Barbaro Updates: 56
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.