote this for us (Posted by: Bernel Kress at August 1, 2006 05:00 AM):
You are the wings beneath our wings,
But, no longer will you fly.
You've captured the hearts of all with a soul,
And we are content with gazing in your eyes.
You are our hero, don't you know?
With courage and fight deep in your soul.
No one can say what you think in your mind,
You're an old sould, Barbaro, perhaps that's what keeps you ever so kind.
Intelligence far beyond your years,
Your eyes reduce us all to tears.
If we could take your pain, it would be gone,
And you would once again be flying along.
Your perils have brought so many close,
We light your candles from coast to coast.
Sweet Barbaro, please have no fear,
Cause all that love you are so near.
So rest and heal, oh ancient one,
You've been here before and you're not done.
You are teh wind beneath our wings,
And when you fly again, your world will sing.
Update 350: Barbaro had another comfortable day (monday). I just spoke to Peter Brette, who had spoken to Michael.
It turns out the winner of the Mike Rea Mustang is a presenter for HRTV! Congrats Becky!
We are planning our second vigil for saturday. While Bobby has been maintaining his comfort and has shown some positive medical signs, we know there is a very long road ahead, the vigil should help us stay focused on his well being and progress. 7pm saturday, whereever you are, whatever you are doing, think of Bobby.
I mentioned to Peter while we were chatting this evening about the interview I conducted with Tom Albertrani (update 348). Peter of course knows Tom as Peter also used to work in Dubai. He only had good things to say about Tom.
Finally, another beautiful poem, thanks TLC (from updates 23 10:44 pm):
Work is slowing down a bit now and I just wrote this sitting here at my desk:
Brought into this world,
learned to walk then to run,
admiration of beauty
racings devine son.
He ran with such grace,
superior to all,
until tradgedy struck,
will we watch the son fall?
No, his owners and trainers agreed.
This son is too special,
he has more heart than speed.
And the world embraced him,
prayers and good thoughts passed his way,
A nation of believers,
thankful for each and every day.
So when life gets you down,
and things seem a "no go",
Believe in Miracles
Believe in Barbaro
Posted by Alex at 11:39 PM
| Comments (634)
Barbaro Updates: 28
Posted July 30, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 349: Just returned from Delaware Park, where Mike's family and friends were present for the raffle drawing. It was great to meet Mike's sisters and see Rochelle (his wife). Sheila Barndollar did a fantastic job putting everything together, they sold all four hundred tickets. Rebecca Witzman won, so congratulations to Rebecca! Mike is progressing well. His sisters have lost internet access, hence why no updates for the lcast couple of days. They feel really badly about that. I will try to update their blog to alert people, but it may take a little time.
Jake posted a nice response to my interview with Tom Albertrani (update 348) (comment at 4:35 pm) copied below:
You had only to look at Tom Albertrani's face that day at the Preakness to know a real horseman. Here his own horse is burning up the track, but I saw the double-take he gave when Michael Matz left the stands. He looked stunned, and saddened.
I feel for him, being unable to enjoy that incredible victory, and I know he would have loved to see Barbaro and Bernardini in the home stretch.
The true measure of a horseman isn't the exultation with which he wins, but the depth of feeling he has for the horses, without which there would be no sport.
I've seen that a lot with true horsemen; the face of Trudy McCaffrey when Freehouse won the Swaps but Hello broke down. She could barely keep her mind on the win---all she thought of was Hello.
And Marylou Whitney and Edgar Prado practically in tears when their Birdstone beat Smarty and denied him the Triple Crown.
And you want to talk about horsemen (and women) -you can't beat Roy and Gretchen Jackson, or Michael Matz, or Peter Brette, or all of the people who have been touched by Barbaro.
I mentioned to Tim today about the interview, and that I might try to contact Dan Hendricks for the same (Brother Derek's trainer). Tim reminded me that Dan was asked by the media shortly after the race how his horse was, his response was pretty much, who cares, how is Bobby! (OK, not quite like that, but that was the sentiment.)
Linda Lee wrote a nice poem in the comments (5:14 pm):
I have been looking for months now of all the pictures of Barbaro. I have written below what I see. After you read take a look again at your favorite picture of this GREAT horse.
Just Look in His Face!
(In Honor of Barbaro)
Just look, old souls you see,
Has he been on earth many times before?
Oh, what wisdom you see.
Just look deep, old souls you see,
His eyes? always are waiting for what is next.
Always remembering from the last race what he needs for the next.
Just look deeper; don't you want to watch those old souls too?
He is watching, grazing, running, healing, and pleasing.
Did you look for that old soul hiding there?
Just look, make it quick, don't miss those old souls resting there,
See an old soul asking to be set free
You want to be inside of that old soul too.
Just look deep
Just look deeper
Just look, make it quick
Linda Lee Smith (I usually sign just Linda Lee)
KEEP THE FAITH!
Update 348: I just did a telephone interview with Tom Albertrani, trainer of Bernadini. I wanted to get his perspective on a couple of things, including obviously his thoughts re: Bobby. Here is the interview:
Me: I asked Tom about the mood after winning the Preakness.
Tom: While happy to win a triple crown race, there was a bad feeling. It was very upsetting to see such a great horse being put in the horse ambulance. No one wants to experience what Michael (and his team) had to experience. It definitely took away from the excitement of the victory. The day after the race, the mood was a little better, we could focus a little on the win, but we wished dearly for a great horse race. After Bernadini's win saturday in the Jim Dandy, Michael Matz was one of the first to congratulate me. Later in the evening I caught up with Michael again. He gave me an update on Barbaro, we are all really rooting for him.
Me: I asked Tom about his experience with Godolphin:
Tom: I had worked for Bill Mott for nine great years. The Godolphin opportunity came along and it was an opportunity of a lifetime. It was an incredible experience. I got to travel all around the world, Ireland, France, Italy, Australia. I worked with some fantastic horses: Dubai Millenium, Fantastic Light, Street Cry, Swain, Halling ... we had an incredible 85 group one winners in seven years. Sheikh Mohammed is a great horseman (Sheikh Mohammed runs Godolphin and Darley Stud, owner of Bernadini). He is very hands-on, and on top of everything within the entire operation. He loves the sport of horse racing, its competitive nature. He would have loved nothing more than seeing a true rivalry, something akin to Affirmed and Alydar.
I have never met Tom. I do know a few people who have and who have worked with / for him. He does seem like a very cool guy.
Update 347: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (sunday night). I just spoke to Peter Brette who had just got off the phone with Michael Matz.
update 11:20 am, monday july 31
Update 346: No morning update yet, but Peter (Brette) did confirm Barbaro remained comfortable throughout the day sunday. Here is an article that appeared recently while we wait for an update from this morning. The Chicago Tribune: Veterinary hospital is breed apart writes about New Bolton Center, a nice compliment to their own video. Here is an excerpt about the recovery pool:
Normally, horses coming out of anesthesia after surgery are lying down in a recovery room. As they wake up, they must struggle to their feet, a dicey maneuver on freshly repaired ankles and legs. Moreover, a postoperative horse may be confused and thrash about in the recovery room, further jeopardizing the surgeon's work.
But in New Bolton's C. Mahlon Kline Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Center, an orthopedic surgical patient like Barbaro is lifted from the operating table in a sling suspended from a ceiling monorail system that can handle patients typically weighing 1,000 pounds. From there, the animal is conveyed to the nearby room containing the recovery pool, a bright blue circle of heated water, some 20 feet deep.
There, the animal is lowered into a black rubber raft with four long sleeves enclosing the legs. Once the raft is inflated, the horse remains floating there, typically for one or two hours, with nurses sitting close beside it. Thus, when the patient awakens, there is nothing hard anywhere near an injured leg, no matter how much it tries to thrash about.
A couple of blogs have written about this site: Animals We Can Love (that's Tim in the picture, not me) and Barbaro = Passion = Blog = Community. Toby, the author of the latter blog, is a "blog buddy".
Update 345: This morning's update will again be delayed. Michael is still in Saratoga I think, returning today. I imagine I will know something by mid morning and be able to post then.
Update 344: We have seen Barbaro coverage in the UK, in New Zealand, and now Japan: Sympathy for a racehorse. This article talks about the rationale for the sympathy directed towards Barbaro as the world is seemingly full of other tragedies. The conclusion:
Barbarophilia is certainly not logical. And it is sentimental, outrageously so. But here's a thought the anti-Barbaro crowd seems to have missed: Compassion isn't an either-or proposition. Interest in the fate of an injured horse in Pennsylvania doesn't preclude concern for terrified children in West Java or Baghdad or Tyre. Very likely, it's the same warmhearted people caring about the lot of them. Even if it wasn't, you can't legislate the flow of sympathy.
The following article: Bernardini could be Horse of Year I hesitated to post. Not because I don't admire another great racehorse, who won very easily over the weekend (although he really had nothing to beat), but because it was poorly written and factually inaccurate. Bobby was 6 for 6 going into the Preakness. I would also take issue with qualifying Albertrani's tenure with Godolphin as a sentence but since I don't know the guy (yet) I cannot confirm how much he enjoyed working with horses like Dubai Millenium.
Update 343: No new update this evening. I am assuming that is a good thing. Lori Keith rode her first winner at Philadelphia Park today, in the first race. She is a friend, and its great to see her getting going at Philly. She had ridden a winner at Penn, and actually went to Saratoga yesterday and was fourth. I asked her her perspective on Barbaro, she said:
My heart goes out to everyone involved. The horse is obviously strong, and he is hanging in there. It really makes you want to pull for him even more, he is trying.
Very true words. Congrats on the win, and looking forward to seeing you at Fair Hill breezing.
Adrienne caught up with Michael Matz yesterday at Saratoga. She had this to say (comment at 5:35 pm from update 27):
I was at Saratoga yesterday and actually had 2 michael signtings. The first was on a tour of the barns and track that was scheduled through the thoroughbred museum. Michael was with one of his children.
The second was in the paddock waiting for the post purade for the Jim Dandy. michael was walking into the paddock and I asked him how Barbaro was doing because I couldn't check Tim and Alex's web site as I was at Saratoga.I told him that I was one of those crazy and proud of it Barbaro fanatics. Michael said that he had a good night. I guess I heard the update as close as you can get from the horses mouth. He stopped for a second and I then asked him to thank Tim, Alex and the NBC staff for all of their wonderful work. I also told him that I hoped Barbaro enjoyed the carrots and the Delaware Park cap that I dropped off at the NBC 2 weeks ago. Finally he thanked me for the thoughts. Michael seems to be a really kind and understanding person. Barbaro you are really lucky!!!!
Wm & Cl, NH provides us this new poem (5:33 pm updates 27)
****Seabiscuit To Barbaro****
GO BOY GO,
Rest if you must,
Lord heal our great Barbaro
who's won a nation's trust.
Heart only like one other,
Seabiscuit's claim to fame-- There is but just another,
Barbaro's his name.
Living far greater,
Than one could hope for--
His spirit, God is creator,
More than Life's core!
He is destined for much more.
Strengthen him night and day--
What is needed to rest and snore.
Show his shining spirit today,
As a testament to hero lore!
You are the one to beat this,
With loving care and caress-- Believe Blessed with a kiss,
Lucky Swiftness your harness!
Make believers of doubters.
Great joy to be heard--
Help Campaign all ye shouters.
Help spread the good word!
Not just for Barbaro's fight,
But for Mike Rea's too-- May both heal day and night
Richly blessed by all of you!
Recovery's road may be long,
But tender care is there too-- Keep sending those donations.
Each and everyone of you.
Lend a hand to a friend,
Help a neighbor in need.
Hold up another, don't offend,
Is the word of this noble steed!
Contribute your time,
Your money, your hands--
Be it poetic rhyme.
Or prayers from all lands.
Expert minds can only wonder,
Seeing Barbaro's will to survive--
Marvel at MIRACLES we'll ponder,
Makes us thankful we are alive.
GO BARBARO GO,
Listen, rest, soak up our love!
You've grabbed us so--
Heaven's gift to us from above.
Whispering your wise ways,
Bring commonsense to reign--
Uplifting our hopes these days,
Lead us safely back home again.
Forever thanks to Alex & Mike,
Allowing others a sharing mind--
For blessed news raising the spike,
Focused on good and bad left behind--
Go BARBARO Go -- we all love you so!
I was at dinner tonight when our host (Sue) relayed a story from our local fair (which has been in town the last week). She was talking with the person responsible for the big cats, and they were planning to take a lioness to New Bolton to be spade. Sue mentioned how excited the person was at the thought that she might get a chance to see Bobby! (Not too likely, but its great to see how widespread Bobby mania is!)
I am going to try to catch up with Tom Albertrani and get a quick interview on his Bobby perspective. He seems a really nice guy and I am sure has good things to say about Bobby. I have his phone number anyway!
Posted by Alex at 11:34 PM
| Comments (691)
Barbaro Update: 27
Posted July 30, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 342: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (saturday night). Peter just visited Bobby to report the news, and said that Bobby looked good. Peter's tone was relatively upbeat!
A nice article in the UK Observer: The final furlong rehashes the Barbaro story. A good resource for those wanting to get a good handle on the entire set of events. You might also pick up one or two additional insights.
Thanks Heather for the lovely basket delivered to our barn by Kennett Florist. The goodies have been eagerly distributed between our barn and Michael Matz's barn. Much appreciated. A belated thanks to Brandi for the popcorn. Sorry to say that stayed in our barn! As I was in the barn this morning (Tim called me to tell me there was a basket of goodies etc.) I got a chance to see Red Aspen. She looks good after her race yesterday, but tired. I also ran into Sheila Barndollar, who has been instrumental in putting together the raffle for a Mustang for Mike Rea. The drawing is tomorrow at Delaware Park, after the fourth race I think. Tim and I are planning on going. I hope to win! Lets hope Mike continues his good progress.
Update 341: Its great Michael is spending a couple of days at Saratoga (I think he is returning monday) as he has enabled more media coverage for Bobby. This Times Union article: Barbaro touches a heart includes some of the same interview covered by the Racing Form article in update 340. Here are a couple of excerpts that are new:
"I have just never been around a horse that has been so popular," Matz said. "Even outside of the racing community ... I took the kids to a Phillies game a while back and we were just sitting in the stands watching a ballgame on a Saturday afternoon. Three people I didn't know just came up and asked how the horse was doing."
"It would have been nice to see Barbaro run against Bernardini," Matz said quietly. "It would have been good for racing. But I'm not going to be sour. How can I be sour. The horse has done a lot for me. Now we are going to try and do as much as we can for him."
I had dinner at the Brette's last night. They gave me a win picture from the Tropical Park Derby (How cool is that ?) I asked Peter how he looks, given all the concern of no recent pictures. Peter said while he has dropped a little weight (inevitable) his coat looks great (shiny) and his eye is bright, two very good signs he is doing well. We talked about many Barbaro things. I asked about the Florida Derby, and the stretch dual. Peter considered that was the making of the transition from boy to man for the horse. He said Edgar told him afterwards that it was very easy (despite what we were seeing). He did gallop out very strongly. Peter is visiting this morning, so will get an update after that visit.
Update 340: No update yet for sunday, but I will likely know something by mid morning. In the meantime here are a couple of articles, one old and one new. The new one, from the Daily Racing Form, is essentially an interview with Michael Matz from yesterday in Saratoga: Matz keeping an eye on Barbaro. Michael relayed how the last few weeks have been:
"At one point I thought I was going to win the Triple Crown with this horse, next time I was sort of resigned to the fact maybe it wasn't supposed to be and he's going to come through this and be a great stallion," Matz said. "Then, when this other thing happened, I sort of resigned myself that they were going to put him down. Next morning I go and look, there he is bright-eyed. Every time I had myself resigned to something that was going to happen it never did. I don't think physically I was getting tired, emotionally I never knew what to expect."
He was also asked about Bernadini yesterday:
"I'm anxious to see the race," Matz said. "Bernardini's a real nice horse. It sure would have been nice to see them run against each other; that's never going to happen."
Matz was asked if part of him was rooting for Bernardini to lose so that his chances of unseating Barbaro as 3-year-old champion would diminish.
"Right now, I'm more worried about saving his life instead of whether he's 3-year-old champion," he said.
The second article, which I don't think I had seen, is about Peter Brette, some of his background etc: Exercise rider Brette on journey of a lifetime with Barbaro. Obviously this is an old article, and the journey has taken major turns since the article was written. The final piece of the article is poignant:
At mid-afternoon on Derby Day, a good friend of Brette's from Ireland strolled up to the barn to greet the horse and rider.
"She gazed into his eyes for a while," Brette said. "Then she turned to me and said: 'He's an old soul. He's been here before.'"
Update 339: Barbaro had another comfortable day (saturday). Had dinner with Peter and Kim. Other interesting factoids:
Messenger was a racehorse, I think trained by Michael, but not very fast. I think he may have had a stakes winning sibling.
Bobby, Barbaro's nickname, is such because Nicholas, Peter and Kim's son, could not say "Barbaro" ... he is quite young.
I also wanted to note that a couple of people have noted sons and daughters of Dynamformer as half bothers / sisters to Bobby. We do not actually consider a thoroughbred a sibling (or half sibling) unless they are out of the same dam. Thus Bobby's siblings are Holy Ground (four year old half brother) Man of Havana (two year old half brother), and his weanling full brother, yet unnamed.
Posted by Alex at 2:01 AM
| Comments (563)
Barbaro Updates: 26
Posted July 29, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 338: Bernadini was super impressive in the Jim Dandy. I am not entirely sure what he beat, but nevertheless he did not get out of third gear. Congratulations!
Update 337: Melissa sent me this poem, which included the following in her e-mail:
I've been working on this poem for some weeks but couldn't finish it after the horrible news two weeks ago. Now, after yesterday's good news, I was able to finish it. Feel free to share it with anyone including Peter, Michael, the Jacksons, Edgar Prado and all who are close to Bobby.
Who wouldn't be charmed?
By the most precious sight
Of a foal being born
After a long restless night
Eyes anxiously watch
As he climbs to his feet
Nuzzling so close
To his mother's heartbeat
We think of his dam
We think of his sire
Will he have her quiet calm?
While retaining his fire?
Those answers are known
Only to God it is said
So we leave it to Him
As we go to our beds.
We watch foals play games
While amidst their peers
Whether they'll race
Is best left to seers.
Then the time comes
That all mother's hate
He must leave her side
To be schooled at the gate
What's with this saddle?
Who's this on my back?
You mean I must run
Out here on this track.
He continues to strengthen
His endurance increases
Through most careful workouts
And frustrating breezes
He could be the one
If our watches don't lie
Shall we aim for the Derby?
And give it a try
He wins all his races
He fills us with pride
This is a great horse
With luck on his side
He then wins the Derby
They are calling him great
He goes to the Preakness
And meets a cruel fate?
In the midst of adversity
He touches our hearts
We see his ability
To be patient and smart
We admire his quiet courage
As he endeavors to heal
Each day we're encouraged
By his very strong will
There was no Triple Crown
No jubilant mood
But his name will resound
When we think fortitude
For no claim of greatness
Ever had such a measure
As his grace under stress
More precious than treasure
And his name, Barbaro
For all those who know him
Will always mean hero
His fame never to dim.
Sweet Talker ran a great race to just get headed in the Diana. I asked Graham about her chances on thursday. He was a little concerned with her travel schedule, but she certainly showed up today, just losing on the wire! Also, nice win for Master of Disaster at Delaware for Steve Klesaris.
Update 336: Redaspen was sixth in the stake today at Philadelphia. Perhaps she got a little tired in her first start back. Tim said Victor Molina gave her a great ride and gave her every opportunity. After a nine month layoff it was great to see her return to the races. Lets hope she can move forward from this start.
Yahoo! News has the following article today: Barbaro's trainer not getting hopes up which includes the following excerpt:
The medical updates on Barbaro seem encouraging, yet the trainer of the ailing Kentucky Derby winner isn't allowing himself to become too optimistic.
"I'm not getting my hopes up," Michael Matz said Saturday. "I'm just taking it one day at a time -- but he's trying."
I had asked Michael during the week whether he was getting a little more optimistic (as we were getting all the positive news) and his answer to me was similar to the above.
Update 335: A nice article from the Washington Post : Barbaro a 'Happy Horse' As He Adapts to His Situation rehashes generally what we know. I do like the closing:
The outpouring of support from the public, Sweeney said, has shown no signs of slowing.
"People see traits in him they wish they had, a warrior's spirit," Sweeney said. "He's a hero and he has no agenda. People can make him what they need in their life."
I just received an e-mail from a friend of mine at Delaware Park noting the raffle drawing for the Mike Rea Relief Fund is to be monday, I may try to get down for that (I owe for a few tickets!):
On Monday the Mustang for Mike Rea will be drawn here at Delaware Park. The fourth race is to be named after Mike Rea and the drawing is expected to take place about that time to. The car is on display in the grove and the drawing will be in the winners circle. I think there are still some tickets in the horsemens office for purchase.
The latest report about Mike seems a little more upbeat.
Update 334: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (friday night). Just got a voice mail from Peter Brette. Sorry for the late update.
updated saturday, july 29, 1:04 pm
Posted by Alex at 5:02 PM
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Barbaro Updates: 25
Posted July 28, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 333: No update yet this morning. I was just talking to Peter Brette, who has not yet heard from Michael (who is in Saratoga). As soon as I do hear, I will post. Peter also may visit today, so hopefully we will hear from his visit later. More later.
updated 10:47 am saturday.
Update 332: Just spoke to Peter Brette, who visited Barbaro today, this afternoon. Bobby remains comfortable, a nice end to our visit updates this week.
Things have been good this week, but I think we need to gently remind ourselves there is a long road ahead. I am so relieved of the news we have heard, but I also remember how physically sick I felt after the news conference of only two weeks (and a day) ago. Lets hope Bobby continues his slow progress.
Michael is on his way to Saratoga and therefore won't be at Fair Hill tomorrow morning. Peter said he will ask Michael if he can leave him a message as soon as he hears from Dean, Peter will then let me know. The point being, tomorrow's update in the morning may be a little later. Later or not, lets hope it is consistent with everything we have heard lately!
Finally, more Bobby pictures, some lovely ones: Barbaro @ Fair Hill and Barbaro arrives at the Preakness. These are photos from Michael Bryant (Philadelphia Inquirer). Visiting these links does not expose you to his Preakness pictures.
Update 331: Our friends from Kennett Florist visited New Bolton Center again today, they had this to report:
Well, NBC is on a high today... Good news about Bobby and the sugar high we supplied today. For Breakfast, the staff was treated to gooey cinnamon buns and all different kinds of muffins, juice and coffee. The cinnamon buns were gone in minutes! They were still raving about those when we went back in the afternoon. Thanks to Jack and Andrea and everyone at the Barocho Cattle Company, in FL -- as always breakfast was a huge hit!
This afternoon, thanks to Christine in NY and Karen in TN, we brought up all of the makings for a fabulous sundae bar. They devoured gallons of ice cream, hot fudge, carmel, whipped cream, and all sorts of toppings... we even brought root beer for floats. It was gone so fast, the ice cream didn't have time to melt! The staff are so very thankful to all of you and want us to extend their thanks to you all. Of course, we may have to have Lean Cuise Day next week! :)
We are going to start sending some of the baskets next week, on days that Bobby and the staff don't have anything going, from the donations that have been coming in the mail. Thank you again to all of you for letting us be a part of this wonderful family.
Posted by Alex at 8:44 PM
| Comments (722)
Barbaro Updates: 24
Posted July 28, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 330: I am expanding the 'contact us' page to include any organization important to Barbaro's recovery. If you would like contact information added, please include it in the comments and I will make the appropriate additions.
Racing tomorrow (saturday) looks exciting. Red Aspen is in at Philadelphia Park (3:50 pm), Sweet Talker (Graham Motion) is racing in the Diana and the three year olds continue in the Jim Dandy. The latter two races are from Saratoga and will be televised on ESPN. If anyone is at the races, feel free to provide a report in the comments so we can all enjoy!
Update 329: New Bolton's press release (received an e-mail of the release, will add link later):
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro continues to be stable after another comfortable night according to Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson. His right hind leg cast was changed late Wednesday. "We took new radiographs, and they look good," said Dr. Richardson. "No problems were evident." In addition, the modified foot cast on Barbaro's left hind foot, which has laminitis, is changed daily so the foot can be treated and watched for signs of infection.
"Barbaro has a strong appetite, and he has been enjoying hand-picked grass and 'healthy snacks' daily," said Dr. Richardson.
Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Pennsylvania's George D. Widener Hospital.
The next update will be posted on Tuesday, August 1, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.
Update 328: The Thoroughbredtimes has a very encouraging article: Encouraging sign: Barbaro's hoof regrowing. The following are a couple of excerpts, but PLEASE read it all:
Although he described Barbaro's overall condition as "very guarded," Richardson was more upbeat on Thursday night than he has been in weeks.
"We change the bandage on his left hind every day now and it's improving regularly," Richardson said. "It looks like he's starting to grow at the coronary band again. It's where the hoof grows down from. It's where he's going to have to grow a new hoof, so that was nice to see."
The article also notes progress in his right hind:
"Where the new plates were put on it actually looks very good. There were no signs of infection," Richardson said. "I was pretty happy with how the leg looked as well as how the X-rays looked, so he was put back in a fresh cast on his right hind.
Update 327: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (thursday night). I was coming onto the wood chip track this morning (inside the dirt track) and saw Michael on Messaging (overseeing some breezes) about 1/16th of a mile from the gap to the right. I was supposed to back up (jog to the left) but changed things around a little in order to get the update! Michael had heard from Dr. Richardson, who said Bobby was still lying down (good sign) when he visited this morning.
updated friday july 28, 7:15 am
Update 326: There have been a couple of issues with the site overnight. If you have had trouble posting a comment, we are looking into it. Hopefully it will be resolved very soon.
Update 325: Just spoke to Peter Brette. Bobby remained comfortable throughout the day today. Peter was unable to visit, but had heard from Michael Matz.
update thursday evening.
Posted by Eliza at 1:24 AM
| Comments (609)
Barbaro Updates: 23
Posted July 27, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 324: Kennett Florist have just visited New Bolton and have this to report:
Just back from NBC... Mood is good, and reports say that all is well with sweet Bobby. Today we delived a special treat for the gang at NBC. A very wonderful Barbaromaniac (Lisa in NY) had special chocolates made up... they looked like PA license plates that said BARBARO on them! They were so very cool! If I ever get my hubby to get a website going for personal KF stuff, I will post the picture. The basket also included chocolate stars and chocolate bandaids (for life's boo-boos). The staff absolutely adored them. Dr. Sweeney was going to hold onto one to give to the Jackson's; who, by the way, are back and will be in this afternoon to visit Bobby.
We will be back up in the morning as someone is treating them all to breakfast... and in the afternoon, ice cream sundaes! That's going to be fun for all! You guys and gals are all great!!
Comment is posted: : Rachel at July 27, 2006 07:57 PM (note that is UK time, not US time!)
Update 323: This morning we had Michael Bryant, a photographer, visit Fair Hill and Tim's barn. Very cool guy. He had covered Barbaro for the Philadelphia Inquirer during Bobby's training at Fair Hill leading up to the Preakness, and Preakness Day. He has a blog, and on his blog he has an entry of photographs from the Preakness. The entry also includes this text from Michael:
I was one of 100,000 people at Pimlico when Barbaro broke his back right leg and ankle. The gasps and the screams from the crowd was something I have never heard in my life and I hope I never have to hear again.
The entry is here: Barbaro Breakdown, please do not visit if the Preakness coverage upsets you as these pictures, while very good, vividly and uniqely portray the horrific incident.
I asked Michael if he would create a blog entry of some of his other Bobby pictures from Fair Hill. He showed them to me and they are very good, so lets hope he does.
Update 322: We were told there would be a cast change this week on Barbaro's right hind leg. This did occur, yesterday (wednesday). Michael mentioned it to me this morning, Kathy Anderson also noted the cast change when I caught up with her a little later. I believe they actually changed both casts yesterday. Anyway, from what I understand they are pleased with what they saw, but I do not know the details. It is just a relief to know the right hind cast change has occured, and it was done in the sling etc. This makes changing the cast a little more tricky I think, but much better for Bobby!
Update 321: Another comfortable night (wednesday night) for Barbaro. I saw Michael Matz and his set as I was coming to the track with my second horse. I took some photos so will hope to get a couple on the site later.
update, thursday july 27, 7:15 am
Update 320: A few more pictures of Barbaro, from Fair Hill, before the Preakness. The following is a short poem, provided by Kim from yesterday's updates:
I have a short poem I heard many years ago that I want to share. I think it's called "Don't Quit"
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're traveling seems all uphill;
When funds are low and debts are high;
When you want to smile but you have to cry.
When cares are pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but DON'T YOU QUIT.
Life is strange with it's twist and turns,
as every one of us sometimes learns;
Any many a person has given up,
when he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned to late when the night came down,
how close he was to the golden crown.
So when cares are pressing you down a bit;
rest if you must, but DON'T YOU QUIT.
Bobby, you're closer every day to that golden crown. DON'T QUIT.
Posted by: Kim at July 26, 2006 11:11 PM
The following is another poem by Mary C, also posted in yesterday's comments:
A Poem for Barbaro, with Love
Bathed in the balm of love
Ascending and transcendent
Rare and magnificant Creature
Blessing to the world
Adored and revered
Running in spirit with us
One heart, four hooves, uniting many.
Posted by: Mary C. / Canada at July 27, 2006 12:47 AM
Posted by Eliza at 9:55 AM
| Comments (836)
Barbaro Updates: 22
Posted July 26, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 319: Peter Brette just called, he had just heard from Michael (Matz) who had just visited (late afternoon) and all remains comfortable for Barbaro. Another good day, a long road ahead. HRTV did do a Bobby update today, and as reported in the comments they did emphasize the long road of which we are aware (thanks Jan for reporting in the comments):
HRTV- Barbaro Update
They basically reviewed the latest update from NBC.
They are verbally very cautious about Barbaro's condition
The long road to healing is usually talked about as part of this daily update.
I was laughing the other day that one of the commentators read on air his message that he had e-mailed to Barbaro. Hey we are not the only nutty people around!
The fact that HRTV is still doing a daily 3:30 EST Barbaro Update at least shows great sustaining public interest!
For those interested in more detail about New Bolton and their work, you might be interested in their 2002 video: On Any Given Day. Its 18 minutes, but very interesting.
I had been trying to identify who sent the flowers "poster" that was placed outside one of Michael Matz's barns at Fair Hill (currently our feature image), I received the following in an e-mail from the parent of the provider:
Well it was done by my 14 Y.O Daughter Kaylynne. Shes been following the likes of Smarty, Alex, and now Barbaro. She just wanted to do something to say Thank you. to the Chapmans, J Servis and Team Smarty to all the Cash is King Family, who truly let her enjoy the ride of her life last year. Now it's Barbaro who captured her heart, and wanted to give her best wishes to Micheal Matz, the Jacksons, and everyone associated with Team Barbaro
Finally, Round Pond worked a nice half mile under Peter Brette this morning at Fair Hill.
Update 318: Just e-mailed Jeannine Edwards and ESPN will cover horse racing from 5 - 6 pm saturday (east coast time). This will include the Diana Handicap and Jim Dandy. Graham Motion is planning to run the very well traveled Sweet Talker in the Diana, so we will be hoping she continues her great consistency (she's won 6 of her last 8 starts (dating back to may '05) and was 2nd in the other two. this will be her 9th different track...thanks Jeannine for that information). ESPN will provide a short update on Bobby (15 - 20 seconds) during this telecast.
Our friends from Kennett Florist report that Bobby continues to do well, they learned this from Dr. Sweeney during their visit today to drop off goodies for everyone.
Mike Rea's recovery process is certainly going to be a long one, and likely complicated by some unanticipated "issues" ... Mike, the rail is lonely without you!
Update 317: New Bolton's press release confirms Barbaro's comfort etc: Barbaro remains stable and comfortable:
According to Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson, Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro slept well after his left hind foot bandage was changed yesterday. "I'm happy with the appearance of this foot, which is doing as well as can be expected," said Dr. Richardson. "Over the last several days, his temperature has been normal and his blood work has significantly improved suggesting that the infection in his right hind is under control." His heart rate is also consistently normal now, a good indication that he is stable and comfortable.
Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of Penn's George D. Widener Hospital.
The next update will be posted on Friday, July 28 unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.
Its nice to see continuing Bobby coverage in New Zealand!
For the presentation I gave yesterday, at the beginning, I asked the audience how many people follow horse racing. I think three hands went up (the audience was about 60 people, who work in MBA administration). I then asked how many people were familiar with Barbaro, about 3/4s of the audience raised their hand. I then showed the audience this site!
Update 316: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (tuesday night). Saw Michael Matz on the horsepath as I was coming back to the barn and he gave me the good news.
updated wednesday 7:05am
Update 315: Wm & CL left a wonderful comment in Barbaro Updates 21 (Posted by: Wm & CL at July 25, 2006 03:32 PM) as a an explanation of how Barbaro has captured our imagination. The following is a short excerpt:
While Barbaro recovers, immense obstacles are being overcome as Americans recover. His struggle and our struggles are easy to understand. That is what grabs our hearts. In the imortal words of Seabiscuit's trainer, Tom Smith, and owner Charles Howard: "You never throw away a whole life just because it gets banged up a little bit." We believe Barbaro's owners, Roy & Gretchen Jackson, are of the same mindset including Dr. Dean Richardson and his medical team. Barbaro's same fierce fighting spirit and champion heart inspire us to go the extra mile for him while he is doing the same for us. He is giving us our second chance as we give it back to him.
So, Barbaro, we will sit and rest awhile with you when our hearts and soul get weary. From R. Loveland and B. Graham's words--'You Raise Me Up'--this is for you.
"You raise me up so I can stand on mountains,
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas.
I am strong when you are on my shoulders,
You raise me (us all) to more than I (we) can
Posted by Eliza at 10:35 AM
| Comments (773)
Barbaro Updates: 21
Posted July 25, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 314: Just spoke to Peter Brette...while he was unable to visit Barbaro today, he's heard that Bobby has continued to remain comfortable through the day.
Also, Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer called earlier today and interviewed me over the telephone. He's planning a visit to Fair Hill in the next couple of days. So, there may be a piece about the site for us to read soon in the Philadelphia Inquirer!
Update 313: Rachel from Kennett Florist just left this comment:
We hadn't had a chance to get on and give the morning update from NBC until now. Thanks to Mary in TX, the staff was treated to another wonderful breakfast. (I think we could become caterers on the side!:) We served lots of different danish, cinnamon buns, coffee cake, coffee and juices. As always they were very grateful. We also brought up a special little breakfast basket for Bobby with his baby carrots (with the greens on top) and spearmints.
Alie talked to Dr Sweeney and was told that Bobby had a comfy night and slept well... same as we've heard from Tim and Alex. So good, good news! Atta boy Bobby.
Thanks again, Mary!
Update 312: A few interesting articles, one old and the others new. The spirit of a champion, by Scott Wells for Thoroughbred Times, discusses horses' love for running, and the compassion we all have for Barbaro, especially his connections' compassion. The article concludes:
If it comes down to spirit, Barbaro will survive. How I hope it happens that way. But just know that when he does die, whether in a matter of days or 20 years from now, his owners, his trainer, his jockey, his groom, his hot walker--they will mourn his passing with the type of real grief saved only for the best of friends.
The article: Barbaro's British influence (a little dated) provides background information on Peter Brette and the relationship he and Michael (Matz) have developed. The following is an excerpt:
Matz met Brette a year or so ago at Palm Beach Downs in Florida. The initial assessment was that the Englishman "seemed like a real nice guy," Matz said. And when it came to riding and training horses, the Matz-Brette connection appears to have been solidified along the adage that it takes a good one to know another good one.
Matz offered Brette a position that didn't take long to turn into right-hand man.
"It evolved really quickly, you know," Brette said. "We get along very well and sort of bounce things off each other really well.
Finally an article on track safety, a topic of heated discussion in the comments given recent issues at Arlington and Del Mar. I post this while also noting there is no evidence that an unsafe track caused the horrific accident to Barbaro: Racetrack technology treads on gentle ground. This article is noteworthy also because it quotes two prominent Fair Hill trainers (Motion and Klesaris). It focuses on Michael Dickinson who used to train at fair Hill, and used to employ Tim ... and I (a long time ago).
Update 311: Barbaro had another comfortable night last night (monday night). Tim spoke with Michael Matz (again) and Michael had heard from Dr. Richardson.
It was nice to see a caption re: Barbaro's condition in the USA Today (I am staying in a hotel) that shows the broad interest Bobby continues to generate. I suspect most media coverage today (USA Today, DRF, Baltimore Sun etc.) are rehashing the press release from New Bolton yesterday.
Now off to breakfast (something that is a luxury since I am usually galloping horses all morning), and to prepare my presentation: "Using the Web to Build Relationships and Manage Your Messages": for MBA Admissions.
update, 7:25 am, tuesday July 25
Update 310: Michael Matz visited Barbaro 9 pm monday evening. He told Tim this morning that Bobby was comfortable during the visit. Tim noted a cheerful tone from Michael as he was telling him about the visit.
Posted by Eliza at 11:16 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 20
Posted July 24, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 309: Peter Brette just left me a voice mail. He also visited Bobby today and echos the positive reports we have heard. He noted his positive demeanor, and he was munching on hay when he visited. Peter sounded pretty upbeat when leaving the message.
Update 308: I spoke to Kathy Anderson as she was leaving New Bolton today (about 5 pm). She noted Barbaro was the same as she saw him yesterday, bright and alert. She also chatted with Mrs. Jackson who was also visiting Bobby, Mrs. Jackson was happy with how Bobby appeared. Kathy massaged him, and fed him fresh cut grass.
Rachel, from Kennett left this comment after her visit:
Sorry I haven't had a chance to post in a while... but wanted to give you an update on our trips to NBC today.
We went up this morning to feed the crew. They had made an announcement before we got there about breakfast being on its way, so there were lots of eager docs, ready for breakfast. We had lots of muffins, donuts and croissants, along with different juices and coffee. They were so excited to have breakfast, and it was fun to watch everyone clamour to the table. Thanks Lisa!! They really enjoyed it!
Things were a little more quiet this afternoon. We did ask how the big guy was doing and they said everything was the same. So, sorry it's not much news, but things are still good and positive.
Keep the positive vibes flowing!
Update 307: New Bolton Center's press release today: Barbaro's condition remains stable:
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro had an uneventful weekend, and continues to be comfortable according to his doctors at the George D. Widener Hospital. "He's maintaining an excellent attitude," said Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson. "We change his left hind foot cast regularly, and we may change his right hind cast some time this week."
Barbaro spends several hours daily in a sling. "He is out of the sling overnight because he is very smart about lying down and sleeping," said Dr. Richardson. "He continues to eat a diet designed to maximize protein and caloric intake, and his body condition is good for a horse that has had (and is having) his problems. His diet includes a selection of the best quality hay."
The next update will be posted on Wednesday, July 26 unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.
I am now in DC, helping with a presentation (my presentation is tomorrow). I am also hoping to get a visit report later today.
Update 306: I was walking back from the track today with Martine Palermo (have to check the name), one of Michael Matz's exercise riders, and he described to me his visit to Bobby last monday. He was shipping a horse to NBC, and when he was there asked if it was OK to visit. He fed him carrots, and nearly got bitten. I could tell from the look in his (Martine's) eyes how much the visit meant to him. Martine has a bumper sticker on the back of his vest (required equipment for all exercise riders), it says "Go Barbaro". I will try to get a picture of him with it.
I am off to DC for the next day or so (teaching a class) so while I will continue to provide updates as I get them, there is no signal value in a delayed update (for example, I will try to get tomorrow morning's update at the usual time, but it might not happen quite as fluidly). I think Kathy may visit again today, if so, I will try to get an update etc. The same goes for Peter etc.
Finally, Red Aspen did her last piece of work before her 2006 debut, which we hope will be this saturday at Philadelphia Park. She worked well on the wood chip track, and scoped clean. Her last start, before her winter break, was pretty impressive, she has never been out of the first three.
Update 305: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (sunday). Saw Michael Matz this morning as I was going on to the track to breeze a horse. It's absolutely gorgeous in Fair Hill this morning. Earlier I rode a set out back and got to see a fox cub playing in the newly cut grass!
updated monday 7:10am
Update 304: Kathy Warren writes a response to a news media that seems to capture Barbaro's will to survive and continue his recovery:
I just sent the following message to Tom Archdeacon, a sportswriter at a newspaper in Dayton, who wrote a grim assessment for his paper this weekend:
Subject: don't bet against the horse
They're giving him membrane to rebuild the left hind hoof, and the fact is, the extreme care for that injury is giving his right hind joint time to stabilize. They're giving him epidurals and they cut the pain meds back every day as he's able to tolerate less, that's their touchstone for knowing how the horse is doing.
And this isn't any ordinary horse, he hasn't been ordinary his whole life. People who sat on his back when he was 2 years old say it took their breath away, his composure and self-awareness. He's a class act. People say he has grace. I've known cats like that, and at least one dog -- real grace, a presence and an optimism enough to humble ordinary persons.
Nobody has upgraded the horse's condition by so much as an adjective, but everybody -- especially the doctors and trainers who see him every day -- all of them are saying, this horse requires us to give him a chance. He's standing square, he's got a sling he has adapted to, he sleeps lying down every night, he gets a bath on Saturdays, since he was a foal he has handled being in a stall better than most, he's getting nutrients to help him with the left hind rebuild --
Don't bet against the horse. Waste of your time, and you get a lot of people thinking you give up too easy.
Also, congratulations (again) to Edgar Prado. I read in the New York Post (Ed Fountaine) that he won the riding title for the most recent meet at Belmont, thanks to his win in the Oaks this weekend.
Posted by Eliza at 10:05 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 19
Posted July 23, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 303: No new update tonight, but I thought I would post a link to these images of Fair Hill. There is one of me, plenty of Anne Kelly (who has contributed to this site) on Round Pond and also one of Kim Brette, who has also contributed, among other images. Thanks "All Things Considered". The images do a good job of highlighting Fair Hill I think.
It has been nine weeks since Bobby came out his initial surgery following the Preakness. In the nine weeks we have had high moments, and low moments. We do know his condition remains serious, yet he is currently comfortable. It is a long road ahead, lets keep all our thoughts positive for Bobby.
Update 302: Dr. Kathy Anderson just called (as I was leaving my house to go for sunday lunch) and she was just leaving New Bolton Center (2:00 pm sunday). She was very pleased with Bobby. She said he looked very relaxed. He was comfortable standing squarely on all four feet. She massaged him, and he leaned against her at the appropriate times signaling his appreciation for the massage. She rubbed him behind the ears, and fed him fresh carrots that had been left for him. Basically while the medical prognosis remains the same, he is doing as well as can be expected at this point of his recovery.
The Sunday Herald has this article: Fans full of hope for Barbaro the 'superhorse', which is cool since its a Scottish paper. Perhaps Tim's mum, who lives in Scotland, will see it! This only reinforces the reach Bobby has, we have previously highlighted Horsetalk from New Zealand, here is their most recent report: Barbaro 'as well as can be expected' which is also from today's edition.
Update 301: For those interested in learning more about Bobby's younger days, this NTRA article sheds some light: After difficult birth, Barbaro thrived. It is interesting to note many of his early characteristics persist, although they do note he had a dislike to peppermints (perhaps his taste buds have developed / adapted). The following is an excerpt:
"He was so mild-mannered, I could roll him over on his back and scratch his belly or pick out his feet," he said. "He was big, but he wasn't lanky. He was real brawny. And he had the nicest temperament."
That easygoing nature made Barbaro a welcome presence, said Sally Mullis. Mullis, 47, worked with him in the foaling and yearling barns and describes the colt as a model student.
"To me, he was just a nice little bay colt," she said. "He chimed right in and got with program. He was not a troublemaker."
This article was linked from Barbaro on Squidoo which also discusses the mating of La Ville Rouge and Dynaformer etc.
Lyn Gilbert dropped off some goodies at NBC this morning and included this in her comment below (2:03):
I just got back from delivering breakfast to NBC - as of 45 minutes ago, they had no update except for "another comfortable night". Energy there was calm, serene and I knew all was OK.
That's fine with me...just got the current update from this site and I am so thankful our B has one more "comfortable night" under his belt. One night at a time.
enjoy the food and sunflowers (and organic carrots for you-know-who...), NBC staff...
And a random site factoid, we are now one of the top 500,000 in terms of traffic, ranked 129,497 if you just use last week's traffic!
Update 300: Barbaro had another comfortable night last night (saturday night). I saw Michael Matz on the track this morning (sunday) as I was exiting the track. He was chatting with the Klesaris', but turned to me to provide the good news.
update sunday, july 23, 8:10 am
Posted by Eliza at 1:07 PM
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Barbaro Updates: 18
Posted July 22, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 299: Peter Brette just called. He was unfortunately at the barn all day, unable to visit Bobby. He did know that Bobby has had a good day, so his condition has persisted through the day (he's comfortable). Michael will be visiting him this evening, Peter said he will be giving him a good grooming!
We have another video (thanks Mary) on the Fan Media page. It is Barbaro, Never gonna give in.
If you can, tune into ESPN2 7 pm east coast time for horse racing from Del Mar, which will include a Bobby update from Jeannine Edwards.
Update 298: A lovely picture of Gallant Secret from Barbara Livingston.
Tim ran Something Wild today at Philadelphia Park, in a "never won a race other than" allowance race (he broke his maiden at Philadelphia Park a few starts back). It was his first time stretching out (a mile and 70 yards). He ran third, losing second to a simple head bob. An encouraging race.
Just spoke to Kathy Anderson. I mentioned to her the Baltimore Sun article from today, which see seemed pleased with (she just hopes she was correct noting the product A-cell!) She had not been able to visit today, but assumes all is well (she had not heard to the contrary, and she would hear.)
I have added a couple of pictures to the gallery. They are of everyone who attended the event at the Whip thursday evening (thanks again for that) and of a banner placed outside of one of Michael Matz's Fair Hill barns (Parlo 3). This is the first such banner at Fair Hill, its very cool.
The weather here is aweful!
Update 297: Bits and Bob(bie)s: The Wilmington News Journal's Jack Ireland wrote a couple of stories today. The first: Trainer faces long recovery discusses Mike Rea's plight, notes this site, and notes how people can help. According to Mike's blog, he is progressing well (somewhat slowly of course) and will be celebrating Hunter's birthday tomorrow.
Jack Ireland's second article talks about Bobby (of course): There's something special about Barbaro. The following is an excerpt:
When I watched this horse win the Florida Derby with a comeback effort and draw away for a brilliant win in the Kentucky Derby, it was obvious we were looking at a great racehorse. Well, I'm convinced there is something special and heartwarming about this colt beyond his racing ability.
This powerful colt can teach us all something about life and how precious it is. Skeptics might say the horse has no idea how serious his injuries are, but he can feel pain and react to the situation. He knows, believe me.
When he tore up his foot that terrible day at the Preakness, the skeptics said it was probably all over. When his serious problems began in late June, the critics again could be heard.
I don't know if Barbaro can pull off another miracle, but I do know one thing. This horse, his owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, his trainer, Michael Matz, and assistant trainer, Peter Brett, and his Fair Hill vet Kathy Anderson sure aren't giving up.
This horse is special in so many ways. He's a long shot I'll bet on any day.
Our freinds from Kennett Florist provides us this insight into NBC today:
ust got back from NBC. Things are quiet (which I'm going to take as a good thing). They have more like a skelton crew - at least as far as the front reception area goes.
I stopped to water some of the flower arrangements in the lobby and just soaked it all in... so many posters made for Bobby, flowers, balloons, etc. I thought how wonderful it was to have such beauty and signs of love and support for all those that work there. And as a lady was being lead back to see her horse by another doctor, I hoped that maybe some of that beauty touched her while she was waiting to find out news of her "child".
Just thought I'd try to paint a picture of Bobby's (temporary) home.
For those interested in the anti-slaughter bill, a hearing is being scheduled for tuesday, July 26, here are details.
Update 296: Barbaro had yet another comfortable night last night (friday)! Just heard this from Michael Matz on the horsepath coming back from the track. He had of course just gotten his report from Dr. Richardson.
updated saturday 7:20am
Update 295: New Bolton Center's Barbaro News page now has a link to this site. I am excited about that on many levels. I had feared that this site may be perceived as a problem (not sure why, but as a blogger you worry about this), but this link is affirmation to the contrary I think (very cool).
The Baltimore Sun continues its marvelous coverage of Bobby: Vital signs for Barbaro are still good: Treatment working for Derby winner, and quotes heavily from Kathy Anderson. here is an excerpt:
"I'm not saying he's out of the woods, but in my opinion, he has really improved in the last week."
Anderson also said doctors are using a substance called "A-cell" on his left foot bandage. It is a membrane that helps stimulate new tissue growth. Barbaro is also being given nutritional supplements to help in the re-growing of his left hind foot, which is necessary for his survival.
In the course of his recovery, Barbaro's hoof should grow about one to two centimeters a month.
Finally, nice to see Edgar Prado winning another award: Edgar Prado wins Venezia Award. Not only is he an amazing athlete, but an amazing human being:
The award honors jockeys "who exemplify extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship," in the memory of Mike Venezia, who was killed in a spill at Belmont Park on Oct. 13, 1988.
Perhaps we should start a campaign to get Edgar voted for the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year ?
Posted by Eliza at 9:41 AM
| Comments (507)
Barbaro Updates: 17
Posted July 21, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 294: Jeannine Edwards reports ESPN2 will provide an update on Barbaro in their coverage tomorrow on their 7pm show from Del Mar. She also reports the sad news that Gallant Secret had to be euthanized as a result of her recovery process from surgery. This is obviously very sad, keep a thought for her and her obviously heartbroken connections.
On another note, Andy Durnin, a close friend (he used to gallop Fusaichi Pegasus, Labeeb, Manndar etc.) called to let me know Lori Keith has just ridden her first winner at Penn National, she will be based in Philadelphia Park.
Update 293: Just spoke to Peter (Brette). While he was unable to visit Barbaro today he had heard from Michael who had just visited. Bobby remains comfortable, friday evening.
Update 292: A few Bits and Bob(bie)s. This article in the Penn Gazette: Something about Barbaro sheds some additional light on the Jacksons (among other topics). Its a little dated, but a great read. The following is an excerpt:
The first rule of the horse business, as Gretchen remarked in a press conference three days after Barbaro's surgery, "is not to fall in love with the animal because it's so painful when something happens."
Clearly, the Jacksons broke that rule with Barbaro -- and apparently not for the first time. As The New York Times reported, they have also paid hefty medical bills for "a couple of older horses no one has heard of because they did not make it to the racetrack." Dean Richardson elaborated on May 23: "I've known the Jacksons a long time. [Barbaro] could have absolutely no reproductive value and they would have saved this horse's life."
"We have an obligation, " Roy told The New York Times. "We are their keepers."
This article from the LA Times: Loving a Champion Like This One ... It's Only Human is a favourite of Peter and Michael. A quick excerpt:
The five reasons for his popularity can be found not in those statistics, perhaps, but in the hard realities of what else happened that day.
1) The Lakers' Kobe Bryant was called a quitter after taking three shots in the second half of Game 7 against the Phoenix Suns.
2) George Mitchell, baseball's steroid investigator, was called a snoop after requesting major leaguers' medical records.
3) Don King, boxing's convicted felon promoter, lost a fight.
4) The Dodgers' Brad Penny, three weeks before throwing a tantrum on the mound, started a game.
5) The San Francisco Giants put Moises Alou, an outfielder who says he toughens his hands by urinating on them, on the disabled list.
Kennett Florist left a comment from this afternoon's visit:
Just got back from my afternoon trip to NBC. Dr Sweeney escorted us to the back of the hospital because we had some large (LARGE!!) baskets of goodies today. She is such a wonderful lady, right there with the staff and handing things out to them as they walk by.
One of the staff told us yesterday that Bobby liked the small carrots with the greens on top (as well as the baby peeled ones) so we made a smaller basket of those with pears and mints. Dr Sweeney directed someone to take that right up to ICU, so if anyone is doubting Bobby getting your stuff, I can personally attest that he is!
Spirits remain high. Lots of love flowing through that building... right to Bobby!
Bobby as a baby ?
Update 291: New Bolton's press release today: Barbaro's condition remains stable:
According to Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson, Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro remains in stable condition. "He had another restful night and his vital signs are good," said Dr. Richardson. "We continue to monitor him closely and he is responding as well as can be expected to treatment."
Barbaro is in the Intensive Care Unit of Penn's George D. Widener Hospital where he is being treated for fractures in his right hind leg, which he received at the Preakness on May 20, as well as laminitis in his left hind foot.
The next update will be posted on Monday, July 24 unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.
Lets hope there are no updates from NBC this weekend, although we will continue to provide updates from what we hear from visitors we know and updates from Michael etc.
Kennett Florist left this comment about the mood at New Bolton:
Wanted to tell you about our morning delivery today. A wonderful Barbaromaniac in New York City sent us 6 dozen bagels to deliver to all the wonderful staff at NBC this morning. We included lots of spreads, butters and cream cheeses to go along with them. The staff went wild and were so very appreciative!! Alie brought up some coffee and o.j. for the staff to enjoy, and there again was another stampede for the treats. Thank you so much Lisa, your generosity is overwhelming!
Many people have asked about the donations to put toward baskets. We will continue to make baskets and send them up as the contributions came in. Things are starting to slow down now, so it will be nice to make things up as they need them.
The mood was extremely upbeat and positive (especially after their breakfast feast!) which means Bobby is cathcing all those wonderful vibes! Thank you to all!!
And for those interested in a quick view of Fair Hill, here is Barbaro, training at Fair Hill.
Update 290: I thought I would provide a quick review of our Whip evening last night. In all I think about twenty people attended. This included a number of Michael Matz's exercise riders, Peter and Kim Brette, Kathy Anderson along with two interns, Tim Penny and Amanda, Sabina Pierce and Jennifer Rench (works in PR for New Bolton). I am sure I missed a few people. Everyone seemed to have a great time so I am truly grateful for being able to do this thanks to this web-site. I thought I would note a few conversations I had.
With Peter Brette
We talked of course about Bobby. I asked him about Derby week, and the final breeze before the Derby. He was clocked in a very fast time (which included the eighth after the wire galloping out I guess) and I just remember thinking when I saw the time it had to be too quick. Well we know now that's not the case. Peter again described going down the lane in what appeared to be three strides. He said once they galloped out etc. he really knew he was the real deal. He cooled out great, it was apparently easy for him. There was also a loose horse on the track just before the breeze which no doubt created some issues for the breeze.
I asked him about the "rumour" that Bobby ran off with him the morning of the Derby. Peter smiled, he described what happened. Someone was galloping just behind him, this of course got Bobby a little kean, Peter eased him back, and as he was easing him back, the horse behind Bobby realized the situation and also eased back (Peter I guess was hoping the horse behind him would overtake him once he eased back). Anyway, he got a little kean, but that was all ... and we know the rest of the story. I mentioned to Peter that when you watch the Derby you can see Bobby accelerate inside the eight pole (check this video of all his races to see) . Peter has seen the same thing, but he noted an overhead video that shows the same thing. BTW, I like the commentator in Bobby's maiden race: "this could be a good one"!
I also asked Peter about the Laurel Futurity, which Barclay Tagg had described as the best thing he had seen since Secretariat. Peter too was amazed at the performance. Just talking to Peter makes you realize this horse was just a horse unto himself ... we had not seen the best of him.
I also spent some time talking to Kathy Anderson and her interns. Kathy of course provided us with the update last night, but I swear that was not the only reason I wanted to catch up! She reemphasized what we know here. It will be a very long road, we need to keep Bobby comfortable, and HOPE that Laminitis does not appear elsewhere while his foot grows out on the left hind and the right hind continues to fix.
I sat next to Jennifer (New Bolton), Sabina (photographer), Tim etc. We had fun conversations. I tried to convince Jennifer I should have direct access to all updates from NBC. Well I am now on their "media list", which I think is a good thing. Jennifer talked about how overwhelmed everyone is, and I can certainly appreciate that. Anyway, it was nice to meet someone from NBC and make a connection.
All in all, a great time, and everyone this morning seemed to concur. Thanks for making it happen!
Update 289: Barbaro had another comfortable night last night (thursday). As I was jogging around the track, I passed Michael Matz jogging the other way on Messaging. He had just heard from Dean Richardson.
updated friday 7:00am
Update 288: The following is a lovely video of Barbaro's baby brother. He is cute! As noted in the video he has a mind of his own, he is correct and strong, and is two to three weeks away from being weaned.
Posted by Eliza at 9:34 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 16
Posted July 20, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 287: Just returned from The Whip. We had a great turn out, and will let you know more tomorrow. More importantly, Kathy Anderson visited Barbaro on her way to The Whip (about 7 pm) and reported he remains comfortable, so another good day for Bobby.
Update 286: A couple of comments have cited more sources for Barbaro pictures, the sources are: Deborah Tracy-Kral and Turfangels.com. The following story was left in the comments, I truly hope it does not offend anyone, I thought it was heartwarming:
Last evening a friend and I were on our usual Wednesday evening ride. He had his grandson with him which was unusual. This boy was a knotheaded little cowboy in every sense... riding a little one eyed pony that we got a couple of years ago from people that didn't need a horse in the first place. For that matter, all of our horses came and still come form places like that. But anyway, sometime around 7, Cam asked his Pa, "ain't it time to pray for Barbaro?" This embarrased his Pa I could tell, and took him aback as we had never even discussed Barbaro. I spoke up and told him yes sir,it is. We dismounted and bowed and prayed for Bobby. Two old knotheads and one young one ....and three horses that shouldn't be around anymore. Barbaro has indeed touched many many lives and we are so grateful. Daily prayers and best wishes and prayers from the Gates of Eden Farms.
Posted by: David at July 20, 2006 04:53 PM
OK, off to The Whip. I think it will be a good turn out, and I am hoping it includes people who may have visited Bobby today so I can provide an update later.
Update 285: You can catch Sabina's NBC10 piece, it is now online.
Update 283: New Bolton Center's press release for today: Barbaro remains stable:
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro remains in stable condition after another restful night according to Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson. "His vital signs are good and his attitude remains positive," said Dr. Richardson. "He slept well and is comfortable this morning."
Update 282: Kennett Florist left the following comment this morning:
Good morning everyone!
Alie and I just delivered a breakfast bonanza from Dunkin Donuts to the staff of NBC. We weren't even finished loading up the table that one of the doctors had set up for us before there was a stampede! (of people, not horses) The card from the gigantic basket that contained donuts, munchkins, muffins & coffee (among other goodies) was signed "FROM OUR FAMILY AT TIM WOOLLEY RACING SITE WHO LOVES BOBBY AND THOSE WHO CARE FOR HIM" but sent by a lovely TW member in KS whose name remains anonymous. ;)
Our news of Bobby is the same as everyone else's- another comfortable night. Go Bobby! Steve and Alie plan to go up this afternoon to check in with the staff about updates.
I just caught Sabina on NBC10. Very cool. She clearly loves this horse, and is more enamoured by him than the human stars she has photographed! She mentioned Bobby gets a bath each saturday, he has a big aura, there's a brightness in his eyes, he's got grace, he has adapted well to his needs (sling) and he has a big will to live. These comments were interespersed throughout the interview. I hope it becomes available online, it was terrific!
Update 281: Excellent article from the Baltimore Sun: Barbaro devotees offer gifts, good wishes to injured horse, which quotes Kathy Anderson (one of our great sources):
Dr. Kathleen Anderson, Barbaro's personal veterinarian during his racing days, gets a daily morning update. She said she has been encouraged by what she has heard, although Barbaro faces an additional six months at the hospital.
"That's the most disappointing part for all concerned," Anderson said last evening. "A broken leg is almost healed now. He would have become more ambulatory and been able to go to a field and rest. Now, it's six more months. No one thought he would be hospitalized eight months."
Anderson said the three most important questions facing Barbaro now are:
*Will he get laminitis in another foot - the front or even the broken rear right one?
* Can his comfort level be maintained through the months it will take to attempt to regrow his hoof - which is like a human waiting for a lost fingernail to grow out?
* How long will the regrowing of the hoof actually take?
"But, absolutely, other horses have done it," she said. "You just don't read about it because they're not famous. But it is definitely a doable process, and it is far less unusual than the 27 screws that put his right leg back together."
Anderson also said the report earlier this week that the fusion of the pastern was unchanged was actually an encouraging report.
"It meant there was no infection," she said. "If there was an ongoing infection, it would have deteriorated."
The article also covers other ground, a great read. The New York Post cited this site again today in its daily Barbaro update (thanks Ed Fountaine). The Bloodhorse is in Fair Hill today (I think that's what Peter told me).
A few of us are getting together early evening at the Whip, so I really appreciate the contribution, it will be well spent. Peter and Kim (Brette), myself, Tim (and perhaps Penny), Kathy Anderson (possibly), Sabrina (photog, possibly) and others will be there. Will report back the fun we have!
Update 280: Barbaro had another comfortable night last night (wednesday). Saw Michael Matz at 6:35 this morning (thursday) as I was walking to the racetrack. He had just heard from Dr. Richardson.
updated thursday 7:00 am
Update 279: Dean Richardson was interviewed yesterday (wednesday) for this article in the Bloodhorse (and no doubt other media): 'We're in a Marathon,' Says Barbaro's Vet, the following are Dean's quotes:
Dr. Dean Richardson is looking way beyond those daily updates, however.
"His condition is not likely to change really fast any time soon," said Richardson, the chief surgeon attending the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner at the New Bolton Center. "We're in a marathon at this point.
"The issue is months, not days," he said Wednesday. "He has a long, long way to go."
"I'd be laughed out of the profession if I said this horse's prognosis is anything but poor," he said during a brief telephone interview from the center.
Richardson said Barbaro's condition shouldn't take any sudden turns -- for better or worse -- because it takes a long time to recover from laminitis.
"It is possible he could have a bad night, but it could be just a bad hour and we wouldn't go crazy about that," Richardson said.
"Every day I'm encouraged," Richardson said. "No one wants to quit on this horse. No one wants him to suffer."
Casts on the horse's hind legs were changed Monday, and Richardson said the left one will be changed often so the laminitis can be treated. So far, he likes the way the hoof is healing.
"It looked as healthy as you could have expected it to look. I was very pleased," he said. "If you're not used to looking at that sort of thing, it might not look healthy."
"We're still talking months, many, many months," Richardson said. "We're talking about six-plus months, as far as how long to go if he grows one. The next few weeks, that's very important."
Mike Schuh, the reporter for our WJZ piece left this comment:
My email is: email@example.com With Alex and Tim as my subjects... how could I go wrong? With Fair Hill at dawn as the back drop... every image was more beautiful than the next. As a storyteller, everything lined up... from the weather (hot & dry), to Alex & Tim's schedule (flexible), to the right photographer (Joel Eagle) and the right video editor (Paula Gage). I'm sorry Barbaro was hurt... though I'm glad to have made the acquaintence of such cool guys as Alex, Tim, & Michael.
Thanks for your kind words about our news piece.
M i k e
And finally, for those that can watch, don't forget Sabina Pierce will be on Philly's NBC10 at 10 AM today, discussing her photopgrahs of Barbaro.
Posted by Eliza at 9:52 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 15
Posted July 19, 2006
New updates here.
Update 278: Kathy Anderson called again after her visit to Bobby (7:20 pm). She concurs with what we have heard today. She did provide some insight into Bobby's current routine. As she was leaving, Bobby was being prepared to leave his sling. Basically it seems he spends about 12 hours in his sling and 12 hours out of his sling. When he leaves his sling he tends to sniff around his stall, prepare himself, and then lay down for about five hours. Before they release Bobby from the sling, the staff spend some time preparing the stall with extra straw etc.
Update 277: Kathy Anderson just called. She is running late (she has a couple more horses to see before she can get to NBC) but wanted me to know that Dr. Scott Palmer visited Bobby today. He is a vet from New Jersey Equine and had not seen Barbaro since the Preakness. Kathy said that Dr. Palmer was pleased with Bobby, he felt he was bright and comfortable.
Bernie, from Kennett Florist left this comment:
Alie, Steve, and I just got back from NBC and spoke with Dr. Sweeney, the nursing & office staff and the mood there was really happy. He's doing well and they REALLY appreciates the goodie baskets and chocolates and cookies. They told us that Bobby LOVES the carrots & horsey treats. Dr. Sweeney said to us as she was holding the door for us, "He's having another good day."
Update 276: New Bolton's Update: Barbaro's condition unchanged confirms what we have heard today:
Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson reports that Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro remains in stable condition with good vital signs today. "Barbaro spends several hours a day in a sling, which he has adapted to very well," said Dr. Richardson.
Slings, which were originally designed for rescuing horses, are now common in the treatment of horses with conditions that include neurological problems or muscular skeletal injuries. They have been in use for many years for long-term management of a horse's movement. "We have a lot of experience in using slings for equine support," said Dr. Richardson. "In Barbaro's case, it is a part-time aid that we use to increase his comfort level."
Sports Illustrated is running a story: Natural treasure Barbaro's grace and fighting spirit has touched us all that tries to explain our passion for Bobby (we have seen similar articles lately I think, but they are great nonetheless), an excerpt:
But maybe that's the point. Barbaro isn't human, so he exhibits none of the human failings that disappoint us in our athletes and coaches. He never put his hoof in his mouth like Ozzie Guillen, or fell in love with himself like Terrell Owens. He never held out for more money, stiffed us for an autograph, tangled with the authorities or coasted when he should have been playing hard. In fact, he gave all of himself, competing almost to the point of destruction. How could any fan ask for a more noble competitor?
Update 275: Just spoke to Peter Brette, who was just leaving New Bolton after his visit with Barbaro (2:45 pm). He said Bobby looked fine, was standing all square and certainly not in distress. He appears to be maintaining his comfort level. We know this is (hopefully) going to be a long road ahead, and this is all we can hope for at this stage.
Sabina Pierce left a comment (5:35 PM) which I include here:
I just thought I'd let you know I was asked to go NBC10 in Philadelphia's 10! show Thursday at 10 am to speak about my photographs of barbaro at NBC.
You can see Sabina's work at her site: Sabina Louis Pierce--Photojournalist. For those in the Philadelphia area, I hope you get a chance to tune in. Lets hope they put the content on their site.
Update 274: A little light humour as we wait for further Barbaro reports: LOOP CHAT ASK SMARTY JONES. The following is an excerpt:
Q: The entire world is pulling for Barbaro as he tries to recover from his life-threatening injuries. What advice do you have for your fellow Kentucky Derby champ?
JONES: All of us in the paddock are praying for Barbaro. He got a really tough break, or about 25 of them. He needs to work hard on his rehab, because it's all going to pay off for him and his owners in the breeding shed. That laminitis is a bad disease. It's hard to believe that putting too much weight on a leg can do that much damage. It's even more hard to believe that the Vikings' Pat Williams doesn't suffer from the same problem.
Someday Farm, where Smarty spent some of his youth (perhaps he was foaled there, I am not entirely sure), is about a five minute drive from Fair Hill, just inside Pennsylvania.
I just wanted to thank those of you who have sent us (Tim and I) gifts in the last few days (and for the tab at the Whip). It is much appreciated but entirely not necessary. If you would like to offer your thanks with some form of gift, I think it would be cool to either contribute to Mike Rea's Fund or to a thoroughbred retirement home, whichever you prefer. If it turns out we do need some financial support for this site, I will definitely ask! For now, Eliza is taking care of everything for us. For those who have contributed to the Whip, I am planning to get a few Barbaro people together so we can toast you all! Its funny, Kathy Anderson came to me this morning and thanked me (and Tim) for a dozen red roses. She was convinced we had sent them. I looked at her, she then realized that was not really something we would do! Thanks to the person who contributed the roses in this site's name. For a while, Kathy thought very good things of Tim and I! Kathy said she might be visiting Bobby later today, I will try to catch up with her to get a report if she does.
Update 273: Barbaro had another comfortable night (tuesday night). Just got the report from Michael Matz as he was leaving the barn with his string at 7:05 this morning.
Update 272: The following New York Times article: Veterinarian Says Barbaro Needs to 'Regrow His Foot' focuses on a key issue for Barbaro's recovery. The following are quotes from Dr. Richardson:
"He has to, basically, regrow his foot," Richardson said. "That's the whole issue. Can we get enough hoof growth that he will be comfortable? And that's going to take months. If we can keep him comfortable with the various things that we are doing while this is occurring, we have a shot. Horses have regrown feet before. He wouldn't be the first horse to do it. But his hurdles are higher than others because we still have issues with his right hind leg."
"You have to get the horny part, or hard part, of his hoof to grow back down on top of the bone," Richardson said. "Then you have something for the horse to walk on. No one is claiming that the horse has a high probability of getting a normal foot. The hope is to get him something comfortable enough that he can walk on.
"Everybody has had a few successes with this. That doesn't make it easy and it doesn't mean that this particular horse is going to be one of the ones to make it. Anybody who does this type of work will have the occasional horse that everybody considers at the time a miracle. That's the nature of this type of work.
"If you really stick it out, some of them make it. But the overall numbers are such that I can't be excessively sanguine about his chances. This is a serious problem."
The following sketch (thanks Anna) is a little humour based off update 247.
This Baltimore Sun article: Barbaro gets cast changed twice not only quotes Peter Brette, excerpt:
And that assessment comes as no surprise to Brette, who visited him Sunday and Tuesday, but the assistant trainer said the horse's determination is another story.
"It's the first time I've seen a horse treated in a harness," Brette said. "But he's just adjusted to everything they've ever done to him. What he's been through the last eight weeks, it would have been the end of us and of most horses. I think he's surprised everyone by how tough he is."
but also Kathy Rengert (works for Fair Hill and helped in the purchase of La Ville Rouge (Bobby's mum) for the Jackson's):
"We've been bombarded," said Kathy Rengert, a blood stock agent who is a friend of Barbaro's owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, who remain in daily contact with the New Bolton Center while on vacation, visiting family in Africa.
"People want to send things to Barbaro," said Rengert. "Lately, I've been telling them Barbaro's connections have lots of money. If you want to help someone in racing, donate to the fund for trainer Mike Rea, who had a terrible accident here."
Of course we have been following Mike Rea's progress: tuesday appeared a good day!
Posted by Eliza at 9:39 AM
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Barbaro Update: 14
Posted July 18, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 271: And here is the WJZ piece. Thanks Mike Schuh and Joel Eagle, really appreciate it!
Update 270: Before the WJZ piece airs this evening I thought I would provide a bit of background about the events prior to and during the "shoot".
Mike Schuh mentioned last week, after he e-mailed us the nice video clip they did at New Bolton Center, that he would be interested in doing a piece on the web-site. When he mentioned this I assumed it would be a written piece. He said he would get back to me early next week (this week) to arrange a time (I assumed this would then be a phone call interview). Mike called yesterday and said he planned to come up to Fair Hill this morning, and bring a camera. We discussed the best time to arrive, and truly it is before the sun gets too hot, so he planned to get here about 6 AM. Usually I get on my first horse at 5:30, this morning, my first horse was scheduled for 6. As I was about to get on the first horse (for Paul Rowland) I noticed I had a voice-mail. I called, it was Mike, he had arrived, had dropped his camera guy off close to the track and was waiting at the first barn. The first horse I was getting on was actually from another barn, and I was taking him "out back", i.e. not to the training track. I called Mike back (at this time I was already on my first horse going to the fields) and told him I would be by the first barn at 6:30, Mike went to the track to catch up with his camera guy.
I was kind of stressing a little as I was thinking that perhaps these guys would take the opportunity to get some information from Michael Matz, and I was wondering how I was going to get the info. for my first update if these guys were around etc. etc. Perhaps Michael Matz would be a little annoyed by the whole thing (none of this turned out to be correct of course!)
Anyway, I got back to the first barn, and I was now getting on my second horse (for Judge Jackson), which was going to go in company with one of Tim's horse's with Tim riding. I met Mike, and also the camera guy, Joel Eagle. Immediately my fears for their intent to use this as an opportunity to get content from Michael Matz etc. ended. They both just seemed like cool guys. They miked me up, and off to the track we went (me and Tim). Joel took some footage of us getting on the horse (she scooted from under me, I hope they edited out the ...). Tim and I galloped our horses just over a mile, we jogged a ways first. As we were riding I tried to make some relevant comments etc. I still had not got an update from Michael for the site at this stage (it was 6:50ish and usually the time I can get an update) so I was stressing about that a little. We rode the horses back to the barn. The plan was then for me and Tim to ride a couple of Tim's horses, but Joel and Mike were going to stay behind in the barn. Mike interviewed Tim for about five to ten minutes while I went to see if I could get the necessary update. I walked back up the horsepath (without a horse) and found Michael (Matz). I walked back down the horsepath with Michael who gave me the positive news which I reported in update 265.
At that point I called the update in to Jen to put on the site. I did this in proximity of Joel, Mike and Tim. I think some of it was on camera.
Tim and I went out on our next set (Tim had now been interviewed). When we returned Mike and Joel were talking to Kathy Anderson. I do not think this was on camera. I was then interviewed, for about ten minutes. Mike asked great questions, and it was done in a very relaxing manner. I am sure there is an art to that! Mike and Joel then departed (about 8:10 AM) and I got on my next horse, just before the renovation break.
It was a great experience. Joel and Mike were really cool to work with. I have subsequently learned that each is a multiple emmy award winner. I am glad I did not know that beforehand, I might have fallen off!
Update 269: Mike Schuh just called to say that the piece he did at Fair Hill this morning for WJZ / CBS, which includes interviews with Tim and I, will air between 6:10 and 6:20 pm. It should be about a two minute clip, he was not sure since it is now in editing. Shortly after it airs it will be on their website: wjz.com. Someone posted this website of Bobby pictures from the Bloodhorse before the Derby. I assume these images were not widely distributed at the time, I would not have got 6 - 1!
Update 268: A couple of articles include a telephone interview with Michael Matz this morning: Barbaro's trainer cautiously encouraged with stability and Barbaro's trainer is encouraged. Michael Matz's quotes from the articles are:
"He could take a turn for the worse or get an infection again, you just don't know," Matz said in a telephone interview. "It's just a slow road now. If he keeps having days like he's having now, then hopefully everything will be fine."
Although Tuesday's official medical update has not been released yet, Matz said Barbaro vet Dean Richardson told him the Kentucky Derby winner had another restful night and his vital signs were normal.
"He said they're very happy with the X-rays yesterday of both hind legs," Matz said.
"He's a fighter. He's doing the best he can," Matz said. "They're doing all the best to save the horse. That's all we can do. That's all we can hope for is what's happening right now."
"It's a difficult situation," Matz said. "I've had two before with it and we lost both of them."
"You have to be prepared for anything, obviously," Matz said. "I'm optimistic because I want him to live."
Update 267: New Bolton's press release today: Barbaro's casts changed discusses the much anticipated cast change:
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro remains in stable condition with good vital signs after a restful night, according to Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson. "Yesterday afternoon we changed his right hind leg cast to take new radiographs and to examine the incision," said Dr. Richardson. "The radiographs looked good; the plates we placed on July 8 to fuse the pastern are intact and the fetlock fusion is unchanged. The leg and the incision looked as good as we could have hoped."
The right hind leg cast supports the repair of the injury suffered at the Preakness on May 20, and it extends from the colt's foot to just below his hock.
The modified foot cast, which acts like a bandage on Barbaro's left hind foot, was also changed yesterday. The foot cast is rigid and provides stability and support, but will be changed often so that the hoof can be treated. Both cast changes were performed with Barbaro lightly sedated in a sling. He has adapted very well to being managed as needed in the sling. "He is a very intelligent horse," said Dr. Richardson.
I enjoyed reading this article: Barbaro on minds of Matz, DelPark fans. Micheal did mention to me yesterday that so many people were offering their support throughout the day. However, this piece of the article really caught my attention:
Michael Barnes and his 7-year-old daughter Taylor came to Delaware Park with a sign that read, "We Love You Barbaro; Get Well Soon." The Akron, Pa., residents showed the sign to Matz, who signed it and posed for pictures with the family.
Barnes said he and his family planned to stop at the New Bolton Center to put the sign up among the hundreds of other signs wishing Barbaro well.
"My daughter asks me every day how [Barbaro] is doing," Barnes said. "Everybody is really worried and everyone is saddened for the horse."
I also saw the poster and met Taylor and her parents. You can see a picture of the poster with Taylor in our gallery, and it is now featured on the homepage.
Update 266: Reading through many of th recent articles that have been published. Much of the content we already know. I did enjoy this article: Barbaro a hero because he lacks human flaws that discusses why we love Bobby, an excerpt:
Barbaro is, after all, a horse. Why the tears shed on his behalf?
He is a hero unencumbered by human flaws. At a time when so many of the people we look up to let us down, Barbaro doesn't lie, cheat or manipulate. In a world boiling with hate and revenge, he's not cruel, greedy or power-mad. After he won the Kentucky Derby, he was happy to receive pats on the neck and extra oats. His innocence prevents disillusionment. He gives and gets unconditional love.
Who hasn't adored a pet and the pet's unflagging optimism? Who hasn't fantasized about riding a horse, either off into the sunset like John Wayne or across the finish line like Pat Day? Who hasn't daydreamed about being an animal - carefree and content to frolic in an open field?
Race horses aren't bred to be cuddly creatures. They're not as smart as Lassie. But there's something about their majesty and the "brightness in the eyes" that Richardson checks for in Barbaro that makes them idealized objects of affection.
Americans loved Man O'War, Seabiscuit, Citation, Secretariat, Ruffian, Seattle Slew, Funny Cide. Now they are rooting for Barbaro to give it his all in recovery as he did on the track.
Posted by Eliza at 3:36 PM
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Barbaro Update: 12
Posted July 18, 2006
new updates here.
Update 265: Just saw Michael Matz this morning on the horse path as his set was coming back from the track, he reported Dr. Richardson had left him a voice mail that Barbaro had another good night last night (Monday night). Bobby was able to get up and down and he remains comfortable. I asked Michael about his visit yesterday (he pretty much visits every evening)...in particular, I asked how Bobby's front feet were doing and he said that he'd checked them personally and they were nice and cold. That's good news!
Also, a team from WJZ-TV Channel 13 (a CBS affiliate out of Baltimore) was here at Fair HIll this morning shooting video of the training center, interviewing me and Tim Woolley etc. They will be broadcasting the piece on this evening's news from 5p to 7p. Or, you can check it out on their site, WJZ.com, sometime after 5:30pm tonight.
Update 264: Two new videos have been added to the Fan Media page. They are Barbaro--Alive and Kicking! and Magnificent Barbaro.
For those unable to see the ESPN's sunday piece on Bobby (during the delayed Del Cap coverage) here is an excerpt of the transcript from Margaret (full transcript below, time stamped: Posted by: Margaret at July 18, 2006 01:39 AM):
Kenny three days after delivering the grim news that Barbaro's chances of recovery were poor; veternarians say he's holding his own. As of early this afternoon Barbaro continues to have a positive outlook and a healthy appetite, despite the fact that he's wearing casts on both hind legs, he's on potent medications, and he spends a good deal of time in a sling. Now the vets called his "L" a catastrophic problem", yet the horse is (Jeannine stressed this word) responding well to treatment.
His trainer Michael Matz told me its been an emotionally draining week. His optimism is now been tempered by reality.
Update 263: Annie, from Kennett Florist left this comment, in response to a few people's concern with the strain shown by Dr. Richardson in footage today:
Mary, yes I did she Dr. Richardson, spoke to him, he said that Bobby was feeling pretty good today. As I said, Dr. Richardson was smiling the whole time we spoke and although he is definately tired he is very positive. Also saw Dr. Andersen and spoke with her. She is positive as well, said that Bobby is eating well and seemed content today.
I really believe that they have all faith that he is getting well, after the hours and days and weeks and pressure they've been under, they are still smiling...that has to be truth!
Update 262: The following is an excerpt of a transcript from Good Morning America, this morning (monday morning):
Robin: But it's good to hear his spirits are good.
Dr R: yes, um I mean..they say one of the most important things that we're assessing is really this subjective appearance of the horse, right now I don't think anyone could look at this horse and be really interested in not going on, because he looks that BRIGHT AND HAPPY. (caps again added by me).
Robin:That's great news to hear. I know that you're very cautious. Just last week you said that the chances of Barbaro surviving were very poor.
Dr R: People want to hear the best and I understand that. But the reality is wer're not talking about a day to day type of a problem at this point. Really what we're talking about now is going to be ah ah even at the absolute best case scenario is going to be many months of very extensive medical care and rehabilitation.
The complete transcript, provided by Margaret, can be found in Barbaro Update: 11, with the timestamp: Posted by: Margaret at July 17, 2006 05:15 PM.
The Sports Center coverage tonight covered much of what we know. All in all its been another good day for Bobby, lets hope we see many similar days ahead. Talking about long roads ahead, Mike Rea also seems to be progressing in the right direction.
Posted by Eliza at 12:32 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 11
Posted July 17, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 261: Just spoke with Jeannine Edwards. ESPN Sports Center will have a one minute clip tonight, it will include a sound bite of Dr. Anderson, as well as content learned from interviewing Kathy, some of the GMA content and other material. Some of the content will be similar to update 260. Jeannine also mentioned she e-mailed the person in charge of media platforms at ESPN (I think that is what she said) and asked if they could put her entire interview with Michael Matz online (5 minutes, as opposed to the small piece she could use in her update yesterday). That is now supposed to be happening. Now that is cool!
Today is the last day to day coverage from ESPN unless something significant occurs.
Update 260: Just recieved a voice-mail from Kathy Anderson. I guess I need to start camping out at New Bolton so I can beat the AP to a story (update 259)! Anyway, Kathy confirmed her positive visit with Barbaro today. She said he was very bright, eating voraciously as he does when he is in good form. She said the cast change is scheduled within the next 24 hours (as of 1 pm today); it had not occured as of her visit. When she visited he was in his sling developing a new learned behaviour, almost similar to a child in jolly jumper (her words, I am not sure what this is). It seems to be some kind of energy release, boing around his stall a little bit. This was characterized by Kathy as a positive activity!
I was browsing quickly through the site stats and saw a referer from horsehats. So they have this site linked for Barbaro Updates (cool, will help with our SEO). Anyway, I e-mailed them and asked them when they were releasing a hat that contributed to the Barbaro Fund. They are close to doing this (mentioned some legal and license stuff), but also mentioned that their current hat also contributes some (small) amount to the fund.
The guy who e-mailed me said they had not publicized this as they did not want to be seen to be exploiting the situation. I can empathize with that sentiment. This site now gets a crazy amount of visits (likely 15k today). It would be easy to add some ads (thanks to google, and no doubt horsehats would appear) but we also do not want to have a hint of issue that we are doing this for any other reason than purely because we want to help get the word out about a horse people LOVE. Of course Horse Hats has to make money selling hats (that's their business model); ours is training racehorses, so we do not have to worry about that, as long as the site does not cost us anything (and thanks to Eliza that has been the case thus far, she is also a horse person.)
Update 259: This Forbes article quotes Kathy Anderson after her visit today, this afternoon: Barbaro's Condition Still Stable, excerpt:
"He has learned how to adapt his posture to the sling so he can benefit from the most comfort," Dr. Kathleen Anderson, Barbaro's attending vet when the horse was racing and stabled in trainer Michael Matz's barn at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., told The Associated Press after a visit.
"He's learning how to almost dog sit, which is good because it takes the weight off the front legs which is, of course, our next great concern."
Anderson left a mid-afternoon visit feeling good about the way the colt was looking. But while medical reports were encouraging for the fourth straight day, she said Barbaro's prognosis was still serious.
"The reality is, you have to say poor at this point in time," she said. "It doesn't mean it's hopeless and I think that's the big difference."
Update 258: New Bolton Press Release today: Barbaro stable, comfortable with foot cast:
Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson reports today that Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's vital signs are good and that he had another quiet, restful night. "He remains in stable condition, and he is eating well," said Dr. Richardson. "We continue to manage his pain successfully, and he is alert."
Barbaro is tolerating his right hind leg cast well; this cast supports the repair of the injury suffered at the Preakness on May 20. To treat a severe case of laminitis in the colt's left rear hoof, last week Dr. Richardson and his surgical team performed a hoof wall resection that removed 80 percent of the hoof. Doctors then applied a modified fiberglass foot cast to protect the hoof; this foot cast will be changed as needed so that the hoof can be treated and watched for signs of infection. The foot cast is rigid and provides greater stability and support than a bandage.
"It is important for people to understand that this is not a 'routine' laminitis. The care involved in treating a hoof with this degree of compromise is complex," said Dr. Richardson.
No word on whether the right hind cast was changed (as I noted in update 254). Will try to get insight on that later. A couple of comments from our friends at the Kennett Florists:
Hi, this is Annie from Kennett Florist. I wanted to let you all know that I just returned from New Bolton Center and as promised, asked one of Barbaro's doctors about the benefits of corn husks. She said that corn husks have to be extremely fresh and broken into very small pieces to be fed to him, and that they were given to him only for a special treat by Mrs. Jackson. Also, spoke briefly with Dr. Richardson and he said that Barbaro is feeling good today. Someone else asked if I could find out from the staff what kind of goodies they would like in their gift baskets. They all said chocolate, cookies & baked goods.
I also wanted to let you all know that we are putting together a sort of "fund" for those who want to send something to Bobby, but don't have the means. (Let me preempt this with -- I am by NO MEANS trying to solicit business.) There have been numerous inquiries, so I thought it would be best if I addressed them here and it would meet a more broader spectrum. It's getting hard to keep up with the emails and messages. Many people have called saying they want to send something, but can only afford $5 or $10 dollars. So, if anyone wants to contribute to a basket of goodies for Bobby or the NBC staff, you can send us a check with your message to Bobby, Dr. R., staff, etc (not too long, please) and we will send it over when we have enough for a Basket of treats. Hope this is helpful!
Update 257: Looking at a few of the articles on Barbaro today. This ABC article: Barbaro's Condition Is Still Stable confirms Bobby had a good night last night. The following is an excerpt:
"He had a restful night last night," Richardson said Monday on "Good Morning America." "That's really how we're assessing him each night as whether or not he gets up and down and sleeps well and then when he gets up that he eats normally. His vital signs are all good. He had a very good night last night. His heart rate is absolutely normal. He's eating well. If you were to see him, you'd think he's a fairly comfortable, happy horse. But his pain is being intensively managed."
This philly.com article: Sparkle in Barbaro's eye makes hearts skip a beat was a result of an interview with Peter Brette directly after his visit with Bobby yesterday. Peter mentioned he was meeting someone from the media, who he said was awesome in his coverage of this situation (he mentioned this to me before this piece was printed). I liked this excerpt:
"He was galloping around one day and someone comes by, and he went to take off on me," Brette said. "It was like, if you've ever driven a Porsche and put your foot down, and it bumps you right up... . That's what he did. I said, 'Good God, he's getting stronger and stronger.' "
And then there was Barbaro's breeze the weekend before the Kentucky Derby that was the talk of Churchill Downs.
"He went down the straight in three strides," Brette said. "I pulled up and said to Michael, 'This will win the Derby.' Then his phone just started to ring nonstop. Before he got off the track, he got six phone calls. There was one guy that came over, a guy that sits in the stands. All he does is he looks at horses and clocks horses. He told Michael, 'That was the best horse to breeze at Churchill Downs for at least five years.' "
I remember reading about Barbaro's final work and thinking it must have been too fast. Little did I know we are talking about Bobby!
Update 256: Jeannine Edwards just called. She is back at New Bolton Center and will be covering Barbaro today and will air on Sports Center at 6 pm (and 11pm). She mentioned she might have an interview with Kathy Anderson.
Update 255: A few random things. Gallant Secret sustained soft tissue damage as far as I am aware (Delaware Handicap). I asked Kathy Anderson about her condition. Career threatening (ending probably) not life threatening. I caught up with Barclay Tagg this morning. He is pointing Showing Up for the Secretariat, a (grade 1 i think) turf race at Arlington Park, early August. Funny Cide may also make his next start at Arlington late July. Barclay expressed a little concern re: the condition of the Arlington track (dirt), and that may impact Funny re: running. Jean left a comment about her visit to Fair Hill saturday, you can see the comment in full below (time: 1:43), here is an excerpt:
At 6 am the fog was heavy, but I-95 traffic from DC was light. I finally found the stable area at Fair Hill, but realized I had no clue how to get the beer to Alex. Two helpful women near the Fair Hill office called his barn and, to my happy surprise, I was told to come down and drop it off.
Once I found the correct barn, I was fortunate enough to meet Penny, Tim Woolley's wife. Penny suggested that I come with her to watch Tim and Alex breeze two horses at the track.
Update 254: It is my understanding that they are planning to change Bobby's cast on his right hind today, and x ray both hind legs (monday). We should hear more about this later I guess, but I wanted to also note that this is likely to occur while Bobby is in a sling, under some form of sedation, rather than having to go completely under as with previous cast changes. Again, I am thinking this from a few conversations I have had this morning, and wanted to relay that the fact they are planning to do all this via the sling should help tremendously. Lets hope we hear positive news from this today. We know he had a comfortable night last night (update 253); but we also know he is in serious condition.
Posted by Eliza at 1:29 PM
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Barbaro Updates: 10
Posted July 16, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 253: Barbaro had another comfortable night last night (sunday). Again, he was able to get up and down two or three times. Michael Matz relayed this positive news to me as I was coming back from the track at 6:50 this morning (monday morning). He had just spoken to Dean Richardson.
Update 252: No new update this evening. It seems this Bloomberg article: Racehorse Barbaro Keeps Positive Attitude, Healthy Appetite (thanks Lisa) seems to confirm what we learned earlier today.
While things remain critical regarding Laminitis, I think the next "event" is a cast change on the right hind, likely early next week (me speculating).
Some have noticed Delaware Park has a cool video "Get Well Barbaro". Others may notice how similar this is to Beautiful Barbaro. Great work Jayne! For those new to this site you may want to look at all the entries on the Fan Media page. Its pretty awesome (I can say that since I did not contribute)!
Update 251: Starting a new entry as the comments of the previous updates seems to be behaving oddly. I went to Delaware Park, but left before the big races to come back and watch on ESPN2. I am still waiting to watch (the races have run)! I did get to Delaware Park early in order to meet Jeannine and go and watch her interview with Michael Matz from yesterday at Delaware Park (a piece of which should be included in the ESPN2 piece). It was a very good (5 minute) interview. It makes me think that while I understand only a segment of the interview will be edited into the TV coverage, the entire interview should be made available on the ESPN site (hint hint). You could see Michael get visibly emotional as Michael noted towards the end of the interview:
"All it takes is one miracle" (when discussing Bobby's prognosis)... and with tears in his eyes "he's a fighter"
We snapped a couple of pictures of a nice poster from a fan (7 yo Taylor), who is dropping the poster (along with her parents) off at New Bolton on their way home.
Posted by Eliza at 11:04 PM
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Barbaro Updates: 9
Posted July 16, 2006
updates now here.
Update 250: Just had to add this article: Trainer: Barbaro 'In Good Frame of Mind' (thanks Karla). As I noted in update 248, Peter met with a reporter this morning after his visit, and the story seems out already (that's the internet for you). His quote is similar to what Peter told me over the phone five minutes later no doubt:
"He had another good night, " Brette said. "He's doing fine. He's in a good frame of mind."
Brette, who exercised the colt daily for trainer Michael Matz, has been visiting Barbaro almost every day since the colt shattered his right hind leg at the Preakness Stakes on May 20.
Barbaro's condition was stable through Saturday, and Brette seemed more upbeat than he was last week.
"He was bright," Brette said. "He sort of at least had a bit of sparkle in his eye."
Now I am off to Delaware Park!
Update 249: Off to Delaware Park for the big day of racing. If you can, tune in 5 pm ESPN2 from Delaware Park, they will include Bobby coverage. Likely Sports Center at 6 will too (they have done religiously the past few days). Also, if you are still up (we racing people tend to go to bed early) tune in to the ESPYs at 9 PM tonight for Edgar. If you watch any of these shows and can add a "report" to the comments that would be terrific. Before going to Delaware I just wanted to add this article: Grim reality hits racing again (thanks CJ) which includes some uplifting words from Edgar Prado:
"This business is tough," he said. "It's hard to go out there and when you come back to the room you see on TV how desperate things are over there. I'm sad, but I'm a professional and I have responsibilities. I'll just keep on going."
After the seventh race, in which he finished second on a claiming horse named Paige Nicole, Prado admitted his mind was more on the horse he believed was going to take him all the way to the Triple Crown.
"As long as he's alive, there's hope, and that's the last thing you want to lose," Prado said. "If you're going to give up every time something like this happens, there would be many people dead and many animals dead."
To Prado, the answers to the questions regarding the Jacksons and their extraordinary efforts to save Barbaro are simple and obvious.
"Many, many, many people dream of standing in the winner's circle on Kentucky Derby Day," he said. "That horse gave those people the biggest thrill of their lives, and I think they were just trying to give something back. I mean, that's the least we can do for these horses. Give them one more chance."
Update 248: Peter Brette just called, and he left Bobby at about 10:15 this morning (sunday morning). He confirmed Barbaro had a good night last night (got up and down 2 - 3 times). He said he looked good this morning, in a good frame of mind. He was met by a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer, so we'll need to look out for that piece. The following article: Barbaro is strong and stable (thanks Susan), has some nice quotes from Peter, Craig (or is it Grey, or ... ?) and Kathy Anderson, a couple here:
"Any problem we threw at him, he handled with ease," said Kennedy, who worked with the colt here in the northeast corner of Maryland at Vintage Farm, Barbaro's home and part of Fair Hill Training Center, where he was trained to race. "We put him on the track, put him in the gate -- anything that was difficult from the day before, he took in stride. He was an absolute professional."
Not only that, but after spending several hours out of the sling two days ago, he walked back over to it and nudged it, as if to say, "I want back in," said Brett, the assistant trainer who worked with him for more than a year. "He's battling back as he normally does by overcoming obstacles. He's just a smart horse with a super constitution."
Richardson, Dr. Kathy Anderson, the Vintage Farm veterinarian, and Barbaro's trainer, Michael Matz, are watching for small nuances in his behavior. "When he's feeling good, he's sharp, pushing you around and a little aggressive," Anderson said. "When he's not feeling good, he's quieter."
Anderson has been encouraged by Barbaro's efforts to sit down more often and not overload any of his limbs. The team will know more after removing the cast on his right hind leg to check his infection next week, she said, but right now, everyone is optimistic and committed to pushing ahead.
"He's not showing any sign of giving up now," she added. "As long as he fights the fight, we're authorized to stay with the program."
The author of this article, Tripp Mickle actually broke the story of Edgar's most recent visit. I believe Tripp was simply still at New Bolton when he saw Edgar. If this "meeting" had not happened, I am pretty sure no one would have known of Edgar's visit. His article, reported in the comments on this site, had me calling others to confirm the story, and it took a lot to get it confirmed! Ultimately ESPN ran the story that night and the New York Post interviewed Edgar later that afternoon about the visit.
Update 247: Bobby had another comfortable night last night (saturday night). Sunday is always a little more difficult for getting updates (I try not to ride on sundays and Michael is often not on the horsepath). That being said I saw Michael's shortened string coming back from the track (three horses, as opposed to a normal ten and Michael on Messaging) and asked if they had an update. Michelle (Matz) noted that Michael said all was well during his visit last night. Angela (her father won the Grand National on Rubstic) said she was coming out on one more horse (their last set), so I asked her if she would ask Michael if he had heard from Dean Richardson yet this morning. I remained by the horsepath (acquired a horse to graze: Randy's Bullet) and waited for Angela. When Angela reappeared on her final horse, she reported Michael said his night was comfortable!
Peter (Brette) is planning to go over to see Bobby this morning, so will try to catch up with Peter later.
Update 246: Jeannine Edwards caught up with Michael Matz yesterday (saturday afternoon) at Delaware Park, she e-mailed me this:
i actually talked to michael today at delaware. he and D.D. gave me a good update. he told me about the cast change today. he told me barbaro's been using the sling very well, and that he actually likes it, he "sits" in it and rests sometimes. he said at one point, while in the stall and out of the sling, he got a little tired or uncomfortable or something and he moved over to the sling and stood there like "hook me up!!" anyway, michael gave me a good on-camera interview for tomorrow's show. we'll use just a short comment from him. he couldn't help but get a little emotional.... it's obvious this has been an excrutiatingly painful ordeal for them. he was as gracious and as wonderful as he's been all along.
The cast change Jeannine refers to is the one we mentioned yesterday on his left hind. ESPN2 will have some coverage later today (5pm) which will include footage of Michael.
The New York Times also caught up with Michael yesterday at Delaware Park: For Barbaro's Trainer, the Race Must Go On (thanks Mary). The following are a couple of excerpts:
"Not so much physically, but, mentally, everything is catching up with me right now," he said between races here Saturday. "I thought for sure this horse could win the Triple Crown. Then, when this happened, I thought it wasn't supposed to be, but he was still going to be a good stallion. Then this latest setback comes along, and I've had to resign myself that maybe we'll have to put him to sleep. Then, he bounces right back again. Sometimes, I don't know what to expect."
After the races, he was planning to head to Kennett Square to make his daily visit to Barbaro. He did not know what to expect.
"Sometimes he wants somebody to be there with him and sometimes he wants to be left alone," Matz said. "It all depends on what people are doing with him."
Matz does not try to pretend he is taking it all in stride. He understands that, despite Saturday's positive report, the odds remain very much against Barbaro. The type of severe laminitis that Barbaro has is difficult to cure and can lead to severe pain. About the only factor working in Barbaro's favor is his spirit.
"It's like anything else with this horse," Matz said. "You can never count him out. He's just an unbelievable horse who doesn't want to give up. I'll put it this way: I'm not giving up on him. If any horse can get through this, it is him."
I saw Michael leaving New Bolton just after 7 pm last night, as I was there for the Vigil. Unfortunately it seems NBC was not aware the intent of the Vigil was for those who want to come to NBC to gather outside the gate, by the get well posters etc. I hope everyone who wanted to participate found a quiet time to think of Bobby.
Posted by Eliza at 12:06 PM
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Barbaro Updates: 8
Posted July 15, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 245: Kathy Anderson just visited (I called her as she was leaving at 5 pm). While Barbaro appeared a little irritated (I guess as one would from time-to-time when stall bound as Bobby is) he managed to devour a bag of fresh grass Kathy fed him. Kathy also noted that they changed the cast on his left hind and apparently all looked as it should. All his vital signs were good. He remains comfortable.
Michael Matz won the Virginia Oaks with Aunt Henny!
Update 244: Trying to catch up on much of the recent media coverage. Mike Schuh e-mailed us this video clip he reported on for WJZ 13 Eyewitness News yesterday (July 14). Barbaro Shows Improvement Day After Outlook Was Grave. (Its cool to have media contact you!) Its a nice piece I think (I am sure it was also commented on below). It includes footage of Bobby's use of his sling, it highlights the gifts that have been sent to NBC and also includes a short interview with Michael Matz. Well worth viewing!
Update 243: The following is a comment posted by Jen as a result of our afternoon activities (it was actually pretty cool watching a horse use an aqua treadmill)!
alex and I went to a very interesting open house this afternoon for Fair Hill Equine Therapy at Bruce Jackson's new barn (rebuilt since devestating fire late last year). We had the opportunity to chat with Chuck, one of the Fair Hill vets who works with Kathy Anderson. He was great about letting us pick his brain to better understand some of the issues related to Barbaro's condition. I wanted to share some of what I personally learned...most of all, in regards to the sling. I naively thought that whilst in the sling the horse was literally suspended and totally non-weight bearing. Not the case. In fact, he's still actually full-weight bearing in the sling. What it does is provides support so that should he want to lean on it (in whatever direction), he can rest himself off of whichever leg he wants. So, it still gives him a fair bit of control over his situation. Even so, it was a learning process for him to become comfortable with the concept (understandable!). But it seems as though he's come to appreciate it's benefits. Also, regarding the sling, as you can see from the photos it's positioned right in front of the stall door and that is because it's a part of the lift system that transports the horse from post-operative recovery back to the stall. Makes sense. Another bit I found interesting was that Barbaro has apparently been on Aspirin and Plavix (anti-platelet aggregation...ie. makes blood less likely to clot) since his injury as part of the effort to prevent laminitis (general risks of immobility)and he will continue on these medications to try to fascilitate blood flow to where it is so very needed for healing. Last bit,also related to laminitis prevention, initially, they fed Bobby on the ground to encourage weight bearing on the front legs. Now, they're feeding him more upright to try to provide protection for the front legs as they don't want him to favor them too much at this point. OK, that's it. I know I for one have absolute faith that our boy is in the very most capable hands and I thought it was cool to hear more about the details.
Update 242: Just spoke to Peter Brette. While he is unable to visit today (still in the barn) he noted that D.D (Michael's wife) visited earlier today and said Bobby remains comfortable (she visited about noon). No doubt Michael will visit later today, I think he had runners at Delaware Park. Kathy Anderson is also visiting today (likely as I type) so I will try to catch up with her in a little while.
Update 241: We have received a couple of calls about tonights vigil (CBS radio, New Bolton Center). The main questions were where and when ?
Where: whereever you are. If you can congregate with others in your area, great. If not, great! I am sure there will be a few congregating outside the main entrance of New Bolton (I may do the same).
When: 7 pm east coast time.
Update 240: New Bolton Center press release: Barbaro continues to be stable confirms what we learned from Michael this morning:
Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson reports today that Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro had a very good night and remains in stable condition at the George D. Widener Hospital. "His heart rate and pulse are normal, and his appetite is good," said Dr. Richardson. "He continues to respond well, looks good and has a positive attitude."
Barbaro is being treated at the hospital for fractures received at the Preakness on May 20 as well as laminitis in his left hind foot. "We continue to monitor him very closely, and we are keeping him as comfortable as possible," said Dr. Richardson.
Jeannine Edwards (ESPN) left the following comment:
ESPN's coverage will continue throughout the weekend. I will actually be at Delaware Park today (Sat) and tomorrow for our Delaware Handicap telecast on Sun, but another reporter is coming for the Barbaro watch. If the situation warrants, I'll be back at New Bolton on Mon. Let's hope for a positive update again today. Good luck with the vigil this evening... I'll be there in spirit.
Note, Jeannine left the comment before the positive update this morning! She further explained to me that ESPN will likely have coverage throughout the day, and Sports Center this evening. There will also be a piece on the Delaware Handicap broadcast tomorrow from Delaware Park (5pm ESPN2). Many have commented on the quality of ESPNs coverage (of course I agree). I think the fact that Jeannine was a racehorse trainer and exercise rider for many years helps with her objective coverage.
We had a visitor today, at Fair Hill. Jean, I hope you enjoyed your trip to Fair Hill, and NBC. I enjoyed the Maccaroons, and will wait a little while to enjoy the Sam Adams!
Update 239: Just spoke to Michael Matz and Barbaro had another comfortable night last night (friday night). Dean Richardson called Michael. Michael said he was up and down 2 - 3 times, again showing that he is OK using himself to move around. All vital signs are normal.
I also saw Kathy Anderson, who saw Bobby around 4pm yesterday (she tried to call me last night but apparently my phone was on the blink). She also said that when she saw him he looked the same (as her positive report yesterday). She also noted the pulse in his front feet was normal. She saw 35 baskets of goodies being delivered as she was leaving!
updated 7:15 am, saturday morning
Update 238: Added an update to the Fan Media page that links to Barbaro Livingston's work and Anna's lovely pastel.
A nice article in the Philly Inquirer: Barbaro said to be in good spirits, stable condition that notes the fan outpouring of late (lots of people here contributing no doubt) and Edgar's visit yesterday, excerpt:
The day's upbeat report was accompanied by an outpouring of sentiment from Barbaro's fan base. Numerous floral arrangements - one of roses in the shape of a horseshoe - and carrots and apples seemed to arrive at New Bolton on Friday by the minute. A woman brought in a single orchid and wondered about the latest news. Barbaro's trainer, Michael Matz, put a number of arrangements in the back of his car after an early evening visit.
Earlier in the day, Barbaro received a visit from another old friend. Barbaro's jockey, Edgar Prado, stopped by to see the horse early Friday morning before riding at Belmont Park later in the day. He left New York at 4:30 a.m., got down to the Kennett Square facility, then drove back to Long Island with his wife, who had visited the day before.
"He looked much better than I thought he would," Prado told a New York Post reporter at Belmont Park. "He is very smart, and he knew me right away. I fed him, walked with him, and he put his head on my shoulder and fell asleep."
Ed, thanks for getting the Prado interview!
Posted by Eliza at 10:13 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 7
Posted July 14, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 237: The Sports Center's piece was nice and upbeat, while of course respecting the true reality of the situation. It was nice to see Jeannine note Edgar's visit and use footage from the Derby (yeah!) The gifts look great.
Here is the site for Kennett Florists.
Tim ran Randy's Bullet today. He was a closing third on the turf at Colonial Downs. He had not run for a year. Iit was nice to see him come back, and Tim was very happy with him. I have mentioned Randy before, he is a cool horse to ride, but really is the type of horse to benefit from Fair Hill. He loves to go "out back", away from the training tracks, to do much of his training. (You can see me on Randy in a couple of the pictures in our gallery).
Mike Rea continues to make steady progress in his long recovery!
Finally, my perspective on Bobby's situation today. I am totally psyched he remains comfortable, but remain very conscious of the seriousness of his condition. Edgar Prado is simply an amazing human being. In England he would be considered for Sports Personality of the Year (top Jockeys in england are high profile stars); I wonder if there is something similar here.
Update 236: A Barbaro Vigil is planned for tomorrow (saturday) at 7 pm east coast time. I think Sheila's comment sums it up best:
I am going to bring my kids into this, even though it looks like we're set for 7pm EST. After seeing me cry I finally let in on why last night so it makes sense for them to be involved. The more positive energy, the better! Thanks for the suggestion Anita. I agree that we all my have different methods - for some it's prayer, some it's meditation, some its just sending positive energy, but we are united in our love for the big guy and I think that we should stay that way - united.
I don't think it matters how long the vigil, just if you can spare a thought, prayer, hope, sentiment etc. for Bobby at 7 pm tomorrow night (est), whereever you are, whatever you are doing.
Roberta wrote a lovely Bobby poem which I am reproducing below:
With pride and joy
Roses on your neck
A new, more perilous race
Your spirit, determination and trust
Allied with skill, loving kindness and compassion
Against the frailties of flesh and bone and hoof
May victory again be yours
Roberta Goodman 7/14/06
Update 235: Nice to see NBC offering two releases today, this one 4pm: Barbaro's condition remains stable:
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro remains in stable condition according to his veterinarians at the George D. Widener Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania. "His vital signs, including heart rate and pulse, remain good," said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. "We are treating his laminitis aggressively and he continues to respond well and is acceptably comfortable."
Laminitis is a severe, painful condition in horses that can be fatal.
"As I said at the press conference on Thursday, we monitor his condition very closely because signs can change quickly," said Dr. Richardson. "However, it's important to remember that Barbaro's treatment could easily continue for several weeks, and if all goes well, even months. Our goal is to keep him as comfortable as possible, and clearly that comfort level will be a major indicator for our treatment decisions." Dr. Richardson also emphasized that Barbaro, as evident in the footage and still photos released yesterday, has a very positive attitude.
His positive attitude was noted by Peter during his visit today (Peter noted "good frame of mind").
Update 234: Peter Brette just called. He visited Bobby about 1:30 pm. He also reports Bobby is comfortable and appears in a good frame of mind. Peter was pretty happy with what he saw. He fed him some carrots, his appetite does appear to be holding up well. Peter was also not aware of Edgar's visit.
Update 232: A little more on Edgar's visit today. I just spoke to Ed Fontaine (New York Post) who just spoke to Edgar Prado (just before the 4th race at Belmont). Ed reports that Edgar (and his wife I guess) left New York at 4:30 am, arriving at NBC about 7:30 am. He stayed until about 9 am. At one point Bobby fell asleep on Edgar's shoulder for 10 minutes (hence Edgar's prolonged stay). Edgar told Ed that Bobby looked better than he thought he would be (given all he had heard), he appeared very comfortable.
The interesting thing about this story is that as far I can tell, no one was aware Edgar decided to visit. I spoke to a few people who had not heard about the visit after it was reported by Tripp Mickle of Newsday.
Update 231: Daphne has this report on Jeannine's 3:15 report from New Bolton:
**Alex** my tivo is on overtime and I just watched Jeannine 3:15 update.. good reporting. She did indicate that this is just a "shred more positive" than yesterday- that is what I heard. She spoke about Barbaro being able to sleep about 4-5 hours, also on his side, get up and down, being out of the sling(everything we've read) but that this is still (as we know) very serious. She mentioned all the floral/goody deliveries to NB and that the NB staff gobbled them down, beginning last evening. Ok, she didn't use the work gobble, this was my word. Also, many more deliveries expected later.
Jeannine will be on Sports Center (6pm) with a new report.
Update 230: Edgar made his third visit to Bobby today, he's all class, and of course won the ESPY too I believe! Like his fans, Barbaro's jockey still hopeful, the following is an excerpt:
The news left Prado scrambling to make a trip to visit the horse at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Penn. He just returned from California, leaves for a race in Florida tomorrow and heads to Peru, his homeland, on Sunday.
"The drive is really far and the traffic was awful, but we had to do this," Prado's wife, Lilian, said. "It was the only time he could see (Barbaro)."
The injured horse's stall felt more like a fruit stand than a barn, Prado said. Baskets of apples, carrots and candy -- all sent by the horse's fans across America - were everywhere.
Prado grabbed several carrots and fed the horse, which chomped down more than 10, the jockey said. It was an affirmation of the good appetite Dr. Richardson had described the day before, Prado added.
"The horse appears to be handling things well," he said. "He wanted to get out of the stall today, which is a good sign."
Update 229: Jeannine Edwards did a piece on ESPN2, a comment from Anne:
Just saw Jeannine Edwards on ESPN (2:10pm est) doing an update on Barbaro. MUCH more upbeat than yesterday. She mentioned that Barbaro's internet fans were devastated and that NB received about 25 baskets of goodies for Barbaro and the staff after yesterday's news. Hopefully this will be run again all day long......very uplifting. Did anyone else catch it?
She is about to go live on ESPN news (its 3:13 now), and I think she will be on Sports Center tonight.
ESPN has some cool pictures of Bobby and a few were added to the New Bolton site.
Update 228: The official word, New Bolton's press release today: Barbaro's condition is stable:
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro spent a restful night and his condition is stable, according to Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. At a news conference yesterday, Dr. Richardson announced that the three-year-old colt has laminitis. Laminitis is a painful condition in horses that can be the result of a number of causes, including excessive weight bearing in one limb. It occurs when laminae, the strong connecting tissues that attach the pedal bone and the inner hoof wall, are inflamed.
"Barbaro was out of his sling for more than 12 hours yesterday, and he had a calm, restful night, sleeping on his side for more than four hours," said Dr. Richardson. "While his condition is stable, it remains extremely serious."
Update 227: Bloodhorse (and many others) confirm Barbaro had a good night last night: Barbaro 'Doing Much Better' Friday Morning. The following is an excerpt:
"He had a good night last night, and even slept on his side," Dr. Dean Richardson told The Associated Press early Friday before re-entering the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals to check again on the 3-year-colt. "He's doing much better."
Richardson appeared a bit more upbeat than he was Thursday, when he told a packed news conference that Barbaro has a severe case of the disease laminitis in his left hind leg, and termed his condition "poor."
This confirms what we learned from Michael Matz this morning (update 226).
Sabina Pierce left the following comment:
I'm the Photographer for Penn who has been shooting Big B, as I like to call him as his personality is larger than life. I tried to show in this last set how great he looks and is doing, but also how his will and personality to overcome are identical to the way they have been over his 2 month stay at NBC, he is naughty at times with his nips but a cuddly teddy bear a minute later. I saw all of those attributes as he chewed on my camera bag and hammed for the lense. I've had horses since I was 6 and I've known many more. He is special and a real fighter, the real thing.
Sincerley, Sabina louise pierce
Jeannine Edwards just called. ESPN is planning more coverage, but she is not sure when yet. She'll try to alert us ahead of time.
Posted by Eliza at 3:51 PM
| Comments (895)
Barbaro Updates: 6
Posted July 13, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 226: Barbaro had a comfortable night last night (Thursday pm). He slept about 4-5 hours which is a clear signal of his comfort level. He was out of the sling for most of the night. I spoke to Michael Matz to get this news this morning (he had heard from Dr. Richardson). It was obvious in Michael's expression that he was relieved to be able to provide this news.
Updated Friday 7:10am
Update 225: Must see: Web Extra: Latest Barbaro Video. It illustrates Bobby's use of the sling, his mobility and to be honest, the sharpness about the look he retains. He appears inquisitive (I noticed a quick "ears pricking" moment), and obviously loves the carrots.
Jeannine Edwards left this comment regarding ESPNs coverage:
Thank you for the kind words. Just want to let you know, in case you noticed and were wondering why Barbaro's tail looked so short in the ESPN footage from today (shot at 5pm by New Bolton staff) they had a rope around his tail when he was recovering from anesthesia Sat night (standard procedure) but it was a rough go, and most of his tail hairs were pulled out. As if the poor horse doesn't have enough to deal with! I thought he walked well, and New Bolton clearly shot the footage to avoid speculation that Barbaro may be suffering. His eyes seemed a bit dull and tired to me, but keep in mind he's on massive amounts of meds and was also sedated earlier in the day so they could work on his foot. He's been through hell... I think he looked good considering. I was happy to see him putting good weight on the left hind foot. He's a trooper. Very sad situation, but we must all hope for a miracle. We'll have more updates tomorrow from New Bolton.
Update 224: Barbara Livingston, whose Barbaro photographs (and all racing photos) are fantastic, just left the following comment and offer:
We are all so grateful for your updates and information. I start and end my days visiting your site nowadays - wishing all good things for the remarkable Barbaro.
I first became smitten with Barbaro last year, as his name is so similar to my own. When I finally saw him Derby week, I was thunderstruck. He was SO professional, relaxed, stunning - just right. To say he had 'the look' seems understatement. He is truly a once in a lifetime horse.
I told everyone who would listen before the Derby that Barbaro was like a different species from other horses - he could not lose the Derby.
And now we simply root for him to live.
I've had so many requests for photos that I added more to my site, as well as a couple of wallpaper patterns and two downloadable 8x10"s.
If any Barbaro fans would like to download them and print them for their own use, feel free. Please do not sell them, or make them into artwork, etc.
Depending on response, I'd be happy to add others. The address is www.barbaralivingston.com/gallery/barbaro
Again, we are so grateful for all that you are doing, Alex...as well as indescribably grateful to the Jacksons, Dr. Richardson, and everyone connected with Barbaro.
Take good care.
Thanks Barbaro for your kind offer of your great work.
Update 223: Just spoke to Kathy Anderson (Barbaro's Fair Hill vet) who visited Bobby this afternoon (she was just leaving at 6 pm when I spoke to her). She said he remains comfortable, as comfortable as he was when she visited yesterday. She noted the many gifts that had been arriving for Bobby all day (I am guessing many of them are from people commenting on this site). Kathy fed some carrots to Bobby, part of a very elaborate gift sent by Margaret from Beaufort, SC. The nursing staff were also feeding him cut grass and corn husks (chopped up for him).
Update 222: New Bolton has released a copy of the transcript for today's press conference.
Update 221: OK, just returned from the Press Conference. I waited to watch Jeannine Edwards do her ESPN 2 broadcast. You can see the conference at CBS3. A couple of links to reports: Barbaro has life-threatening inflammation in hind foot and Doctors Say Barbaro Has Catastrophic Injury. And here is Laminitis in Wikipedia. A few observations of my own:
Dr. Dean Richardson is a class act. I was thoroughly impressed with his forthright discussion on Bobby's condition. He was clearly open, understanding of the media, and obviously upset with current circumstances. He and his team have worked incredibly hard, and this must be very tough for all of them at an emotional level.
Bobby is now a long shot to recover, but while there are still chances of recovery, and he is comfortable, they will keep trying. No one is yet giving up.
2 weeks ago Dr. Richardson really thought Bobby was going to make it.
Bobby now has a foot cast on the left hind, he also uses a sling from time to time. This sling is designed to help Bobby, it still allows him free movement.
The laminitis is catastrophic, and the onset of laminitis was very rapid.
Bobby looks good, he is eating well. He has a strong constitution.
The media asked good questions and were very respective of the situation (I was impressed).
Posted by Eliza at 5:40 PM
| Comments (621)
Barbaro Updates: 5
Posted July 12, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 220: The focus of the press conference was the new, significant problem of laminitis in the left hind foot. No doubt this will be widely covered by all the media. Barbaro's current state is extremely serious however, he does remain comfortable. They will continue to work around the clock to try to overcome this setback as long as he remains comfortable. One issue that Dr. Richardson emphasized was that the Jacksons will not tolerate any discomfort for Barbaro. More to come later.
Updated Thursday 11:30am
Update 219: Jeannine Edwards will be broadcasting directly after the conference on ESPN 2 on a show that I think is called "Cold Pizza." She'll also be on ESPN news after that (not sure what time) and then SportsCenter at 6pm tonight. I would estimate about 70-80 people (writers, TV people etc etc) here at the conference awaiting Dr. Dean Richardson. Should be very soon.
Update 218: Just arrived at New Bolten Center...the parking lot is full. There are quite a few trucks- WGAL, News 8, Fox 29, NBC 10, Eyewitness 3. I spoke briefly to Jeannine Edwards from ESPN. This is actually the first time I've been to NBC since the accident. I'm looking in the lobby at the six huge cards for Barbaro from Churchill Downs. They're covered with signatures and each one has the quote "Once a Derby winner, always a Derby winner. Get well soon Barbaro." The news conference is scheduled to start in 10 minutes. Will update as soon as it's over.
Update 217: OK, off to the Press Conference. Will report back when I am there etc! Wanted to thank Ed Foutaine for his kind mention of this site in the New York Post today. May be I'll get to thank him in person. Also wanted to note that I saw Bobby's older half brother this morning, Holy Ground. Emily (Michael Matz exercise rider) was riding him on the track. He is a four year old stakes winner I think. It seems many have interest in his younger siblings but are less aware of the oldest half brother.
Update 216: Spoke to Michael Matz this morning (thursday). It appears Bobby is still doing OK given all we know. I asked Michael a little more about the press conference this morning. He won't be able to attend, but is aware that Dr. Dean Richardson will be very forthcoming with everything that is occuring (no surprise apparently if you know Dean). Michael also mentioned he received a very nice letter, which he gave to Peter (Brette) to give to me, that discussed this site. I'll look forward to reading it. (Peter could not give it to me since he was on a horse, Michael was on Messaging and I was on one of Tim's horses, whose "nickname" is also Bobby!) I am planning to attend the press conference.
update thursday, 7:15 am
Update 215: A new article from the Baltimore Sun, later in the day yesterday (10:34 pm): Derby winner Barbaro is 'facing tough odds' Infections impede horse's recovery. Much of the content we are familiar with I think. The Mercury News carries an article that mentions the purpose of today's press conference: Surgeon says Barbaro's 'facing tough odds' (which I plan to attend), excerpt:
Addressing a rumor that the news conference was to announce that Barbaro would be put down as soon as Thursday night, Gretchen Jackson said that was unfounded.
"No, I guarantee that's not going to happen unless something goes drastically wrong in the next 24 hours," she said in a phone interview Wednesday night.
The purpose of the news conference, she said, was for Richardson to give a detailed update on the events of the last week. "It just seems fitting that Dean does the whole thing now."
Lets hope Bobby has good comfort today and the Press Conference gives us some hope regarding his medical condition.
Update 214: Just spoke with Kathy Anderson. She visited Bobby at about 4 pm. She wanted to let me know that despite all the medical information that we are learning, Barbaro is comfortable. He appeared bright and she was encouraged. She gave Bobby about a half hour of good scratching, and when a nursing assistant was russling a plastic bag he misinterpretted this activity as dinner time; he was alert and looking for food. She called me as she really wanted to make sure everyone knew that despite all, he remains reasonably comfortable.
Update 213: Good Morning America is doing a piece on Bobby tomorrow morning. Jeannine Edwards let me know as we were discussing tomorrow's press conference. (ABC owns ESPN or something like that). Jeannine left a comment clarifying ESPNs coverage of the press conference tomorrow and the reason for such a press conference:
Just to clarify for everyone, SportsCenter always sends a producer with the reporter when they cover any story. It's always a tag-team situation. But normally someone would not fly in from TX, normally a regional person would make the trip from NY or DC. Perhaps no one in the area was available. ESPN takes the Barbaro situation very seriously and wants to cover it accurately and completely. We have no idea what will be discussed at tomorrow's presser, but we have to be prepared for what could potentially be a worst-case scenario. New Bolton is being beseiged with phone calls right now, and rather than try to deal with each news org separately, it's much easier to hold a press conference and give everyone as much info as possible in an orderly fashion. Pressers can be held for several reasons: 1) There is updated info to communicate, 2) There are inquiries and demands made on the facility and so they're trying to accomodate everyone. We'll know more tomorrow.
I am planning to attend the press conference scheduled for tomorrow. I hope they let me in. I did call New Bolton and asked if it was OK. They were aware of this site, and did not seem to mind.
The New York Post may be including a bit on this site tomorrow in its Barbaro coverage. (Eliza, I hope we have the bandwidth for that ?) As I was enjoying a couple of Tetleys at the Whip it seemed HRTV was running something on Bobby (sound was muted, but it seemed they were talking to Jeannine during some of the coverage).
Mike Rea seems to continue to improve, with plenty of visitors, Bruce Miller can see improvement in his condition.
Update 212: Just spoke to Peter Brette. He visited Bobby this afternoon (wednesday) and said he looks reasonably comfortable. Peter mentioned the press conference tomorrow, and the intent of the conference was for Dr. Richardson to detail everything that has occured over the last week or so. Keep all your positive energy for Bobby, he needs it.
Update 211: A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow (thursday) 11 am. Jeannine Edwards (ESPN) e-mailed me the following:
the presser is tomorrow at 11am. you can put on the site that sportscenter and espn news will be covering it.... no times yet, but it will be on the 6pm SC, and of course earlier on espn news during the day. they are flying a producer in from dallas to work with me tomorrow.
Update 210: The Baltimore Sun has this piece, timed: 2:17 pm today: Barbaro 'facing tough odds,' veterinarian says (thanks Sarah) copied in full:
Barbaro's condition turned "potentially serious" again today, a day after the Kentucky Derby winner's veterinarian gave a more upbeat report, saying the colt was stable and resting comfortably.
Dean Richardson, the chief surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, also said the colt faced "tough odds" and that doctors were looking at all possible treatments to keep the 3-year-old comfortable.
"Our entire staff is determined to do all they can for this magnificent horse," Richardson said in a statement issued by the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals.
Barbaro, who shattered three bones in his right hind leg at the start of the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course on May 20, has undergone three surgical procedures in the past week. In the most recent one Saturday, Richardson replaced the titanium plate and 27 screws and treated two infections -- one in the injured leg and a small abscess on the sole of his uninjured left hind hoof.
"Today we will focus on further diagnostics and keeping our patient comfortable," Richardson said.
Doctors also are keeping watch for any signs of laminitis, a potentially fatal disease sometimes brought on by uneven weight balance.
A major concern centers on the infection in the right rear pastern joint -- located above the hoof that was shattered into more than 20 pieces. While most of the fractured bones have healed, the joint that connects the long and short pastern bones remains problematic.
Barbaro's recovery had been going smoothly until this recent series of setbacks. Saturday's surgery lasted three hours, and Richardson replaced the hardware that had been inserted into the leg the day after the Preakness.
"He's facing tough odds, and his condition is guarded," Richardson said.
Owner Roy Jackson said the sudden changes in Barbaro's condition made this a tough week.
"We've been concerned all along," Jackson said today. "It's just one of those things. It's very difficult to climb the mountain when something like that happened."
I think there is new information above, the most critical being the notion that he really does face tough odds. I will try to get an update from Peter later, but I am also not going to bug him (too much) for it. My plan, head down to the Whip for a couple of Tetleys (and that's not tea) a little later!
Posted by Eliza at 8:07 PM
| Comments (488)
Barbaro Updates: 4
Posted July 10, 2006
Updates are now here.
Update 209: No update, but someone in the comments asked about the naming of Barbaro. Anita's response made me smile:
Linda Lee - I read a cute story about the name Barbaro. BEFORE the Kentucky Derby, Michael Matz was being interviewed and was asked by the interviewer what the name Barbaro meant. Michael Matz turned to Peter Brette, the assistant trainer, and repeated the question. Peter Brette immediately replied "KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER!".
Lynette then provided the more official version of the name, from the link: Batting 1.000:
Mrs. Jackson had foxhunted and competed at hunter trials for much of her life.
Barbaro got his name from a foxhound in a five-panel 1880's painting the Jackson's discovered in Mr. Jackson's mother's attic after her death. Each dog had their name written at the bottom of their picture. They chose the hound on the right-hand side, Barbaro. The painting is now in the family room.
It has been speculated that the Jackson's will name Bobby's full brother (the cute foal we have pictures of) after another hound in the painting.
The following article from yesterday: Trainer reports that Barbaro is resting quietly notes Michael's win yesterday and discusses Barbaro's condition yesterday (I think the articles we cited in update 207 and 205 are more recent), including the following about his weight:
According to Gretchen Jackson, Barbaro, whose right hind leg was shattered in the May 20 Preakness, had lost a lot of weight while recovering from the initial surgery on May 21. He had gained that back before getting a fever and showing discomfort in his hind legs about 10 days ago. Now, after four cast changes and a very long, involved surgery Saturday night into Sunday, Barbaro is trying to recover from all that.
Update 208: New Bolton Center press release this morning echoes other recent news: Barbaro's condition guarded (thanks Sarah):
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro is continuing to rest comfortably today according to Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. "As we said yesterday, Barbaro's condition is potentially serious, and we are aggressively seeking all treatment options," he said. "Today we will focus on further diagnostics and keeping our patient comfortable." Barbaro is being treated for fractures received at the Preakness on May 20 as well as discomfort in his left hind foot.
"He's facing tough odds and his condition is guarded," said Dr. Richardson. "Our entire staff is determined to do all they can for this magnificent horse." All decisions are being made in constant consultation with the owners, who continue to be only interested in his comfort.
Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the George D. Widener Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center.
Watch for a media advisory for a press conference later this week.
On a lighter note (needed) Tim told me a funny story this morning. His friend Mike, who visits Tim's barn each saturday morning and now has a horse that may come to training in time, was at Delaware Park. He was talking with someone in the office there, and asked her if she new Tim Woolley. She said no, but I am on his site right now, and showed him the computer screen! Not sure many trainers can say their web-site is more famous than they are!
Update 207: The Baltimore Sun covers the same problem in the "good" leg that was covered by the New York Times (update 205): Barbaro suffers another setback (thanks Sarah). Please read in full. Someone in the comments noted that it was a positive signal that I even saw Michael this morning. Oddly I had the same thought, and had mentioned it to Michael earlier (that I was relieved to see him at Fair Hill). I am not sure if he heard me to be honest.
Update 206: Saw Michael Matz this morning as I was going to the track. He told me Dr. Richardson had called and said Barbaro appeared a little brighter this morning (wednesday). I suspect we should take this news within the context of the two articles reproduced in Update 205. I'll post more later as I learn more.
updated wednesday 7:20am
Update 205: Articles from the New York Times and Washington Post highlight the current problems Bobby is facing. New York Times Another Serious Turn in Barbaro's Recovery (thanks Gloria) copied in full:
The recovery prospects of Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner, took another serious turn Tuesday when veterinarians discovered that the infection in his left hind leg may be more serious than first thought.
Dr. Dean Richardson, chief of surgery at the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals, will detail the setback to Barbaro's owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, on Wednesday, Gretchen Jackson said Tuesday night.
In a telephone interview late Tuesday, Jackson said that tests had identified a bacterial infection on Barbaro's left hind -- or healthy -- foot that Richardson hoped he had cleaned out during a three-hour operation late Saturday.
During the operation, Richardson also changed the titanium plate and many of the 27 screws that had been inserted into Barbaro's injured right hind leg on May 21, a day after the colt shattered it during the opening yards of the Preakness.
Jackson said she did not know the details of the infection or possible treatment, but said that she, her husband and Richardson remained optimistic that Barbaro could overcome the setback.
"Barbaro is alive and he is going to be alive and is acting like he wants to live," Jackson said. "He is having trouble with his good leg. He can put weight on the leg and is a pain-free horse right now. We, and he, are not quitting. We're a long way from that."
Gail Luciani, a spokeswoman for the University of Pennsylvania Veterinarian School, said there might be a news conference about Barbaro's condition later this week.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the school released a statement saying that Barbaro was eating well, resting comfortably and without fever after undergoing surgery and four cast changes in the last eight days.
Richardson, who on Monday warned that the colt faced tough days after those medical setbacks, said his team had also changed the bandage on the colt's left hind foot, where they drained an abscess during surgery.
"Barbaro is eating well and resting in his stall," Richardson said in the statement. "He's tolerating the new cast well. We have changed his left hind foot bandage and that looks improved. His vital signs remain stable and his attitude and appetite remain excellent."
On Monday, Richardson had changed Barbaro's cast from a full-length one intended to protect the colt as he came out of anesthesia to a shorter one that allows Barbaro more mobility. The cast changes and surgery were prompted by fever and infections that made it difficult for Barbaro to support himself on his hind legs and raised the concern he might develop laminitis, a painful condition for horses that is caused by excessive weight bearing on one limb.
While horses with laminitis can be saved, and there was no evidence that Barbaro had developed the condition, the prospect of him having to battle the condition could be devastating, Richardson said Monday. The potentially excruciating pain could put stress on Barbaro and impede his healing process, leaving little choice but for his owners to ask the veterinarians to euthanize Barbaro.
Richardson said that option had not been discussed, and on Tuesday Gretchen Jackson reiterated that she and her husband had yet to consider that option.
Before Barbaro's bad turn over the weekend, he seemed to be recovering well. X-rays last week showed that his main fracture was healing well. It was the pastern joint, which is above the hoof, that had veterinarians worried.
On Friday and Saturday, however, it was clear that Barbaro was uncomfortable and surgery was needed. The colt had been treated topically for an abscess found on his left foot, had a fever and struggled to put weight on his right foot.
Before Richardson performed the original five-hour operation, he calculated the chances of Barbaro's survival at 50-50; and he increased them only slightly to 51-49 in the days after the procedure, when the colt's convalescence was proceeding smoothly.
But Gretchen Jackson said that she and her husband were aware of the long odds they were facing, and they have steeled themselves for the sudden shifts in Barbaro's status.
"We've know all along that what can be going wonderfully can turn disastrous in a moment," she said. "We also believe that what can be going badly can be turned around, too."
Washington Post: Infection Leaves Barbaro In Jeopardy (thanks Debbie):
An infection in Barbaro's right rear pastern joint has reduced the chance the Kentucky Derby winner will survive, Dean Richardson, the chief of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, said Tuesday.
While the majority of bones fractured have healed in the seven weeks since Barbaro's catastrophic breakdown at the start of the Preakness Stakes on May 20 at Pimlico Race Course, problems in the joint that connects the long and short pastern bones in the ankle region are putting the horse's life in jeopardy.
"There's so much concern. It's significant," Richardson said from the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals on the New Bolton campus. "It worries me. I have a hard time sleeping at night. So many people want to see this horse survive. He is stable today, and he's got a great appetite, but he's not as good as he was two weeks ago.
"Two weeks ago we were at 50-50 [for survival]. With this new problem, we're less than that."
On Saturday, Richardson performed extensive surgery on Barbaro, changing six screws and applying two new titanium plates in the pastern joint area. Richardson also attempted to clean out and treat an infection that had developed in the joint. Under anesthesia, and with a long cast placed on his leg, Barbaro did not recover enough to stand on his own until 15 hours after the operation began. On Monday, Richardson replaced the long cast with a shorter one to give the colt more mobility.
Barbaro maintains a hearty appetite and his vital signs were stable Tuesday. Richardson continued to treat an abscess on the left hoof, changing the bandage. Richardson stressed that the pastern infection, which is being treated with antibiotics, needs to be controlled before healing in the joint will resume.
The infection in the pastern joint developed despite extensive precautions. For example, the orthopedic surgery suite at the hospital is a completely sterile room with special filters to keep sterilized air flowing in. On the floor at the entrance of each room in the hospital, including the intensive care unit where Barbaro resides, are mats soaked in a powerful disinfectant to cleanse the soles of shoes.
"Parts of the recovery have gone better than average, but the infection now is a complication we'd rather not have," Richardson said. "Do we always succeed in dealing with infection? No, we do not."
There are no medical benchmarks or thresholds to consider when deciding whether to continue trying to save Barbaro, Richardson said.
"When it gets to the point where he's inhumanely uncomfortable, there's no strict, objective measure you have to quote," he said. "It requires experience with consultation among many people. We're not at the point where we're going to pull the plug."
It appears each article covers a different problem.
Update 204: Just spoke to Peter Brette. He reported that Barbaro remains the same. He is doing OK. That being said, I could just hear in his voice that he knew these were extremely tough days. Barbaro has just been through a lot in the last few days. Time to focus on how successful Nurevey came through: A Look Back: Saving Nureyev. Nureyev is an amazingly uplifting story. Keep all energy for Barbaro please, lets hope he writes a similar story!
Update 203: As update 202 was being composed New Bolton came through with an update: Barbaro stable after sixth cast applied (thanks Faye):
Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery, reports today that Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro is resting comfortably after receiving his sixth cast since his accident at the Preakness on May 20. "Barbaro is eating well and resting in his stall," said Dr. Richardson, who also treated the colt for an abscess in his left hind foot.
"He's tolerating the shorter cast well," said Dr. Richardson. "His vital signs remain stable and his attitude and appetite remain good."
Update 202: No new update until after 6 pm unless New Bolton provides something. Just wanted to let everyone know. I called Peter Brette at 3, he was still at the barn (Fair Hill). Michael is running a horse today, once that has run he will get to NBC and let Peter know. Peter plans to call me later.
As I continue to read through all the recent Barbaro articles this one seemed pretty comprehensive re: the recent events: Barbaro has 'very significant setback,' surgeon says (thanks CJ): the following is an excerpt:
After Barbaro's temperature spiked to 102 degrees Saturday and the Kentucky Derby winner showed signs of discomfort, Richardson performed surgery that evening. Monday was a better day for the horse, the surgeon said.
Monday, the horse had a sixth cast put on, his fourth cast replacement in the last week. Richardson put a shorter cast on, like the previous ones Barbaro had been wearing. The doctor had put on a longer cast, covering Barbaro's entire leg, Saturday night. That cast was designed to protect him better as he woke up.
"He's a tough horse . . . a big, strong horse that's kind of aggressive, so we put him in a full-length cast," Richardson said. "It's a more protective cast, but it's also much more cumbersome for a horse to wear. They panic a lot of times because they feel they can't move their legs. He really didn't like it very much.
"As a consequence, we spent most of the night trying to get him back standing comfortably. We literally worked on him for close to 15 hours (including the surgery) before he was back in his stall."
Good luck Bobby, these are the toughest of days I am certain.
Update 201: The Baltimore Sun (which continues to do great Barbaro coverage) has an interesting article: Barbaro faces 'tough times' (thanks Anne) that includes quotes from Peter Brette and a vet which I include below:
At the equine center in Leesburg, White said the main concern in such cases is whether the bone is actually healing.
"Any evidence of healing is a good sign," he said. "It's a race between that bone healing, having the plate and screws hold up and keeping infection at bay."
Richardson said Sunday that Barbaro's main fracture was healing well, but the pastern joint above the hoof - which was shattered into more than 20 pieces - continues to be a concern. The joint, which doctors are attempting to fuse, was stabilized with "new implants and a fresh bone graft."
Often, such a traumatic break leaves portions of the bone and tissue without sufficient blood supply to grow back together, White said. Inadequate blood supply also hampers the immune system's ability to find and destroy any bacteria that entered the wound during surgery.
"Then you've gone ahead and taken a piece of metal and screws and put them into that environment," he said. Bacteria will attach to the metal parts, grow and destroy surrounding tissue and bone. That can loosen screws and diminish the support needed by the bone as it heals.
Veterinarians watch animals for signs of postoperative infection. They check for fever and look for evidence of pain, such as limping or favoring the injured leg. They may even be able to feel unusual heat through the cast or spot drainage that signals infection in the wound, White said.
Such contamination is quite common, he added. "You use antibiotics locally during the process to kill as many [bacteria] as you can so there is no infection, but it's not a perfect science." If the tissue is healthy and the number of invading bacteria is low, the animal will fight off the infection and recover.
White, who has not participated in Barbaro's care, declined to speculate on the colt's chances for survival. "I've managed horses with this kind of [injury] that have survived, and I've had others that did not," he said.
One of the big questions Barbaro's doctors must be addressing now, he said, is whether, after weeks of antibiotic treatment, the bacteria in the animal's wound have grown resistant.
A less tangible question is whether Barbaro has the heart to keep fighting.
"They have personalities," White said of thoroughbreds. "Perhaps we're not perfect at reading their minds, but we get a feel for when they are hurting and not willing to give what they need to survive."
"There is something there that tells you when they want to quit," he said. "And you have to make that tough decision."
I have added a couple of sites to the fan media page.
Update 200: Spoke to Michael Matz this morning (Tuesday) as I was going onto the track, he was ponying Peter off the track. I asked Michael "how's your horse doing?"... he said Dr. Richardson had just called and reports Barbaro is holding his own.
Also spoke to Kathy Anderson who visited Bobby last night at 6pm (Monday). She was relieved to see him in the condition he was in. He had just had a bath, mane combed, and was eating.
Updated Tuesday 7:10am
Update 199: Trying to identify news stories that have information we have not already seen, so I apologise if I miss a good story! The Daily Racing Form: Barbaro 'comfortable' after more surgery (thanks Maria) includes some insights from Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith, a of Colorado State University's Equine Orthopedic Research Center, excerpt:
"It's definitely a setback," said Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith, a of Colorado State University's Equine Orthopedic Research Center. "When you get an infection, it's always a challenge. But the other thing to state is that, if you have stability, you can heal bone in the presence of infection. So there is still some reason for optimism."
McIlwraith pointed out that Barbaro's radiographs have reportedly shown knitting in the fractured areas.
"That means he already has some stability from bony union," he said. "That's one of the things that's positive."
The new locking compression plate that Richardson implanted Saturday may also aid with stability and allow bone healing, McIlwraith said.
"Ultimately, when you get healing, you can take out the implants and clean out the infection," he said. "If the infection persists and causes instability in the plate or the screws, that's difficult."
I added some new videos to the fan media page, thanks Jessica Franks. You might also want to light a candle for Barbaro at gratefulness.org (thanks Melissa).
Update 198: Jeannine Edwards has posted a comment after her afternoon at New Bolton Center covering Barbaro for ESPN. I copy it here in full (thanks Jeannine):
We spent the afternoon trying to get the latest info on Barbaro. I spoke with Michael Matz on the phone.... he was just leaving New Bolton around 1:45pm. He said it was a long night Sat. night... Dr. Richardson later told me from start to finish the entire ordeal was about 15 hours. They both described Barbaro's recovery this time around as "long and grueling". Michael said they had put the longer, full cast on and that Barbaro wasn't handling it too well. (Thus the decision to remove it earlier today.) For the first time in all of this, Barbaro had been in a sling... they were taking no chances. Michael said it's been a long, trying week and that it was especially difficult for him to see Barbaro in pain, but that he was encouraged to see him feeling better and looking brighter today. After my conversation with Michael, Dr. Richardson came out for an inpromtu press "conference", I say it that way because there only 3 or 4 of us there. He said Barbaro had exhibited changes in his condition, that he had a persistent fever, and that his comfort had diminished in both hind legs. His pastern joint is infected (not good) but the primary fractures (in the cannon bone and sesamoids) are healing well. They decided to remove the 16" plate and some of the screws because all of this hardware was infected. They put in 2 smaller plates and new screws, and did a new bone graft to aid in bone healing in the pastern... which didn't have much bone left after the injury (many smaller fragments had been removed.) They finally were able to drain the abcess from his left hind foot, so that should make him more comfortable. Richardson called these "serious complications" and that it's "definitely a setback". As I said earlier, Michael confirmed to me that the Jacksons have postponed a trip to Africa. When asked if the subject of euthanasia had come up at all over the weekend, Richardson said "We're nowhere close to that... we haven't even contemplated that... not even close to calling it a day with Barbaro." So that's a good sign. He did tell me the timing of the complications was unusual, as they would have expected infection soon after the original surgery, not 6 weeks later. His condition is "guarded", and he's still at 50/50 for survival, although 2 weeks ago his chances were at least 60/40. It's a day to day situation and he's being monitored around the clock. We then did a live report for ESPN News at 4pm, then taped reports for tonight's SportsCenters and tomorrow's Wire To Wire. This coming Sunday we have a live show (the Delaware Handicap) so we will be including a Barbaro update then as well. Ok, it's 8pm, time to grab a bite for dinner. Let's all say a prayer and hope for the best.
Update 197: Just saw Jeannine Edward's coverage on ESPN. She used some of the same footage we can see from the press conference noted in the CBS3 video below (Richardson press conference). She also spoke of Michael Matz and how hard is was for Michael to see Bobby in some pain again (I guess over the weekend) and that he was a little brighter today (Bobby, and I guess Michael!). My somewhat educated guess, Michael is there now, as he seems to be camping out there lately other than training hours in the morning. Jeannine also noted the Jackson's decision to cancel their trip to Africa. I am hoping Jeannine will post a comment here later tonight noting her experience at New Bolton today.
Update 196: CBS3 has video footage of Dr. Richardson's press conference today: Dr. Dean Richardson Updates Barbaro's Condition (thanks Skyler)
Update 195: NBC10s coverage today: Barbaro Chances 50 - 50 (thanks Cheryl) If anyone wondered whether we cared for Barbaro, check the stats on this site today 5,190 visits by 6:06 pm
Update 194: Saw the NBC10 coverage, if you get a chance to see it at 6pm, it's well worth it. It includes footage of Bobby, and commentary from Dean Richardson. He is quoted "He is feeling reasonably good right now". Dr. Richardson noted they had 6 weeks with no problems, then multiple problems in one week. He noted Bobby remains 50 - 50, and clearly it's a day to day situation. The piece was about two - three minutes and ran early in the newscast.
No recent update from Mike Rea, I assume that is not a bad sign, lets hope for an update soon!
Update 193: NBC10, for those in the local area are covering Barbaro today (thanks Danielle) along with Jeannine Edwards and ESPN:
For those in the NJ, MD, DE area, the local nbc10 news station will be airing the same footage as espn did at 5pm ( it was on at 4 as well) along with some other interviews of horse lovers.
ESPN article: Doctor: 'Tough days ahead' for Barbaro (thanks Lynda) copied in full:
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was facing major problems for the first time since surgery to repair the right hind leg he shattered in the Preakness seven weeks ago, with Dr. Dean Richardson saying "we're in tough times right now."
Barbaro had the cast on the leg replaced for a sixth time Monday -- the fourth time in a week. The latest development followed many hours of surgery Saturday night when doctors replaced the metal plate and many screws and also treated an infection.
"I think we're in for tough times right now. I think we're going to have some tough days ahead," Richardson said at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. "I'm being realistic about it. When a horse has a setback like this, it's a problem."
Richardson, the chief surgeon at the New Bolton Center, looked haggard during the briefing, and said it took more than 15 hours from the start of Saturday's surgery before Barbaro had fully recovered from anesthesia.
He said Barbaro was back in his stall in the intensive care unit, where he's been since the catastrophic injury occurred just a few hundred yards after the start of the Preakness.
"Right now, he's happier," Richardson said. "He's got a normal heart rate, normal temperature, he's eating like crazy. He's very hungry. He's making lots of manure. He looks actually pretty happy today. Now we have to see how he responds to what's going on."
The long cast applied Saturday night was replaced by a shorter cast Monday, and was done with Barbaro in a sling and under mild sedation, Richardson said.
"The long cast was used as extra support during the anesthetic recovery phase," Richardson said. "It is much easier for him to move around his stall and get up and down with a short cast. We also found and treated an abscess in his left hind foot that was bothering him."
Barbaro is receiving pain medication, antibiotics and other supportive care, Richardson added.
Update 192: New Bolton Press Release: Barbaro receives sixth cast (thanks Faye):
After evaluating Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro this morning, Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery, replaced the cast on the colt's injured hind leg for a sixth time. "The long leg cast was replaced with a short leg cast this morning. This was done with Barbaro in a sling and only under mild sedation," said Dr. Richardson. "The long cast was used as extra support during the anesthetic recovery phase. It is much easier for him to move around his stall and get up and down with a short cast. We also found and treated an abscess in his left hind foot that was bothering him."
Barbaro spent a comfortable night and is eating well after surgery to stabilize the pastern joint this weekend. "We're continuing his pain medication, antibiotics and other supportive care," said Dr. Richardson. "He appears more comfortable today and has had a normal temperature, heart rate and overall attitude."
I spoke to Peter Brette a little earlier. He mentioned the new cast. He also noted the second abscess in the good hind leg (left hind) which they can now deal with (I assume they already have). This was good news as it revealed a source of discomfort. Peter (who did visit) said Bobby was standing well and munching on hay when he was leaving. I also spoke with Jeannine Edwards who attended a press conference at New Bolton. I assume content from that will be used for her ESPN bulletins we noted in update 191.
Posted by Eliza at 8:21 PM
| Comments (546)
Barbaro Updates: 3
Posted July 6, 2006
Updates continue here.
Update 191: ESPN's tentative schedule for today. Jeannine Edwards sent me an e-mail which included the following:
right now i am going live on espn news around 4pm, live on sportscenter somewhere between 6-7pm, and then a taped report for the 11 and overnight shows.
Update 190: I am starting to look through some of the articles posted today, the Baltimore Sun (which continues to provide great Barbaro coverage) has an article: Barbaro's infection 'potentially serious' (thanks Anne) includes a quote from Michael Matz:
Yesterday evening Barbaro's trainer Michael Matz said the horse appears to be doing well.
"He looks fine," Matz said by phone as he left the facility. "He's on all four legs and, hopefully, that's the way he will stay. Everything was going very smoothly and it's always a setback when he has to go through something like this.
"Dean wasn't happy with how comfortable he was and it has really been a very long, trying week for Barbaro and for Dean."
I would add, a long trying week for Michael too! The above quote is similar to the feedback Peter Brette provided us last night (update 187 end).
It seems ESPN is going to provide some coverage today, Jeannine Edwards left a comment that included:
I am heading up to New Bolton this afternoon to do an update for SportsCenter. Let's all hope this is just a bump in the road for Barbaro. Keep up the fantastic work, and thanks for keeping us informed!
Update 189: There has been quite a lot of media coverage as a result of the surgery late saturday night (and New Bolton's press release re: the same.) Rather than rehash that content I wanted to highlight this article: New hope for Barbaro fans in 'kid brother'? (thanks Barbara) that provides some insights into the Jackson's breeding operation and Barbaro's brothers. The following are a couple of excerpts:
Call him Kid Barbaro. Well, actually, the dark bay foal doesn't have a name yet. These days, he tags alongside his mother, La Ville Rouge, at Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington, Ky.
Born in mid-March, the colt was sired by Dynaformer. That makes him a full-brother to Barbaro. Could there be another Kentucky Derby champ in those genes?
"He's very confident and thinks he's special, just like Barbaro did when he was here," said Headley Bell, the bloodstock agent for Roy and Gretchen Jackson. "You're never quite sure where that comes from. He has good size, maybe not quite as leggy as Barbaro, but he's close."
That's the guy (and his mum) that we have pictures of, and
While it will be two years before Barbaro's kid brother hits the track, his half-brother, Man in Havana, is gearing up for his racing career. His mother is La Ville Rouge. The colt is working out at the Fair Hill Training Center under the tutelage of Michael Matz and is slated to make his debut this fall.
Man In Havana and his sire, Quiet American, are named after books written by British author Graham Greene, a favorite of Gretchen Jackson's father.
"He's a big horse with a lovely shoulder," Gretchen Jackson said. "Unlike Barbaro, he might take some time to show what he has. But that's true with all of Quiet American's foals."
OK, now back to ride a few more horses. Wanted to thank Jen Duffy (she took plenty of the pictures of Barbaro that are on this site, prior to the Preakness), she sometimes substitutes for me re: providing the early updates (I call them in!)
Update 188: Just spoke to Peter Brette this morning on the horse path...all things considered, it seems like Barbaro had a decent night last night (sunday night). Peter is planning to visit after work this morning so I'll try to get more details later today. Keep all your positive energy coming for Barbaro today; he will surely need it.
updated monday 7:10am
Update 187: New Bolton Center's press release: Veterinarians treat Barbaro for infection, replace plate and screws in injured leg that discusses events over the previous 24 hours:
Late Saturday, July 8, Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery, replaced the plate and many of the screws that had been inserted into Barbaro's injured hind leg on May 21. "Barbaro had developed some discomfort and a consistently elevated temperature so we believed it was in his best interest to remove the hardware and thoroughly clean the site of the infection," said Dr. Richardson. "We also applied a longer cast on that leg for additional support."
While the main fracture is healing well, the pastern joint that doctors are attempting to fuse continues to be the area of concern. This joint was stabilized with new implants and a fresh bone graft.
"The recovery process from anesthesia took longer with this surgery, but Barbaro is now back in his stall in the Intensive Care Unit," said Dr. Richardson. "He is receiving pain medication, antibiotics and other supportive care."
Barbaro continues to be monitored closely in the Intensive Care Unit of the George D. Widener Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. Dr. Richardson emphasized that the complications are potentially serious. Both Barbaro's owners and trainer continue to visit him at least twice daily.
Peter Brette had just left me a voice mail (I was on a work call) to let me know that Michael Matz had just called him (I gather Michael is almost living there lately), and Bobby was doing a little better, was brighter, standing on both hind legs, and looking for something to eat. These next few days will remain very critical for Bobby I am sure.
Update 186: No new news yet. But as we all hope for better news, I thought I should highlight the original "fan media" sent by Debra Lopez: Our Prayer for Barbaro. You might also enjoy Barbaro's best moment: Kentucky Derby 132. As Lisa noted in the comments:
"..And here comes Barbaro! The undefeated Barbaro comes up on the outside and he takes the lead as the field turns for home in the Kentucky Derby and Barbaro turns it on and his stablemate Showing up is second, Bluegrass Cat is third, Brother Derek putting in a late run for the outside, Steppenwolfer is fifth and Sweet Northern Saint six by the rail, but there coming to the finish and it's all Barbaro in a sublime performance!
Update 185: Peter Brette just called (sunday 1pm). Barbaro is not doing as well as he had been yesterday. Peter had not visited Bobby, but had been talking to others. He did not have any details, but I could just tell in his voice he was pretty concerned (it was a short conversation). Peter may call later if he hears more, but now is the time to channel all positive energy for Bobby. If I hear more I will post.
Update 184: No update yet today (sunday). Will try to learn something and post before the day is over. I think Peter may be visiting again today. Keep thinking positive thoughts for Bobby!
Update 183: Spoke to Peter Brette who visited Barbaro later today (saturday). He was happy with Bobby, and expressed some encouragement that he was doing well (relative to the last few days). Bobby received a massage today, and subsequent to the massage slept for a couple of hours. While we need to remain very cautious, Peter's "visit report" was a little encouraging.
Update 182: Barbaro's condition today is similar to yesterday, which as we know was improved from wednesday and thursday. I asked Michael Matz this morning, and he had just heard from Dean Richardson. Peter Brette, who again will be tied to the barn all day, is hopefully planning to visit after work which would be late afternoon / evening. I will try to catch up with Peter later to get another status check. As we know, these next few days are very important.
I asked Michelle (Matz) how her father was holding up under the constant "worry" of Barbaro. Michael does visit everyday (along with his wife I believe). She said he was handling everything as he normally does. He is a true hands-on horseman and clearly an integral part of Barbaro's "recovery team". I noted to Michelle how fortunate we were that we were based so close to New Bolton which allowed Michael to play an important role in the process.
We had more visitors to Fair Hill today. I believe it was a group associated with the local fire company (or at least that is what their trucks indicated). It is nice to see people interested in coming out to visit. Better Talk Now (Graham Motion) runs later today in the United Nations, of course so does Shake The Bank. Gus (Brown, Shake The Bank's exercise rider) is convinced he will win. Of course he says that everytime he runs!
Update 181: New York Times article: Barbaro Has Two Screws Replaced (thanks Gloria):
For the first time in a remarkably smooth recovery, Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner, has had a minor setback. Two screws were replaced in his shattered right hind leg this week, and his cast was changed twice.
He also has a minor abscess in his left hind leg that is being treated by a topical cream, according to veterinarians at the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals in Kennett Square, Pa.
Dr. Corinne Sweeney, the director of the hospital, said the surgeon Dean Richardson was "very pleased" with how Barbaro's ankle, which was severely injured in the opening yards of the Preakness Stakes on May 21, was healing.
"The radiographs were terrific; his healing is very good," she said. "Still, Dr. Richardson saw Barbaro was a little uncomfortable, and he decided to change the cast again."
Barbaro has a supporting shoe on the left leg to help protect against laminitis, a sometimes-fatal foot disease brought on by uneven weight distribution. Sweeney said it was merely a precaution. She also said the replacement of the two screws was expected.
A total of 27 screws were inserted in an effort to fuse Barbaro's back leg so he could live a pain-free life and perhaps become a commercial stallion. "It is the reason he put that many in, because he anticipated having to make adjustments," Sweeney said of Richardson.
Richardson has cautioned that it will be months before Barbaro's prognosis is known, and that his is vulnerable to infection. Still, Sweeney characterized this week as one of activity rather than of concern.
"These are things that we have anticipated, and he's doing very well," Sweeney said.
Update 180: Kathy Anderson just called and had just finished visiting with Barbaro (8:00 pm friday). Her assessment is that these are pretty critical days for Bobby. Clearly he has improved today (as we know) and his attitude is quite good, but he is not as comfortable as he was a couple of weeks ago (as we know). He is rallying, keep your positive thoughts for Bobby. Today was a better day.
Update 179: Spoke to Peter Brette. While he was at the barn all day (Fair Hill) he had heard from Michael (Matz) that Barbaro continued to have a better day today (than the previous couple of days). Still hoping to hear from Kathy, but if not, I think we can be happy to know that Bobby continued to be a little more comfortable today than the last couple of days.
Update 178: No update yet but I will try to get another update before the end of the day. I spoke to Kathy Anderson who was planning to visit. She is still at Fair Hill (working) but hopes to go over later. Mike Rea seems to be progressing well and it seems help has arrived from the The Delaware Horsemen's Assistance Fund. Peter Alexander, the president, is a Fair Hill regular.
A couple of articles surfaced today as a result of New Bolton's press release yesterday. Barbaro Experiencing Discomfort (thanks Lisa) includes the following:
If only horses could talk. In recent days, Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro has been having some problems with his right hind leg, shattered in the May 20 Preakness and then surgically repaired the next day. According to the colt's owner, Gretchen Jackson, Barbaro is "feeling some discomfort and they can't figure it out. Blood tests are good. Temperature is good. So they're just trying to figure what is causing the discomfort."
According to Jackson, the doctors don't think the discomfort is anything major, but, with these fragile horses - especially one with such a significant injury as Barbaro - every little thing has to be taken very seriously. Barbaro continues to be in intensive care at the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square.
That the colt is experiencing discomfort at this stage is no great shock. They just wish they knew exactly why.
"It's not anything to be scared about," Gretchen Jackson said.
I do know that the Jackson's had planned an Africa trip, I think starting this week. They have cancelled.
The second article: Barbaro still not out of the woods (thanks Lynnette) simply asks us to have a kind thought for Barbaro as we watch racing this weekend. We surely will.
Update 177: It is good to hear the news this morning has be received so well. I do want to caution I used the phrase "a little more comfortable", so keep the positive energy coming, he still has a way to go to get to where he was comfort-wise a week or so ago I think. Michael did mention that this could also change quite quickly, but anyway, this morning is great news and a relief for those close to him, but we need to remain very cautious at this stage. To demonstrate the change in mood this news brought, Michael chatted for about five minutes with Judge (one of the trainers I ride for) and was being very open about the current Barbaro situation. Anne Kelly (one of Michael Matz's longtime exercise riders and contributor to this site) thanked me this morning for yesterday's updates. (i.e. there really was no chatting yesterday amongst anyone about Bobby's condition).
A couple of people have mentioned the ESPY awards, details here: Velazquez, Gomez, Prado Compete for ESPY Award. Voting ends midnight July 9. Each of these jockeys is fantastic. Here are my three reasons to support Edgar Prado (in case you were wondering who to vote for):
1. He is considered the best. I think many people would simply agree with that.
2. He may well have been a significant factor is helping get Barbaro to where he is today. He alertly pulled Bobby up and did what he could to limit damage. No doubt there was catastrophic damage, but it could have been much worse.
3. He has paid two visits to see Barbaro since the horrific accident (that we know of). A cynic (sp ?) might suggest the first visit was for the media attention (although looking at the pictures you could dismiss this quickly.) The second visit, with his family, was completely without media coverage (and media knowledge). In fact to the best of my knowledge only this site reported on the visit (Peter Brette told us the next morning) and Bobby mentioned it himself in an exclusive interview with ESPN!
Finally I did want to mention that Miraculous Miss visited the starting gate for the second time since her horrific gate incident in the Acorn in New York. As a result of that incident she is considered on the "starter's list" which means she has to be approved by the gate crew (at Fair Hill) before she can run again. I convinced Judge (trainer I ride for and noted earlier) that we should send our last horse to the gate so I could ask the gate crew how Miraculous Miss did today. Judge obliged. Miraculous Miss was great. She walked in, stood, they played around with her etc. Brian (in charge, the "crew" comes from Philadelphia Park) said she has to come back one more time, but she should be fine. Coming to the gate three times is a standard requirement for a horse on the "starter's list". The horse I was on, a nice rangy 2 year old filly, galloped out of the gate very well, which was pretty cool because the last time she was a little slower to get going.
And finally again, it seems Better Talk Now will get to run tomorrow: Last-minute diplomacy saves U.N.. I asked Lisa, his exercise rider, if he would win. Of course she said "Yes". Win lose or draw, this looks like it is shaping to an awesome horserace! Good luck Graham et al!
Update 176: Barbaro is a little more comfortable this morning! Just saw Michael Matz (who offered to pony me as I was stuggling to get a new horse on to the track)...Michael had already received a call from Dr. Richardson this morning giving the good report.
updated friday 7:10am
Update 175: New Bolton's press release confirms much of what we know: Barbaro receives third cast (thanks Lisa, I had been checking ALL day) and its copied below:
On Wednesday, July 5, Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery, replaced the cast on Barbaro that he had received on Monday, July 3. "Barbaro was not comfortable with the second cast, so we decided it would be best to replace it sooner rather than later," said Dr. Richardson. "His appetite is healthy, and we are continuing to monitor him closely for an elevated temperature or other signs of discomfort."
New Bolton Center continues to receive requests for additional information on Barbaro's condition. Below are some of the most recent questions asked with responses from his medical team.
Q. Why was Barbaro's cast changed again?
A. For several days before the second cast change, Barbaro showed a slight elevation in body temperature and his hind legs appeared uncomfortable, which led to Dr. Dean Richardson's decision to reassess the leg and then change the cast. He was still not as comfortable as he had been so a new cast was applied on Wednesday.
Q. Why were two screws replaced and three new ones added?
A. Two previously implanted screws that cross the pastern joint were bent, so Dr. Richardson, who had predicted that bent screws in that area were likely, replaced them and added three new screws for additional support. Barbaro has been very active on his cast, and the repairs were needed as a result of force and motion in the affected area. The screws are bridging the pastern joint. They are not part of the repair of the primary fractures. The pastern joint needed to be fused because the proximal phalanx (long pastern bone) was so badly broken that the middle phalanx (short pastern bone) was needed to anchor the distal (lowest) part of the plate.
Q. What do the radiographs show about how well Barbaro is healing?
A. Barbaro's new radiographs show excellent progressive bone healing, a very positive sign.
Q. Were the repairs considered major surgery?
A. Barbaro was put under general anesthesia for the procedure. The repairs themselves were made under fluoroscopic control, which gives surgeons a live-X-ray view of the patient. This means that small one-centimeter incisions were made rather than any large incision.
Q. Did Barbaro have an abscess on his foot?
A. During the examination, doctors found a small infection on the sole of Barbaro's uninjured left hind hoof near the frog, a V-shaped cushiony growth that helps absorb shock. Dr. Richardson is treating the infection topically; in addition, Barbaro is on systemic antibiotics, which is common post-surgical practice. He also has a new protective shoe.
Q. What is laminitis and what are you doing to prevent it in Barbaro?
A. Laminitis is a painful condition in horses that can be the result of a number of causes, including excessive weight bearing in one limb. It occurs when laminae, the strong connecting tissues that attach the pedal bone and the inner hoof wall, are inflamed. Laminitis is very serious and can result in severe consequences. To reduce this risk, we applied a supportive shoe to Barbaro's left hind foot immediately following the surgery for the fracture of his right hind leg.
Q. How long will Barbaro have to stay in a cast?
A. Barbaro will remain in a cast until we believe that the fracture and joint fusions have developed adequate strength.
Q. How long will Barbaro remain in Intensive Care?
A. Barbaro will remain in the Intensive Care Unit at the George D. Widener Hospital as long as necessary. Even though he is progressing well and has not had major complications, he is not out of danger. Even if things progressed perfectly from this point forward, it is likely that he would be here two more months.
Update 174: Just spoke to Peter Brette who visited Bobby today. It does appear his level of discomfort has improved a little, but there is still some discomfort for which they are trying to determine the cause. I asked Peter how he looked physically, and he said he looked well, was eating etc. so that is good. Peter also reiterated that the bone-healing process is as good as they could possibly expect, if not better. Please keep thinking your positive thoughts for Barbaro.
I have updated the content for each of Tim's horses, Tim was around this afternoon. I am also going to get a picture of Tim added to the site. Tim had a pretty quick start to the year, but things have been quieter lately. We are hoping for a good summer with Redaspen, Randy's Bullet and Gator Nation (unraced) getting close to running, Something Wild getting back to his earlier form and Kielbasa Queen moving on from her debut.
Finally as I was jogging back on the main track with Tim today we passed the clocker's stand where Graham Motion was supervising his string. I asked Graham if he knew whether they would be racing in New Jersey this weekend, and of course he did not. There was no racing thursday. He has Better Talk Now in the United Nations (Grade 1 $750,000 race). This is a race he won last year (I think), and a race he has targeted for Better Talk Now for this year. His training program has been designed to have Better Talk Now in prime condition for saturday. Clearly Graham was not anticipating the potential for this race not running. It is hard enough mapping out a campaign for a grade one horse, but when a race does not run, its not so simple to regroup and run the horse in another race the next week! Lets hope they can resolve this odd situation very quickly and Fair Hill's Breeders Cup winner gets a chance to do what he does best, run them down in the stretch!
Posted by Eliza at 9:41 PM
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