Barbaro Updates: 61
Posted August 31, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 574: Peter Brette just called, he had just spoken to Michael. Barbaro remains comfortable. Michael had visited a little earlier this afternoon, and was now on his way back to visit again. It is certainly a great thing Michael lives so close to NBC, and it is obvious how important Bobby is to everyone!
Alie left this comment re: Kennett Florist's visit today (timestamp: 9:07pm):
Hello Team BARBARO
I went to NBC 1:30 today. Steve went up earlier.
All was good. Our boy is going well.
We are so happy for his continued healing.
We are praying for Lost in the Fog.
Also please add a girl named Special to prayer list.
Thank you for lunch today, what a surprise!
You guys are unbelievable.
God Bless, have a wonderful evening.
I also received an e-mail from Kennett Florist that the Barbaromaniacs are in the local Kennett Paper (its not online yet, I hope it will be).
The cartoon caption contest has been "judged" (thanks Sabina Pierce) and you can find the results on the discussion board: Just For Fun Caption Contest Winner!.
Finally: Michael Matz and Barbaro: Horse of a Lifetime.
Update 573: Jeannine Edwards has just spoken with Greg Gilchrist, Lost in the Fog's trainer. She sent me this e-mail:
Just spoke to Greg Gilchrist... Lost In The Fog is being examined and having his ultrasounds as I write this. They are scanning him to see if there has been any reduction at all in the size of the tumors. Greg seemed hopeful, albeit realistic, that there may be some options for Foggy. He said by this time next month... NEXT MONTH...they would have a better idea of whether or not Foggy is going to make it. That's a whole lot better than the "2 weeks to live" we heard 10 days ago. Greg said Foggy has gained some weight back, they are feeding him smaller meals 4 times a day, and when I asked what his daily routine is, Greg said "Whatever he feels like doing." They walk him, take him out for grass, take him near the track to watch training, give him baths, etc. He said right now the horse seems happy and perky, and because of the cancer treatment options available to humans, they are hopeful of being able to try something on Foggy. The problem is that cancer is very rare in equines, and so the treatment data is relatively obscure. Perhaps Foggy will become the "poster horse" for successful cancer treatment. Greg said he will give me an update on the ultrasound findings tomorrow.
Racing this weekend is on ESPN at 4:30 pm, NOT ESPN2 as reported yesterday in update 565.
Update 572: Bluegrass Cat has returned to his breeders in Kentucky in preparation for stud duty next year: Bluegrass Cat returns to the Blue Grass. The article includes a short video clip of his arrival.
Circle of Life: another lovely video by Melissa Harden.
Update 571: Just spoke to Barclay Tagg to catch up with Funny Cide. Barclay said he galloped three times around the "Clare Court" track today. When I first heard that I thought Barclay was kidding with me, then he went on to explain it is a small training track at Saratoga, about 3/8ths / half mile round. Funny Cide relaxes more galloping on that track. I know he is a very strong horse to gallop, so I guess anything to help him relax. Anyway all remains well for saturday. The Daily Racing Form had this article: Team Funny Cide thrilled to be back which noted the following:
There is a caveat to Funny Cide running in the Woodward. Trainer Barclay Tagg said he would not run if the track came up wet, and the weather forecast is iffy, based on the path of Tropical Storm Ernesto.
I asked Barclay about this and he confirmed that if the track came up really sloppy they would likely not run. Lets hope for better weather. The article also notes Funny's next objective, the Hawthorne Gold Cup, September 30.
Update 570: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (wednesday night). Michael Matz gave me the news as I was coming off the woodchip track on my first set. I was surprised to get the news so early so I hung around by the tunnel that goes under the dirt track so that MIchael could catch up and confirm that's what he had told me which he did. Just about to get on my second set which I presume will be Chappy who I think we are planning to breeze tomorrow.
updated thursday 6:40am
Update 569: This morning we have two more articles that discuss the merits of this outstanding three year old crop. The first: THOROUGHBRED BEAT showcases Bernardini, Barbaro, Lawyer Ron, Henny Hughes and Discreet Cat. The second: Bernardini towers over 3-year-old peers now discusses Bernardini and Barbaro, and interviews the trainer of Sweetnorthernsaint (who was actually betting favourite of the Kentucky Derby) Mike Trombetta. A couple of excerpts:
"The only thing you can say with any certainty is both were bound for greatness," said Mike Trombetta, trainer of Sweetnorthernsaint, the Laurel-based gelding that finished seventh behind Barbaro in the Kentucky Derby and second behind Bernardini in the Preakness. "Everyone saw what Barbaro could do. And now everyone is seeing what Bernardini can do. It's hard to compare them. They're alike in that they both win. All the time. No matter what happens, they just keep winning."
"We'll obviously never know what would have happened if they had run against each other at their best," Trombetta said. "It's too bad. I know I would have loved to see it."
Trombetta hopes to run Sweetnorthernsaint for many years, but he harbors no illusions. Asked if he expected to run into Bernardini again, he just laughed.
"Not on purpose," he said.
Its a big day for Lost in the Fog, here is a lovely poem, by Gloria (updates 60: timestamp 4:39 pm):
"In Our Hearts"
Lost in the Fog, such a mystical name,
For a magical horse who's achieved so much fame,
A sprinter who soars above mere mortal ground,
A champion who's proved that his talents abound.
Excitement and joy you have given us all,
And thankful we are that in your special stall,
Surrounded by comfort and care of your friends,
You can see all that love through your own special lens.
Your spirit is shining, to vanquish this foe,
And we will hold on until you say "let go."
We're with you, in this your most challenging race,
And praying that you will receive extra grace.
You're not "lost", but we're "searching" for ways to convey
How much you have shown us that words cannot say,
Please know that we value what sets you apart
For, Lost in the Fog, you've been "Found in our Hearts."
Posted by Alex at 8:47 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 60
Posted August 30, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 568: Best of luck tomorrow for Lost in the Fog (thanks Anna).
Update 567: Just spoke to Peter Brette, he visited Bobby earlier this afternoon. Barbaro was comfortable, Peter was happy with him. Peter brushed him and changed his bandages etc.
Quick reminder, Lost in the Fog vigil, 7 pm tonight, east coast time. Whereever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some thoughts for the Fog.
Update 566: Sue McMullen sent me this e-mail this morning in reference to the Jackson's horse Enticing who recently ran at York.
I've just spoken to William Haggas, trainer of Enticing and asked him how she'd come out of the Nunthorpe, his thoughts on the race and where she goes next.
Willaim said she was absolutely fine and it had been an ambitious plan to go for the Nunthorpe, which on the day just didn't come off. He said she clearly wasn't happy on the ground and she was also up with the pace early on, which hadn't really been the plan so overall, it just didn't go right for her. But she has lots of speed and all being well, she will now go for the Flying Childers, at York on 8 September. This race normally takes place at Doncaster during the St Leger meeting, but Doncaster is currently closed for extensive rebuilding so the meeting has been transferred to York. The Flying Childers is a Group 2 over 5 furlongs, but her participation will depend on the ground as she won't run if it's soft.
I may have to pursuade Sue to become our European racing correspondent. Anyone want to volunteer for other racing jurisdictions around the world ?
Update 565: Jeannine Edwards just e-mailed me the following for their telecast on saturday.
We are televising the Woodward and Forego Handicaps on Sat, 4:30pm, espn. Right now we are planning a Funny Cide feature, a look back at Forego (who won the Woodward 1974-77), an interview with Nick Zito (he has Commentator in the Forego and Sun King in the Woodward), a possible interview with Eugene Melnyk who owns Flower Alley, a tribute to the horsemen who died in the Lexington plane crash (one of whom was the breeder of Flower Alley), and of course, an update on Barbaro and most likely Lost In The Fog. This is our last show until Sept 30 when we will begin our "Countdown to the Cup" series before the Breeders' Cup. Those shows, (3 total, on Sept 30, Oct 7, and Oct 14) will be 2 hours long and will take place at Santa Anita, Belmont, and Keeneland. Each show will also have a cut-in from another track hosting big races on that day. These shows will highlight all the major horses in their final preps for the Breeders' Cup... they should be very exciting!!
edit: racing is on espn not espn2 this weekend.
Update 564: Just spoke to Barclay Tagg. He did not breeze Funny Cide today, apparently the track was not suitable, they have had A LOT of rain in Saratoga. Funny Cide did a gallop today. They may give him a short breeze tomorrow, if the track is great, otherwise he will gallop into the Woodward on saturday. Barclay also noted Stormy Kiss came out of her race on sunday (third Ballerina) in good shape. I will catch up with Barclay again tomorrow.
Annie (Michael Matz exercise rider) rode Round Pond today, her first outing since her race on sunday (Molly Pitcher at Monmouth). She had a nice quiet trip outback (although Annie did mention a few deer) and does appear to have come out of her race well from the weekend.
Update 563: Michael Matz just let me know Bobby had a comfortable night last night (tuesday night). Passed him on my way to the gate on my fourth set. On the third set, Randy's Bullet and I saw plenty of deer going up Goat House Hill out back.
Update 562: Just spoke to Michael Matz who said he hasn't heard anything yet this morning (wednesday). I wanted to make sure nobody worried that there is no early update today. Possibly I will get one closer to 9am during my short break time. It's a cooler, rainy morning which actually makes it a pleasure to ride. The woodchip track at Fair Hill handles the rain well and thus the rain does not overly disrupt our training. And of course, we can always take the horses out back now that the rain has taken the sting out of the ground. For my third set, I'm about to get on Randy's Bullet and take him up Goat House Hill. Finally, I'd like to thank those that contributed to my gift basket on Saturday and Michael said that there is another gift waiting for me in his tackroom this morning.
updated wednesday 7:20am
Update 561: It seems to be becoming conventional wisdom now that this year's crop of three year olds is very strong. Those leading the crop include Barbaro, Bernadini, Showing Up, Discreet Cat and Henny Hughes, and that list does not include Jazil who won his last start: The Belmont! Anyway, the following are a couple of articles that highlight the leaders.
The first article: Current class of three-year-olds judged excellent. The article begins:
The 2006 class of three-year-old thoroughbreds can now be rated as excellent. Bernardini's runaway victory in the Travers Stakes puts him at the top of his generation among active three- year-olds.
Imagine what type of rivalry there could have been if Barbaro had not suffered his career ending injury in the Preakness Stakes. Bernardini and Barbaro may have reminded racing fans of Affirmed and Alydar.
The second article: Rail Chatter takes a look at the "buzz" behind Discreet Cat. It does however also discuss Barclay Tagg, who is having a good Saratoga meet, excerpt:
My buddy Barclay Tagg is having a great meet at the Spa. He's been winning at about a 30 percent clip. He's taken a couple of stakes races already, and he has Funny Cide in the Woodward this Saturday. Kenny Mayne is the one, I think, who said about Barclay during the Triple Crown run of Funny Cide three years ago, "Here comes Barclay Tagg for an interview with as much anticipation as a man going to an IRS audit."
Yet Barclay has entered the psyche of the nation, as I saw on Saturday in a very unusual way. I went past a group with a baby in a seat. The mother was making it laugh - as parents do - by doing the old peek-a-boo thing. But instead of saying "Ah, boo!" she was saying, "Ah, Barclay. Barclay , Barclay!" The baby was laughing heartily. What can you say? Barc, you da man!
In the spring a leading contender for three year old honours was Brother Derek, he has been rested since his consecutive fourths in the Derby and the Preakness, he will be back for the second half of his three year old campaign on saturday: 'Derek' back and not forgotten. The following is an excerpt:
The exploits of Barbaro, Bernardini, Discreet Cat, Henny Hughes, and Showing Up have provided ample evidence that this crop of 3-year-olds is truly special. Brother Derek was at or near the top of that list earlier this year. With plenty of time to recover from the rigors of the first two legs of the Triple Crown, and with a series of strong works at Del Mar in the past month, Brother Derek appears set to launch his comeback on Saturday in the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes.
"We had a lot of fun with the Derby, the whole thing," Hendricks said at his barn. "It was fun to be part of the Kentucky Derby, which is the biggest race in the world.
"Cecil and I," Hendricks said, referring to owner Cecil Peacock, "tried to take it in and enjoy it, and not get caught up in the win-at-all-costs mentality, because that's devastating if you get beat. Now, it's on to Phase 2."
Posted by Alex at 9:03 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 59
Posted August 29, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 560: Just spoke to Kathy Anderson who visited Barbaro this afternoon. She reported Barbaro looked comfortable. Michael had also just left as Kathy was arriving.
For those of you interested in the anti slaughter campaign, a group is forming and becoming quite active, you can learn more on discussion boards: HR 503 Phone Campaign. They are seeking support for a phone campaign. The vote is coming very soon (september 7).
Update 559: Alie, from Kennett Florist just left this comment (timestamp 8:41pm):
I returned from NBC about hour & half ago. I've been tiring to post ever since. Everyone I was in contact with, seemed up.
Very much excited about the NBC (UPENN) BARBARO FUND. Since Friday another $4196.00 has been donated in honor of Dr Richardson's birthday. That's big news.
I can't wait to hear what tomorrow is, since it's really Dr R's birthday. It was very busy they had a lot of appointments coming in. I was told thing are good. Nothing gave me any impression of a problem. We delivered big cookies for very one at the main center. And of course carrots & horse treats for Bobby.
Next week NBC is having a big meeting with all staff not just the main building. They have never had anything serviced at this meeting. We are (KF) going to do coffee, tea, cream, sugar, cups. This will be for all 300 people. It's going to be an early morning for us.
We have a lunch in the works for next week. Not much else, for next week. This week is cover, except basket for sat. If no one calls for it, we will use fund money.
Update 558: Just spoke to Barclay (Tagg) to catch up with Funny Cide and Showing Up.
Funny Cide is targeted to run in the Woodward this weekend at Saratoga. He galloped a mile and a half today, which is his usual gallop in between breezes when he is training. Barclay said he likes to breeze him every six days, and he is scheduled for his final breeze tomorrow. Unfortunately the weather may not fully cooperate so the breeze is still up in the air, and if he does not breeze tomorrow he may breeze the next day, a shorter distance (these are typical issues a trainer faces coming up to a race). Either way, he will run. Funny Cide is training well and all is good.
Showing Up's next start looks like the Man of War at Belmont on September 9. That is their current preference, if not, they will look at the Sky Classic at Woodbine on September 24. Their goal is to prepare him for the Breeders Cup with one race beforehand.
Update 557: Another Fog article: Peaceful days and hope for Lost in the Fog, which include the following excerpts:
"If so, we're on the right track," Gilchrist said. "His last two days have been his best in two weeks."
"I wanted to take him back for the quality of life thing, but I also decided I'm just not going to give up on this horse," Gilchrist said after Lost in the Fog had walked around his barn's shedrow and had a bath. "Right now, I'm standing right in front of him and if you didn't know the situation, you wouldn't even know anything was wrong with him. He's a pretty happy horse right now, enjoying life pretty good. That doesn't mean he's cured; he's still a very sick animal. But we're doing all we can to get him well."
We will have a Fog vigil, wednesday evening, 7 PM. Whereever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some thoughts for Lost in the Fog. He will have an exam thursday to determine his progress.
I asked Graham Motion this morning how his horses are after this weekend's races at Saratoga. He said they all came back well. He has had seven winners at Saratoga so far for the meet, so not a bad meet.
Update 556: Spoke to Michael Matz this morning, he said that Dr. Richardson reported Barbaro had an ok night last night (monday night). I got the update from Michael as I was coming off the woodchip track from my second set. For my first set, I took a two-year-old to the woodchip track for his first time and he was leaping so high in the air he would have made a Lippanzaner jealous. Michael Matz viewed the performance and afterwards asked if I was ok and I said "as long as I have my neck strap, I'm fine!".
updated tuesday 7:20am
Update 555: I think we knew this, but a quick reminder Fog to have new exam on thursday of this week, excerpt:
Lost in the Fog will be examined Thursday by veterinarians from the University of California-Davis to determine if the three cancerous tumors discovered two weeks ago have shrunk. Lost in the Fog has been treated with the steroid dexamethasone since last week.
The article also notes that The Fog sometimes also goes to the track to watch other horses train! This florist has been mentioned on the discussion board as one that might be able to help those wishing to send good wishes. One of our readers discovered a nice note posted on another forum noting Vic Stauffer's (race caller) visit to Lost in the Fog: Lost in the Fog update.
Brother Derek is nearing his return to the races after a long absense since the Preakness: Brother Derek Flashes :58 4/5 Work at Del Mar. His trainer, Dan Hendricks, was kind enough to provide us a Barbaro interview. I had forgotten to mention Lawyer Ron's return to the races: Lawyer Ron Takes Inaugural St. Louis Derby, who was another triple crown hopeful until Barbaro dominated the Derby.
Most Barbaro news yesterday was a rehash of the New Bolton update: Barbaro May Soon Get Cast Removed Completely and Barbaro's cast may be off soon.
Posted by Alex at 9:15 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 58
Posted August 28, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 554: Horsetalk from New Zealand continues to be one of the most persistant online sites with Barbaro updates: Barbaro injuries highlight need for laminitis research. Again they cited this site re: yesterday's cast change. If you look at their homepage Barbaro has his own section of the site. Awesome!
Update 553: Just spoke to Peter Brette, and while he was unable to visit Barbaro today he had heard from Michael who had visited, and all remains well. He also noted that Round Pond appeared to come out of yesterday's fine effort in good shape.
An interesting poll question has been posed on the discussion board: Have you started watching more horseracing because of Barbaro?.
Update 552: Thank you Cecil Whig for the lovely front page article: Online outpouring of support for Barbaro.
I asked Michael this morning if Dr. Richardson had finally gone away for a few days (this was after Michael had given me the morning report). Michael said he had, and he also said he had told Dr. Richardson that given he was away on vacation there really was no need for the morning updates. They then wondered a little about what I would do ? So I guess (and HOPE) Dr. Richardson will still be calling in the reports!
Finally, something I had meant to get to for a little while, Mercy T. had a great idea to support Mike Rea, it is posted on the discussion board: A Barbarian Response to MikeRea's Letter. All feedback and support would obviously be welcome!
Update 551: Dave Wallace (Tom Albertrani's assistant) just called to give us a quick update on Bernardini. A few things about the Travers itself. When they were leading Bernardini over for the Travers he was very cool, calm and collected. Dave said it was very impressive to see considering his youth and all the attention he was getting. After the Travers, leaving the test barn (all winners and some other runners are tested after a race to check for drugs etc.) he was bouncing and was very full of himself, as Dave noted, just proud of himself. Dave also mentioned Bernardini's reaction to Javier Castellano's light tap of the whip with his left hand ... which caused Bernardini to swish his tail and pin his ears, almost as if Bernardini was wondering what the problem was since he was winning so easily at that point! (I think I noted something similar in my update directly after the race.)
Anyway, Dave said he has come out of the race in great shape. He will hand walk around the shedrow for a few days (probably about three days) before he goes back to the track and starts training again. I will plan to follow up with Dave later in the week to see how he is progressing.
Update 550: New Bolton Center's press release concerning yesterday's cast change: Barbaro has cast change:
Veterinarians at Penn's George D. Widener Hospital changed the right hind leg cast of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro yesterday, Sunday, August 27. "The cast was changed because there was a small crack in it," said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery. "Based on new radiographs that were taken, the leg looked excellent under the cast. The pastern joint looks completely fused, and there is only a small area in the long pastern bone that has a little farther to go before we take him out of the cast completely."
In addition, the radiographs showed that there were no signs of infection. The cast change took place under general anesthesia, and Barbaro had another successful pool recovery before returning to his stall.
The colt's left hind foot has laminitis, but Barbaro seems comfortable with that foot as well. The bandage on the left hind foot continues to be changed daily.
According to Dr. Richardson: "Barbaro is bright and happy this morning with an excellent appetite."
Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Pennsylvania's George D. Widener Hospital, where he is recovering from injuries suffered at the Preakness on May 20.
The next update will be posted on Tuesday, September 5 unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.
Update 549: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (sunday night). Just spoke to Michael Matz behind the gate. He said that everything looked good after the cast change yesterday. He expressed that everyone seemed happy with Bobby's progress.
updated monday 8:15am
Update 548: The New York Times has the following article: Bernardini and Barbaro: A Rivalry That Wasn't that does a nice job of highlighting both horses' accomplishments without make sweeping statements on who is the better. I also like the note of comparison with Cigar from Tom Albertani. He should know as he is closely connected to both horses. I think that comparison just illustrates that this year we have been blessed with superb 3yos.
A quick recap from the races yesterday. We know Round Pond was a very close second, here is another report: Promenade Girl wins Molly Pitcher. Stormy Kiss (Jackson owned, Tagg trained) was third in the Ballerina: Dubai Escapade takes Ballerina and George Washington (Jackson bred) was third O'BRIEN UPBEAT DESPITE GEORGE DEFEAT after a slow start.
Next weekend we will focus on the Woodward at Saratoga. Funny Cide is scheduled to run, he breezed 5/8ths in 1:00 in preparation for the race last thursday: Funny Cide Preps for Woodward With Bullet Work, an excerpt:
"I thought the track was slow, but safe," Tagg said. "He really worked well over it. I thought it was a serious workout for him. But we wanted to be safe with him because he's going to run for big money next Saturday."
I am not sure when this morning's Barbaro update will occur. If Dr. Richardson is indeed on vacation it may be a little later, but he may well still be providing Michael his morning update, I just don't know.
Posted by Alex at 9:29 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 57
Posted August 27, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 547: Round Pond was a very close second in her first start for Michael Matz: PROMENADE GIRL HEADS ROUND POND IN G2 MOLLY PITCHER AT MONMOUTH; GOTTCHA GOLD, PRETTY IMPOSING TRIUMP. Excerpt:
"She ran a good race considering she's been out so long," Matz said. "I was disappointed with the result, but I was pleased with her."
Bravo said, "I wish we had faster fractions. It was her first race in a while. She had her nose in front at the eighth pole. She ran a winning race."
I just spoke to Peter and they were pleased with her effort. He thinks she will come along a lot for the race. Unfortunately I did not get to see the race. I don't have a Barbaro update this evening, and since Peter and Michael were at Monmouth its unlikely I'll get one later. Peter reiterated to me Dr. Richardson's positive report from this morning.
This site will be featured in the Cecil Whig tomorrow, I think on the front page, celebrating 100 days since the Preakness.
Update 546: Just spoke to Peter Brette, who was driving up to Monmouth when I called. The cast change has been completed and Dr. Richardson was happy with what he saw. I don't have any other details, but thought that was good enough for me for now!
Update 545: Bluegrass Cat is now retired: Bluegrass Cat Retired Due to Pastern Injury. The following was posted in the comments directly after the race by Susan E (updates: 56 timestamp: 10:41pm)
Very impressive, Bernadini!
Everyone made it home safe!
Did anyone else think BGC was a bit stiff in his right rear leg when he galloped out? Maybe I'm seeing things that aren't there.
Apparently you were not "seeing things".
Update 544: Just spoke to Michael Matz. They are planning to replace Barbaro's cast today on his right hind. While this was not something we had anticipated, I think it is basically because Dr. Richardson is planning a few days off early next week, and wanted to get this done before he was able to relax. It has been a few weeks since the previous cast change, so that makes sense to me. Once I hear anymore after the cast change, I will let you know.
On the racing front today, we have two fillies races to focus on and a european race. I was talking to Michael as he was getting ready for Round Pond's debut at Monmouth. Apparently there is a scratch and it is now a five horse field for the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher: Round Pond back to races. The Jackson's Stormy Kiss, trained by Barclay Tagg, is running in the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga: Dubai Escapade looking to wire 'em. Finally, the Jackson bred George Washington is running at Goodwood: George Washington returns after a three month absense. He won 2,000 Guiness at Newmarket on May 6. This is considered one of the English Classics (like a Triple Crown race). You can imagine that was an amazing weekend for the Jackson's.
Update 543: Today's Barbaro morning update will be delayed. I will try to have something by lunchtime, it was just hard to get started this morning!
Another lovely Tribute to Saint Liam, this one by Jessica Frank. We also have great news from Mike Rea, he has moved closer to Fair Hill: We're Back!.
It was great racing yesterday, and a great show from ESPN which included pieces on Barbaro, Lost in the Fog, Saint Liam, as well as the recorded win of Discreet Cat from the day before. Here are a couple more Travers reports: Bernardini seizes control and Bernardini streaks to impressive Travers score.
Posted by Alex at 12:38 PM
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Barbaro Updates: 56
Posted August 26, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 542: The Bloodhorse are the first with a Travers race report: Bernardini Bounds Away in Travers, which includes the following excerpt:
Trainer Tom Albertrani said afterward that Bernardini would shoot for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park Oct. 7 next. Looming, of course, is the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
Before a crowd of 40,785, Castellano drove Bernardini to the lead heading into the clubhouse turn when he appeared he might get trapped behind Todd Pletcher-trained entrants High Cotton, who led coming out of the gate, and Bluegrass Cat on the outside. That proved to be the winning move as Bernardini overtook High Cotton easily and set a realistic pace while Bluegrass Cat stalked.
That's the way they ran until the head of the final turn when Bernardini responded to hand urging from Castellano to begin to pull away. Bluegrass Cat tried to stick but by the time the pair hit the top of the lane, it was clear that it was all over. Castellano gave Bernardini a light tap of the whip left-handed at the eighth pole but otherwise allowed his charge to run out.
I assume that light tap with the whip was when Bernardini swished his tail (as if to say, are you kidding me ?) It was very impressive. It is racings loss we were never able to see Barbaro and Bernardini compete. I am sure that is something both horses' connections would have truly wanted to witness (and have been quoted as such). Two great horses, no matter who wins end of year honors. Of course Discreet Cat might make it three!
Update 541: A sublime performance from Bernardini. Congratulations to Dave Wallace, Tom Albertrani and the rest of the crew, and thanks for providing us some insight coming up to this huge race.
Update 540: Just spoke to Peter (5:30 pm) and he had heard from Michael, Barbaro remains comfortable. A quick reminder of the vigil planned for tonight, 7 pm east coast time, where ever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some thoughts for Barbaro and the Fog!
Update 539: Quick Fog update: Lost in the Fog Given 'Reasonable Chance'. An excerpt:
The doctor treating sprint champion Lost in the Fog for cancerous tumors said Friday that the colt has "a reasonable chance" of reducing them to a size that's conducive for chemotherapy or surgery.
Dr. Gary Magdesian, chief of equine medicine at University of California at Davis, said Friday that Lost in the Fog is being treated with Dexamethasone, a corticosteroid sometimes used in treating lymphoma.
"We want to see if (the tumors) will respond to the extent that they are reduced to a size that will make them amenable to surgery or chemotherapy," Magdesian said
Steve Willard left me a voice mail. Giacomo is doing fine after his race in the Pacific Classic. He went back to the track a couple of days ago and is training lightly. They are training him lightly and will take it one day at a time and see how he goes. I'll follow up with Steve in a week or so and see what their plans are. Just good to hear he is back to the track after the race.
Update 538: Just spoke to Tim, who was in the National Museum of Horse Racing (Saratoga). Barbara Livingston was doing a book signing as we talked, and there are pictures of Barbaro for sale. Tim was able to get on the backside of the racetrack this morning thanks to another trainer. He said all was quiet and calm before the big day of racing. The main track closed early (9 am), and people were putting their final preparations in place. He was positioned close to Bernadini's barn, but did not venture over in order to maintain their privacy. The weather should be good for racing, Tim said its a little cloudy, with intermittent showers, but pretty pleasant. He saw Steve Klesaris briefly last night, which reminds me, Master of Disaster (another Fair Hill trainee) is running in The King's Bishop, the race prior to the Travers.
A couple of nice pre-Travers articles. The first: A midsummer dream dashed: Prado, others wonder what Barbaro could have become, includes the following excerpts:
"Like they say, faith is the last thing you want to lose," Prado said Thursday. "The doctors had faith, and they continued to work real hard to make this happen. He's become one of the most popular horses ever."
"We always thought he was a great horse and who knows how good he could have been," Barbaro trainer Michael Matz said from Maryland. "Unfortunately, we'll never get the chance to see. I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
"But it would have been great to see them race. Bernardini looks like a real good horse and it just would have been great for the racing public."
The racing public and the animal-loving public continue to heap affection on Barbaro as he continues his gallant struggle.
"I think there are thousands of people who have been keeping the faith for him," Matz said. "The response, the outpouring, everything, and things are still coming in every day. Fruit baskets, signs, cards. It's really unbelievable the support people have given."
The second article: Bernardini? Bluegrass Cat? Travers will decide. The following is an excerpt:
As one of the most lightly raced Triple Crown race winners in modern times, Bernardini's sensational 5 1/4-length Preakness score was overshadowed by Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's life-threatening breakdown 100 yards after the start.
"Understandably and deservedly so," Jimmy Bell, president of Darley USA, said of the emphasis on Barbaro. "Barbaro was, and is, a very unique and gifted horse. ... (Bernardini) has gone on about his business, and both horses are writing different scripts, and I think both are champions."
Update 537: Another comfortable night for Barbaro (friday night). Saw Michael Matz coming back from my second set this morning and he reported the good news. Also, just a reminder that tonight will be another vigil at 7pm so wherever you are, whatever you're doing...spare a few thoughts for Barbaro and the Fog.
updated saturday 8:20am
Update 536: A moving tribute to 2005 Horse of the Year, St. Liam, by Melissa Harden (at my gentle request).
Update 535: Those closest to Barbaro are to receive some well deserved awards: National Turf Writers to Honor 'Team Barbaro' The following are excerpts:
"Team Barbaro" -- the group of Barbaro himself, owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson, trainer Michael Matz, assistant trainer and exercise rider Peter Brette and jockey Edgar Prado -- will receive the Mr. Fitz Award during the 47th annual NTWA Awards Dinner on Nov. 1 at The Olmstead in Louisville, Ky.
Richardson and the New Bolton Center will receive the Joe Palmer Award, named for the former New York Herald Tribune turf writer and presented annually for meritorious service to racing.
Round Pond is now ready for her return on sunday: Round Pond back to races. The following is an excerpt:
"It's always nice to have a horse of her quality," Matz said. "She's a real nice horse to be around, and she showed it last year in her 3-year-old season. John did a real nice job with her, and hopefully we can continue."
Round Pond is 6 for 8 lifetime, including a win in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park last year.
Round Pond shows five workouts this summer, with two on wood chips, at the Fair Hills training center in Maryland.
"She's come back good," Matz said. "She's had a long time in between races. We're happy with the way she's working. We're happy with her feet right now, and hopefully that will continue."
Today is of course a big day for three year olds, the Travers: Travers Analysis: Pletcher and the Accidental Rabbits, but lets not forget Graham Motion has Sweet Talker running on the undercard. Tim has gone up for the weekend, so hopefully he will provide some first hand reports. Today's Barbaro morning update may be a little later this morning, just an FYI.
Posted by Alex at 8:54 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 55
Posted August 25, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 534: Just spoke to Peter. He had just spoken to Michael who visited Barbaro this afternoon. The report remains the same. Michael took Barbaro out for a walk.
It looks like Edgar will plan another visit to see Barbaro when he returns from Saratoga: One ride enough to impress Prado:
It is times like this when Prado really misses Barbaro, who had won all of his starts before the Preakness. Prado said he keeps in contact frequently with Michael Matz, the trainer of Barbaro, and with the colt's owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson. Prado said when the Saratoga meet ends he plans to take another trip to the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., to visit Barbaro.
"I miss him overall because he was a special horse who ran good races," Prado said. "Knowing that his life is in jeopardy, I'm always thinking of him and hope that he continues on the road to recovery."
Update 533: Upenn's thank you site includes more pictures of Dr. Richardson's birthday celebrations: Thank You. It includes the following caption:
Thank you to everyone who helped contribute to the wonderful party celebrating Dr. Richardson's birthday. He was truly touched and honored by the generosity of the Barbaromaniacs in making this a special occasion.
The "Barbaro Effect" continues, this time: Barbaro Injury Highlights Need for Laminitis Research Funding. The article concludes:
While Barbaro and his doctors wage battle against laminitis, hundreds of additional horses will be diagnosed with the disease each day. Funding laminitis research is vital to unraveling the unanswered questions about the disease and developing reliable preventative and therapeutic measures, for all of the equine population.
Finally, Discreet Cat got his US racing account underway. I had thought of highlighting him as a horse to follow going into today's race, but we seem to already have a few to focus on. Anyway, Discreet Cat was an undefeated winner of the UAE Derby (Dubai) who has been in the US ever since. They have had a few niggling problems with him and finally got him to the races this afternoon at Saratoga: The Cat is Back; UAE Derby Winner Romps at Saratoga. He may well contend for year end honours in the three year old division.
Update 532: Dr. Richardson posted a thankyou note to everyone (timestamp: 7:55pm):
Kathy Freeborn at the admissions desk here at NBC told me that this website was the best place to respond to the truly extraordinary birthday that I was given today at noon! To all of you who gave to the Barbaro fund and to me personally, I am deeply grateful. I don't claim to be a humble person (no one will argue that one too much!) but it is profoundly humbling and intimidating to be responsible for a patient that has this much love going his way. I am very grateful that there is so much concern out there for Barbaro (sorry, I cannot bring myself to call him Bobby......)and I assure you all that we all will continue to do our best for him. As you all know, he is a very special horse.
THANK YOU ALL.
Update 531: Kennett Florist have just returned from NBC with this birthday report:
OK Gang, take a breath... We're back from NBC!!
The "party" was a huge success! Dr R was very surprised to which he stated "it's not my birthday". We told him "today it is!" He was overwhelmed with the gifts, cards, flowers and all that had been sent. I am forwarding the pictures to Alex and he can hopefully post a couple.
We got there just before 11:30 to set everything up. We were in a more secluded area. We had the gifts and flowers laid out over two tables with the cakes and ice cream. The carrot cake from Bobby had two big carrots on the top, and the choc/vanilla cake had a picture of Bobby (from one of his first times out grazing) with green and blue trim on the white frosting.
Dr Sweeney had told Dr Richardson that they were going to have a meeting at 12:00 and she made sure we were ready when she went to meet him. She had notified a bunch of people so there would be plenty there to yell surprise. (Unfortunately, Mr and Mrs Jackson were unable to attend.) Dr Sweeney told us when she was going to get him and we lit the candles... He was very surprised. He blew out his candles and started to cut the cakes (the one thing he said he knew how to do). Dr Sweeney and Alie took over on cake duty and I dished out the ice cream so the man of honor could enjoy his cake and open some presents. He was overwhelmed by the gifts. Because of your contributions, we were able to get substantial gift certificates to two very nice restaurants here in town, theater tickets (gift certificate), three different golf course gift certificates that he can use either for greens times, the pro shop, or the restaurants, a packet of golf cart tickets for the golf course he belongs to, as well as a gift certificate to the pro shop at that same course. We also made up a very large gourmet basket of goodies; swiss chocolates, pastas and gourmet sauces, plates, glasses, napkins... the works. It even had a special box of note cards with a big brown bay on the front. We decked the place out with baloons (including one that sang Happy Birthday)! The triple crown arrangement was a huge hit... he really liked the idea of that. All in all it was absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much for letting us be a part of this, you all have been so generous and sweet to talk to, email, etc.
And of course, Bobby had some baskets of carrots and his favorite treats! They called us this morning asking if we were bringing carrots, so we loaded the big guy up good!
Also, almost forgot... We made up a big "publisher's clearinghouse" type check from the Barbaromaniacs, made out to UPenn Barbaro Fund in honor of Dr Richardson. Dr Sweeney presented him with the check that was made out for $3,851.00 to date. We let him know that others are donating on or closer to his birthday! You all are amazing!!!!
Alie, Rachel and the gang at Kennett Florist
Congratulations to everyone who contributed, amazing.
Update 530: Dave Wallace (Tom Albertrani's assistant) just called and reported all systems are a go for Bernardini for tomorrow's Travers. Bernardini did much the same today as he did yesterday, galloping a mile and a quarter after jogging back a half a mile and then jogging forward. While Dave does not gallop Bernardini he does gallop Balletto, their runner today in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign. He said she is doing well, acting like she did when she went into her last race (a close second in the Go For Wand). Its a small field, and Todd Pletcher's horse (Fleet Indian) is the obvious concern and clear betting favourite.
Update 529: My morning galloping was a little messed up in terms of horses to ride, so Tim put me on three extra, which turned out to be quite cool. The first was Randy's Bullet, who I had not ridden for a long time. We went out back and jogged the hills (the ground really needs the rain) and I met a fox on my way home. The second was Gator Nation. Some of you wondered if he was OK, since he was scratched from a race at Laurel. Yes, he's in great form, galloped a mile and a half and went very well. The reason for the scratch ? He was on the "also eligible" list, thus not in the main body of the race. He did not draw in (no scratches) and was thus a scratch himself. Finally I rode Something Wild, galloped him a mile, and he went well. As he was training Michael Matz and Peter Brette had Round Pond out training (we were all on the dirt track). She surely is a good looking filly, and is getting ready to run very soon.
More coverage on Lost in the Fog: Lost in the Fog undergoing treatment to shrink tumors, which includes the following:
"He's doing well. I was just giving him a handful of carrots a minute ago," Gilchrist said from his barn at Golden Gate Fields on Thursday evening. "We are treating him to try to shrink the tumors he has.
"If we could do that, they would become operable, and then he would have a chance. We've gone to a little more drastic measures using a few drugs that we didn't have before."
Gilchrist said Lost in the Fog will undergo a sonogram in ten to 12 days to check on his progress. In the meantime, Lost in the Fog is living in his stall, eating, and walking twice a day, much like a normal horse.
Update 528: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). Just saw Michael Matz as I was going to the track on my third set (on Chappy), he had heard from Dr. Richardson. Its a muggy morning at Fair Hill, and we have not had the rain that seemed to be in the forecast (yet).
update 7:35 am, friday, august 25
Update 527: This Baltimore Sun article provides further details on the current status of Barbaro: Barbaro's surgeon pleased with colt's progress and reveals the left hind hoof has grown a centimeter, excerpt:
Richardson said Barbaro's hoof has grown about one centimeter since the hoof wall was removed in early July and his broken right leg has healed well enough that without the left-foot laminitis, he would be out of the cast.
A nice Sports Illustrated article on Michael Matz: What could've been...
As Barbaro fights for life, Matz reflects on fateful day. A short excerpt:
Matz is a competitor, a three-time Olympic equestrian. "It hurts to be standing on the sideline,"' he says. "I wish I could send Barbaro out there to run. I can't, and I have to accept that we were lucky to have him as long as we did.'"
And finally: Barbaro casts long shadow over Travers: Injured horse has greatly boosted sport with incredible will to survive. I think this site confirms the subheader. I enjoyed this excerpt:
In essence he is much more. Barbaro is a horse who continues to demonstrate what it means to be a thoroughbred. Intelligent and strong, showing a will to live beyond anything we've seen in four decades of watching horses do what they were bred to do.
Barbaro's struggle for survival has provided inspiration for Internet poets and his daily regimen has been chronicled nightly on network broadcasts whenever newsworthy developments arose.
Posted by Alex at 8:46 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 54
Posted August 24, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 526: Kathy Anderson called and she had visited Barbaro a little later in the afternoon (she left about 5:30 pm). She was there as Dr. Richardson had Barbaro out grazing. All was well. She did note Bobby saw a goat on his way back into his stall which interested him. Kathy also noted that Bobby is weighed each day (he walks over a weigh machine on his way back into the ICU) so the weight gain that is being reported is not just a visual thing, but documented weight gain from the scales.
Update 525: Just spoke to Dave Wallace (Tom Albatrani's assistant). He reported that Bernardini is doing well as he readies for the Travers. Today he galloped about a mile and and eighth. He was led to the track, was handed off to a pony and was ponied the wrong way (anti-clockwise) for a half mile. He turned around, left the pony, and jogged about three eighths of a mile before his gallop. He is in great spirits, yet very self controlled. He will likely do something similar tomorrow (but I will catch up with Dave to confirm once he has trained). Dave galloped Cigar, so I will quiz him about that once the Travers is over.
They (Albatrani) have a runner tomorrow in a grade 1 stake at Saratoga, Balletto: Fleet Indian's speed, durability hard to beat.
Update 524: Peter Brette just called. He visited Barbaro this afternoon (about 3pm). He was very upbeat in his report, and also noted Barbaro was devouring "stud muffins" during the time Peter was visiting.
Update 523: OK, they are trying: Lost in the Fog 'Not Done Yet,' Gilchrist Says, excerpt:
Returning to his barn after spending the previous five days in Florida for the Ocala Breeders' yearling auction, Gilchrist said Lost in the Fog is being treated in his stall with medications designed to shrink two football sized tumors found in his spleen and beneath his spine along his back, as well as a third, smaller mass. The trainer said he was encouraged by the 4-year-old colt's feistiness.
"This horse is not done yet," he said. "We are trying to shrink the tumors if that would be possible. If we can shrink them 50 percent, there's a chance we can remove them (surgically). It's a long shot but long shots happen all the time in this game. It's something to hang on to. We're not dead in the water yet."
Gilchrist said Lost in the Fog, who returned to the stable Aug. 20 after a week at the University of California at Davis' Large Animal Clinic, is "doing fine and holding his weight well."
He said the popular colt with the oddball blaze has been given walks outside his stall and has been happily enjoying the carrots, apples and other things sent to the barn by admirers. The get-well cards, e-mail wishes and flower bouquets have been overwhelming, Gilchrist said.
"I finally took all the flowers up to the (administration) office and gave them to all the girls there," he said.
The trainer had originally planned to allow the horse to live out his final days in familiar surroundings and to be cared for by those that know him best. Without giving into what he called "false hope," he now thinks it could be some time before a decision to euthanize the colt might be necessary.
"He still has quality life ahead of him," Gilchrist said.
In particular, he said, the horse has enjoyed being reunited with his favorite human, groom Pascual Garcia.
"Everybody is glad that he's back," Gilchrist said of the atmosphere at the stable. "Everybody realizes the situation. But I won't let anybody get down. I refuse to allow any negativity."
Update 522: A couple of articles on St. Liam's untimely death: Owner Warren reflects on Saint Liam's tragic death and Freakish Accident Causes Saint Liam's Death. The articles highlight the severity of the break and thus the need for the very tough decision to euthanize St. Liam. ESPN will provide some St. Liam coverage during their saturday racing coverage (5 - 7 pm). A nice post on the discussion board of a visit to DancingInMyDreams. We have a Fair Hill horse to follow on saturday in Saratoga: Hard to Argue With Sweet Talker in Ballston Spa. Here is an excerpt:
Sweet Talker missed winning her second grade I race in the Diana Handicap at nine furlongs July 29 at Saratoga. Angara rallied along the outside to beat her by a head.
"I thought she ran a huge race," said trainer H. Graham Motion. "It's tough to be disappointed when she ran so hard. That race might have been longer than what she wants to go."
Motion wasn't originally considering the Ballston Spa because it came up a little sooner than Sweet Talker's customary five-week spread between races.
"I had not originally planned on this last race," Motion said. "But she came out of the Diana so well that we thought this would be a good spot for her. She's a very tough filly. I think the distance will help her."
I saw Sweet Talker this morning, coming off the wood chip track. I think she was shipping up to Saratoga this afternoon (by horse van).
Finally, a Cecil Whig photographer was at Fair Hill this morning taking pictures (of me and Tim). I think they are writing an article to celebrate 100 days since the Preakness. Anyway, a lot of jovial banter was had as we were coming onto the track from Michael Matz's crew leaving the track. There are people reading the discussion boards thinking some of the discussion is quite amusing!
Update 521: A nice letter from Mike Rea to Barbaro, dictated to his sister (from updates 54: timestamp 3:19):
Hello everyone. I am Mike Rea's sister, Cathy. When I arrived at Kernan today Mike had Barbaro's letter ready and asked would I send it to Barbaro. So here it is:
Wed. Aug. 23rd 2006
Thank you for being a super star and thinking of me. People write on your web site and talk to me. There is no other way they would have talked to me because they talked to you first. Your trainer and owners are so famous and that way I get mentioned on a equal basis as you do. I feel like there is no other way those people would have considered me in their thoughts if they hadn't considered you first. It is very touching that I am considered by the same caliber of people who considered you. I feel privledged because of all this. I just want the story to show people what my life is about and how much my family loves me and how much I love them. Thank you Barbaro so much. My prayers and dreams are with you.
As you can tell, I didn't edit any of his words. Mike is so overwhelmed with everyone caring so much about him. Again my thanks to everyone for helping my brother with his recovery. Cathy Rea Bosley
The above message was also posted on the discussion board: Mike's Message to Barbaro. I think Round Pond is nearly ready to make her first start for Michael Matz, look for her in the entries at Monmouth.
Update 520: Sue McMullen e-mailed me this report of Enticing's race in the Nunthorpe at York today:
Alex, I'm working at York today and paid particular attention to Enticing (needless to say!). It was moving seeing those colours again, especially over here.
She was a bit wound up beforehand so they saddled her in the stables rather than the saddling boxes close to the track. But she was ok really, no more than you'd expect from a young filly and was quite relaxed down at the start. The horse that won, Reverence, loves the soft ground and shortened in price for that reason. There was a great deal of rain here at York last night. Not seen Willie Haggas (trainer) yet but I think Enticing hated the ground. She was 'grabbing' at it in the early part of the race and didn't look that comfortable to me. When her chance was gone she was eased down. She's definitely better than that and we didn't see her best form today. The trainer of the winning horse is another of what you might call the small guys, so it was nice to see really.
The trainer to whom Sue refered is Eric Alston.
Update 519: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night). Just saw Michael Matz coming back from the track. He had just gotten a message from Dr. Richardson this morning. Michael also reiterated to me his positive report from his visit with Bobby yesterday.
My last set, I breezed one 3/8 mile in a comfortable 38 and am now walking back up to the track on Chappy. Just passing Peter who is saying to please express his thanks to everyone for all of your support. It's another gorgeous morning in Fair Hill.
updated thursday 7:17am
Update 518: The Jackson's are running Enticing today at York: Lael Stables homebred Enticing puts undefeated record on line in Nunthorpe. You will note two unusual things about this spot for their horse. She is running against older horses (she is two) and against the boys. This type of placement of a horse is perhaps a little more common in the UK than it would be in the US (pretty much unheard of):
The lone two-year-old in the open field is Enticing, one of two females among the Nunthorpe entrants. The other female is the five-year-old Paris House mare Mecca's Mate, winner of the 2005 Land O'Burns Stakes.
Racing at York is beautiful!
Jeannine Edwards sent me this e-mail about ESPN's Travers coverage on saturday:
We are planning a brief Barbaro update in the show Sat (5-7pm ESPN) as part of the news segment. We will also have a separate tribute to LITF, since we are televising the King's Bishop live and he won it last year. We are doing a feature on the matchup between Bernardini and Bluegrass Cat... why each trainer thinks their horse is better and how they compare. They've never run against each other... Should be interesting. Right now that feature is also scheduled to air on SportsCenter Friday night at 6pm and possibly 11pm. (Last month when we covered the Jim Dandy, we did a 2:30 minute feature on Bernardini, the Preakness, and how Barbaro's injury affected Bernardini's connections. That feature was also on SportsCenter the night before the show.) We also have a feature on Sheik Mohammed in Dubai (owner of Bernardini)... one of our Associate Producers, Joan Ciampi, produced this one and she's very excited about it. We have 3 Associate Producers on this show, Tim Turrell and Chris DeMaio are the other 2 and they put together most of the features and taped elements you see on the telecasts. They all do a super job! Right now we are also scheduled to do a "behind the scenes" interview with Tom Albertrani (who I used to work with at Belmont, we galloped together for Mark Casse) we will accompany him out in the morning as he trains B. and get an up close look and his insight on the horse. It's a 2-hour show with 4 races, so we'll have the usual pre-race analysis and post-race interviews, etc.
In a follow up e-mail Jeannine noted that they will also have some coverage on St. Liam (co presenter Jerry Bailey rode St. Liam in his final start) and that there are 46 people at ESPN involved in putting this show together!
Posted by Alex at 8:37 AM
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Barbaro Updates: 53
Posted August 23, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 517: Barbara Livingston's album of St. Liam.
Update 516: Just spoke to Peter Brette (5:30 pm), and while he as been at the Fair Hill barn all day he had just heard from Michael. Barbaro has had another good day.
Update 515: A quick update from Rachel at Kennett Florist (timestamp: 8:29 pm):
Lots to do at NBC today! We had breakfast for the staff; bagels, spreads, fruit salad, juice and coffee. They were piled high in the main area before Alie could finish setting up. Much appreciation was expressed as usual.
This afternoon when I went up with our treats for Bobby and staff I had a chance to ask if the Jackson's would be invited to Friday's event, and they are going to extend the invitation. Also heard from a staff member that they were going to get a total on the Barbaro fund donations that have been made in Dr R's honor and present him with that in a card on Friday. It's just so exciting! We're working on finilizing all the gifts... will post about them after Friday, incase anyone is snooping LOL!
Also, passed Sabina as we were heading in (she held the door for us) and was hoping to have a chance to talk to her, but she was gone by the time I got out. Can't wait to post for you all on Friday! Thanks again for everything!!
The post position draw has occured for the Travers: Classic Winner Bernardini Even-Money Favorite in Travers with Bernardini drawing post position 5:
With a compact field in the Travers and a long run to the first turn, post positions will not be extremely important. Bernardini drew post 5 with jockey Javier Castellano.
"The horse makes it a lot easier for Javier," Albertrani said. "He's easy to rate and he never fights the rider. Javier is very patient with him and never overreacts."
The following poem Barbaro's Goodnight Whisperer includes the following horse banter:
Still, Barbaro wishes Bernardini and Bluegrass Cat Good News.
To Preakness and Haskell Winners - sporting their lucky horseshoes,
"Yahoo Jim Dandy King" - dominating one the toughest races,
"May Luck ride with you Bluegrass Cat at Travers, next of this week's races."
"Would have loved to see it for myself," says Barbaro beaming wide.
Bernardini tosses a look his way saying, "rather had you by my side."
"Competitive sports with friendly banter, that's what I love to see,"
snorts Blue Grass Cat through video cam jamming just like Bernadini.
Update 514: Dave Wallace, assistant trainer for Tom Albertrani, has agreed to provide us brief updates on Bernardini as we approach the Travers. He noted how well Bernardini worked yesterday (see update 511 for details of the work). Dave said that as he was watching him start his breeze, you would not know he was breezing unless you were clocking him. Anyway, they were very pleased with the work and he has come out of the breeze in very good shape. Today Bernardini walked in the shedrow (note: this is quite usual the day after a work). Tomorrow he will return to the track, and gallop a little bit. I'll catch up with Dave tomorrow to follow up.
Update 513: Here is the CBS video: Barbaro's recovery update. The video footage was filmed yesterday, tuesday. This is a must see!
Text version (links to video): 'Thrilled' About Barbaro's Progress There is an extended version to the video, under the header "Barbaro's Steps to Recovery", listed under the video on the right hand column.
Update 512: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (tuesday night). Just saw Michael Matz coming on to the track for my third set. Michael did mention that Dean Richardson had said Barbaro will be on TV this morning. I think he said 7:30am on CBS.
Another beautiful morning in Fair Hill. I am currently jogging around on Chappy as I talk...holding on to the neck strap with my left hand!
edit, it was on CBS, not PBS, lets hope their is a video clip online.
Update 511: Bernardini worked on tuesday (Albertrani looks to a big weekend) in preparation for the Travis, going 5/8ths in 1:02.12. This will be the last of three works he has had since his facile win in the Jim Dandy. Excerpt:
With exercise rider Simon Harris aboard, Bernardini went in fractions of 13.08 seconds, 25.91, 38.00, and 50.12 seconds and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.36. He pulled up seven furlongs in 1:28.39. It was his third and final move in between his nine-length Jim Dandy score and the Travers.
"It looked like he worked really good this morning, looked like he was just galloping down the lane,'" said Albertrani, who moved the work up from Wednesday to beat potential wet weather.
This appears to be a nice easy work, where he quickened slightly in the final quarter. I assume it was designed just to keep him ready for saturday. He will probably just do a couple of routine gallops in the meantime.
The Bloodhorse also noted the work: Trainer Albertrani Has Bull's-Eye on Back and includes information on the likely field:
Expected to challenge Bernardini in the Travers is Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) winner Bluegrass Cat, Minister's Bid, Doctor Pleasure, High Cotton, and Hesanoldsalt.
"I think post position will play a little bit of importance in this race," Albertrani said. "I would rather be on the outside of High Cotton and Bluegrass Cat. We're just going to run our race and whatever happens is going to happen."
I think (not certain) the post position draw is today.
Here is a little more on poor St. Liam from the Daily Racing Form: Saint Liam dies after freak fall, excerpt:
"Apparently he was just goofing off, and he fell," Bramlage said. "Horses' legs are made to go front-to-back very efficiently, but they don't go side-to-side very well. Somehow he got his leg underneath him and just so happened to land on top of the leg."
Bramlage said the horse arrived at the hospital at approximately 3:30 p.m. Eastern. The decision to euthanize the horse was made approximately 45 minutes later after Saint Liam's broken leg was radiographed.
"On the X-rays you could see that there wasn't anyplace at all where you could put any screws to stabilize the leg," Bramlage said. "There were no options to stabilize it or put it in a cast."
Bramlage also said that the fracture had broken the skin, and that "infection was an issue."
Thoroughbred Times: Saint Liam euthanized because of leg fracture and Bloodhorse: Horse of the Year Saint Liam Dead.
Posted by Alex at 8:37 AM
| Comments (585)
Barbaro Updates: 52
Posted August 22, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 510: Saint Liam, who was horse of the year last year, had to be euthanized today: Horse of the Year Saint Liam Dead.
Update 509: Just spoke to Peter Brette, who had heard from Michael Matz. Barbaro had another good day.
If you want more insight into my morning exploits (i.e. want to see some of Fair Hill), check this Fair Hill clip, provided to us by HRTV. I am even in it a couple of times! Thanks Tina for sending this over. Tina, who works for HRTV, put this together. Tina used to gallop at Fair Hill, for Dr. Fisher and John Kimmel.
Update 508: A quick update from Kennett Florist:
I just returned from NBC. Bobby is doing well. But mood is a little subdued. Has you might expect after the sad new of Alcor. As always NBC loves the treats. Bobby got a nice basket of baby carrots with green tops, His favorite.
We would like to thank team Barbaro for all the support to Bobby, NBC, and us. You all are truly amazing people. We love you.
God Bless Barbaro & all of you.
Here is a photo album put together for Mike Rea and everyone supporting him. Mike is continuing his recovery: Hair Trim Today.
A nice article in the Thoroubred Times Jockey Baze recalls the rush of riding Lost in the Fog. It includes the following excerpt:
"He made my job real easy, he had tons of speed, but he wasn't real crazy about it," said Baze, who was aboard Lost in the Fog for 13 of his 14 career starts. "If someone wanted to go out there and go faster, he'd relax and sit off of him. Just a very nice, easy horse to ride."
I am still amazed that the day Lost in the Fog was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the same day Russell Baze rode seven winners taking his streak to nine winners, he had time to give us an interview on The Fog (update 481).
Update 507: New Bolton's latest Barbaro update: Barbaro remains a happy, comfortable horse:
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro remains comfortable according to veterinarians at Penn's George D. Widener Hospital . "Barbaro is doing well on both hind limbs," said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. "Because of this, we do not plan to change his right hind cast in the next two weeks."
The colt's left hind foot has laminitis, but Barbaro seems comfortable with that foot as well. "He needs to continue to improve over the next few months before we will have a better idea about his long term comfort." said Dr. Richardson. "Barbaro's appetite and his attitude right now are phenomenal; he attacks his feed and when he goes out to graze, he acts like he thinks he could train."
Doctors remain cautious about Barbaro's prognosis because, according to Dr. Richardson, there is no assurance that he will surmount all of his medical problems. "Right now, he is a surprisingly happy horse," he said. "He is gaining weight and has had his pain medications reduced without any effect on his well being. His strength and overall appearance have been improving since he became well enough to be walked outside each day."
Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Pennsylvania's George D. Widener Hospital, where he is recovering from injuries suffered at the Preakness on May 20.
The next update will be posted on Tuesday, August 29 unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.
Also, the Cartoon Caption Contest ends tomorrow at 2 pm eastern. Some great entries so far.
Update 506: A quick update on Lost in the Fog from the Daily Racing Form: Lost in the Fog update. Its short, and includes the following:
Lost in the Fog, who was diagnosed with inoperable cancer at at the University of California at Davis last week, remains his normal, aggressive self in his stall at Golden Gate Fields.
Gilchrist's staff are carrying on in a professional manner, but the mood at the barn is undeniably subdued.
He was featured on wire 2 wire, with some barn footage (hand walking round the shedrow and eating in his stall). I will try to find out of it was current footage, but he looked fine for sure if it was.
Update 505: Jeannine Edwards just texted me, she is currently taping wire 2 wire, which is scheduled for ESPN2 at 2 pm today. There is going to be coverage on Barbaro and Lost in the Fog.
Update 504: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (monday night). Got the news coming back from my third set as I saw Michael Matz who had just heard from Dr. Richardson. Another beautiful morning here in Fair Hill.
updated tuesday 7:10am
Update 503: I am afraid Alcor did not recover from surgery: Polar bear operated on by Barbaro doctor dies. Discussed here.
This weeks racing focus will switch to the Travers, which will be part of a two hour broadcast on ESPN, from 5 - 7 pm on saturday. The Travers is restricted to three year olds (like the triple crown), and unlike the Pacific Classic which was for older horses. The favorite will likely be Bernadini, the easy winner of the Jim Dandy. he is trained by Tom Albatrani who provided us a nice interview on Barbaro. Bluegrass Cat (comfortable winner of the Haskell) will probably be second choice. I will try to get more insight into this race over the next few days.
Posted by Alex at 8:32 AM
| Comments (614)
Barbaro Updates: 51
Posted August 21, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 502: Polar Bear Has Surgery in Chester County is a nice article that combines Alcor, Bobby and our friends from Kennett Florist. Kennett Florist had this short report today (timestamp 8:31pm):
Lots of activity at NBC today. The press is even back in town... everyone's excited about the polar bear being there!
We put on our caterer's hat again today, but for the first time, it was lunch. We delivered pizzas, salads and soda for all the very hungry staff. They were all very excited and send their thanks to all who contributed. The pizzas were gone in minutes! We had a special side of carrots and treats for our boy, because he should be pampered as well. Thanks to everyone, lunch was a lot of fun, and very much appreciated!
Dave Letell reported on Bobby's last work for the Kentucky Derby (timestamo 8:23 pm):
Why Barbaro is a "Superhorse" and how he crushed the best field in the "Derby" in the last thirty-five years.
Barbaro had an unconventional breeze at Churchill-fast and a very long stride (over 25 feet). His internal speed figures were super, best of the week. Barbaro never really quickened--he simply extended his long stride down the stretch and showed complete superiority. He had a stride length of 24 feet going into the first turn, on the backstretch and on the far turn. He maintained the same basic speed for each quarter to the end--but when he hit the stretch, he extended his stride length to 24.9 feet. Thus, he covered the last quarter in fewer strides than he took for each previous quarter. For another horse to beat him that horse would have to have been on even terms at the quarter pole and had a stride length of a minimum of 25 feet down the stretch. And that would have been a real stretch.
I remember Peter Brette describing this breeze, basically saying it seemed he took four strides down the lane.
Update 501: The Bearbaro report from New Bolton: Polar bear's broken leg repaired at Penn's Widener Hospital
Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery at Penn's George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals, today operated on Alcor, a 750-pound polar bear from the Erie Zoo. Dr. Richardson is the surgeon treating Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro; he was assisted in today's surgery by Dr. James Orsini, Dr. Jessica Dahlberg and Dr. Liberty Getman.
"It was an extremely difficult surgery," said Dr. Richardson. "The ulna was broken just above the carpus (the wrist) and we were able to repair it satisfactorily with two Synthes locking compression plates. However, the radius was shattered in too many pieces to allow accurate reconstruction, so we used a single plate to partially stabilize it."
Alcor's broken bones were just above his right paw; zoo officials do not know how he broke his leg, but they suspect he did it while playing with his brother Mizar, another 7-year-old bear who has been at the zoo with Alcor since 2001.
"His prognosis is guarded," said Dr. Richardson. "He is a very large animal and it will be impossible to fully protect the area post-operatively. He will have to take good care of himself."
Update 500: Another comfortable day for Barbaro today. I just spoke to Kathy Anderson, who was just leaving New Bolton Center (5:45 pm). She was with Michael Matz as Michael was grazing Barbaro. All is well. Kathy then provided a quick "Bearbaro" report (she said it not me). Apparently there are plenty of media trucks at New Bolton following this story. Kathy saw Alcor being lifted back into his refrigerated truck, post surgery, I guess going elswhere for recovery.
Wow, update 500, who knew!
Update 499: A nice Barbaro editorial halfway through this article, quite refreshing. I am hoping to get another Barbaro update later today, Kathy Anderson said she might visit, she has not been able to visit for a little while.
Anna has a nice image of my reporting endevours! and someone spotted me "behind the gate".
Update 498: I am playing around with the search feature on the site. Please leave a comment below if the site is not displaying properly for you (i.e. the update content is not where it should be when you click on an update).
A couple of Lost in the Fog tributes, the first is over at J. Carson Black: Lost in the Fog. The second, a poem by WM & CL, comments timestamp: 2:45 pm:
BARBARO's TRIBUTE TO LOST IN THE FOG
Remember the good times friends have together.
That's what helps endure all kinds of weather.
Who knew what time her story would tell,
As Barbaro gets better to bid farewell.
He sees like we do that Lost In The Fog,
Spend time with Greg Gilchrist & the family dog.
While our Bobby enjoys more freedom each day,
Grazing on grass and prize Timothy mix hay.
He understands what it means for best friends apart.
He whinnies so softly that you're just as smart.
He'll whisper some prayers your pain stays at bay.
Let His Light of Hope keep fears and doubts away.
He knows what it is like to suffer the blues,
He wishes so much better recovery cues.
Though times may be tough in the weeks ahead,
Maybe months left to rest in your special bed.
Just enjoy your time breathing fresh air and love.
Heaven's own gift to you from ALL His Angels above.
Amazing grace how sweet the sound that plays a tribute for you,
You were the best sprinter of any horse we knew.
Until Barbaro came of age and ran alongside your race.
In sleep's dreams you'll relive Bay Shore's first place.
2005 was your winning year with Eclipse Award.
Spending quiet times with your traineris more reward.
Why do you mean so much to Greg?
Is a horse more than speed of leg?
What makes Barbaro and Lost In The Fog the same?
Are they not greater than horse flesh by name?
Why do we find it so hard to understand,
The answer stares squarely upon one's own hand.
A horsewhisper for Barbaro can clearly foresee,
These two extraordinary horses are like you and me.
That's what Gilchrist knew all along,
when Lost In The Fog won more than furlong,"
"This horse is like a brother to me"
Replied Greg to ESPN and Horseracing TV.
Continuing Lost In the Woods tribute he finds,
These immortal words that might change others' minds--
"More respect for this horse than most people I deal with"
"If he were human...you want to be around him"--no myth.
It will be a tough time for him to bear,
While Lost In The Woods gets top home care.
Returning to Golden Gates Fields Sunday mid-noon,
Barbaro sends his best wishes to be with Greg soon.
The two will find time like Mike Matz and Barbaro.
The bond between trainer and horse beyond high and low.
Let us not shed sorrowful tears today,
Rather rejoice in their union as we pray.
If there's something to learn when all's said and done,
Barbaro's Champion spirit sends blessings to everyone.
"Celebrate each day as if it were your last"
"Take nothing for granted in the present or past."
"Find joy in the day's moments shared together with you."
Barbaro whispers, "dearest Eclipse Sprinter like Seattle Slew."
So with horsewhispering wisdom left here to see,
"May you be as pampered like they do me at NBC."
"Your groom Pascual Garcia will caress you with love."
"Just as Seabiscuit, Your Honor, Secretariat above."
And finally a note on the journey to NBC for the polar bear Alcor: Dr. R and his new patient, Alcor.
Update 497: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (sunday night). Just saw Michael Matz as I was heading to the track on my third set. He had just spoken to Dean Richardson who also noted that he is planning to prepare for surgery on the polar bear today.
It's an absolutely gorgeous morning here at Fair Hill although my early guiding light, the moon, seems to have all but disappeared.
updated monday 7:05am
Update 496: A great article from the New York Times: With Loving and Costly Care, Barbaro's Long Odds Improve notes Barbaro's current status. The following are excerpts:
"He's been very, very good on his legs," said Dr. Dean Richardson, his surgeon and the man who leads him outside each day. "It's exciting. He's improving."
Dr. Richardson warned that Barbaro was hardly out of the woods and that a full recovery would not be evident for months. Still, he said he was encouraged by the progress.
On July 13, Dr. Richardson had to compose himself when he announced that laminitis had ravaged Barbaro's left hind hoof wall and that the chances of survival were poor. Now, his hoof wall is growing back, and his fractured right hind leg appears to be mending, Dr. Richardson said. But he cautioned that until the cast was removed, he could not be certain the leg would be strong enough to bear Barbaro's weight.
"I think he's got a 50-50 shot," said Dr. Richardson, echoing the prognosis he gave May 21, after performing an operation on the colt's leg for more than five hours. "He's back to that level. Now, if you would have asked me the same question six weeks ago, I would have told you they were a lot -- a lot -- less than that."
Not only has Barbaro not shown signs of distress, he appears to be growing stronger each day. The foam sneaker is changed daily as the veterinarians continue to watch for the regrowth of his hoof wall.
"I go over there with the grass because I love him and want to break up his day," Gretchen Jackson said. "Now that he is getting outside, he is an even happier horse."
The following is a nice article on Lost in the Fog's trainer Greg Gilchrist: Trainer lost in the heartache. An excerpt:
He didn't want to go and he's a guy who loves going to the sales.
He wanted to be back at his home base at Golden Gate Fields in San Francisco. You can't blame the trainer for that.
He wanted desperately to be there so he could be with Lost in the Fog, the best horse he ever trained.
Posted by Alex at 8:41 AM
| Comments (495)
Barbaro Updates: 50
Posted August 20, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 495: Lost in the Fog returns home. Excerpt:
Dr. Don Smith, the colt's veterinarian, said the Eclipse Award sprinter was his normal, aggressive self when he returned to the barn and had eaten well after his arrival.
Update 494: Steve Willard just called. He was with Giacomo as he called (about one hour after the Pacific Classic). He said it just was not his day. Giacomo is cooling out well, he looks good and is walking well.
Update 493: A nice win by Lava Man, the favourite for the Pacific Classic. He seemed to accelerate well at the 3/8ths pole and put the race away. He should be considered a top contender for the Breeders Cup Classic at this point, although they did mention they may consider a turf race next. Perfect Drift and Giacomo did not appear to really get into the race, finishing fourth and fifth. Will try to learn more later. There was also a quick clip on Barbaro, good to see it on the big screen (it was part of the Penn video clip).
A nice post on the discussion board on Dancing In My Dreams, who had faced a similar surgery to Barbaro. We noted her first foal's success in update 432.
Finally, another lovely tribute to Lost in the Fog: Tribute to a Champion.
Update 492: Another quick story to follow in the Pacific Classic. We interviewed Dan Hendricks a while ago (trainer of Brother Derek) about his thoughts on Barbaro. He noted the sad story of Cozy Guy. Well Cozy Guy's connections have Top This and That in the race! Jeannine Edwards spoke with the owners and e-mailed me:
they are extremely excited and said this is like being in the KY Derby! They are from the San Diego area and have always dreamed of running a horse at Del Mar.
Update 491: ESPN2 is broadcasting the Pacific Classic from 7 - 8 pm this evening. It will be a great race. All is go for today's big race from the Giacomo camp. I just spoke to Steve Willard (his exercise rider) who has been providing us training updates for the last few days. He is pretty upbeat. Giacomo hand walked today (walked around the shedrow). He's been cleaned up by the barn foreman (Frank), and is now relaxing in his stall as I type. He will be led over to the receiving barn about fifteen minutes ahead of the time that he will be led over to the paddock with the other runners. Steve has positive feelings for the race, everything has pretty much set up the way they want it to be. The distance of the race will suit Giacomo (a mile and a quarter) and Mike Smith (his regular jockey) will start letting him run likely at about the half mile or 3/8ths pole. Steve said it looks to be a great older horse race, with Lava Man and Perfect Drift (who Giacomo just beat in his last start at a less favourable distance for Giacomo) among the eight entries. Anyway, I want to thank Steve for giving us a little insight into the preparation of Giacomo, and wish him (and the rest of this quality field) the best of racing luck.
Jeannine Edwards provided us a great update about tonight coverage in Update 486 and Joe Deegan has also weighed in from Perfect Drift's camp (update 487).
Update 490: A little "housekeeping". Given the overwhelming response of poems, videos and other content created by everyone, I am no longer going to be able to keep up with it all in these updates and on the fan media page (this is a good thing). Fortunately the discussion board includes a folder (labeled: Barbaro Poems / Videos etc.) for such content so I hope people will continue to post their wonderful content there, and others will visit the boards to enjoy everyone's inspiring work. Melissa Harden is also collecting all the creative work at: For the love of Barbaro. Melissa will get the content from the discussion boards, and you can also e-mail Melissa your work (firstname.lastname@example.org). That being said, I did want to highlight this tribute from Jessica Frank: Lost In the Fog, Champion Always.
This site has now served more than 1.5 million page views! and is currently ranked 30 in google for the keyword Barbaro. You will notice we have now signed up for the google adwords program (google ads). This will help defray costs associated with the site, and we will also allocate a portion of the earnings to a charity appropriate for this site. We will be very transparent re: the site earnings and what we do with the money. With current traffic we estimate the google ads. could generate $1,000 / month.
Update 489: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (saturday night). I had a nice long chat with Michael as he was ponying a horse (and Stephanie) back from the woodchip track. Dr. Richardson showed Michael the left hind foot yesterday and it appears to be doing whatever it should be doing at this stage of its "recovery". Michael also noted he walks sound (as we saw on the Barbaro grazing video) and is starting to gain some weight.
update 7:56 am, sunday morning
Posted by Alex at 11:53 AM
| Comments (583)
Barbaro Updates: 49
Posted August 19, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 488: Due to further tests, Lost in the Fog will not return to Golden Gate Field until sunday: Lost in the Fog nears the end. Russell Baze's incredible nine race win streak remains that: Baze's 9-Race Streak Ends at Bay Meadows.
A tribute to Lost in the Fog.
Update 487: Many of you have shown interest in Perfect Drift, also running tomorrow in the Pacific Classic. I just spoke with his exercise rider, Joe Deegan, who was boarding a plane I think when we spoke I think. Joe reports Perfect Drift is training well and is as good as he has ever been right now. He has settled in really well at Del Mar and should be a major factor. As Jeannine also noted, Perfect Drift has made $4.5 million in his career thus far, Joe noted that would be over $5 million if it was not for a couple of head-bob decisions. He was twice second in the Pacific Classic so they are hoping to put that right. He is a gelding, and is a big strong horse. He is a tough horse and you have to be careful around him. Anyway, in sum, Joe reports his is training well and should put in a big effort tomorrow.
The Daily Racing form on the Pacific Classic: Classic has 'tough' written all over it.
Update 486: Jeannine Edwards just e-mailed me about the big race tomorrow (Pacific Classic) and ESPN2s coverage (7 - 8 pm east coast time). The following is an excerpt:
I did see Steve this morning before he got on Giacomo, we had a nice chat. It seems they're all pretty excited about Giacomo's chances tomorrow. I can tell you he looks fantastic! Always been a big, eye-catching horse, but he's really blossomed into a he-man since last year. Nice to hear that all his little problems seem to be behind him. Someone else who looks fantastic is Perfect Drift, what a cool horse he is. He loves travelling, loves seeing different places, and nothing fazes him. He's a handsome brute of guy. You'd never know he's 7. He spends each winter at his owner Dr. Reed's home/farm outside of Kansas City, just turned out, growing a shaggy coat, getting spoiled by Mrs. Reed, and being a horse. Trainer Murray Johnson said Perfect Drift knows he's officially "off duty" when he gets to the farm. If ever a horse deserves credit for running his heart out every single race, it's Perfect Drift. And by the way, he's by Barbaro's sire Dynaformer, and he has the same head and face as Barbaro. Only Perfect Drift's ears are bigger! Perfect Drift will be making his 40th start tomorrow, and he's earned $4.5 million!! It's going to be a great race. We will also have in the show a feature on Giacomo, an interview with his owners (Jerry and Ann Moss), a Lava Man feature and interview with his owners, and a report on poor Lost In The Fog. Incredibly sad. Hard to get a grasp of this ... and I can't even imagine what his owner, trainer, and stable personnel are going through right now. I remember seeing him at Saratoga last year, and playing with him over his webbing. He was a very personable, inquisitive colt who took his owner and trainer on a remarkable journey last year ... 10 straight wins all around the country and an Eclipse Award as the Champion Sprinter. It will be a very sad day when he leaves us.
Jeannine forgot to mention (which she confirmed in a subsequent e-mail) that there will be a Barbaro update during the show tomorrow.
Some of you have pointed out that Sabina has posted a few new pictures of Barbaro!
Update 485: Peter Brette just called, he visited Barbaro at about 1 pm today. All remains well. He gave him a good brush. He pretty much confirmed Bobby had been out grazing everyday since he first started grazing. Peter and Michael will be on grazing duty next week I think.
Kennett Florist visited Fair Hill today, this is their comment (timestamp: 6:12 pm)
Not too much to report from NBC today. All was quiet when we dropped off our goodies this afternoon, but that is normal for a Saturday.
Our prayers and thoughts are with LITF and his family. May he be comfortable in his final time at home with his family.
On a lighter note, Alie, my son Jacob and I had the wonderful duty of delivering a special gift to Alex this morning, from many of the TWR web family. He was absolutely wonderful to talk to and was graciuos enough to let my son meet a couple of the horses (he's 4 and now thanks to Barbaro, a horse fanatic). We took a couple pictures and I will forward them to Alex to do with as he pleases.
Alex, again, thank you for all that you do and for taking the time to meet with us this morning. We hope you enjoy your gifts. CHEERS from all of the thankful family members here on TWR and all of us at Kennett Florist!
PS - Before you all start calling, we don't have any fish on hand for the polar bear!! (but of course you know we'd take care of it if need be!) LOL
It was fun meeting Alie, Rachel and Jacob. I really get a kick out of seeing how easy it is to entertain people around horses. And of course, all your generosity is amazing, I was pretty overwhelmed, but very thankful! I did decide to regift the basket of goodies, I asked Annie (from Michael Matz) if she would give it to Eduardo, Bobby's groom. She was delighted to do so. I will plan another Whip gathering very soon! Again, thank you, it means a lot.
Update 484: Steve Willard (Giacomo's exercise rider) just called to provide us an update for Giacomo as he prepares for Sunday's Pacific Classic. Everything is a go. He had his last gallop before the big race and will likely tack walk or jog tomorrow morning. Steve noted his training today was similar to the last two days. He jogged back (anti-clockwise) a mile and a quarter. He turned around and galloped a mile and a half. Everything feels fine, he is training forwardly and feels good.
A couple of people have mentioned to Steve that they have been reading these reports, which is pretty cool. I think one of those people was Jeannine Edwards, who is preparing for ESPN2s coverage tomorrow (7 - 8 pm). ESPN2 will also be providing a Barbaro update I think. I will plan to contact Steve and get one more update before the big race tomorrow. A few people have asked why I am covering Giacomo specifically for the Pacific Classic. I chose Giacomo because like Bobby, he's a Derby winner!
Don't forget, we are planning a Barbaro vigil, 7 pm east coast time tonight. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some thoughts for Barbaro.
Update 483: Peter Brette may be visiting Barbaro today. If he does, I will follow up and get a report. I just saw Lisa, Better Talk Now's exercise rider. He is doing well after the Arlington Million. He has be out twice (training) across the fields. He will likely do that for a week. They are considering the Melbourne Cup as an option for him later in the fall. That would be TOO cool!
I created a separate folder on the discussion forums for Lost in the Fog. Here is contact information:
Attn: Greg Gilchrist
Golden Gate Field
1100 East Shore Highway
Berkeley, CA 94710
Dr. Richardson is getting ready to operate on a polar bear! The following is an excerpt:
Dr. Dean Richardson will operate on Alcor, the 750-pound polar bear with two badly broken bones just above his right paw, sometime next week at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, where Barbaro is being treated, officials said.
"This doctor is one of the best in the world and they've got a state-of-the-art medical facility," zoo spokesman Scott Mitchell said. "There couldn't be a better scenario, given the circumstances."
Update 482: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (friday night). I saw Michael Matz on my third set, we were behind the gate. The conversation behind the gate quickly turned to Lost in the Fog. Very sad. I want to thank Russell Baze for the time he gave me last night to provide us an interview, and some insight into The Fog. I also learned, after the interview, that not only did Russell ride seven winners yesterday, but he is on a nine race streak!.
The two year old I was riding was gate schooling. It was only his second time. We walked through the gate a couple of times, then walked him in, stood him and closed up the gates. We then opened them up, he walked out, nice and straight. He was very good for a second time visitor to the gate. I did learn this morning about his pedigree (from his owner). I used to gallop his mother, and she is now 21. (Yikes!)
update 7:45 am, saturday morning
Posted by Alex at 11:37 AM
| Comments (439)
Barbaro Updates: 48
Posted August 18, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 481: Russell Baze just called back so here is our interview (what a class act btw):
I worked him all but once or twice since he was a two year old. I rode him in every race he ran bar one. He was a real genuine horse to be around. He was the best horse I have ridden throughout his career. He did everything, against allcomers. His temperament, ability and enthusiasm were unmatched. He had natural speed. He was so quick out of the gate, but he did not need the lead. He had a lot of natural speed, you could sit back and relax, switch leads in the turn, and keep going (when most horse were stopping). He would ship everywhere to run. Just a very rare racehorse.
Greg (trainer) and Harry (owner) have done an exemplary job with this horse. Throughout the horse's career he has always given his best, now looking back its amazing how well he ran in Churchill (his win this year), knowing what we know now about the horse. It's all very sad, but he is shipping back to Golden Gate and I will be fortunate to get to see him one more time. He has really been important to me as you can imagine.
I asked Russell what his barn name is: The Fog
I asked about any idiosynchrosies: he's agressive, and displays it, especially before races trying to bite the pony on the way to the gate
Update 480: I just spoke to Russell Baze, Lost in the Fog's jockey (who also happened to ride seven winners today). I will post our interview tomorrow (once I have typed it up and run it by Russell). I thought I would highlight this comment from Bubbranch, timestamp: 11:28 pm:
I got to watch his work at Golden Gate Fields in 2005 prior to shipping to Belmont for Breeder's Cup. The track was closed so he could work alone, and a ton of employees spread out along the rail to watch. By chance an acquaintance of mine saw me in the public box and said come on over here, we picked out a spot on the rail, and then Hary Aleo and his daughter came along and stood right next to us, right next to me. If I had burped I would have bumped elbows with him.
Will never forget how I could feel - physically, like a tingle transmitted - his excitement, pride, and affection for this horse, and I got a great taste of what it must be like to have a truly spectacular horse. Unforgettable. I hope that feeling never goes away for him, and that he's comforted by that and everyone's sincere support.
Signed very sadly,
Bubb in California
And finally, Lost in the Fog by Barbara Livingston, again.
Update 479: I am attending the NTRA conference, scheduled for 6:45 pm re: Lost in the Fog (thanks Ed Fountaine, New York Post for alerting me to the conference). A transcript will be available on monday. LITF's trainer and vet are online for the teleconference.
Unfortunately two more tumours in his abdomen, and another very large tumour along the roof of his back, about the size of a football (not that shape). This one cannot be removed surgically. His condition is terminal.
He is not in a lot of pain, he just gets uncomfortable at times. The end is inevitable, and do not want the horse to go through things he does not need to. Want to provide some final quality of life, pampered and cared for with his own people around him. He won't take it too far. Mr. Aleo (owner), Harry is a tough old guy, but this is bringing him to his knees. LITF is a hell of a warrior.
I typed the above as I was listening, I missed some stuff.
Thanks Alex Fleming, who reported this in the comments, timestamp 10: 20 pm and alerted us to the situation:
Gilchrist was on TVG at 6pm EST and announced he will be brought back to GGF in his stall with his groom to keep him comfortable during his last week. He did not want to euthanize him up at Davis where he would be all alone. He will be cremated and be buried at Ocala Florida where he started his life.
I am sorry, I watched LITF in his debut, and on two different occasions. I am borderline obsessed with my favorite horse, and I am devastated.
Update 478: Peter just called (6:00 pm), Barbaro remains well, Michael had just visited and called Peter.
It does not appear yet we have any updates for Lost in the Fog. We know today is a big day for him. I have left a message with Russell Baze's agent in the hopes Russell will share some words with us about his relationship with Lost in the Fog. Shelley Haysed left this message in the comments:
Good afternoon, everyone out there on pins and needles - I only have a minute and found Cheryl's (hopefully!!) positive info, and I have to let you know I called UC Davis and talked to a person who is a public contact for the Large Animal Clinic. She also SOUNDED OPTIMISTIC, she had good warm tones in her voice, when she said she could not yet release any information.
She did tell me that we could send BEST WISHES TO LOST IN THE FOG by posting to UC Davis website,
and use a subject line of BEST WISHES TO LOST IN THE FOG - VMTH LARGE ANIMAL CLINIC
The messages are sorted out by the campus and forwarded to the appropriate department. Guess they have no idea what they're in for...
To send cards by USPS snail mail, the address is:
LOST IN THE FOG
VMTH - Large Animal Clinic
1 Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
If anybody has better info, please let everyone know. I think the vigil yesterday was very powerful and I have all hopes for another miracle.
Bless Bobby for his power.
We also posted a link last night to Barbaro Livingston's pictures, here it is again: Lost in the Fog.
Update 477: Steve Willard (Giacomo's exercise rider) just called and all remains well as Giacomo continues his preparations for the Pacific Classic. His training today was very much the same as yesterday. He came onto the track at about 9:30 am. He actually hand walks before he trains, he then gets to eat a little bit and rest up. Training later also ensures a quieter race track.
Once on the track, Giacomo stood for 4 - 5 minutes, and then jogged the wrong way (left handed) for a mile and a quarter. He turned in, and around and galloped a mile and a half. He was a little more relaxed today overall in his gallop. He then jogged back to the gap, all was well. He has had plenty of visits from fans in the area, getting their picture taken with him and so forth (as a Derby winner should). John (his trainer) is very happy to let people visit him. The barn is conveniently located near the stable gate. For those in the Del Mar area, you can watch the morning training from the grandstand, Giacomo should be out again about 9:30 am tomorrow.
ESPN2 will be covering the Pacific Classic on sunday, 7 - 8 pm. Their coverage will also include Barbaro coverage.
Update 476: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). I was just driving back in to Fair Hill for my third set when I saw Michael's crew heading up to the track. I stopped, got out of my truck, asked the inevitable question, and got the good, positive response. There appears to be a pretty obvious upbeat mood within the barn judging by the poor jokes being cracked at my reporting efforts!
updated friday 7:10am
Update 475: No update just yet, its still a little early! I had a break after my second set and thought I would try to describe the morning activities thus far. For the first set we left the barn at about 5:25 am, there were two us of, Linsey and I, on two two year olds. It was pretty dark out for sure, and the tractors were still working on the main dirt track (note to self, are we starting a little early at this point ?) We thus had to go to the inner wood chip track (my two year old had not been there before). We jogged back a mile (counter clockwise) together, and basically followed the tractors that were on the outer track, they had big lights on them, which helped! There was one other horse out on the woodchip track, and I kept looking to see if he was going to gallop by us (it would have likely set our horses off a little). Fortunately we met no (horse) traffic. We turned them around after jogging back a turn, and galloped a turn together. On the way home there was a fox cub, ON the horsepath. He was not moving until we got _very_ close to him (her ?) Then he just wandered off to about 10 foot away, as if to say, what the heck are you doing at this time of morning!
My second set went out back across the fields. OK, so now it was beautiful. The sun was just rising, and it was a lovely sunrise, and there was a low mist coming from the damp grass (although it beats me how the grass gets damp, we have not had rain for ages and the ground is rock hard)! Anyway, Deer everywhere, which is usual if you are first to take a horse outback, which meant my horse was scooting around a little, but he does enjoy jogging up and down the low gradient hills.
OK, I think we may have a couple of visitors today, which will be great. I have about six more to ride. The Barbaro update may come at its usual early time, OR it might be around 8:30 ish. I am not riding my third set at the usual time (now) which is when I normally run into Michael after he hears from Dean. I just wanted to let you know.
Update 474: A few of you have set up web-sites in honour of Barbaro. I may not have highlighted them all, please e-mail me your web-site URL and I will compile them all into an update and add them to the Fan Media page. On that note SharonLynn sent me a note about an online book she is compiling at CelebrateAHero.com (Book ID: 428640). You can contribute some comments, thoughts, remembrances and/or photos to make this book as wonderful as possible. Sharonlynn is planning to purchase the original for the Jackson's, and make copies for those connected to Barbaro.
Posted by Alex at 8:34 AM
| Comments (639)
Barbaro Updates: 47
Posted August 17, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 473: Barbara Livingston just put this album together of Lost in the Fog. Her e-mail to me included the following:
Man, I LOVE Lost in the Fog. Mr. Gilchrist is as kind and generous an individual as I've ever met....
I just put this together. I'll try to add more, perhaps at the end of the weekend.
Update 472: Rachel at Kennett Florist just left the following comment:
It's a beautiful day here and at NBC. They were digging into the baskets of goodies as soon as we got there today! There were a few staff members bustling about and when I asked how things were the reply was that "they were doing good work here" (Like we didn't know). The respect they have for all animals continues to amaze me.
Things are rolling right along for Dr R's day. The cake and ice cream are now all taken care of (for those who have asked). We're getting really excited, and hope that it is a big surprise... we just have to absorb it all so we can paint a good mental picture for all of you!
As always, thank you to all of you!
I asked how Giacomo got his name, Cheryl was first with the answer (timestamp: 7:45pm), followed by Jen (7:55pm). He is named after Sting's son. Sting is a friend / associate of Giacomo's owner, Jerry Moss.
And here is a quick update on Mike Rea: They Say the Brain Healing has Started.
Update 471: Just spoke to Peter Brette (4:45 pm) and all remains well with Barbaro. Michael had just called him and Michael is at New Bolton now visiting Barbaro. One day at a time!
Update 470: I just spoke to Steve Willard, Giacomo's exercise rider, to get an update on Giacomo today. This is what he had to say:
Giacomo is a happy camper. He is currently grazing outside his barn (10:45 am pacific time) after training this morning. This morning he entered the track at the 3/4 pole shoot (his normal place to enter the track). He stood in for a while, as he normally does, then set off the wrong way to jog a mile and a quarter. He turned in, stood a while, then turned around and galloped a mile and a half. He was a little fresh at the beginning of the gallop and wanted to do more, but then settled down nicely and relaxed. He came home well. A nice routine training day for Giacomo as he gets ready for the Pacific Classic on sunday.
He is the second choice on the morning line (3-1) and has drawn post 4 of 8. Steve did not think the draw mattered much for Giacomo as he will come from behind. Steve talked about how he got his name, does anyone know the story ? If not, I'll post tomorrow.
For those looking for more background information on Lost in the Fog, this is a good article: Lost in the Fog in critical race Career already finished, cancer threatens survival. I remember one time seeing an interview with someone connected with Lost in the Fog and was asked why he was restricted to sprinting (versus going for classic distances). I think the answer was simply he was very good at it. He was pretty close to being seriously considered for 3yo of the year going into the Breeders Cup!
Update 469: Given that it appears Lost in the Fog is undergoing an examination tomorrow, friday, to determine his prognosis, we are planning a vigil for tonight, 7 pm east coast time. Whereever you are, whatever you are doing, spare a bit of time for Lost in the Fog.
Update 468: I did catch up with Barclay Tagg this morning and asked him a few questions about his horses, and one about the Jackson's.
On Showing Up:
Today was his return to the track (in Saratoga) after his Secretariat win. He jogged off great and jogged one turn of the track. It looks like he has come out of his race well. Barclay is thinking two more races for him this year, but this plan is tentative. The second race the Breeders Cup Turf (mile and a half), the first race to be one of the following three:
Man of War, September 9, 1 mile and 3/8ths
Canada Sky Classic, September 24, 1 mile and 3/8ths
Joe Hirsch Turf, Belmont, October 7, 1 mile and a 1/2
Basically his races remain on the turf and he will be facing older horses for the first time. Stormy Kiss, another Jackson horse trained by Barclay is being pointed for the Ballerina at Saratoga (August 27). I asked Barclay how the Jackson's were doing and what it is like training for them. He clearly enjoys training for them, he said they really deserve good forture (Barbaro's progress, Showing Ups performances etc.) and they are just good people. He noted that you could not ask for nicer people to train for, they let you do your job and are very open.
Finally I asked Barclay about Funny Cide. While he is being pointed for the Woodward (September 2) towards the end of the Saratoga meet, Barclay believes a mile and a quarter is his best trip (Woodward is a mile and an eighth). There is a race in Hoosier Downs (I think) September 30 that they are looking at closely. Again, all remains tentative.
Barclay then went on to tell some very funny stories (as he does). He would make a great book!
Update 467: New Bolton Center's update today: Barbaro has had a very good week:
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro continues to do well, and is being hand-grazed for 20 - 30 minutes a day. "His blood work is completely normal and his vital signs are good," said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. "I can't complain. Barbaro has had a very good week." Dr. Richardson also reports that Barbaro is no longer using the sling. "His comfort level has improved to the point that when he was in the sling, he wasn't "using" it at all. The sling is only bearing the horse's weight when he wants it to, and Barbaro's comfort level has improved to the point that he was not using the sling to support his weight."
Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Pennsylvania's George D. Widener Hospital, where he is recovering from injuries suffered at the Preakness on May 20.
The next update will be posted on Tuesday, August 22 unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.
Update 466: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night). Just walked over to get the news from Michael Matz after I came off my third set this morning. He mentioned that Bobby was out grazing for 30-40 minutes yesterday.
Also, Barclay Tagg is in town for a couple of days. I will try to get an interview with him a little later. Meanwhile, another spectacular morning in Fair Hill today.
updated thursday 7:10am
Update 465: We have a couple of video tributes: A Tribute to Barbaro (from argentdesign) and When You Believe (from Shannon). We also have an article from the Washongton Post: Barbaro Now Walking Regularly in Recovery, which includes a couple of quotes from Dr. Sweeney:
"We who see him every day know he has been moving well and looking pleased and happy,"
"He's gotten down to where he's getting almost nothing," she said of pain management.
Finally a poem by Susan E (from update 46, timestamp 1:18am):
LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY
What does it take to make Barbaro whole?
A massage, some sunshine, fresh grass in a bowl?
Stud muffins, apples,
Baby carrots with greens,
Green and white peppermints dance through his
Michael and Peter and Gretchen and Roy,
Their love and devotion for their brave boy.
Nurses and interns and Doc Dean so keen,
Alie and Rachel and the KF machine,
Posses and prayers and lights that do heal,
A website where everyone says how they feel.
Smartness and courage and Old Soul and heart,
A will to live that has burned from the start.
Posted by Alex at 8:43 AM
| Comments (533)
Barbaro Updates: 46
Posted August 16, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 464: Daily Racing Form has an article of Lost in the Fog: Doctors think Lost in the Fog has cancer that appears a little more current. The following is an excerpt:
"They know the mass is in the spleen itself," he said on Wednesday. "Right now, it looks good. It hasn't metastasized and moved to other parts. But when you look at a sonogram, it won't show very small things. That's why they're doing the camera search.
"If they find more, it is not a good thing. At that point, we probably wouldn't do surgery. If it does look good, at the middle of next week surgery will be performed to remove the spleen. It's a very delicate operation. They say there's a 50-50 chance he will make it through. If all goes well, he will recover and live a normal life."
Update 463: Kathy Anderson just called (7:45 pm) and she was just leaving Barbaro, who was laid down, in an upright position, eating fresh picked grass from a bowl! As she was leaving his masseuse was arriving, who prefers to massage him laying down as he is then less active. Kathy's report was upbeat.
Update 462: Dr. Richardson Chat at the Bloodhorse. Interesting excerpts below:
The only reason I became a vet was because I fell in love with horses, and I became very involved working with horses. If you do that, you get to point where you love working on horses. I can't deny the fact he is a very smart and particularly charismatic horse. He is remarkably quick to pick up when you're trying to help him. Those are the sorts of things that make you like the horse a lot. You are also talking about being in the presence of greatness, and I think he truly was a great horse who did not have a chance to show it. All those things combined, it is hard not to be emotionally involved with it. I also have a long relationship with and like for the Jacksons and Matzes.
My favorite part initially was the challenge of the procedure and the aftercare. My favorite part now is simply trying to save his life. He is a very personable young colt, truly charismatic.
He gets ICU checks by the nurses four times daily (vital signs, checking how much he is eating, drinking, manure/urine production etc.) He is fed grain mixes four times daily. He receives free choice alfalfa and timothy mix hay. I change his LH foot bandage around 6 am and walk him about 30 minutes in the late afternoon. He is no longer being put in a sling. Previously, we were letting him out of the sling from about 7 pm until 9 am. The Jacksons and Mr. Matz visit at various times and Mrs. Jackson always brings some Lael Farm grass hand picked for him. He gets groomed and bathed at various times. Medications are given at various intervals. Previously he was on a number of constant intravenous infusions and epidural pain medication. His management is much simpler right now because he is doing so well.
The hoof wall (the hard [keratinized] portion) including the sole was removed. We eventually removed about 90% of it. The time to completely regrow a hoof varies, but a reasonable estimate would be 9-12 months.
He actually is spending no time at all in the sling right now. His comfort improved to the point that when he was in the sling, he wasn't "using" it. The sling is only bearing the horse's weight when he wants it to. It isn't possible for a horse to continuously hang with all of their weight in the sling. If they do so, they nearly always eat and breathe poorly. Also, nearly all will get serious rub sores if they are constantly hanging in the sling.
Update 461: Quick reminder, Dr. Richardson will host a chat at Bloodhorse.com at 6 pm east coast time. I will post the direct link to the chat here once the link is live.
Kennett Florist provided this update today:
What a fun day to go to NBC! We delivered ice cream and all the fixin's for sundaes... fudge, carmel, whipped cream, nuts and cherries! Dr Sweeney was kind enough to send out an email yesterday, so there was quite a crowd! The place is just electric (maybe partially from the sugar), but in my opinion because of all the good news this week! Bobby gets to feel the sun on his back each day and snort and chomp to his hearts content, what could be better!!
Bobby got his carrots and treats to go along with the staff's sugar high. We also brought up some goodies for some of the other shifts, since they miss out on breakfasts and such.
Thanks to all of you the spirits continue to be high!
WM & CL left this poem about Mike Rea (comment timestamp 5:15 pm):
Loving husband, horsetrainer, father, family man-
Getting stronger improving as you can!
The Lord's light surrounds you
easing your family's mind-
The Lord's love protects you-
helping you and friends unwind.
The Lord's miracle continue your healing-
His arms wrap around you whatever you're feeling!
Under His protection, you always will be-
While His Miracles continue in you to see.
Another good day closer coming back home-
Therapy allows you to walk better to roam!
Lord's and His Angels presence watch over thee-
Your family's updates bring joyful news about ye.
God's Love, Light, Protection stay here-
Rest now, enjoy His Power erasing all fear!
May each day bring forth joyfully great news-
Keep walking stronger after putting on shoes!
May our Lord's miraculous grace-
Allow coming home to your family's place!
Heal Mike - pulling for you to win your own race.
Update 460: Jeannine Edwards just e-mailed me to let us know ESPN2 will be covering the Pacific Classic on sunday, 7 - 8 pm. They will include Barbaro coverage which will include the grazing video and other recent updates. The Pacific Classic is a great older horse race (not restricted to 3yos like the Kentucky Derby) and includes many of the best handicappers in the country (Lava Man, Giacomo and Perfect Drift for example). Given Giacomo won the Kentucky Derby last year I thought it would be appropriate for us to highlight him going into this race. The Daily Racing Form has a nice article today on him for good background information: Shirreffs wants Giacomo to be a hero again which includes the following excerpt:
Giacomo, though, is the stable star. Shirreffs still receives mail asking about the colt, and gets aggravated with himself if he doesn't have time to answer a letter or a request for a photo that day. For someone not accustomed to the limelight, Shirreffs immediately sensed that winning the Derby brings special requirements to those connected with the colt.
"I think it's a big-time obligation," Shirreffs said. "It's no longer just Mr. Moss's horse. It's sort of everybody's horse. I got a letter from an elderly woman the other day asking for a picture of Giacomo. I sent her one. People like that, this might be one of their only contacts with the outside world."
I thought it would be interesting to contact his current exercise rider (Steve Willard) and see if he would be willing to provide us some updates on Giacomo as they prepare for the Pacific Classic (I acquired his cell phone number from Andy Durnin, good friend and closely tied to last year's Pacific Classic winner Borrego). This is what Steve had to say in our call today:
John Sherrifs should take a lot of credit for this horse. He has shown a great deal of patience, and the patience is starting to proove out. I have been around Giacomo since he was two, but I was not his regular exercise rider until about 3 - 4 months ago. Frankie (Herrate) used to gallop him when he won the Kentucky Derby last year. He has had 3 - 4 different exercise riders during his time with John. I am just very fortunate that I have been involved with him most recently.
He is now training very forwardly, very good attitude, he is very focused in the mind, strong yet easy to control. He breezed the other morning (monday), and as is the case with all John's breezes, was never asked for more than he can give, we always make sure the horse has something left, whatever speed we are going. He accelareted on his own at the 16th pole but it was easy. He worked in hand in 1:12 (3/4s), galloped out the mile in 1:39. On tuesday he walked the shedrow (John walks all his horse the day after a breeze) and today (wednesday) he jogged two miles, he felt great. I'll provide an update each day as we prepare for the Pacific Classic this weekend.
So we will hear from Steve each day as we approach the big race!
Update 459: A worrying update on Lost in the Fog who was presumed to be colicing: Mass in Lost in the Fog Believed to be Cancer. The following is an excerpt:
Gilchrist said that preliminary tests indicated that the lymphoma appears to be confined to the spleen. He said the mass is about the size of a cantaloupe. Lost in the Fog has won just one of his three starts this year, and Gilchrist had originally thought that quarter cracks were the culprits for the champion's sub-par efforts. "It turns out he's been running with this thing inside him this year," the trainer said. "It shows you what kind of warrior this horse is."
Gilchrist added that owner Harry Aleo is extremely concerned about his star, and that "We will do anything we can for the horse. It's almost a Barbaro-type situation."
Don't forget the Bloodhorse chat with Dr. Richardson tonight at 6pm. For those who cannot attend, they will be providing a transcript. I will provide a direct link to the chat (and subsequent transcript) just before 6 pm tonight.
Update 458: I just watched Miraculous Miss work a half mile on the wood chip track in 47.1 secs. That is a very handy time, and she did it quite nicely. Miraculous Miss looks like she might be getting closer to her first race back after the horrifying gate incident in the Acorn. She is now off the starters list, which required her to return to the gate at least three times to school.
I also had a nice chat with Adrian Rolls (Graham Motion assistant) about the horse flights over the weekend (Better Talk Now and Film Maker flying to and from Chicago). He was pretty amazed by the entire experience. They vanned down to BWI, vanned right to the airplane and loaded right up. Once airborne the flight was _very_ smooth. They were the only two on the outward bound journey (which was also nicely air-conditioned). On the return journey they came back via Albany to drop off the Saratoga-based horses (which of course included Showing Up). They were not on the ground for long at all before taking off again for Baltimore. It seems the plane can hold about twenty horses, there were about fourteen on the return journey to Albany. I asked Barclay's Fair Hill assistant (Tim) how Showing Up was after his (fantastic) performance. He said all was well.
Update 457: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (tuesday night). Saw Michael Matz as I was coming back from the track on my third set. Before I could even ask how Bobby was doing, Michael gave me the positive report.
On my first set this morning (5:30am), I was jogging back with Man in Havana...or at least that's who I think it was, it was a little hard to see. As we were coming back, two fox cubs were chasing eachother around in circles right on the horsepath. Which while very cute, required me to tighten my grip on the neck strap and my horse's mane.
Second set, I went out back and not only saw another fox cub but was surrounded by many deer. Of course, I again didn't let go of my neck strap! It's really a beautiful morning here in Fair Hill.
updated wednesday 7:10am
Update 456: A nice article from ESPN with some new quotes: Barbaro walks outside, grazing on grass. The following are excerpts:
"I thought he was thrilled the first time he went out," Dean Richardson, chief surgeon at the New Bolton Center, said Monday. "He just seemed very happy to be out. You can tell he's looking forward to it every day. It's absolutely normal. Horses love to be outside, obviously, and he's pretty excited about it."
Barbaro stepped outside his ICU stall and started daily walks on a grassy area near the unit last Wednesday for the first time since having catastrophic injuries in the Preakness nearly three months ago.
"It's a big step just to know he feels good enough that you can take him out of the stall and walk him around like a normal horse and he eats grass like a normal horse," Richardson said in a telephone interview from New Bolton. "That doesn't mean he's healed. It just means things are going well right now."
The 3-year-old had made only a couple of brief walks back and forth from his stall to the surgery room at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center until last week. Now Barbaro is walked daily for about 15 to 20 minutes in a secluded area not far from the George D. Widener Hospital ICU.
The USA Today blog On Deadline linked to us in their most recent Barbaro update: Barbaro update: He's grazing outside.
And finally Philadelphia Park will name a race in honor of Eugene Dixon (long time patron and friend of Michael Matz): Philadelphia Park Notes - Track Set To Honor The Late Eugene Dixon. An excerpt:
"Fitz Dixon's distinguished tenure as Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission was earmarked by his love for thoroughbred racing and his unflinching commitment to the integrity of the sport. Philadelphia Park is proud to memorialize these contributions by naming the Cotillion Handicap in his honor," said Greenwood racing Chairman Bob Green.
Posted by Alex at 8:39 AM
| Comments (634)
Barbaro Updates: 45
Posted August 15, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 455: Peter just called, Michael visited after his nice win at Delaware (No Fair) and Barbaro remains comfortable.
A quick update from Alie at Kennett Florist:
What a great day!!! NBC was so upbeat & happy. Dr R's birthday will be wonderful. I can't wait to see his face when he sees all of this. Going to see Alex sat, Can't wait.
We were very busy today. Rachel & Bernie were off & Diane is on vacation. So I could not answer emails. Will try to answer you're your messages, tonight. But my 11 yr old granddaughter is here. Not much time. I wish you all could see the love & joy you have given to Bobby, NBC, Kennett Square & KF. We love team Barbaro. And of course Barbaro, Alex, The Jackson's and all connected to NBC
Love to Bobby
Good night from Kennett Square & KF
HRTV will be running a short segment (somewhat randomly) about Fair Hill today and tomorrow. It includes some photos we have on this site. Tina (x Fair Hill from a longtime ago and the original owner of my helmet and helmet cover) put it together. Talking of HRTV, I watched Something Wild (no excuse, had a good trip, seemed closers did better in the race, cooled out fine, finished 5th), Bond Beauty (duked it out up front, looked good for a long time, seemed to fade in the final furlong) and No Fair (nice winner for Michael Matz at Delaware Park.)
Update 454: A few people had mentioned Lost in the Fog getting colic. Here is the story: Lost in the Fog Treated for Colic. It seems it is not a severe case, here is an excerpt:
"If it wasn't Lost in the Fog, we would have taken care of it at the barn," Gilchrist stated. "This is a very slight case of colic. We are not anticipating surgery being necessary. They are running tests on him now, and I would expect to have him back in the barn Thursday or Friday. When he got off the van at Davis, he was feeling good enough where he was looking around for the racetrack."
Lost in the Fog was a brilliant sprinter last year (maybe this year too, not really been following him). For more information on colic: Wikipedia: Colic.
While looking for an article on this, I discovered Dr. Richardson is hosting a chat for Bloodhorse tomorrow, August 16, 6 pm eastern time. Submit your questions!
Update 453: A quick update re: Dr. Richardson's birthday planning. New Bolton Center's next update will be thursday of this week. Skyler has provided an update on the status of the bracelets that are being produced with Lisa, comment timestamp: 3:03 pm below, a quick excerpt:
The wristband with the Lael Stables' colors (blue/green) has yet to be produced. This is the band that says "Believe in Miracles, Believe in Barbaro". Proper steps have been taken to ensure that this band, this slogan, these colors are done the right way. Additionally, further movement is contingent on the Jackson's approval.
WM & CL offer us this (timestamp 3:52pm below):
****WHAT BARBARO MEANS*****
by Wm & CL Shaw August 15, 2006
Champion of Champions including
Words like Hero, Champion, Spirited One,
Fierce Warrier, Heart Like No Other, Other Worldly,
Seabiscuit's Spirit, Beloved Barbaro & Bobby,
Bravehearted One, America's Favorite Son,
Blessed One, Lucky Swift-Footed, Magnificent One Intelligent Smarty One, Courageous, Graced by
Sweet Barbaro, Old Soul, Victorious Champion,
Miracle Boy, Handsome Big Guy, Equine Hero,
Folkhero, Heaven's Wings, Perfect Motion,
Graceful Elegant One, Loving Boy, Champion Spirit,
A Loving Champion, Remarkable Barbaro, One-in-a-Million,
Barbaro's Swagger, Graceful Presence, Superhorse,
Thriver, Mild-Mannered, Light of Hope, Unbeatable,
Sweetest Precious, Miraculous Power, Smartbrains,
Our Kentucky Derby Winner 2006
His Legacy Continues...
And finally, Something Wild is running today in the 8th race in Philadelphia (Tim's horse), and Debbie's Bond Beauty is also running at River Downs in the 9th!
Update 452: Excellent article from the Baltimore Sun: Barbaro takes big step forward provides good insight into how Bobby is doing. The following excerpts are only a few of the interesting quotes:
"I was at Saratoga, when Mrs. [Gretchen] Jackson called me and said, 'You'll never guess where I am. I'm outside with Barbaro and he's eating grass!' " said Barbaro's trainer, Michael Matz. "I was very happy to hear that. It was the first time he's been outside the building since the day he arrived there."
"He's always been calm when taken out to graze," Matz said.
Anderson said Barbaro "has gone to the next level of rehabilitation" and has reached the point where "it is safe to walk him out a short distance."
"We hoped to be able to take him outside six weeks ago, prior to his foundering," she said. Anderson was referring to how Barbaro had developed laminitis, a painful inflammation, in his left hind foot, which resulted in the removal of 80 percent of his hoof wall.
"But his fracture wasn't strong enough [for the exercise]," Anderson said. "If he did anything stupid, it would have made it a very bad decision. Obviously, he's progressed from there, and the walk provides a little stimulation to both of his legs, even though they are still both in casts. And it is very good for his attitude."
Susan Danner, Matz's farm assistant who was present for the first outing, said the horse was extremely docile when his stable door was opened, not expecting anything unusual. But once he was led outside, "he brightened noticeably."
We do know however that there remains a long road ahead, and Bobby is not yet out of the woods. The next vigil is planned for this saturday, 7 pm east coast time, August 19.
It also seems Barbaro remains in the local news this morning. Some have also noted he was on CBS national news last night, is this correct ? (I was watching a riding lesson at the time).
Update 451: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (monday night). Spoke to Michael Matz coming back from my third set. He also noted that when he visited last night, all was good.
updated tuesday 7:05am
Update 450: Our friends at Horsetalk, NZ continue their Barbaro coverage: Grazing a small, exciting step for Barbaro (this site is quoted).
Melissa is the first to celebrate the grazing upgrade with a video: Barbaro Celebrating Grazing in the Grass. And to further celebrate this news WendyinMI has proposed her own contest along with some very cool golfing prizes: Bring Out Your Best Barbaro Tribute Contest. I am looking forward to the continued creativity!
Posted by Alex at 8:36 AM
Barbaro Updates: 44
Posted August 14, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 449: Kathy Anderson just called, she was just leaving New Bolton (8:15 pm). Another positive report. Barbaro had a bath today, he has been outside. He was laying down again when she visited, and got up without any problem. Kathy had not visited for a few days (she was away at a conference) and thought she could see a slight positive uptick in his attitude now he has been able to go outside. Despite his ability to go outside, he still gets the hand picked grass in his stall!
Update 448: Spoke to Peter Brette at about 7 pm this evening. He visited Bobby at 1 pm. Barbaro was lying down, asleep. Peter's report was upbeat, much as we have been hearing lately!
Update 447: NBC10s six o'clock news will show a Bobby update. I am sure other local news channels will do the same.
Update 446: Dr. Richardson's birthday is coming up soon apparently. An idea for honoring this occasion is being discussed on the discussion board: Dr. Richardson's Birthday.
Kennett Florist have reported on their visits today to New Bolton (timestamp: 8:37 pm)
What fabulous news!! Seeing Bobby out and grazing brought tears to all of our eyes today!
We had two trips to NBC today. Bright and early Alie and I brought hot bagels and spreads, juice and coffee to all the hungry docs and staff. As always they were very thankful to all who send them treats - even though they all say they've gained weight since Bobby's been there! We also brought up Bobby's favorite carrots so that he was not neglected in the breakfast festivities!
This afternoon things are still upbeat and everyone just seems so excited that he's been able to get out into the sun and graze. We brought some snacks for the later shifts. Thank you all, again and again for all that you do! We are so honored to be a part of this team.
Update 445: Bobby is hot on the AP wire today (not sure if that is how you say it but ...) The following articles appear identical other than their headlines: Barbaro Walks Outside, Grazing on Grass, Barbaro takes a walk outside and Barbaro walks outside, grazing on grass. They include the following Dean Richardson quotes:
"It's a big step just to know he feels good enough that you can take him out of the stall and walk him around like a normal horse and he eats grass like a normal horse," Dean Richardson, chief surgeon at the New Bolton Center, said Monday. "That doesn't mean he's healed. It just means things are going well right now."
"I thought he was thrilled the first time he went out," Richardson said in a telephone interview from New Bolton. "He just seemed very happy to be out. You can tell he's looking forward to it every day. It's absolutely normal. Horses love to be outside, obviously, and he's pretty excited about it."
"I think we're lucky his tissues are fairly healthy," Richardson said. "I don't know why he's more comfortable than some horses with the same condition."
Barbaro had the cast on his injured right hind leg changed last Tuesday and Richardson said it might not need to be changed for about another three weeks. The left hoof, which needs to completely regrow if the colt is to have any shot of walking, remains the biggest concern.
"He's got to get this left hind foot to the point where it's a solid structure that can sustain long-term weight bearing," Richardson said. "Could there still be some major things resulting in him having to be put down? Yeah. He's absolutely not out of the woods yet."
Update 444: New Bolton's video: Barbaro Video, August 14. You need quicktime. Its 3m 51 secs. and includes a short interview with Dr. Richardson at the end. It clearly shows Bobby walking comfortably, and enjoying the great outdoors!
Update 443: Thoroughbred Times reports Bobby's grazing: Barbaro grazes outside following cast change which includes the following excerpt:
"That's the first time he's been outside since we brought him in," said Gretchen Jackson, who bred and campaigned Barbaro along with her husband, Roy, in the name of their Lael Stables. "Dean took him out, and he just stood there for easily five minutes, looking at the scenery like, 'Oh my God, I'd forgotten about all of this.' He just looked around for some time before he put his head down, and then he ate away and was probably out for a good 20 minutes, enjoying himself. It was just the nurses out there and maybe a few vets and I think there were quite a few tears shed to see him do that."
Update 442: New Barbaro pictures: Barbaro hand-grazes at the New Bolton Center with Dr. Dean Richardson..
Update 441: New Bolton Center's press release today (not yet on their site): Barbaro well enough to hand graze outside:
After almost three months in the Intensive Care Unit of Penn's George D. Widener Hospital, Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro has begun brief outings to some grassy areas adjacent to the ICU to hand graze. "We felt he was ready for a change of scenery, so last week we took him outside to pick his own grass," said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. "He's not outside for a long time, but it's enough to let him enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. If he remains this comfortable, he will be hand-grazed daily."
Photos will be available on the Penn Vet Web site later today that show Barbaro being walked to the ICU's grazing area. "I'm very pleased with his progress," said Dr. Richardson. "His appetite remains strong, he sleeps well, and we continue to monitor him closely. He is measurably gaining weight and his overall attitude is great."
The photos show the cast on the right hind leg, which encloses the foot and extends up to just below the hock, the bandage on the left hind foot and support wraps on Barbaro's front legs.
Update 440: As many have noted in the comments, Barbaro was on Good Morning America this morning. Here is the video from GMA (check top stories). The video they used will be posted to New Bolton's site soon (as Dr. Richardson told us this morning) along with photographs! I believe the footage is from friday. Here is a comment that fairly represents many other comments (Posted by: marie from atl at August 14, 2006 02:03 PM):
Just saw the video. WOW! Barbaro looks great and Dr. R looks very happy.
Good morning everyone. What a nice way to start the day.
Update 439: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (sunday night). Just saw Michael Matz as I was going to the track on my third set...he was literally hanging up the phone with Dr. Richardson. Dr. Richardson also said that there will be new video of Bobby on the New Bolton Center site today. I believe there will be new photos as well.
updated monday 7:05am
Update 438: I am hoping Michael Matz is now back from Saratoga (I won't know until I see him at Fair Hill). If so then I hope our morning update will be that, in the morning! I have about nine to ride, but should be able to get a little free time if I get the morning report. In the meantime, keep enjoying the cartoon caption contest, there are already close to 100 entries and it was only posted yesterday!
Posted by Alex at 9:04 AM
Barbaro Updates: 43
Posted August 13, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 437: For fun: We have a cartoon caption contest at: Just for FUN, a Contest. The deadline for entries is 2 pm eastern time, august 23rd. We look forward to your creativity / imagination. Thanks Anna for putting this together.
We have another Arlington Million Report: Arlington Million Day Wonderful and "landesign" also took some pictures, available on snapfish. Some great ones of Showing Up, Film Maker, the Jacksons, Better Talk Now, and more!
And finally a limerick from Susan E (timestamp: 7:16pm):
A LIMERICK FOR BOBBY, PART II
One day our young stallion named Bobby,
Was visited by Daddy and Mommy.
When the keen Dr. Dean,
Saw the grasses so green,
And suggested a little hob-nobbing.
So Bobby went out in the sun,
To the delight of everyone.
He nibbled and grazed,
In the sunshine he lazed,
Another race Bobby has won.
Update 436: Another comfortable day for Bobby, just spoke to Peter. He was unable to visit today but had heard from Michael. It does appear that all in all, this has been a good week. Despite that, we do need to remember that we have a long way to go, we should however be thankful for the progress that we are hearing.
update sunday, 6:30 pm
Update 435: Jeannine Edwards just e-mailed me this note to provide more information on her interview with the Jackson's yesterday at the Arlington Million (the transcript of the interview has been transcribed by Jean i the comments, see her comment timestamped: 2:44 below):
Just wanted to follow-up on the interview I did with them yesterday and add a few tidbits for the site if you're interested and if it isn't old news by now.... Gretchen and Roy were kind enough to come down to the paddock at Arlington earlier in the day and do a taped interview with me for the 3pm CT ABC telecast. They were very upbeat about Barbaro's current condition. They both said they thought it was the end when Dean told them Barbaro had foundered badly in the LH foot. They said everyone, including Dean, was crying. Gretchen said Dean has really fallen in love with Barbaro, and that there is only one other horse that he ever became really attached to.... an Arabian stallion that also had alot of charisma and intelligence. The Jacksons said they are so pleased with how Barbaro has kept the fighting spirit and appears to be turning a corner. He is no longer on continual IV drips, the epidural is out, he just receives some pain management shots. He's spending less time in the sling. And it was Dean's idea to take Barbaro out for grass the other day.... Gretchen said they were all there visiting and out of the blue Dean said "Let's take him outside!" So out he marched (Dean leading him), eyes wide and eager, and Roy said Barbaro just stood there looking around for a few minutes, just taking it all in, before finally dropping his head to graze. My interpretation of that would be Barbaro thinking "Where the hell am I, and has it really been 3 months since I've seen daylight???" :) The Jacksons both said Michael has tirelessly gone to see Barbaro every day.... he is so personally and emotionally invested in his horse's ordeal. Roy said he continues to be amazed at the interest in and outpouring of support for Barbaro's condition.... they simply can not believe it. He said it is baffling, but wonderful. And they are happy to help keep the world informed of how Barbaro is doing, because they know how people are yearning for updates. And one other note.... The Jacksons said they visit timwoolleyracing.com!! It's official, you guys have become the Go-To Site for Barbaro!! I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Jacksons for graciously spending some time with me yesterday afternoon and sharing some of their personal thoughts on Barbaro. And congratulations on a wonderful victory by Showing Up!
Update 434: Just spoke to Peter. He has not visited yet today, and today's update will likely be later this afternoon. He did note Bobby had a good day the remainder of the day yesterday.
Here is a nice article on Tin Man's win yesterday in the Arlington Million: A horse that's all heart.
I have also been meaning to note Bernadini's breeze on friday as he prepares for the Travers Stakes. It seemed like a nice "maintenance breeze": Bernardini strong in first workout back in a nice leisurely 1:03.48 for the five furlongs. I imagine this breeze was designed just to get some wind into him and stretch his legs. He will likely have one or two more breezes before the Travers.
It also looks like Funny Cide is getting closer to running again: Funny Cide prepares for the Saratoga Woodward.
Update 433: No update yet this morning. I think Peter Brette is planning a visit to Barbaro so will try to catch up with him a little later. Gloria wrote this report of her visit to the Arlington Million yesterday: Arlington Million day report. Thanks Gloria, and for those going racing, it is great to read about your experiences.
Here is another nice review of Showing Ups race yesterday: Showing Up wins Secretariat Stakes. Clearly like everyone else, Marcus Hersh really had Bobby on his mind (thanks JS).
Its always nice to hear from people from afar following Barbaro's progress. This comment was left (updates 42 timestamp 11:44):
Greetings from Sydney Australia!!! Even though I'm half way around the world I continue to check on Barbaro. I am heading to the Hunter Valley today which is supposed to be THE place for the Australian racehorses - hope to catch a horseback ride while I'm there.
Much Love to Barbaro!!!!!
Posted by Alex at 11:23 AM
Barbaro Updates: 42
Posted August 12, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 432: Dancing Forever won the 10th at Saratoga. Her mother suffered a severe injury, she went to New Bolton and recovered. I need to find the article that discusses this, but nice to see her baby win. (Thanks Ed Fountaine). OK, here is the Bloodhorse article, very cool: Barbaro's Injury Similar to Dancinginmydreams' Years Ago.
Update 431: Showing Up showed up, nice wiring performance! Congrats to the Jacksons. Here is the Bloodhorse's report on the race: Showing Up in Sparkling Secretariat Win. It was also nice to see the Steve Klesaris trained Diabolical win today at Delaware: Diabolical overpowers rivals in Nick Shuk.
edit: added the bloodhorse link and Diabolical performance.
Update 430: Just spoke to Adrian Rolls (Graham's assistant with the two Arlington runners.) He said it seems both horses are cooling out well. To me it looked like Film Maker ran a big race, no real excuses, a good second in a very good race. Better Talk Now seemed to be compromised by a slow pace up front. He needs a quick pace, from which he is usually held up for a late challenge. When the pace up front is slow, the horses up front also still have a late kick, which makes it harder for the closers. While he finished 6th or 7th, he was only beaten about 6 lengths for everything ad looked to be galloping out strongly.
We have a few reports from our Fair Hill visitors today. Jazz posted on the discussion board: Todays visit with Alex in Fair Hill and also took pictures. Lynn left comments below (timestamp: 5:21 pm and 7:28 pm), a quick excerpt:
I understand why people fall in love with horses. I understand why they love to race. I understand now why the Jackson's and Michael Matz have put so much on the line to save Barbaro.
Thanks Emily for showing us around Michael's barn (and congrats on Tin Man)!
Update 429: ABCs interview with the Jackson's was short but VERY sweet. Its confirmed, Bobby has been led out to graze. This was earlier reported by Jane (update 41 4:54 am):
Just got back from a week in Saratoga where I saw Michael Matz, the Jacksons and Dr Richardson in the paddock on Sunday. Dr Richardson presented the trophy for a race sponsored by New Bolton. He looked relaxed and happy and the Saratoga Special reported that during Dr Richardson's afternoon there, he was asked well over one hundred times about Barbaro and he was able to report that all was well.
Yesterday, Edgar Prado was autographing pictures of his winning ride in the Derby on Barbaro. The proceeds went to the Race Track Chaplaincy. I thanked him for being so good to Barbaro and he replied that Barbaro had been very good to him, too. Edgar did say to the man in front of me that he had heard that they had taken Barbaro out to graze on Thursday morning. Whether that can be verified or not, I don't know. But he did say that he was up there to see him about 2 weeks ago and was very pleased with how well he was doing. Edgar is certainly a very nice person and a class act. You can tell how much he truly cares about Barbaro. His face, which is normally quite solemn, lights up when he talks about him.
Update 428: Another comfortable night (friday night) for Barbaro. Just heard from Peter who had heard from Michael Matz.
ABC will broadcast a brief Bobby update (which may include soundbites of an interview with the Jackson's if they are able to do the interview) about 30 minutes into their show. They will also broadcast an interview with Graham Motion as a lead up to the Beverly D.
edit, changed ESPN to ABC!
Posted by Alex at 3:56 PM
| Comments (540)
Barbaro Updates: 41
Posted August 11, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 427: No update yet for Barbaro this morning, although I did see Peter who said that he remained comfortable last night. He also noted that they had reduced his pain medication recently. I will catch up with Peter a little later to see how Bobby is this morning.
I just spoke with Adrian Rolls, Graham Motion's assistant, who flew out to Chicago with Better Talk Now and Film Maker. They flew out yesterday (friday), it was a two hour flight from BWI. Adrian said it was amazing, as soon as they got on the plane they dropped their heads and totally relaxed (they have flown before). It was a very smooth two hour ride. Film Maker just shedrowed this morning (ridden in the shedrow in the barn). Better Talk Now was ponied to the track and jogged / galloped once around just to stretch his legs. Both look well and are in good order for their races. Adrian also caught up with Barclay (Tagg) who reported Showing Up was in good form. I think he flew in on thursday.
We had three visitors to Fair Hill today. Jazz, Lyn and Lois. It was fun being a host, I hope it was fun / interesting to visit!
Update 426: I was hoping to hear back from Jeannine Edwards (and may still do so yet) re: ABCs racing coverage today. The following is an excerpt of an e-mail she sent to me a couple of days ago:
we are not showing the secretariat, it's after we are off the air. we ARE showing the beverly d, arlington million, sword dancer (SAR) and vanderbilt (SAR). we may do a quick interview with the jacksons, not sure yet. there will be a barbaro update.
Its a shame we won't get to see the Secretariat (The Jackson's Showing Up's race) but it would be great if they were to interview the Jackson's! Lets see.
The following Bloodhorse article previews the Arlington Million: Many Obstacles in Million for English Channel which includes the following excerpt:
The leading quartet must face seven other worthy challengers in Saturday's Arlington Million XXIV. Among them: Bushwood Racing Partners' Better Talk Now, who won the 2004 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf at Lone Star Park, last summer's United Nations, and was fourth in last summer's Arlington Million.
The Arlington Million I believe was the first million dollar race in the US. It was the first older horse US race that I really took notice of when growing up in the UK. European trainers have had a good degree of success in the race. I do remember when Teleprompter won the race!
Update 425: Thank you to those of you who contributed to my dinner tonight at the Whip. Very thoughtful, if unecessary. Tomorrow will be a busy day. We will have a few visitors coming to Fair Hill. I am looking forward to hopefully providing a couple of hours of "entertainment". For those coming, just plan to be at Parlo 1 at 8 am. If you arrive early, then park by the starting gate and hang around there until 8. The starting gate is the first thing you will see as you drive in from the 213 entrance. Parlo 1 is then the first barn after the starting gate. If you are late, still plan to come to Parlo 1 and ask for me. Someone will tell you what's going on, you may just have to wait around for a while. As far as I know i'll have 3 horses to ride after the break (8:45 am) and perhaps one at 8 (not sure yet). If not one at 8 we can use the time to look around a little. Feel free to come tomorrow, or another saturday, whether you have told me you are coming or not. If you have any trouble finding us call me.
Update 424: Peter Brette just called and Bobby seems to have had another good day. There is also a lovely thank you from New Bolton Center: Thank You and Kennett Florist left this note:
Just got back from NBC. We loaded them up with treats for Bobby for the weekend. Dr Sweeney reassured me and also wanted to let you know that they ARE getting to Bobby. She had someone bring a basket up to him as I was there. I admire this lady more and more each day.
I was talking to one of the staff and they were thinking about planting a "Barbaro Garden" of bulbs, so in the srping they could be reminded of him with beautiful colors and flowers. I think this is a wonderful ideas, and will try to get my hands on some bulbs.
We have stud muffins on the way! So we will include those in the baskets next week. I was told on Wednesday by one of the guys that works with Bobby, that he really likes them. Anything the boy wants... the boy gets!! Love to you all!
Rachel at Kennett Florist
Update 423: Another comfortable night for Barbaro (thursday night), and a good morning. Peter has just visited and called to let me know (2:15 pm). Again he was upbeat. I asked him about the roses (traditionally worn after the Derby win). Apparently there were roses to wear after the Florida Derby win, he did not want anything to do with those, so for the KY Derby they did not want to push it. They did do something for a couple of quick pictures (I think Edgar jumped off for those), but that was it.
update, friday, 2:25 pm
Update 422: Mike has written the next portion of "The Call":
"In an amazing turn of events here today , the horses are into the far turn and now BARBARO is making another move", shouts Durkin. You can sense the emotion in his baritone voice. It's a dual emotion of amazement and AWE. He knows that this is no ordinary race, and what he and all are witnessing is no ordinary horse. " For the first time Prado goes to his whip and BARBARO RESPONDS WITH A TREMENDOUS MOVE", hails Durkin," you can see the confidence now in this horse with every stride". Edgar tucks the whip away and begins to hand ride him as he passes horses on the outside, devouring the track and the opposition with a sublime display of raw power. He's now 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, BARBARO HAS MOVED INTO 4TH with a big swooping move and looks like there's no stopping him now . It seems like seconds ago Edgar was in a life and death hold on this horse, but now BARBARO IS ON THE MOVE.....
(Mike perhaps post the entire call to the discussion boards ?)
There have been a few questions about the history of Fair Hill. This pre-Preakness article discusses Fair Hill and its history: Fair Hill provides Barbaro a peaceful home.
A nice article on Showing Up that also has a couple of Barbaro mentions: Not here just for show: Barbaro's stablemate Showing Up favored in Secretariat Stakes. The Barbaro mentions are:
"Barbaro is doing as well as can be expected," Roy Jackson said. "The main thing is to try to save him so he has a pain-free life. It's sort of going day by day. We have a special feeling for Barbaro because we bred him and raised him."
"They're only a 3-year-old once," Tagg said. "I decided to make the switch [to the grass] because I thought Barbaro would win the Triple Crown. I can't imagine he'd have beaten Barbaro [who went into the Preakness undefeated in six races]. I thought Showing Up might have a chance to be the [national] champion turf horse."
A relatively belated start and the ability to run on both dirt and turf are the common denominators in the careers of Showing Up and Barbaro, who won his first three starts on the grass before moving to the main track.
Now, the torch that Barbaro carried has been passed to Showing Up.
Update 421: Peter is planning to visit Barbaro today, a little later, so I will get a quick report of his visit probably mid afternoon. He did speak to Michael this morning, but they did not discuss Bobby, so while I am unable to report that Bobby had a comfortable night (yet) I imagine if otherwise it would have been a topic of conversation. At least that is what Peter, Emily, Grae and I discussed when I asked Peter about Bobby. Peter did mention Bobby had a nice massage last night and the end of day report was very positive.
Update 420: A few have already commented on the note left on the site referenced in update 419 which indicated Bobby did not want anything to do with the roses after winning his Derby. This is confirmed here. I will also ask Peter about it when I get back to Fair Hill.
It was another beautiful morning this morning riding out. I have ridden five, and have two more to go. The first set, coming out about 5:25 am, you can see the track and clocker's stand silhouetted by the moon. As I was walking towards the track I could see about five horses jogging backwards (i.e. clockwise). This was Michael Matz's crew, again they were only lit by the moon. Its a very peaceful time of the morning.
On to the weekend racing. Graham (Motion) has Sweet Science in today in a stake at Saratoga. He is also shipping Better Talk Now (Arlington Million) and Film Maker (Beverly D) to Chicago today. They will van down to BWI and then fly to Chicago. Adrian Rolls (he led up Last Suspect to win the National a long time ago), assistant to Graham (and good friend) will be overseeing the shipping. I will call Adrian tomorrow to see how things are after both horses take a look at the race track.
Update 419: Michael Matz is still in Saratoga, I think he is returning on sunday, so again, the morning update will be closer to lunchtime. Here is another nice painting of Barbaro, which will be auctioned for charity: Thoroughbred Charities of America (December 1). I have added another update to the Fan Media page which includes the two latest Barbaro videos from Youtube.
Thankfully Mike Rea is continuing along his long road to recover: Hello Everyone.
And finally, two poems:
The first, mysteriously dictated by Bobby to Melissa Harden:
Song of the Thoroughbred
(Dictated to Melissa Harden)
Some run for the joy of it, some for the glory
Those who think otherwise, don't know the whole story
Some run to win races and that is their pleasure
Then some others that run just run at their leisure.
We love to run like the wind, that is our nature
And to run with the wind, what couldn't be greater.
From those who finish last to the noblest of steeds,
We are born and raised to run, for that is our breed.
If you watch us as youngsters, we're not standing still.
We are all running free, for that is our own will.
If all of you who doubt, would watch us in pastures,
While we're playing our games, to see who is faster,
Don't any of you doubt a thoroughbred's great heart.
All those of you who do, are so wrong from the start.
I still run in my dreams and will run when I'm healed.
It might not be as fast but; run someway I will.
We're magnificent creatures; - "Boy, don't we know it."
And if you should doubt that , then you should just stowe it.
So all of you "Neigh-sayers" should just go away
Let me get back to healing and eating my hay.
The second, posted on the discussion boards: http://forums.delphiforums.com/timwoolley/messages?msg=127.1:
A Longed For Dream
Hopes so high that day, it seemed;
fulfillment of a longed for dream.
Raw burst of power, away you went;
another victory evident.
Then fate stepped in that one cruel day,
and stole the longed for dream away.
Confusion, fear, shown on your face;
am I not still to win this race?
An angel then lept quickly down,
concerned no longer with the crown.
And held you with such steely will,
in great attempts to keep you still.
The masses stood with heads bowed low;
your future they did fear to know.
But love stepped in and would not bend;
that day for you came not the end.
Delivered to a healer good,
who did what others seldom would.
There now is hope, where once was none,
although much yet need still be done.
Your courage, strength, unending grace,
will serve you well this final race.
A champion's heart you do possess;
Victorious! and nothing less.
The day will come to greet blue skies
and sunshine with your soulful eyes.
Let warm winds soothe and comfort you,
for all your pain and strife is through.
God graces you, each day, you see;
He gives you now new destiny.
A longed for dream desired so...
the dream IS YOU, sweet Barbaro.
- Sandra Gehri-Bergman
Posted by Alex at 8:48 AM
| Comments (471)
Barbaro Updates: 40
Posted August 9, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 418: Peter just called (7pm). All remains well with Bobby. He had spoken to Michael again later today. As we get ready for racing this weekend I thought I would post this article: Barbaro's owner has a consolation and see if you can spot the error! Anyway, Showing Up does look like the real deal on the Turf, but we also know Bobby was outstanding on the turf and might have been campaigned later in his career on the turf in europe (something Peter has told me on more than one occasion)!
Its Saratoga sales time. This is covered by the Daily Racing Form: $1.6 million 'Empire' filly tops sale (Glenye Cain seems very cool, we have chatted on the phone a couple of times, she adopted a retired racehorse that was once trained by Graham Motion). However I prefer my friends report, via e-mail:
It's hard to describe the atmosphere at this sale. Lots of heavy hitters from around the world, a select group of fancy horses, and lots of spectators dressed in cocktail attire. And lots of cocktails. I think the lights are positioned to make the horses look extra glossy and consequently the people look glamorous too. What's that saying?, "a place to see and be seen". I didn't see as many horses as I'd have liked. The Green Monkey's half sister looked really fancy, but she only brought $225,000 which is probably below the average for this sale. I saw an Unbridled's Song colt sell for 1.3 million and a really nice Empire Maker filly sell for 1.6 million. The sale was not over when I left.
Update 417: A quick update from Kennett Florist:
When we got to NBC today one of the wonderful ladies grabbed a few bunches of carrots and headed up to Bobby with them. It seems they've been awaiting our arrival the past few days... can that boy eat carrots or what? Everyone was very upbeat. Talked to Dr Sweeney, and she's going to do a little investigating on Dr R's favorite restaurant for us. I've said it before, but it bears repeating... what a wonderful place NBC is, and what amazing people! Thank you all!
Update 416: A poem and a limerick. The poem was e-mailed to me by Beverly Sweitzer:
I searched o'er all the world for one thing perfect.
I looked at castles and at kingdoms men erect.
To every land and every clime I sought
To see if somewhere perfection could be bought.
I gazed at landscapes of many a land,
Admired the seashores and cities of every demand.
I looked at everything that man had made--
Cathedrals and columns of every shade.
I saw the bright lights of a beautiful city.
I tried to understand but my heart felt only pity
For those, who thought perfection they could meet
In the skyscraping columns above the street.
I saw the works called art, in music and in paint,
But each carried the touch of man's sinful taint.
I searched, but a perfect one I not find
In sorrow I vowed, nothing is perfect in humankind.
Taking courage again in my search, I turned
To nature to see if there perfection could be learned
From the beauty of rivers and mountains and streams
But none of these held the perfection of my dreams.
The glistening white of the snow, melts in the spring.
In fall, the leafless tree becomes an ugly thing.
The blue of the sky, when clouded, turns gray
The blossoms of flowers bloom only in May.
In despair I turned to my home on the plain
To find, in coat of burnished gold and black of tail and mane,
A horse, in all degrees, perfection ruled supreme.
The beauty of the stallion was the answer to my dream.
I've ridden in magnificent golden royal coaches,
Manmade monsters, but perfection, none approaches.
Machines of power and demons of space and speed
Cannot match the grace and beauty of that racing steed.
Oh, mount him to reach the goal of limitless length.
A thoroughbred giant of muscle and strength.
In all his magnificent glory, the indescribable king.
He stands above the world, perfect in everything.
Such faith and loyalty has never graced man's mind.
Why then, did God choose poor and sin-scarred humankind
I ask, in all this world beneath the sun,
To be called the masters of such a one.
By all the rules of heaven and earth
He must serve in bridle and saddle girth.
He was made to run and he will obey
With all his strength and power night or day.
In all my wandering of the trackless years,
In countless trips across two hemispheres,
At last I found the race in which he could compete.
Barbaro, perfection, there to find complete
and the limerick from Susan E:
A LIMERICK FOR BOBBY
There was a young stallion of lore,
Who brought horseracing back to the fore.
Barbaro was his name,
Winning big was his game,
Till his right leg did break to the core.
To New Bolton young Bobby did go,
And much courage and grace he did show.
Strong, patient, and kind,
Bobby healed his right hind,
Till he suffered yet another blow.
Bobby had a doctor named Dean,
Of medical skills very keen.
Dean fixed Bobby's hoof,
And attached to the roof,
A sling in which Bobby could swing.
"Swing, Bobby, swing!" said the NBC staff,
And "Show us your boing!" staff did laugh.
So Bobby did swing,
In his magical sling,
Till everyone's heart did take wing.
More on this stallion named Bobby,
For him peppermints were a hobby.
The mints were so sweet,
He jumped to his feet,
And ran home through the NBC lobby.
Get well soon, Bobby.
Update 415: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night). Peter just called and had just spoken to Michael. He sounded pretty upbeat. A little delayed, but good news nonetheless! Here is a good short article: BARBARO CONTINUES TO MEND (Ed Fountaine who has cited this web-site in an earlier report) a quick update, rehashing the press release from yesterday, with this tidbit at the end:
Barbaro's trainer, Michael Matz, was upbeat at Saratoga yesterday, noting that, although one of the screws in the Derby champ's fracture was broken, the bones appear to be mending well and the pastern joint is fusing. "We just have to keep our fingers crossed," he said.
The broken screw is not of concern as far as I am aware.
Fair Hill this morning was nice and uneventful. I rode eight, one filly (Chappy) I broke out of the gate and breezed 3/8ths. She is a two year old, and will likely get her gate card soon (required before first start). I took Gator Nation out back to jog around the hills and grasslands (grass has now been cut). He seems in good spirits after his first start (nice closing third). The 2yo who reared up with me yesterday did it again today (course he's just a bit of a colt, no real harm). I stayed on!
Update 414: No update yet, just taking a break between sets. Nice to see Barbaro's influence persisting (growing): University of Minnesota to build new equine center, the following is an excerpt:
"The recent events surrounding the horse Barbaro has revealed how specialized and advanced equine care has become," said University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks. "This exciting new center shows our commitment to serve Minnesota's horse enthusiasts and the health of these beautiful animals."
A nice article in the DailyLocal: Barbaro still fighting, it begins:
Incremental progress -- that's what Roy and Gretchen Jackson hope for each day from Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby-winning horse that has been battling the odds since a career-ending injury at the Preakness in May.
"We can't look ahead," Gretchen Jackson said. "Barbaro has had pretty good days for a while, so we're very grateful."
"The way he acts is amazing," Gretchen said. "He's really behaving himself and following the doctors' orders. He hasn't acted too bored. So many people are caring for him. He understands he needs help, so he puts up with it all because he knows he can't do it himself."
Recently, the Jacksons spent a few days in Saratoga, N.Y., where the premier racehorses in the country are competing. Numerous race fans offered their well wishes.
"It's been very hard at times, there's no denying it," Gretchen Jackson said. "We all have sadness that comes into our lives. You deal with it the best you can. Barbaro has come through a lot. But that's why he's a champion. He's headed in the right direction."
ABC's racing coverage on saturday might include an interview with the Jackson's, that would be very cool.
Ok, back to Fair Hill for two more horses.
Update 413: Much like the previous few days the morning update will be later, due to Michael being in Saratoga.
Annie stopped by and left this comment (thanks Annie, 1:03 pm):
Hi. Its Annie that works for Michael in Fairhill. I'm one of his many excercise riders at the moment. I've worked with Michael and the team for nearly 4 years so that makes me a veteran amongst the riders that he has now. Alex asked me if I could get an interview with Eduardo so you could all know how he is coping. Well an interview was too much to ask. Eduardo is a very quiet shy kind of person. But he is a sweet heart. I'm not as good a reporter as Alex. If you could have been a fly on the wall you would laugh at my spanish or lack there of. As far as I could make out Eduardo misses Barbaro alot. He told me it was an honour working with Barbaro. That they shared alot of good times and he was glad to be there to try and calm Barbaro down that day on the race track. It broke his heart. to be so happy one moment and then for it all to change so fast. Like i said Eduardo didn't want to talk to much about it. He now has a vanity plate on the front of his truck of Barbaro winning the Kentuck derby.. looks very smart.
Thank you for all your kind words to Barbaro and the Team. Its nice to know he has such a big following of people to cheer him on as he gets better. Well its 9 o'clock and well past my bedtime. 4 am doesn't be long rolling around, and the horse world stops for no man or horse.
Thank you again..... good night
Also, another excellent video posted to the discussion board http://forums.delphiforums.com/timwoolley/messages?msg=79.1 by jfrank74: Barbaro, We Believe.
And lets not forget our friend Mike Rea. It seems he is enjoying your poetry!
Update 412: The following article: High knee action might give leg up is a good reminder of the reverance Bobby inspired before the Preakness. This excerpt I loved:
The day after the Kentucky Derby, trainer Bob Baffert met with some reporters at his barn on the Churchill Downs backstretch and told this story about seeing Barbaro in the paddock before the race.
"My wife, Jill, said, 'Oh my God, look at him. He looks good.' But I go, 'Yeah, I think he's a turf horse, honey.' She said, 'You better hope so.'"
The article also notes the potential for running Barbaro in europe after the triple crown. I know this is something Peter was very keen on. Its obviously an old article, but a great read.
This T shirt offer looks very generous.
Update 411: The following was just posted on the discussion board: http://forums.delphiforums.com/timwoolley/messages?msg=29.3:
Just wanted to say that I first saw Barbaro 2 days prior to the Holy Bull Stakes @ Gulfstream Park. While I didn't hug him, I stood by his stall while he was chewing on some hay, he turn around & watched/stared @ me for some several minutes. I was with a friend & Peter Brette was there talking to Dave & Myself about Bobby. He told me that while Barbaro was a super-super turf runner, he also was very fast on the dirt. He was by far the most Intelligent, Fastest Thoroughbred that he had ever galloped/breezed. Two days later, in the slop/dirt in a Grade 3, he ran his usual race, right behind the leaders & then blow right by them at the quarter pole.
I have about 10/12 great pictures of him, 3 Win Circle pictures that you can purchase for about $20 from the Track Photo Shop, when they are open..
He is a Champion Of Champions, in that, not only on the track, but in his recovery/healing..He's very intelligent..We are all pulling for him....
Have a great day.......Clearwater Charlie & my Bichon Fraise,(Tommy)
Update 410: Another visit report from Rachel of Kennett Florist:
It has been one crazy day, I apologize for not posting sooner. We delivered a lovely breakfast of cinnamon buns, assorted danish, muffins, juices and coffee. There was a crowd when we got there, and wasn't sure they were going to let me finish setting up before they dug in! They again wanted me to convey their gratitude... I even heard someone comment 'alright, another Barbaro breakfast!!' The mood seems really good. And of course we had our side of carrots that was delivered to Bobby for his breakfast treat.
We sent up another basket from the "fund" today. Since the staff has asked for more carrots, we loaded them up again this afternoon, along with lots of snacks (especially chocolate) for the staff. Thanks again to all of you!!
WE BELIEVE!! (always have and always will ;)
Rachel at Kennett Florist
Update 409: We have now opened up a discussion board and chat room at http://forums.delphiforums.com/timwoolley/start (thanks Prospero). I opened this last night (quietly) and we already have about 90 members and some good q and a. The discussion boards are great for asking questions, answering each others' questions etc. The chat to brainstorm, bond etc. I hope these tools compliment this site and the comments section here. Please go over, take a look, and provide any feedback as we try to make each of the tools most appropriate for our needs. You can read posts as a guest, but need to sign up (pretty simple and painless) to post and access chat. Signup also makes it much easier to manage the discussion boards in terms of keeping tabs on what you have read etc.
All updates will always be posted here.
On another note, we are climbing up google for Barbaro, now 21st!
Update 408: Peter Brette just called. He managed a quick visit to Barbaro today and said he remains comfortable. Michael also had a winner at Delaware so I managed to congratulate Peter (I only knew thanks to this site!) A poem from TLC (from updates 39: 4:00 pm):
Our message to Barbaro....
Everyday we say a prayer
for another comfortable night.
For together we stand,
this close knit group,
united against Barbaro's plight.
This beautiful being
has brought us together,
similar in so many ways.
For we all have the hope,
the thoughts, and the wishes
to see Barbaro through each of these days.
Stay strong we all say,
listen to your doctors,
show everyone how smart you are.
An inspiration to so many,
Barbaro, a bright shining star.
So Bobby, (as he is known by so many),
keep your head high and eyes all a'gleam.
For each of us knows
in our heart of hearts,
that you will fulfill our dream.
Posted by Alex at 7:28 PM
| Comments (556)
Barbaro Updates 39
Posted August 7, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 407: New Bolton Center press release: Another smooth cast change for Barbaro:
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro is doing well this morning after the cast on his right hind limb was changed late yesterday afternoon under general anesthesia. "The leg looked good under the cast, especially considering the length of time that he has been in a cast," said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. "The radiographs also were encouraging. There is no sign of active infection. This is further supported by his markedly improving blood values over the last two weeks. He had an excellent pool recovery; he is a very intelligent horse and has definitely figured out the whole process."
The cast on the right hind leg encloses the foot and extends up to just below the hock. It will continue to be changed regularly until the fractures and joint fusions have healed completely enough to sustain full weight bearing.
The bandage and protective boot on Barbaro's laminitic left hind foot continues to be changed daily. "The appearance of the foot is very good. It is dry and healthy looking with excellent early regrowth at the coronary band," said Dr. Richardson.
Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Pennsylvania's George D. Widener Hospital, where he is recovering from injuries suffered at the Preakness on May 20.
The next update will be posted on Tuesday, August 15 unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.
Update 406: Still no update, but as far as I am aware New Bolton is planning to release an update themselves this morning so we also have that to look forward to. I saw some coverage (positive) on Bobby last night on the local NBC10 channel (this was before the cast change). I believe the footage they used was old (from July 13).
Update 405: No update yet. I will catch up with Peter once I am finished riding (two more to go) but he did mention he plans to visit today. I started a little earlier this morning (5:20 am) and certainly before the sun started. It does seem we have quite a few foxes around, and they are not shy. I saw at least two while on my first set (at least I think they were foxes, either that or the deer are shrinking). The only other set on the track first thing was Michael Matz's set (of ten horses / riders).
Later I caught up with Tim, Barclay Tagg's assistant. He told me about Showing Up this weekend (which we know), but I was more interested in his time working for Allaire DuPont (he worked for her for 20 years until she recently passed away). He was there when Kelso was there (not during his racing period) but noted he used to get many visitors (by the bus load). People can still visit his grave, he was buried on the farm, they just need to call ahead.
And later still, I nearly fell off (trainer did not see, it was coming onto the track, 2yo rearing up). Nearly, but not quite!
Update 404: Much like the last couple of days the morning update will be delayed as Michael is in Saratoga and I have to wait until Peter talks to Michael later in the morning. The following article: Motion Sizes Up Arlington Festival Races discusses this weekend's stakes races at Arlington and quotes from Fair Hill's Graham Motion (who will run Better Talk Now and Film Maker, two super consistent graded stakes horses over the years) and Barclay Tagg who provides a little insight into the switch to the Turf for the Jackson's Showing Up:
"I think he's very adept on both surfaces, but a little more comfortable on the grass," Tagg said. "I made the switch because I thought Barbaro would go ahead and do the Triple Crown, and I didn't need to have him chasing Barbaro around."
Its nice to see a trainer frankly talk about his horse's prospects in light of another horse, knowing he won't offend his owner!
Update 403: Peter Brette just called. They have changed the cast, Bobby is now back in his stall. He did have anesthesia as I think they wanted to check everything etc. (all his feet etc.) but it seems all is well, he recovered in the pool and is now returned. I am sure we will hear more from New Bolton tomorrow etc. Peter called 8:45 pm
Update 402: Another lovely poem, by Melissa Harden:
Horse Angels Speaking
Barbaro must be listening a minute or two
To Horse Angels Secretariat and Seattle Slew
It is too soon to join us Secretariat said
Therefore you need now to listen instead.
Continue your healing and being patiently calm
Your positive attitude is the best healing balm
They're are saying you're smart and we have to agree
But what else should we expect with your great pedigree.
We have races in heaven and a whole lot of fun
But it is too soon to join us; your job is not done.
You will see that we all must have our own Triple Crown
Yours might be through your foals or even greater renown.
You have made safety in racing a cause celebre
That might be your achievement at the end of your day
Or there might be another Triple Crown with you son
So even not on a course there're still races to run.
But whatever your job is, your success is confirmed
Because we know you are one of us chimed in Affirmed.
For you see we know that you are one of us and great
Even though your own Triple Crown was stolen by fate.
We'll be watching you closely to see you don't falter
While hearing the prayers offered here at our altar
For there are so many more legends with us up here
With us watching over you, you have nothing to fear.
You can also tell Mike Rea that we are all praying
So he will recover soon and restart his training
Cause we know that he loves horses and misses them too
Tell him that next time in the saddle to use crazy glue.
Update 401: While we wait for news on Bobby's cast change, an interesting story is Kelso's dad, Your Host. Bobby is even cited in this wikipedia article (thanks Beverly).
Update 400: Peter called, 4:30 pm, they are currently changing his cast on his right hind leg as noted in New Bolton's update today. I hope to hear more later.
Update 399: A quick update from Kennett Florist and their visit today from Rachel:
Just got back from my trip to NBC today. We got in a fresh shipment of baby carrots with the greens this morning, since they had asked for more carrots yesterday. It's always nice to be greeted at the door by everyone at NBC. The baskets had some treats for them as well. We made used some of the money from the "kitty" that many have been sending in the mail for some of the treats today. So thank you to all. I had a chance to talk to Dr. Sweeney briefly and asked how Bobby was doing. She said he was doing good and they were getting ready to do his regularly scheduled cast change. She also extends her thanks to everyone for all the gifts that are being sent.
Rachel at Kennett Florist
I also wanted to note I have uploaded three pictures from my visit to New Bolton on saturday. The "featured" photo is of Peter Brette, posing with one of the six cards delivered from Churchill Downs. The second is of the Thomas family, who were visiting from Tampa Florida and had just posted the two images that are displayed between them. The third picture is a poster from the Barbaromaniacs!
Update 398: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro, I know we could assume that with the press release, but it did not explicitly say so. Peter just called, had had heard from Michael. Peter is visiting later today, so I will try to catch up with him again a little later.
update 12:30 pm, tuesday august 8
Update 397: New Bolton's press release, Cast change planned for Barbaro later today:
Doctors at Penn's George D. Widener Hospital plan to change the right hind leg cast of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro later today. "Changing the cast gives us the opportunity to take new radiographs and evaluate the progress of the fracture healing and joint fusions," said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery.
"His left hind hoof continues to show signs of regrowth and looks healthy," said Dr. Richardson. The colt's left hind foot, which had most of the hoof wall removed due to severe laminitis, has a daily bandage change for examination and treatment.
Update 396: Jeannine Edwards just sent me this e-mail which gives a little insight into the "behind the scenes" of producing a show, and of course Barbaro!
before our show on sunday, i had called michael to see if he was going to be at monmouth for the matchmaker and if so, could we interview him on the show. he told me he just gotten to saratoga and wouldn't be there. i said i was just in saratoga and just now got to monmouth! (kenny mayne, randy moss, jerry bailey, rolly hoyt our researcher, some of our production crew, and myself all worked the double header weekend we had aug 5/6. we started in saratoga on thurs, worked the whitney show from 5-6pm on saturday, then after returning our rental cars at the albany airport jumped into a limo for the ride down to monmouth, arriving at 11pm sat night. sunday morning i got up at 6am and we were all cramming for our haskell telecast that afternoon at 5pm..... after which 10 of us had dinner at chili's and then drove to a hotel at newark airport for our flights out monday morning.) anyway, i had a nice chat with michael. he said barbaro continues to show that strong spirit and determination. i asked what he sees in his face and eyes when he looks at barbaro.... is it spunk, fear, worry, weariness, etc. he said if anything barbaro's spirit and attitude are getting better. he said he's not getting tired of the routine, he's getting brighter. he said he REALLY wants out of the stall.... every time the door opens he's ready. i was happy to hear that and we thank michael for taking the time to chat with me and fill me in a little.
Update 395: As we wait for our Barbaro update this morning I thought you might like to hear about the Saratoga antics of Bernadini yesterday morning, e-mail excerpt from a friend:
Bernardini looks to be heading towards the Travers with plenty of spunk. He became playful on the way to the Saratoga main track monday morning, rearing up and striking assistant trainer Dave Wallace who was accompanying Bernardini on the lead pony. Dave took a few good whacks on the leg and shoulder, and when I asked him if he was okay he thought I was asking about the horse. You know that's how horse people think. Never mind that being struck by a horse is probably something like having George Foreman hit you with a sledge hammer.
Peter Brette will visit Barbaro after he has finished at Fair Hill, so we will have that update, New Bolton's press release and word from Michael to come.
Update 394: This morning Fair Hill is beautiful, if not a little too warm. On my way back from my first set I saw a fox scampering away across the grass, away from a flock of geese. The geese seemed to have the fox a little rattled. A later set (third or fourth) another fox was calmly trotting across the dirt track, unphased by the horses galloping by. No Bobby update yet, as noted earlier it will likely be later this morning. I have ridden six and have three more left to go. I thought I would post these two e-mails:
the first from Mike C, regarding his brief meeting with Edgar Prado to give him the CALL:
I went to Monmouth Park yesterday for the races, but also to try to give a copy of "The Call" to Edagr Prado who had several mounts there. He was taken off his mounts in the 1st and 2nd races, guess traffic or the helicopter carring him and John Velazquez there was late....Edgar arrived after the 1st race and was in a hurry. I attempted to talk to him, but him being in a big hurry , POLITELY offered to sign or talk later. So I waited till the end of the day after his last mount to reach him.. After the Haskell, the feature race of the day, I approached him. He was very cordial, I asked him if he'd please sign my BARBARO hat, HE GRACIOUSLY DID...Then I handed him an envelope with a copy of "the call" in it..I explained to him what it was and if he would please try to read it in his spare time, that I felt he may enjoy it..He smiled and we shook hands, I said to him thanks for saving BARBAROS' life, he just smiled and went into the jocks room... Edgar is a very classy guy...
Kim C. also provides her experience seeing Bobby at Keeneland:
The backside at Keeneland is very fan friendly, and it's no problem at all to go back there. There is a parking lot at the end of the area and many fans walk right through the backside area on the way to the track. My mother & I always go back at least once during the meet to see the horses. Now we don't always get to go into the shed row, sometimes we just see the horses from behind the outer wall of shed row, maybe 4-6 feet away. That's how we saw Bobby.
We were walking around a shed row area and come upon a security guard and I asked him where Michael Matz was stabled. He told us and we went down to his barn and stood about 4-6 feet away from Bobby. He had his head down munching hay and we couldn't see anything but his hind quarters. As we were standing there imploring Bobby to look at us, someone walked by his stall, saw us, stopped and got Barbaro's attention and Bobby moved around to the front of the stall and we got to see him quite well. We talked to him a minute, but he was more interested in his hay! We also saw Smarty Jones in 2004. So, next year, whoever wants their horse to win the derby just needs to have us go see him at Keeneland.
It was kind of hard to tell how big Bobby was from inside the stall but he looked a good size. I know his daddy is about 17.1 hands. We thought Bobby had a beautiful face. I'm a big fan of Dynaformer and early this year when
the TC preps began, Barbaro immediately drew my attention because he was a Dynaformer.
We were, to say the least, thrilled to see him at Keeneland and super thrilled to see him win the derby.
Update 393: Today's update will again be later in the morning due to Michael Matz being in Saratoga. Thankfully we have Kathy Anderson's most recent report from last night (update 392). New Bolton Center is planning a press release today so we might see that this morning.
Massuese is thankfully OK after being pulled up by Edgar Prado shortly into the Matchmaker, see the last article here: Masseuse OK after injury.
Here are a couple of poems that have been e-mailed:
By Judith Walker:
Wind Kissed Miracle
Our wind kissed miracle
Who has captured all of our hearts
Heaven touched you
When you ran, you flew
Ancient Soul, you knew
Where your friends the Winds slept
You knew how to find Them
To ask if they could play
Chase in meadows, or at the break of day
To sail effortless down tracks of dirt
We watched in awe
Your effortless stride took our breath away
A small pebble caused you to stumble
Then stole your winged hoofs
Our wind kissed miracle
Who has captured our hearts
We still watch in awe
As you fly, and soar
On new Wind friends
Winds of healing love
Healing breath sent daily to you, dearest Ancient Soul
Soon you will play chase in a meadow
Once again take our breath away.
By Gloria Nussbaum:
The Will To Win
(as inspired by Barbaro)
Regal, majestic, magnificent, strong,
The one we awaited, with hope, for so long,
You marched on the stage with a presence unmatched,
And by flawless performance, we all grew attached.
But by more than performance... your own manner drew
Us into the "magic" that we see in few.
That intangible something that shines from within,
That connects with the longing we all have to "win."
Focused, competitive, disciplined, brave,
You showed us a way that we all could behave.
Fluid, commanding, your bearing and strides,
Your outward display hinted more was inside.
And when things went wrong, and your course became rough,
You moved on to teach us that yours was no bluff.
In good times or bad, the fight is the same,
With courage and strength you forge on with no blame.
What have you shown by your will to survive?
A spirit that yearns to stay on -- and, to thrive!
An open heart eager, whatever life holds,
To trust that the future has promise untold.
A passion for keeping on, reaching for more,
With hope in what else may come, yet unexplored.
We have watched with amazement the journey within,
And have seen for ourselves the TRUE will to win.
You've achieved beyond that of sheer Triple Crown lore,
And to us you will always have that class and more,
Because you have touched something so deep inside,
That we all feel like we are along on your ride.
To walk in the footprints of one special horse,
May make little sense to some people, of course,
But by leaving your imprint -- unspoiled and real,
You've taught us all more about ways we can heal.
Will we follow your model - to put forth our best?
And discover the joys that we haven't as yet?
The lessons you teach us are simple, yet deep.
They whisper of truths we'll be honored to keep.
For winning is not merely beating a foe,
It's conquering hardship, and pain, and sorrows,
It's patience, surmounting unknowns once again,
It's rising above - and yes, not giving in.
It matters not whether another competes,
Comparisons, measures, are all incomplete.
No one must lose so that you may win.
A winner stands tall and lifts others with him.
The ending is still to be written, through time,
And "wins" may not look like what we have in mind,
But of this we are sure, you will run your full race,
And wire to wire, you'll finish with grace.
We cherish the chance that we have to observe
Your ongoing victory, so well deserved.
We've joined in the journey. Now may we begin
To grasp the true meaning of "the will to win."
Update 392: Kathy Anderson just called....she was leaving New Bolton Center at about 9pm after visiting Barbaro. Bobby had just received a massage. He was out of the sling, munching on some fresh-cut grass. He was bright and alert. And after not having seen him for a couple of days (Kathy was in Saratoga), she thought he even might have put a little weight on.
updated monday 9:20pm
Update 391: Kathy Anderson, who also had a quick visit to Saratoga, may be visiting Bobby later tonight. If she does, I will try to get an update tonight, otherwise it will be tomorrow.
Update 390: The Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies were held today: Hall of Fame Induction: A Flood of Memories. There were three inductees: Carl Hanford, Bill Boland and Cougar II. The article is a wonderful read. The horse most closely related to Fair Hill is Kelso (the reason for Carl Handford's induction), simply because he was owned by Mrs. DuPont, and while she died recently, her farm was just off the Bohemia river not far from Chesapeake City. She owned racehorses until her passing, and I used to gallop a few when I worked for Barclay Tagg. I was actually on a boat yesterday morning on the Bohemia anchored just by her farm (I am pretty sure). A gorgeous part of the world. Later today was the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga. The horse that was third (Green Lemon) was trained by an ex Fair Hill trainer, Peter Pugh!
Update 389: Just received the following e-mail from Rachel at Kennett Florist:
We headed up to NBC early this morning to treat the staff to Monday morning breakfast of croissants, muffins, danish, donuts, fruit salad, juices and coffee. As always everyone was so thankful and wanted us to convey how much they LOVED everyone who was sending these wonderful treats (which of course was the Barbaro maniacs from the TWR web site), and to send their thanks. As we were heading out one of the staff asked that if we had any deliveries for this afternoon, could we please include carrots.
So up we went this afternoon with lots of Bobby's favorite baby carrots with the greens on top and the baby peeled carrots. We also had a nice basket of goodies specifically for the blood donor horses. I hit the tack stores this weekend and found some different horse treats (even one called 'hoof snacks' - I figured, hey, couldn't hurt). I'll have to find out if Bobby's got any particular favorite ones, since I still can't find the stud muffins. Thanks
again to all of you for the wonderful treats for Bobby as well as the staff; they are very much appreciated.
Rachel at Kennett Florist
Also, prospero has agreed to help us! I will hopefully get to implement their software (chatroom and discussion boards) tomorrow.
Update 388: Technical stuff. I have made a request of a vendor to see if they will provide me discussion board and chat software for "free" for three months to see what we can do. (Free = they can serve an ad. etc) Lets see if that can happen. This site is currently ranked 23 on google for the keyword Barbaro. This is a big improvement of late.
Fair Hill got a mention in a USA Today article on artificial surfaces: Track technology treads on gentle ground. I may have posted a similar article before, but not from the USA Today. The following is a quote from Steve Klesaris:
"I think it's what the industry needs today," said Steve Klesaris, second in Delaware's trainer standings and also based at Fair Hill. "Horses today are not as durable as they were years ago; however, the tracks have not changed in 100 years. The time has come for that."
The promising Green Monkey seems to be sidelined for the timebeing: The Green Monkey sidelined. I believe he is the most expensive horse to be purchased at a 2yo in training sale (where they breeze the horses as a part of showing them before they sell). He sold for an extraordinary $16 million. He is currently in Saratoga prepping for his first race. His last work (I think it was 1:03 and change for five eighths) seemed a little on the slow side.
I asked Peter this morning why Bobby wore a shadow roll (sheepskin noseband). This type of noseband is sometimes used to encourage a horse to drop his head a little. For Bobby it was simply what Michael Matz does. Everything runs in either a shadow roll or figure eight (cross noseband).
Update 387: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (sunday night). Peter Brette just called, he had just heard from Michael (in Saratoga). Phew, sorry for the delay, but it will be kind of like this until Michael returns to Fair Hill (I am not sure when). Love this painting of the Derby, I can spot Bobby in front!
updated monday noon, august 7
Posted by Alex at 4:08 PM
| Comments (500)
Barbaro Updates: 38
Posted August 6, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 386: Just caught up with Peter Brette. No update yet this morning (I'll call him about noon to see if he has heard) but he did tell me all was well yesterday, so that was good.
I asked Theresa what it was like to ride Barbaro. Theresa used to work for Michael Matz last year. She now works for Jim MvGreevy. She was one of the few who rode Barbaro other than Peter (we know his jockeys only rode him on race day) before Barbaro went down to Florida last year. Her comment: "he had gears you would not believe".
Update 385: This morning's update will be later in the morning that usual. Michael Matz is in Saratoga so I won't likely have any information until after finishing at Fair Hill. There was a fundraising ball in Saratoga last night for New Bolton Center. I believe Dr. Richardson (and likely some others from New Bolton) was in attendance. I had asked a friend to quiz him for some insight but he was pretty busy, as you can imagine.
I have removed the comments section for the time being, if you have any articles of interest you think I could post here, any questions you would like answering, any poems and other creative works for me to post, please e-mail me. I would appreciate it as it would hopefully retain some of the value the comments section was providing.
Finally, worldwide interest in Bobby remains: Australia and New Zealand.
Update 384: Here are a couple of articles I have been meaning to post. With so much human suffering in the world, it would be easy to condemn America's obsession with an injured racehorse - easy but wrong. This Guardian (UK) article discusses why we care. It includes the excerpt:
But all the attention has brought out the sceptics. Don't Americans have more important things to worry about than a horse, they ask.
It seems a valid point, but it misrepresents the real issue. Our capacity for compassion is not finite. There is no reason to suppose that those of us who find ourselves caught up in the story of a horse's progress are unconcerned with the fate of human beings in infinitely graver situations.
There are plenty of good reasons why so many people care so much about Barbaro. The simplest and the most potent? The sheer spectacle, the power and the glory, of a great horse at full gallop.
Note, this article is a little dated (two weeks after the Preakness). I thought it was also interesting to note that Peter Brette rode a winner for Ginger McCain (Red Rum's trainer), on the flat!
This article: Power of healing harnessed focuses on The New Jersey Equine Center and Dr. Scott Palmer. It notes Dr. Palmer was a guest of Michael Matz for the Preakness and involved immediately after the accident. We noted in one of the earlier updates a visit to Bobby of Dr. Palmer. The article also notes Smarty Jones' visit to New Jersey Equine. A good article for those interested in learning more about equine hospitals.
Update 383: Nice to see Bluegrass Cat win the Haskell. One of Bobby's Derby victims (just had to add that). ESPNs update on Barbaro included a note that Michael said Barbaro remained in good spirits. That is positive and what I continually here. I asked Peter how he looked when we went yesterday, specifically about his weight and coat. He has dropped weight, but that is only to be expected given he was supremely fit when he entered NBC and has been virtually immobile since. Imagine a human athlete who has to stop exercise entirely for the same period of time. Fortunately he has retained an incredible appetite so that has helped. While he has dropped weight his coat remains very shiny, and he retains a gleam in his eye, both very positive signs. There is much speculation as to why there are no recent Bobby pictures, I am absolutely sure it is not because they believe his appearance would create concern.
Another nugget of information from Peter yesterday, neither Jose Caraballo or Edgar Prado rode Barbaro at any time other than in his races.
Delaware Park was fun today. Peter was there, saddling a horse in the sixth for Michael Matz (who is in Saratoga). I saw Jose Caraballo. I thanked him for our interview (it was by phone, he was not entirely sure who I was when I called), and he was very happy to have been able to do it. The Keilbasa Queen was fourth and came back safely.
Update 382: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (Saturday night). I just spoke to Peter Brette who had received word this morning. Off to Delaware Park this afternoon to watch some races...
updated sunday 11:30am
Update 381: From time to time I will get snippets of information from Saratoga (from friends up there) that I will post. Some of it will likely relate directly to Bobby, some perhaps not some much, but general racing interest. A friend of mine visited with Bernadini yesterday, and in light of our interview with Tom Albertrani, I wanted to share the content:
I just had a good look at Bernardini in his stall this afternoon and a talk with Dave Wallace, the assistant trainer who is an old pal of mine. He said that they are thankful for Barbaro's continuous popularity and recovery, as it is allowing Bernardini a lot more peace from the press. Of course the usual racing publications want to see him, but the mainstream newspapers are not overly interested. He is a very cool horse, medium sized with a nice disposition. Dave says that when he comes out of the stall he seems to grow, the way most good horses do when their blood is slightly up. (Dave was assistant/exercise rider for Mott for the past 18 years, galloped Cigar, etc.)
Update 380: Yesterday during my visit to New Bolton I met the Thomas family. They were from Tampa, FL, in the area for a family reunion, but I think that was their excuse to come and offer their wishes for Barbaro. They placed a couple of nice pictures for Barbaro on the main entrance. I of course took some pictures (there is a nice poster from the Barbaromaniacs!) which will take a few days to get posted on the site. I also took some pictures of the lobby area. The Churchill Downs cards (I think there are six) are still there, there is one from Pimlico, as well as other cards from tracks and individuals / groups of people. I don't think Peter had seen these before (he does not need to visit the lobby area to visit Barbaro) and was pretty moved when I returned with him to show him. The outpouring is very impressive.
A few pieces of content from the comments from Updates 37 (sorry if I missed something):
Julia B. 9:26 pm:
Hello again - I just wanted to add this little tid bit ...
Today I went to copy the picture I drew of Barbaro, I got cardstock to print on and made the copies - I took them up to the register to pay for them and the cashier looked at them and said -"no charge!" I replied. "but I have about 20 copies on cardstock... & he said, "I know !" How sweet and kind of him , I told him more about Barbaro and gave him a copy with a big THANKS written across the bottom !!
Barbaro brings out the best in us ! He represents grace and love. His aura captivates our inner beings, our hearts , our soul ! He transend the worlds problems and is a beacon of light a shinning star , a ray of hope!
Sharri, 12:45 am:
Into our lives has come, a special creature who has captured our hearts and souls.
Barbaro is his name.
Into our lives has come a hero who has raced against adversity and has shown us all how to win.
Barbaro is his name.
Into our lives has come an example of what is good and loving and who expects nothing in return except caring and kindness.
Barbaro is his name.
Into our lives has come a beautiful bay colt who is truely an old soul at heart.
Barbaro is his name.
WM. 9:58 pm:
A local business was looking for office help. They put a sign in the window saying:
Must be a good typist and be good with a computer. Successful applicant must be bilingual. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.
A short time later a lovely bay horse trotted up to the window, saw the sign and went
inside. He looked at the receptionist and nodded his head, then walked over to the sign, looked at it, whinnied and pawed the air.
The receptionist called the office manager. He was surprised, to say the least, to see a horse applicant. However, the horse looked determined, so he led him into the office. Inside, the horse laid down and stared at the manager expectantly.
The manager said, "I can't hire you. The sign says you must be able to type."
The horse jumped up, went to the word processorr and proceeded to quickly type a perfect business letter. He took out the page and trotted over to the manager, gave it to him, then laid back down.
The manager was stunned, but told the horse, "That was fantastic, but I'm sorry. The sign clearly says that whoever I hire has to be good with a computer."
The horse jumped up again, went to the computer and proceeded to demonstrate his expertise with various programs, internet marketing, and produced a sample spreadsheet and database; then presented them to the manager.
The manager was dumbfounded! He said to the horse, "Hey, I realize that you are a very intelligent applicant and have fantastic talent, but you're a horse -- no way could I hire you."
The horse trotted over to the sign in the window and pointed his hoof at the words, "Equal Opportunity Employer."
The exasperated manager said, "Yes, I know what the damned sign says. But the sign also says you have to be bilingual."
The horse looked him straight in the eye and said, "Meow."
Update 379: The update today won't come until probably lunchtime I am afraid. Michael Matz has returned to Saratoga, and Peter will speak to him likely mid morning to get an update. I will try to speak to Peter shortly after that. In the meantime I will provide some other content, a mix of comments from yesterday, content from my NBC visit with Peter and a snippet on Bernadini.
Posted by Alex at 9:58 AM
| Comments (550)
Barbaro Updates: 37
Posted August 5, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 378: Barbaro vigil: 7 pm (eastern) tonight. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, have some thoughts for Barbaro.
Peter told me today about a time he was breezing Bobby before his first start. He was to breeze Bobby in company with a four year old filly, on the wood chip track. The four year old was a group winner in South America. Peter decided to spot her two lengths. Bobby breezed by her and opened up ten lengths. Peter wanted to push Bobby a little as he had done everything so easily before (on the bridle). This was his last breeze I think before his maiden win under Jose Caraballo.
A two year old I have been galloping for Paul Rowland ran a nice third today at Monmouth: Big Daddy Wolf.
Update 377: I went with Peter Brette to New Bolton around lunchtime. Peter visited Barbaro, I hung out and took pictures of the lobby area and entrance. Barbaro remains comfortable, I will post more on the visit and a few additional insights I picked up with my conversations with Peter later.
Gator Nation was a first time starter for Tim today in Philadelphia Park. He was a little fractious in the paddock (I think Amanda is a little worse for wear for the experience) before the race. He ran a very good race, closing very strongly to finish third, only beaten a head I think for second. This was the first race for new owners of Tim's, so I think everyone is very happy. I have ridden Gator Nation only 2 - 3 times, but I have breezed with him several times, while being on other horses. It has been fun watching him progress in his work outs. For the most part he has always worked well, so it is good to see him reproducing that in his first start. Tim said he ran a winning kind of race, he was just a little green.
Posted by Alex at 7:12 PM
| Comments (538)
Barbaro Updates: 36
Posted August 5, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 376: A nice winner for the Jackson's yesterday at Saratoga (Stormy Kiss by a neck in tenacious effort), following up their Goodwood winner earlier this week, and continued upbeat reports from New Bolton, it seems a positive week.
A nice song to keep the mood light (Ernie: Update 35: 10:45 pm):
Oh! Bobby J. (Sung to the melody of Camptown Races)
Barbaromaniacs sing this song
Churchill Downs is one mile long
Oh! de doo-dah day!
He's gonna sleep all night
He's gonna sling all day
Gonna bet my money on Bobby J.
He's our gorgeous bay
I go up on the Woolley site
I lurk all day then I post at night
Oh! de doo-dah day!
Lots of people love this horse
Let's all pray and stay the course
Oh! de doo-dah day!
Now Dr. R is one fine doc
He fixed Bobby's leg from hoof to hock
Oh! de doo-dah day!
We love his trainer Michael Matz
He comes at night to give him pats
Oh! de doo-dah day!
Now there's his jockey Awesome Ed
He stroked our Bobby 'til he went to bed
Oh! de doo-dah day!
And don't forget his old friend Pete
Every morning was so sweet
Oh! de doo-dah day!
The Jacksons love him, that's for sure
They'll do alot and then some more
Oh! de doo-dah day!
And thank you Alex for all you've done
We'll stick with you 'til this race is won
Oh! de doo-dah day!
Update 375: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (friday night). I saw Michael as I was going to the track on a nice Holy Bull 2yo. The weather is gorgeous here this morning!
update, saturday, august 5. 8:05 am
Update 374: As we wait for an update this morning I thought I would post a couple of things. First, a Barbaro video: Barbaro Splish Splash (nice and light). Melissa H. has created a Barbaro site that includes all the poems etc. that have been included in the updates here: For The Love Of Barbaro. (These will also be included on the fan media page.)
Mike is continuing his progress: Mike's top groom, Angel will be coming with Rochelle and the children. He hasn't seen him since the accident.
A quick reminder, tonight, 7 PM east coast time, we will have a Barbaro vigil. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some time for Barbaro.
Update 373: I spoke to Peter Brette late this afternoon, while he did not have an update, he assumed all was well. Michael Matz is now visiting Barbaro later in the evenings in order to see him out of the sling (too late for me to get updates from the visit anyway). Peter is planning to visit Bobby tomorrow, I am going to go to NBC with him (hopefully), although I will not actually visit Barbaro. I just want to see how everything looks in the reception area etc., as well as of course talk to Peter directly after his visit to get some insights etc.
Posted by Alex at 1:25 AM
| Comments (548)
Barbaro Updates: 35
Posted August 4, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 372: A couple of articles that I have been meaning to post. The first, from UCDavis, discusses Bobby's sling: UC Davis Discoveries Supporting Barbaro. It is always nice to read the source of the innovations we see at work. The second article is old, I think I have not posted before, however its a good one on Dr. Richardson: The Man Whose Job Is Saving Barbaro. Its written by my favourite newspaper writer (Mike Jensen) and is just very interesting. No excerpt, its best just to read it in its entirety.
The following is an excerpt from a comment, left by Marky (6:20 pm):
The teachers show us where to find hope
The warriors fight slaughter
The poets inspire with their prose
The healers pray and meditate
The clowns create joy
Such is the Barbaro effect. When 2 or more gather with the same goal, the power is overwhelming. Let's allow all to do what they can. Take what you can from this site and use it towards that glorious champ who has been able to change his whole life even his personality to survive.
I am Thankful for everyone here who fights for Bobby.
Update 371: Some random pieces for this update. I e-mailed Jeannine Edwards about possible ESPN racing coverage this weekend, it looks like they are covering racing saturday and sunday, this was her e-mail response:
yes, we are doing the obligatory "barbaro update". just a mention in the news segment like we have been doing the last few weeks. it will come 22 minutes into the show. we have the whitney and test on sat.... great showdown between flower alley and invasor, 2 of the best older horses in the country right now. on sunday we do the haskell, matchmaker, and WV derby. the haskell has bluegrass cat and strong contender, among others. graham motion has framboise in the matchmaker..... another tough motion filly on the turf??? we shall see. :)
The following are from the comments posted today, some more great content!
Mary Evans (3:07 pm)
Tune: The Red, Red Robin
When our big brave Bobby comes
Clippity-clip-clopping along, along
There'll be great rejoicing
We'll all be voicing a hap-py song
So chin up, chin up, you thoroughbred!
You're always out ahead--
You're strong, the doctor said-- Live long, run and be happy!
That is our prayer for you-
We'll all be there with you
Singing our song
When our brave, sweet Bobby comes
Clippity-clip-clopping along, along
When our sweet brave Bobby comes
Toby (3:21 pm):
(singing a little off key)
Eat your carrots every day,
Stay in the sling and play play play,
Grow hoof grow, heal leg heal.
That's become our daily appeal!
A little nip here, a little nip there,
Show everyone how much you care.
Keep on doing like you are,
You're our little shining star!!
MWAH Barbaro!..See ya later
Faleecia Taylor (4:23 pm):
To look into the eyes of a HORSE is to look into the soul of all that is kind, patient, selfless and good. To see Barbaro is to see this in a magnificent form. He has reminded so many of us of the things that most of us so often forget. As majestic as he stood on the race track his strength and will to overcome his current odds are far more soul reaching. The spirit that guides us through the hardest of days has many angels. Barbaro, in this most difficult of times has surely brought so much to so many. As we look to Barbaro and his state of wellness daily one can't help but think of all horses throughout our great nation and the horror of some of their plight.
As the owner of 15 horses of my own. All of which will live and die with me I can't help but cry for those that are lost to unspeakable ends. Maybe Barbaro is reprensentation of not just a great racing champion but a champion of all that he represents. Maybe part of his legacy will be in how well he represented all horses everywhere in a manner that has reached out to the souls of the world. May he ride on the wings of angels until he can once again ride on his own.
Gloria (5:18 pm):
A Hero of a Different Color
(Inspired by the posted words of Kathy - 8 years old
"Barbaro, I know you didn't mean to be a hero, but you are.")
Innocence, youth, such talent and heart,
You were still growing up, and doing your part
To run for the roses and prizes more rare,
To abandon yourself to the thrill of each dare.
You bestowed upon Peter the rides of his life,
And your trainer and owners, their dreams brought to life.
You romped and we witnessed your own special gifts,
But the depth of your soul had yet to be glimpsed.
Living your life, so playful yet poised,
Finding the best, in yourself...and in us,
Once again victory lay in your path,
When almost at random, life changed in a flash.
But then, like the champion we knew you to be,
You held yourself calm, with sweet dignity,
And though you were hurting, you sensed and obeyed
A voice from within that said "Trust them...this way."
You managed to triumph when no one could say
For certain that you would stay with us that day.
Your spirit adapted, your heart said "Don't quit",
And now you are learning each day bit by bit.
Do horses have humor? I think we could say
That you certainly do, or it sure looks that way.
Intelligence shows as you patiently fight,
And your "wicked bright" mind will help make it all right.
As passionate, competent people help guide,
You will find your way home, with love by your side.
Yes, the way may be long, and the going is slow,
But your spirit prevails, and that we all know.
Your legacy now will be different than planned,
Your journey will lead more of us to a stand.
Your destiny met with your head held up high,
Your shining example no one can deny.
Your purpose now changed, or at least it so seems,
From running and chasing a Triple Crown dream,
To entering now a new race we can share,
With nobility, decency, courage and care.
No effort too small, no vision too large,
Renewed interest and focus, we each can "take charge."
Emboldened to take just one step at a time,
These steps all together can help change mankind.
May we learn from your journey what we need to know,
And then pass it on, to inspire and grow.
To help others in need, both your kind and ours,
To be champions - like you - as we fight for a cause.
Unaware of your influence, blissfully free,
And living your life with such clear purity,
You "didn't mean to be" a hero, we know it is true,
But Barbaro, you are. And for that we thank you.
Update 370: For those who want to relive Barbaro's Kentucky Derby, you can via the Herald Leader: Barbaro Breezes. Mike C just visited Monmouth this morning and had this to say (1:50 pm):
I just got back from morning works at Monmouth Park,I go there in the morning once in a while,nice and peaceful, they allow the public to take a tour of the barns,,,watch horses work from the gate and a tour of the jocks room there,(fri and sat for the tours),,even though I'm there every day I still like the morning activity there..LOTS of people there asking about BARBARO... thats good....I turned them all on to this site,,..they were glad to know there is a place to get updates on our boy
Which reminds me, those wanting to visit Fair Hill are more than welcome. Just e-mail me. I think we have a group coming next saturday, which should be fun for a couple of hours.
Update 369: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). Jost spoke to Michael Matz on the horsepath. As I was driving into Fair Hill this morning I caught up with Kathy Anderson. She visited Bobby late last night (9pm) as she wanted to see him out of the sling. She was happy with what she saw and described Bobby as being quite active, moving around his stall.
update 7 am, friday morning
Posted by Alex at 10:54 AM
| Comments (777)
Barbaro Updates: 34
Posted August 4, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 368: Just spoke to Peter Brette. He was waiting to hear from Michael Matz, who is visiting Barbaro later this evening, once he is out of the sling. At the time of my call with Peter, Peter assumed all was well (8pm). The following is a nice article which is basically an interview with Peter: Barbaro's Rider Reminisces, Keeps The Faith. The following is the beginning of the article:
"He was a bigger, stronger, better athlete than any horse I ever sat on before," said Brette, who resides in New London. "He was so well balanced. He was very intelligent. You would show him things once and he had it down.
"I remember a training session early this year in Florida when another horse came by him, and he just took off. It was like driving a Porsche. You put your foot down, and he bumps you right up. That was the sensation. I said something like, "Good God, he's getting stronger and stronger."
Brette says it was the Florida Derby where Barbaro evolved from a boy to a man.
Posted by Alex at 12:32 AM
| Comments (462)
Barbaro Updates: 33
Posted August 3, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 367: For my third interview I wanted to talk to Jose Caraballo, who rode Barbaro in his first two races. I know Jose a little bit, he is one of the leading jockeys at Delaware Park. He also comes over to Fair Hill from time to time to breeze horses. Last winter he spent more time at Fair Hill as his wife was stabled here. I freelanced out of the barn in which they were stabled. He was always very nice and easy going.
I went over to Delaware Park earlier this week for the Mike Rea Relief Fund raffle (good to note Mike is progressing) hoping to catch up with Jose for this interview. I was then reminded Jose was off for a few days with an injury. Anyway, I acquired his cell phone number and called him today. He was very willing to share his Barbaro story, and here it is:
Jose Caraballo: I had not ridden Barbaro before I rode him in his first start. Peter Brette had done all his work. I did ride his older half brother, Holy Ground, and he was a good horse. I also watched Barbaro work one morning at Fair Hill, I loved the way he worked. Obviously I wanted to ride him.
The first race I rode him he was pretty unbelievable. He did everything right, although he was a little slow away. I knew immediately I had a hell of a horse underneath me. While he was a little green, he never stopped running. He showed he was a nice horse and I was very impressed.
I hoped I would get a chance to ride him back, and I did, in the Laurel Futurity. In 22 years of riding races I have never been on a horse like the one I was on that day. I have ridden over 2,000 winners. That day he went by the other horses like they were ponies. It was as if they were 2yos and Barbaro was a 5yo. He had so much power, he really impressed me that day.
Watching the Kentucky Derby, at Fair Hill with all the other Barbaro fans, I was very happy. I was proud to be a part of the Barbaro team. He was so impressive winning the Derby I felt sure he could win the triple crown. I was honoured to be a part of that history. I could say I rode him, if only twice. I was obviously very sad when I watched the Preakness. It is very hard to describe my initial feelings, but it was kind of like shock. I felt connected in someway to the horse. I only hope now he can recover. He is doing well I know, but it will be a long road ahead. I look forward to seeing him one day, carefree. I continue to ride for Michael, he has been very good to me, you can only wish the best for Barbaro and all those connected to him.
Update 366: Some more lovely poetry (I apologise in advance to poems that I miss):
Wm & CL at August 3, 2006 12:59 PM (below):
Two hundred thousand plus travel page views-
as Tim Woolley Racing keeps spreading good news!
Barbaro's Recovery Road may be long-
with adoring fans keeping Barbaro strong.
Beyond the prayers must our pensmanship speak-
Help make our horse athletes safer every week!
Thousands can make all the difference today-
Sign the petiton while Barbaro munches top hay!
He thanks you with nods, bows, and a wink-
For making his day while all of you think!
What if I had to travel recovery's road too?
How would I make things better for you?
Remember Michael's Miracle as all of us pray-
Keep lighting those candles each night and day!
Whispering Barbaro to heal better than ever!
Reminding Team Barbaro 'Never Say Never.'
Listen, there's whispers 'Don't You Quit!'
Not on our watch while all of us sit!
Watch Miracles happen on Recovery's Road
Let Mike Rea's and Barbaro's stories be told!
Lightens our spirits, we breathe easier now-
while GOOD NEWS spreads like wildfire, WOW!
Raise up your voices and sing us a song-
as Barbaro's & Mike's Recovery Road is long!
Send your GOOD WISHES and special gifts today-
While Barbaro eats special Lael grass and hay!
More than prayer, we now must all think-
Save our horse racing athletes from the brink!
Of broken down horses, we will talk no more-
as it's time for "Bobby" to snooze and snore!
YOU CAN MAKE the greatest difference for him-
Sign that petition Online helps Barbaro win!
A new kind of race so pick up your pace-
Come in and visit and show us your face!
Stop "Oh No's" and "Uh Oh's" before they begin-
Barbaro's campaign travels where noone has been!
Small step for horses, one giant step for men-
Start today with a click of a key instead of when?
Change Recovery's Road name to Better Road soon-
Time is of essence as this day approaches noon!
Takes but a moment, a flashback in time-
Moments keep passing, hearing Barbaro's chime!
Go if you must, but remember these words-
Make Racing Tracks safer for thoroughbred herds!
Todays Hopes are Tomorrow's Can Dos-
Jockeys and Horses need to hear the good news!
America cares, how much will that be?
Putting words into action for citizens to see-
Campaign for Barbaro until we make a difference!
Recovery Road is our Better Road with reverence!
Go to www.petitiononline.com/cares/petition.html
From Debbie Jurasus at August 3, 2006 02:48 PM (below)
The Mighty Barbaro
Sired by a strapping spit fire
and a Dam who is as elegant and dainty in opposition,
Your entrance in this world was one of sheer determination and will-
You made your presence be known early on that you are no ordinary colt-
For you are the mighty Barbaro- who is to be cherished, loved and adored!
With Speeds of lighting, others are in awe, to witness such grace and beauty, and to see you be adored.
People flock to be in your presence and feel your aura fill their hearts with joy and excitement.
You have given so much and ask for so little return- for we who love you yearn for more...
So we come to you to give back a little of what you have given- your determination and will to strive and win.
For you are our CHAMPION- no one can contend.
The battle may be long, but we are in it together for the win-
A finish line of green pastures and fields to roam, for all to see your
beauty shining from within...
You are the mighty Barbaro- who is cherished and adored- a true miracle in every sense of the word!
From Tamara in Los Angeles at August 3, 2006 05:23 PM (below)
Oh, magnificent creature, brave and strong, you did everything right, yet something went wrong. Running into the wind so fearless that day, catastrophe struck - and took our breath away.
As fear gripped our hearts and the world cried out "WHY?" like the champion you are, you held your head high. The weeks that ensued brought elation and pain, yet we all know your plight has not been in vain.
You've inspired your caretakers to give all they can give, because you've made it quite clear you have a strong will to live! You've touched so many lives and you don't even know, please continue to heal; we love you, Barbaro!
May angels surround you, bringing comfort and peace, until God takes you home in years, months or weeks ... where in heaven you'll run free with no pain, that I know. Yes, our Lord loves you MOST, Special One, Barbaro.
This is a good time to remind us of all the good content on the fan media page. It seems that early on in this "journey" fan creativity was focused on imagery / video etc. and now the focus has shifted to words.
Finally, lets not forget we have a vigil planned for saturday, 7 pm (east coast time). Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some time for Barbaro. While things are going well, we cannot lose focus, he has a long road ahead we hope.
Update 365: Sabina Louise Pierce spent last saturday at Fair Hill taking some pictures. She has included a few of these shots in her horses gallery. Very nice. This comment was left in updates 32 10:10 PM about the Barbaro Fund:
Well, to my biggest surprise yesterday, when I picked up my mail, there was an envelope addressed to me with a return address of: Penn Veterinary Medicine - The Barbaro Fund. I hurriedly opened it up to find a "Thank You" card. The front of the card has that great great photo of Bobby winning the Derby with Edgar up blazing across the finish line with his mane, tail flying in the wind; this is the photo taken by Bill Franken/Sports Illustrated.
When I opened the card I read the following:
Thank you for your generous contribution to the Barbaro Fund. This fund has been designed to support the George D. Widener Hospital at New Bolton Center and will be used for treating animals like Barbaro and countless others in their time of need.
I was soooooooooooo deelighted to receive this that I immediately ran out to buy a frame for this 5x7 gorgeous photo. And so I did! A lovely all wooden frame the color of Bobby ... that deep rich chestnut.
When I got home, I wanted to keep the original intact so I made an exact 'copy' of the front of the card with my own printer/copier/scanner and it came out Purrrrr-fect! I framed it and hung it on my wall right next to another 8x10 of Bobby I had printed out a couple of weeks ago and framed, and Bobby is 'hanging' right next to all my beautiful framed photos of "Big Red". So I was then able to take the original card and put it back in its envelope and tuck it away in a file folder labeled "Barbaro."
The following article attributes Bobby's influence to canceling racing yesterday: Canceling card was right move at Saratoga, the article concludes:
In the post-Barbaro era, the humans who make decisions that affect the lives of horses are beginning to consider the interests of preserving the animal or at least, whenever possible, reducing risk.
There is no Eclipse Award for this, but perhaps there should be.
For my next interview, I am going to try to interview Bobby's first jockey, Jose Caraballo.
Update 364: New Bolton's press release today: Barbaro continues to improve:
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's left hind hoof is slowly showing evidence of regrowth after surgery last month to treat laminitis. Laminitis occurs when laminae, the strong connecting tis sues that attach the pedal bone and the inner hoof wall, are inflamed. "The coronary band (the portion of the hoof that is responsible for continued downward growth of the hoof) is beginning to re-establish itself," said Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery at the George D. Widener Hospital.
Barbaro's right hind leg continues to be protected in a cast. "The original fractures have apparently healed well, but the cast is necessary to protect the pastern fusion," Dr. Richardson said. "This protection is required because he must bear most of his weight on the right hind limb due to the laminitis in the left hind leg."
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 8, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.
Update 363: Another comfortable night for Barbaro (wednesday night). Saw Michael Matz as I was coming back from the track on my second set. He had just heard from Dr. Richardson. I also expressed my condolences to Michael about the passing of Mr. Dixon.
Updated Thursday 7:05am
Update 362: The Philadephia Inquirer article about this site was picked up by a couple of other news media the next day, with a new title: Barbaro's fans hold Web vigil. Oddly, while the Lexington Herald Leader seemed to be first to pick it up, others (ContraCostaTimes and MiamiHerald) did so using the Lexington Heralds "title tag", so they must have simply used the same "code" as the Lexington Herald ? I assume Lexington Herald got the story from MercuryNews.
Some content from the comments from update 32.
First an uplifting, if not amusing story (Nancy in CT: 11:59 pm):
LINNIE RE YOUR BARBARO HAT (and anyone else who cares to wade through this message) - forgot to tell you my funny story: I held off buying a hat until I saw that they were donating "a portion" of the proceeds to the Barbaro Fund, so it just arrived a few days ago. It's hot as the fires of hell here in CT, and I'm very heat-sensitive, so I wore it walking to the bus stop after work on Monday. A man approached me and said, "Are you one of those maniacs?" My initial reaction (who me, sensitive?) was, If he says something idiotic like "it's JUST a horse" I could be prone to violence...especially in 95 degree heat! Over the space of just a few seconds I saw myself being arrested for assault in defense of "just a horse named Barbaro" and what's really funny is that I would have been arrested by one of the members of our mounted unit - all pals of mine! But wisdom prevailed, I counted to ten and replied, "What do you mean?" HERE'S THE GREAT PART - he said that he'd stumbled on this site while looking for info, saw that it appeared to be all women, felt uncomfortable...and left, but NOT before seeing references to BARBAROMANIACS and that's why he wondered if I was "one of those maniacs"! After I stopped laughing, I begged him to come back here - don't think he will - he just seemed interested rather than obsessed/addicted like the rest of us. He wanted to know about sending a gift and I mentioned the florist and also that I was ordering some all-natural treats online AND HE ACTUALLY PRESSED $5. UPON ME TO FEEL PART OF SENDING GOODIES TO BARBARO! There was absolutely no convincing him to take his money back (and I was moved to tears, to be honest) and when I asked him how he knew I wouldn't take his money and go to Burger King or something like that, he said, "BECAUSE YOU WOULDN'T BE WEARING THAT SILLY HAT WITH YOUR BUSINESS CLOTHES IF YOU WEREN'T THE REAL DEAL!!"
A poem (Anna 11:16 pm):
On wings unseen
you surely fly
by pure design
no cause to lie
loved for your beauty
your heart, your fire
you run for joy;
you heal our sorrows
and trust our hands
with no demand
we take credit
surely not due
only One above
be you statuesque stud
or humble plow
we owe you much
and a poem (Jo 10:59 pm):
Ruler Of The Wind...
The wind knows you..
The wind loves you..
The wind has kissed you..
and you..dark wonder horse.. have danced with the wind..
The wind misses you...
The wind sings to you each day
Breathing life ..healing and health so softly..whispering...
That she longs to dance with you again..
Yet at this time, when that dance has
become a cherished memory in your mind..
It still.. is... with ... you...
It caresses your body gently where you sleep..
and.. heal...and dream ..
She lulls you to peaceful rest..
She will always be with you..
and you with her..
Sweet Barbaro.. ruler of the wind..
Posted by Alex at 8:53 AM
| Comments (792)
Barbaro Updates: 32
Posted August 2, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 362: A few things to cover. It is sad to note the passing of Fitz Eugene Dixon. He was a longtime patron of Fair Hill, he had horses with Dr. Fisher and Michael Matz. Peter told me about the passing, he noted that Mr. Dixon and Michael were close.
On a more uplifting note Kennett Florist visited NBC today and had this to report:
Alie went to the NBC today and there were two white tigers, one lion, and two lionesses there! Everyone was upbeat and excited today- and REALLY excited to see the goodies we brought. Alie was told that Bobby already had some baby carrots with the greens on top that we brought today, and we were told that he really likes them- they're the best! Thank you all for your continued support for Bobby, the New Bolton Center, and us here at Kennett Florist :) As always, we will update tomorrow when we get back from our deliveries.
I noted previously someone was taking a lioness to be spade, perhaps she was part of this group.
The following article has been suggested as excellent reading for those interested in the horse slaughter bill.
And finally the following poem, from Lorraine (update 31 12:54 pm):
Positive updates cheer me, my heart soars
Knowing with each passing day, more hope than
Amazing Barbaro- you have been, right from the start,
In spirit and courage, coming from within.
You uplift us all, showing character and grace,
Showing how possible it is to stay in the race--
Barbaro, you have lit the way,
All who love you will continue to hope and pray--
That progress is made, and you will be a healty
Grazing in pastures,under a sky so sunny blue,
A miracle in our world, that did come true.
We believe in Barbaro!
Posted by Alex at 9:35 PM
| Comments (648)
Barbaro Updates: 31
Posted August 2, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 361: Yesterday I interviewed Dan Hendricks over the telephone. This is the second short telephone interview I have conducted for the site, the first: Tom Albatrani. The purpose of the interviews is to highlight how our horseman have been impacted by Barbaro while also providing insight into our leading trainers.
While I did not know Tom Albatrani before my interview, I did know many people who knew him, so I was pretty hopeful of getting to talk to him. I do not know anyone who knows Dan Hendricks, so I had no idea if I he would talk to me. Anyway, once I got his number, I called. I was hoping for his answering machine so i could leave a detailed message in the hopes he would call back (this is what happened with Tom, and he called back within 15 minutes). Not the case for Dan Hendricks, he answered his phone. I tried to explain the purpose of the call, and as I was explaining he simply said, sure, ask me what you want. It was a great conversation, and Dan was very forthcoming. We ended up talking about places back in the UK etc!
Anyway, the purpose of the interview was Barbaro, here is what he had to say when I posed a very open ended question: "Tell me about the Preakness and your thoughts for Barbaro":
Dan Hendricks: The Preakness turned out to be the biggest roller coaster of emotions a lot of us have ever experienced in horse racing. I came with one of the favourites (Brother Derek) to win the race. As we waited for the race with all the build up first Barbaro broke through the gate early. . Subsequently Brother Derek broke poorly, which took him out of our game plan.Then the devastating site of Seeing Barbaro being pulled up so soon after the start just left a big hole in my stomach. It was the biggest drop in the roller coaster ride. I find it very difficult to explain how you feel when things like this happen. I was asked shortly after the race how my horse was. I knew he was OK, but we were all more concerned with Barbaro.
Everyday we come to work. We read and learn what we can about Barbaro's condition. My thoughts are for him, the Jackson's and Michael Matz. They showed tremendous class through all of this. There are still lingering effects to this incident and were all pulling for Barbaro. Its certainly not business as usual. We feel for horses more than people typically know. Recently we had a horse, Cozy Guy, a gelding, who we tried everything we could do to save his life after a sickness knowing he would never run again, it was very sad when he did not pull through. Good luck to all.
Dan Hendricks also let me know Brother Derek breezed this morning, 59 4/5ths (5/8ths mile).
For information on Cozy Guy: Long, costly fight for the life of a barn favorite (thanks Ernie)
Update 360: Saw Kathy Anderson as I was leaving (a very hot) Fair Hill this morning. She also visited Bobby yesterday and said he was "chipper". Mrs. Jackson was visiting at the time Kathy was there. We talked a little bit about the issues that Bobby faces, especially given the positive news we heard yesterday. It seems there are three issues:
a. the left hind needs to grow hoof, there has been some growth around the coronet band. This is very important, and obviously something they are checking and working on everyday (I think we know they change the bandage / cast on it everyday etc.)
b. they need to avoid Bobby contracting Laminitis in any of his other three feet. I do not know what they are doing to prevent this, but know they are doing everything experts would do. I did ask Kathy if she had checked the front feet for herself, and she had.
c. the right hind needs to continue to heal, we have heard only positive things about this lately.
Its nice to see Bobby coverage when there is good news, apparently Good Morning America had a little coverage (comment 1:15 Cathy):
Guys, "Good Morning America" this morning was running on the bottom of their screen about our sweetie Barbaro and how is leg is heeling and that the owner commenting he continues to seem bright and happy. I did not listen to the entire broadcast as they may have slipped in a 10 second update from the announcers, but was still great to see on national tv at 7:00AM EST.Barbaro got billing on his health along with Pres. Bush and Castro! Out of the three, you know who I would pick for President!!
Update 359: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (tuesday night). I saw Michael Matz as I was coming on to the track for my third set. He had just heard from Dean Richardson. Barbaro also received another massage last night after Michael's evening visit.
updated wednesday 7:15am
Update 358: This site has now served over a million pageviews! Yesterday's article in the Philadelphia Inquirer helped the site to its second largest day, about 17,000 visits. The site was also mentioned in Horsetalk NZ and this Philly Inquirer blog.
The creativity continues with the following poems:
TLC (Laura), posted in update 29: 7:38 pm
filling up our minds.
All being sent for the glorious cause,
Inspiration to so many,
strong in countless ways.
With bated breath, on pins and needles,
we patiently wait out the days.
Our hope is that we will someday see you
grazing in a beautiful pasture.
Head held high, no more pain,
A blessing from our master.
Dear, sweet boy, how our hearts cry out
each and every day,
That the miracle of you, Barbaro
will continue to light our way.
So continue to heal,
get stronger with time,
we're cheering you on from the stands.
For you are the definition of courage,
of hope, placed in God's hands.
WM Wm & Cl, posted in update 30, 11:22 PM
Barbaro's Recovery Road
Another day that goes into night -
Our Barbaro "Bobby" continues his fight!
Powerful will and spirit so strong -
Keeps healing right as time marches along!
The resounding cadence he clearly hears -
Turns prayerful tears back to joyful cheers!
Stable and comfortable, caring and able-
Now he is greater than legend Clark Gable.
This Hero brings nations to vigilant prayer-
and his GOOD NEWS travels faster than air.
Peoples voices heard far and wide-
Cheering our "Bobby" on his new ride!
Songs of praise ring through our land-
Adapts to his sling with a helping hand!
Loving nuzzles Team Barbaro returns-
Wiser and smarter than man, "Bobby" learns!
He's captured our hearts and given us hope-
Be soldier or child, he helps everyone cope!
Setbacks in life will only be fleeting-
As Barbaro "Bobby" hears our song's greeting!
Raises us all to stand on mountain tops --
Barbaro's recovery road never stops.
Mystifying faith, he walks on stormy seas-
O' Lael legs move gracefully as you please.
Glimpses of him in us, inside ledge's boulders-
'We are strong when we are on your shoulders.'
Moving slowly, trotting faster, eager to see-
Keeps raising us up greater than we can ever be!
Our Barbaro's recovery road may be long -
His hero's heart rhythms inspire poetic song!
Ambassadors from all states must unite-
Campaigning for Barbaro's toughest fight!
One that will change horseracing forever -
Horse and Jockey athletes safer together!
Make up your mind and do what you must-
For our Barbaro's sake, he's asking your trust!
"Citizens unite" says Barbaro's voice-
Show Congress Track Safety is the right choice!
Sixteen thousand have visited this site.
No small feat in facing Barbaro's plight!
Help make a difference, heed Barbaro's call-
When this goes before Congress this coming Fall.
Take time to review all the facts of this case-
Go to Petition Online thinking with grace.
What if I had to travel recovery's road too?-
How would I make things better for you?
Won't you please take some time to stop in?
Where positive difference helps Barbaro win!
Recovery road may appear seemingly long-
But our Barbaro continues to keep us strong.
"The pen is mighter than the sword", once said.
Rest easier now Barbaro comfortably in bed.
Reporters and journalists are helping out too-
Spreading good news on campaign's trail for you.
Come join voices and hands with our Barbaro-
Be his ambassadors to correct life's "uh oh"!
Change for better, recovery's road new name-
Help Barbaro with us make our new claim!
Our Congress listens and understands-
What is needed for Track Safety in our lands!
Go to www.petitiononline.com/cares/petition.htm
Posted by Alex at 8:23 AM
| Comments (609)
Barbaro Updates: 30
Posted August 1, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 357: Kennett Florist visited NBC today and had this to report (updates 29: 7:49pm):
Breakfast this morning, was a hit as usual! Fresh bagels and all the fixin's... They were still hot! Before they even announced it there were people waiting to dig in. I had the chance to meet a fellow Barbaromaniac, Kathy (who was so generous to supply breakfast for NBC today), as she was on her way to NBC to hang a sign. I hope she has a safe trip to IL the next couple of days. It was so nice to finally meet one of the people we've spent time talking with... You know, if anyone is planning a trip this way, we reccommend coming during the mushroom festival in September - one of Kennett Square's main events.
All is quiet this afternoon. I hid away a big basket of goodies for the 3rd shift and brought up some treats for Bobby. It's so wonderful to hear from Dr. Anderson that he still has that 'larger than life' personality! Thank you all again for all the love and support for Bobby and the NBC staff.
Rachel at Kennett Florist
Vicky Jasch, who was interviewed for our Philadelphia Inquirer story had this to add about the interview (updates 29: 7:43pm):
It was a lot of fun answering Mike's questions for his article posted today. AS I said in the article, Barbaro blew me away the first time he ever set foot on the track, and I was his #1 fan before most people knew he existed. And I still am. I am so glad there are so many people rooting for him, and praying for him. But from the very start, I felt such a strong connection with him as I felt his mighty power that he exerted. He made my heart beat fast, as I knew from his first start, he was something so special. Something that we had not seen in over 2 decades. He is the first horse since the Bid in 1979 that I thought had a very good shot at the crown. Now, my prayer is only for his full recovery. He has made his mark in the history books, and in my heart forever.
Update 356: Must read AP interview: Barbaro's right hind healing well. its an interview today with Dr. Richardson. The following are excerpts:
"If he hadn't had the founder (laminitis) on his left hind, he'd probably be out of the cast and he'd probably be in a splinted bandage on the shoe," Richardson said in a telephone interview. "That's where we'd likely be. I can't do that because his left hind is the more sore of the two legs right now."
Barbaro's left hind hoof, which was stricken with a severe case of laminitis, is improving and started to show slight signs of re-growing after 80 percent of it was removed. Barbaro needs to regrow the hoof if he is to have any shot of walking - albeit with a hitch in his gait.
"It's too early to see true hoof wall forming," Richardson said from the New Bolton Center. "But the coronary band, the part of the hoof that's the equivalent of the nail bed where the hoof is going to grow down from, that looks very good. It's too early to see a lot."
Richardson said the colt's prognosis was "poor" after it was stricken with laminitis, but eased off that grim outlook Tuesday.
"I don't know. Everyday that goes by, it's great," he said. "He has so long to go I don't even think about the prognosis. We just work on the horse and hope he continues to be happy."
Update 355: New Bolton Center's Press Release: Barbaro's condition continues to remain stable:
Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson reports that Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's condition continues to be stable. The colt's left hind foot, which has laminitis, is monitored closely for signs of infection. "We change his left hind foot bandage daily, and it looks good," said Dr. Richardson. "His right hind leg also looks good, and his appetite remains strong."
Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Pennsylvania’s George D. Widener Hospital.
The next update will be posted on Thursday, August 3, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.
Congratulations to the Jackson's for a nice win at Goodwood: Lael Stables's undefeated Enticing wins Molecomb Stakes.
I am continuing to interview racing personalities, I have just got off the phone with Dan Hendricks, trainer of Brother Derek. I hope to have his interview posted tonight.
Posted by Alex at 8:59 PM
| Comments (513)
Frequently Asked Questions
Posted August 1, 2006
In order to help explain some of the language used on this site and in horse racing in general I am compiling a Frequently Asked Questions document. The answers mostly apply to US racing. Please add your question to the comments and I will address it on this page.
Continue reading "Frequently Asked Questions"
Posted by Alex at 8:09 PM
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