Barbaro Updates: 89
Posted September 30, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 747: The final two races from ESPN: Wait a While was awesome. A very impressive performance by a 3 year old filly against older horses for the first time. The Tin Man took the final race, clearly the betting and public favourite. He only just got the nod, and I would doubt he can duplicate this (and the Arlington Million) in the Breeders' Cup Turf. We shall see. Sharp Writer was "vanned off", I will see if I can find further information.
The Lost in the Fog tribute, televised on HRTV, was nice. They showed a few clips of his dominating performances, a couple of speeches, of which Greg Gilchrist's was special. Clearly the Fog was surrounded by good people. GEVA is their charity of choice for those wanting to donate a gift in honour of Lost in the Fog.
Tomorrow's racing's focus is on Paris. Sue McMullen provides this run down of the eight starters for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe:
Just eight stand their ground for Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, the smallest field since 1941, but thankfully that much reduced number includes 'the big three', Hurricane Run, last year's winner who also added this year's King George to his resume, Deep Impact, the Japanese wonder horse, winner of their Triple Crown and beaten only once in his career, and Shirocco, 4th to Hurricane Run in last year's running, winner of this season's Coronation Cup at Epsom and last year's Breeders' Cup Turf. Does it get any better?
In terms of the World Thoroughbred Rankings, there is merely a pound between Hurricane Run and Deep Impact, a son of Sunday Silence whose loss to Japanese breeding cannot be overestimated. Deep Impact's only defeat in 11 starts was at the hands, or hooves, of another son of Sunday, Heart's Cry, who finished third to Hurricane in the King George. But the Japanese regard Deep Impact as their best horse and he has been showing flashes of his brilliance while working at his training base in France. Deep Impact is currently just ahead of Hurricane Run in the UK betting market, followed by Shirocco, despite the fact that he has never raced outside Japan and will be ridden by the darling of Japanese racing Yutake Take who, to put it tactfully, is not exactly a favourite with British punters, many of whom exhibit elephantine memories and haven't forgotten or forgiven poor Take for his abysmal ride on White Muzzle in the Arc 12 years ago. White Muzzle was held up at the back of the field for what seemed an eternity, then came with a brilliant late run cutting down the eventual winner with every stride but sadly it was far too late. If it were a case of 'Take him or leave him', Yutake would remain in the weighing room. It says much for this horse's awesome reputation that he commands the greatest respect, especially at this track where you need a pilot with a wise and cool head. Hopefully his pilot will demonstrate both attributes, as Hurricane Run will benefit from the services of Kieren Fallon, who many will be pleased to see reunited with this horse (he is currently banned from riding in the UK) and Shirocco will be ridden by Christophe Soumillon.
It shouldn't be forgotten that there are five other horses due to line-up, including the St Leger winner, Sixties Icon, but it's hard to make a case for any of the others to get past all three of the leading fancies, three outstanding horses, unless they have trouble in running, but with such a small field this seems unlikely.
Racing at this level is increasingly global and true race fans celebrate great horses, no matter where they are trained or bred. We all hope for a true run race on Sunday with no hard luck stories, but if Deep Impact should pull it off, vindicating the sporting decision to bring him out of Japan, he will be cheered from the rooftops at Longchamp and it won't be just the money talking.
For those of us who loved his father, it will be an especially moving victory.
HRTV will telecast the Arc. Also tomorrow, at Belmont, Discreet Cat will put his unbeaten record on the line: Spotlight on Discreet Cat in Jerome.
Update 746: A quick assessment of the two races thus far shown on ESPN. Ashkal Way ran a very good race in the Kelso. He set a stakes record, and I think good enough to be a factor in the Breeders' Cup mile. In the Kentucky Cup Perfect Drift was clearly very unlucky, not being able to get through at the top of the stretch. Perfect Drift ran a great race and with room would have won going away by a couple of lengths.
Update 745: Just spoke to Peter Brette (3:25 pm) who had just left New Bolton from his visit to Barbaro. He was pleased with Barbaro. He groomed him, put on his massage blanket and changed his bandages. An upbeat report.
Update 744: I just heard from my friend at HRTV (Tina, who used to gallop at Fair Hill), and the Lost in the Fog memorial at Golden Gate Fields will be on after the 6th at Golden Gate Fields. Post time is 6:25 east coast time.
Update 743: The rest of the morning was relatively uneventful. We had some visitors from Vineland, New Jersey, which was cool. The three I had to ride all went pretty well. Chesapeake City Slew (CCS) did his first little work, along with Grandma. They both went well, and I think CCS will now go home for a couple of months to catch up with himself.
I did see Barclay Tagg earlier this morning, which confirms Funny Cide is not running today in the Hawthorne Gold Cup. I asked him about the plans for Showing Up, and they are still uncertain. He is doing well.
Peter said he was going to visit Barbaro today, so I will hopefully be able to catch up with him later.
It looks like Barbaro's dad is getting popular: Dynaformer's fee increased to $150,000. Nice to see two of his 2006 graded stakes winners are Fair Hill horses!
Update 742: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (friday night). I just saw Michael Matz as they were getting ready to head to the track for their third set. While it was a little chilly this morning, it is looking very beautiful outside. My first couple of sets were both breezes of sorts (one open gallop 3/8ths, the other break from the gate and breeze a half). The first went well, the second was "interesting". Off back to Fair Hill for three more, and I think some visitors!
Update 741: I am hoping the Barbaro update this morning is available by 8 am. This is a very nice Message from Barbaro's Owners, the beginning:
We were still trying to believe Barbaro had won the Kentucky Derby when his career-ending injury occurred. Now our focus is on his recovery and providing him with quality of life.
Looking for the good that has come out of this tragedy, we have found great consolation from the vast number of Barbaro fans and have witnessed a powerful interest in all activities that support the welfare of the horse.
Posted by Alex at 9:45 AM
| Comments (434)
Barbaro Updates: 88
Posted September 29, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 740: Sue McMullen sent an e-mail which highlights the fantastic racing we have from Longchamp on sunday:
A feast of racing in Europe this weekend, culminating in Sunday's Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe, a mile and a half Turf race at Longchamp, France's premier track, which offers as much of a challenge in terms of its undulations as Epsom. First run in 1920 in its present form, the Arc is a spin-off from the Grand Prix de Paris which started in 1863 and evolved over the years, adding big prize money which attracted foreign runners and eventually the inclusion of older horses. By 1920 it was decided to 'rebrand' the race by creating a prestigious international event, a decision made by a committee that included the British Ambassador and the French racing authorities, so the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe was born, named after soldiers that served in the Great War.
The Arc weekend now offers a total purse of 4.5 million euros, with 2 million going to the winner of the Arc, a seriously prestigious race, which continues to be hyped as Europe's premier, all-aged Flat race, certainly over this distance. But it could also be argued that the Arc is the premier event for this distance at this time of the year, as nowadays the all-aged King George run at Ascot in July would also be a major target for a middle-distance horse. For example, Hurricane Run, last year's winner of the Arc, won this year's King George and will take some beating on Sunday.
In terms of this race's position in the racing calendar (outside the US), it would be the principal end of season target for a mile and a half turf horse, with the Breeders' Cup an option thereafter. It is unlikely that a European horse good enough to be a major contender for the Arc, would bypass this race and head straight for the Breeders' Cup. Ideally, they would be able to do both but the Arc is a very tough race to be a mere prep for the Breeders Cup. Having said that, it didn't exactly slow down the awesome High Chaparral who ran third in two Arcs, before winning both his Breeders' Cups. But it's a possible case of what might have been the year Sakhee, one of the toughest horses in training, won the Arc and just 20 days later went down a nose to Tiznow in the Classic at Belmont, on a surface that didn't suit him.
The Arc field is limited to 18, but given the nature of the track, a field of that size will inevitably result in hard luck stories and just occasionally, the race throws up a result that leaves a bit of head scratching. But it takes a very good horse to win, combining speed and stamina in equal measure and in its 84 runnings has seen some of the finest turf horses in the world added to the roll of honour. This year, just 8 go to post and while there have been some defections due to the going, the top three, Hurricane Run, Deep Impact and Shirocco stand their ground.
Just as the Irish are an integral part of the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival in March, adding a vital ingredient to its unique atmosphere, it has to be said that the British and Irish are just as important to the Arc weekend and thousands head off by train or by air, either making a weekend of it, or just going over for Sunday's racing, which also stages the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye, one of Europe's premier Sprints and the Group 1 Prix de l'Opera, limited to fillies and mares and which now includes Mandesha, who at one stage had been a possible for the Arc.
Tomorrow Sue will preview the Arc field. The Arc will also be broadcast on sunday, on HRTV. Of course also tomorrow we have some great racing in the US, broadcast on ESPN, 4 - 6 pm (previewed in update 725).
Update 739: Just spoke to Peter, who had spoken to Michael, who visited about 4:30 pm. Barbaro remains comfortable. Michael mentioned to Peter he was "squealing" ... I guess he saw Michael and assumed he was off to go outside. Anyway, whatever the reason for the squeal, squealing is good!
Update 738: Rachel from Kennett Florist just posted this update (comment timestamp: 9:21 pm):
Just back from NBC. Everyone seems in good spirits today... must be Friday! We had heard Mr B was low on carrots, so we loaded him up for the weekend. We also had a nice big basket of carrots and apples for the donor horses (and goats and pigs, etc). It is such a beautiful cool fall day here... I think it's time for apple picking (although we are up to our elbows in apples here these days :)... guess I'll have to bring some in the form of a pie!). Hope eveyone has a great weekend!
Also, wanted to thank each and every one who has worked so hard with S.1915. We're trying to do what we can at this end. Keep up the fight!
Rachel at Kennett Florist
I also wanted to post another beautiful poem: We Are The Horses.
Update 737: A great AP article from Rich Rosenblatt: Barbaro an inspiration on and off the race track. I had noted in an earlier update that I met the writer when he was in Fair Hill a couple of days ago (Barbaro nipped his trouser leg). Anyway, here are some excerpts:
"You can just see it in him, he wants to survive," Barbaro's exercise rider Peter Brette said. "He does everything right to allow himself to get better. And he's had a really good month or so now. He's tougher than I gave him credit for."
The cast could come off within two weeks and be replaced by a splinted bandage. It remains now because Richardson does not want to add stress on the foot with laminitis. "I'm being very conservative," he said. "The cast would be off the right hind if there was no laminitis in the left hind."
"I really believe it's a miracle," Gretchen Jackson said. "Everything has just seemed to come together against incredible odds."
The outpouring of get-well cards, flowers and gifts hasn't let up, either. During his stay, the colt has been sprinkled with holy water and received hundreds of gift baskets and thousands of drawings from children wishing him well. Tens of thousands of e-mails have been sent to the hospital's Web site.
Jackson recalls one that read: "Believe in Barbaro: A Miracle in Progress."
"That about sums it up," he said.
The entire article is a must read.
Update 736: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). I saw Peter coming back from my fourth set (Rocky), he had heard from Michael, who had heard from Dr. Richardson. Michael is not at Fair Hill this morning.
Lots of action this morning at Fair Hill, most of which is action you would rather avoid. One loose horse, one run off, all first thing in the morning. I think all involved are fine, but I know from experience, being run off with is the single worst feeling a rider can have. The last time I was run off with it was a stupid mistake on my part, I had forgotten to tighten my girth. I turned my horse round to begin his gallop (I had not ridden him before, and he was supposed to be breezing) and as soon as I did I felt the saddle slip forward on top of his withers. The horse took off, and there was nothing I could do except sit as still as possible and steer the horse to the inside rail. This I did, and we went for a mile and a half, I was then picked up by a pony. Anyway, it was an experience hard to forget.
OK, back to today, Chappy breezed second set, on the woodchip. She went a nice half, finishing strongly. She does seem to like the chips, lets hope she likes the new tapeta surface when it is ready.
update, 8:45 am, friday september 29
Update 735: The morning update for Barbaro will again be a little later, possibly around 8:30 am. Barbara Livingston e-mailed me a link to her Precisionist Album. Barbara also included this commentary in the e-mail:
Precisionist provided me my first Blood-Horse cover over twenty years ago, and the graceful chestnut gelding has been close to my heart since.
He was a brilliant racehorse - a true Hall of Famer - and after retirement he remained classy, tolerant and proud. The lanky chestnut held his head unusually high, with deep-set, brilliant, dark eyes. Those eyes understood the world.
I visited Kentucky for a whirlwind trip (less than 24 hours) Tuesday, and had a few hours to spare before heading to the airport. We decided to swing by Old Friends to see our old buddy Precisionist. We called. They mentioned Precisionist was failing, and nothing more could be done for him. The staff still allowed us to visit.
There stood Precisionist, resting against Michael Blowen as Michael rubbed Precisionist's 'special spots.' The famous gelding, in obvious discomfort, eased under Michael's touch. When Michael ceased rubbing him, Precisionist's ears flicked back. Michael kept rubbing. Several volunteers stood vigil nearby, tending to Precisionist's every need. Tears were rubbed away.
Precisionist eventually made it clear he wanted to rest and was led back to his sunlit stall, laid thick with straw. Staff volunteers brought him first-rate alfalfa and cleaned, cut carrots. After resting awhile, Precisionist dipped his head to eat.
Before leaving, I peered through the stall rungs. Precisionist was watching me. I looked into those soulful eyes one last time and said, 'Thank you, old boy.'
Precisionist was euthanized the following day and laid to rest at Old Friends.
He was so beloved, gallant, proud and beautiful; and Old Friends treated him like the champion he was. They understood.
Posted by Alex at 10:03 AM
| Comments (449)
Barbaro Updates: 87
Posted September 28, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 734: Spoke to Peter Brette (6:20 pm) who had heard from Michael, who had visited Barbaro this afterenoon. All remains well, and Barbaro remains comfortable.
I attended a retirement party for Tom, who had worked on the maintenance crew at Fair Hill since its inception (or very close to it); basically 23 years. It was held in Chevation III, which is now the maintenance barn. In the old days it was a regular 40 horse stall barn. I used to gallop horses for Patti Miller from that barn. Anyway, it was a nice event. Nice comments from Sally Goswell (Fair Hill manager) and Dr. Fisher, who basically started Fair Hill, and hired Tom. They presented Tom with a gift, a Barbaro win picture of the Kentucky Derby, signed by Michael Matz. Tom will be missed. He always had a hello for you when jogging back and past where the tractors are parked, when they were preparing to begin the track renovation.
Update 733: Rachel, from Kennett Florist, has just provided this quick update (comment timestamp: 9:02pm):
All is well at NBC this afternoon. Quiet, but I was there for just a moment, dropping off some green tops, stud muffins and nickermakers... all of Barbaro's favorites!
Update 732: I just spoke to Steve Willard, Giacomo's exercise rider. I wanted to get a quick update as I think he is pointing for a race next weekend (The Goodward). He said Giacomo is doing well. He had a nice breeze a few days ago, he jogged yesterday and was galloping today (jogging a mile and a quarter warm up, and then galloping a mile and a half). Steve said his mind could not be better, very good attitude, and really wants to go out and train. A good report from Giacomo.
Update 731: As we get ready for saturday's races on ESPN (update 725) I thought I would call Joe Deegan, Perfect Drift's exercise rider, to see how he was doing coming up to his race, the Kentucky Cup Classic. He told me Perfect Drift was training really well. He galloped well this morning, will gallop again tomorrow and then ship up on saturday to run. This will be his first race on the polytrack at Turfway, although he has worked on the track once. Joe said he worked well on the track, he quickened really well on it, and should handle the track well on saturday. I asked him about his last start in the Pacific Classic. He said that he came out of the race really well. He acted like he had not really run. He just really did not fire for the race, and perhaps the pace of the race did not suite him. (Relevant article: Perfect Drift to try something new in Kentucky Cup Classic).
Talking about the polytrack at Turfway Park, I spoke to my buddy Andy Durnin last night, he is working at Hollywood Park, where they have recently installed another synthetic surface (I forget its brand name). He said the track is really riding well in the mornings. They have not had any bad weather yet, to see how it handles rain (southern california), but thus far the horseman seem to be pretty happy with it.
Update 730: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night). I saw Michael Matz ponying Peter as I was on my second set with Chappy. They were in deep conversation, but broke their dialogue to give me the news. Michael had heard from Dr. Richardson. Another nice morning at Fair Hill, although I think it might rain a little later.
Not related to Barbaro, but I had this chance meeting last thursday, pretty cool!
Update 729: Today's morning update will be a little later today, probably about 8:30 am. In the meantime Barbaro is starting to get invitations: "Barbaro did receive a wedding invitation a couple weeks ago.":
Barbaro did receive a wedding invitation a couple weeks ago. When I first opened it, his name was on the outside envelope and I thought, no this can't be. The wedding is in September and the girl had written a note saying she really hoped he could come but she would understand if he can't. We sent the reply card back saying he wouldn't be unable to attend because he didn't have a thing to wear and he wouldn't be able to dance. And Dr. Richardson happened to be over here and he saw it, so he signed a thank-you card and sent it to her. In his note, Barbaro wished them well in their marriage, but that he didn't plan to remain monogamous.
Nice work from Anna who was able to get some good news coverage: South Texas News Segment (video link) on the slaughter issues.
Posted by Alex at 10:17 AM
| Comments (450)
Barbaro Updates: 86
Posted September 27, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 728: Something Wild ran a nice third today at Laurel. I just caught up with Tim, by cell phone, as he was returning from the races. Something Wild was in a fourteen horse allowance field, "never win a race other than" condition. He broke sharply, was taken slightly off the pace, moved down to the rail going around the turn and basically ran a gutsy race. He seemed to cool out well. His owner, Walter Simek, from Arizona, flew in for the race.
Update 727: Peter just called, he had heard from Michael who had visited Barbaro this afternoon. Barbaro remains comfortable. A quick, upbeat report. And then Kathy Anderson called. She was just leaving New Bolton (6:35 pm). She again said he looked good, very bright. Mrs. Jackson and Dr. Richardson were both there during Kathy's visit. Barbaro was munching on hand-picked grass!
Update 726: Just moved the site. There was some whacky behaviour during the move, but I think it is now functioning. On a more somber note, we have lost two more athletes, Precisionist and Second of June, who many recently saw running second in the Woodward.
Update 725: Jeannine Edwards just sent me the following e-mail regarding ESPNs plans for racing this weekend:
Here is a preview of Sat's show.....
After a 3-week hiatus (during which I was on vacation riding in the WY wilderness.... doesn't get any better than that!) the live ESPN horse racing coverage continues on Saturday with the "Countdown to the Cup" series, 4-6pm ET. We're really looking forward to these next 3 shows, Sept 30, Oct 7, and Oct 14 in anticipation of the Breeders' Cup on Nov 4 (also on ESPN.) Most of the key contenders in each of the 8 BC race divisions will be in action over the next 3 weeks... we'll see all the stars of our sport, in their final prep races. It should be very exciting! We'll even have a look at the European contingent for the BC on our show this weekend, as we have a 2 1/2 minute international feature from across the pond.
This Sat's show features 4 big races... the Clement Hirsch and Yellow Ribbon from Oak Tree (Santa Anita), the KY Cup Classic from Turfway Park, and the Kelso Handicap from Belmont. Our "host" location is Santa Anita. I can't wait to see The Tin Man run in the Clement Hirsch... he's a marvel. 8 years old and in the best form of his life, after 2 seriously bowed tendons, ankle injuries, and various other minor ailments. He's spent about 3 years on the sidelines, and has been carefully managed by his trainer, Dick Mandella, who says The Tin Man is his all-time favorite horse and the barn pet. He's quite a character and has endeared himself to all those around him. He reminds me of John Henry... small, plain-looking, but with the heart of a champion. He'll be running in his 3rd Clement Hirsch and 3rd BC Turf... he first competed in both races in '02. We have a 2 1/2 minute feature devoted to The Tin Man on our show. Joan, one of our Associate Producers, is interviewing Mandella and The Tin Man's owners tomorrow (Wed) for the story.
In the Yellow Ribbon, 3-year-old Wait A While takes on older mares for the first time in the Yellow Ribbon on turf. Wait A While is shooting for her 4th win in a row. She'll face tough California mares like Dancing Edie and Live Life, but she appears to be on a roll right now for Todd Pletcher and has really made her presence felt in the distaff turf division. She gets a big test on Sat.
Our old friend Perfect Drift is running again this Sat, in the KY Cup Classic. He's such a cool horse, and always tries his best. I think the track was not particularly suited to his running style in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar. He's done well at Turfway (won 4 of 6 starts) but not since they switched over to the Polytrack surface... should be interesting to see how he handles it. He zipped through a sharp 5-furlong workout over the track about 2 weeks ago in his only "trial run" on the surface. Premium Tap, who last won the Woodward at Saratoga, and Gouldings Green, who's been super consistent this year, are his chief rivals.
At Belmont in the Kelso, it should be an interesting match-up between Godolphin's Ashkal Way, who's won 4 of his 5 starts and has been a pleasant surprise for his connections since coming to this country in the spring, Meteor Storm, an old (7) campaigner who's made over $1.3 million but hasn't raced since December (was nearly retired to stud) and may prefer more ground than the one-mile of the Kelso, and Friendly Island... a sprinter who's never raced beyond 7 furlongs and never been on turf. They're feeling him out for a possible start in the BC Mile on Turf. The Pletcher stable's confidence in him jumped way up when he scorched through a 1/2 mile workout on turf last week... :47.4 on a turf course that doesn't play fast.
Lots of great stories, interviews, and exciting racing to look forward to on Sat. And of course, we'll update everyone on Barbaro and include a tribute to the late great Lost In The Fog.
Update 724: I just met Rick Rosenblatt, who wrote this story for the AP, which was published yesterday: Barbaro looks good; still has ways to go. Rick was in Fair Hill, and likely writing a follow up story. He visited Barbaro yesterday, so I had to ask him for his report! He said he looked bright in his eye, and alert. Any unexpected sound garnered his attention. He was out grazing, and took a little nip out of Rick's trouser leg. Anyway, Rick seemed pretty happy with what he saw. He had previously seen Barbaro in the ICU, a couple of months ago. The AP also took a bunch of photos yesterday (so they are the most recent), you can see a few at espn: Horse Racing Photo Wire.
Here's another poignant poem: For Every Horse an Angel.
Update 723: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (tuesday night). I just saw Michael Matz by the clocker's stand. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. Also another absolutely gorgeous morning here at Fair Hill. Beautiful sunrise, a thin layer of mist coming out of the ground, plenty of deer grazing...I am currently stood behind the gate on a two year old to do a bit of gate schooling and then we'll open gallop a quarter down the lane.
updated wednesday 7:20am
Update 722: Julie created this wonderful memorial to Lost in the Fog.
Fans will be able to celebrate Lost in the Fog on saturday at Golden Gate Fields: Track to honor Lost in the Fog. The following is an excerpt:
Golden Gate Fields will salute Eclipse Sprint champion Lost in the Fog, his owner Harry Aleo and trainer Greg Gilchrist on Saturday. A special DVD featuring each of the colt's victories will be given away, and career highlights will be shown throughout the day.
Golden Gate Fields has been swamped with requests about the video and had fans from as far away as Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey inquire about attending the day to pay their respects to the colt, who was euthanized on Sept. 17 after battling cancer.
Donations in the name of Lost in the Fog can be made to the Glen Ellen Vocational Academy, Northern California's only non-profit horse rescue and rehabilitation facility. The GEVA address is P.O. Box 2101, Glen Ellen, CA 95442.
"If it's something to help horses, I'm always for it," said Aleo, who has allowed GEVA to auction off pictures of the colt in the past.
This Bloodhorse article: Crystal Clear is a wonderfully written article about the Fog. It begins:
He was special; a simple word that seems inadequate, but at the same time says it all. He was speed incarnate, not just blazing fast but white-hot fast, able to run a second quarter faster perhaps than any horse before him. He was without pretensions, no blue-blooded pedigree or flighty temperament. He was all business.
An update was posted to the IN HONOR OF BARBARO RESCUE CHALLENGE, providing the status of the fifth challenge, this was swifty met, you have raised more than $9,000!
Posted by Alex at 9:10 AM
| Comments (370)
Barbaro Updates: 85
Posted September 26, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 721: Peter just called. He visited Barbaro this afternoon (1 pm), and was upbeat in his assessment. He groomed Barbaro, changed his bandages and put on his massage blanket. He also said Michael just called, who visited Barbaro on his way back from Delaware Park, later today. Barbaro remains comfortable.
Update 720: Here is the New Bolton release for today: Barbaro's progress pleases veterinarians:
Veterinarians at Penn's George D. Widener Hospital continue to be pleased with the medical progress of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, who remains in stable condition at the hospital. "The left hind hoof on Barbaro has grown about 18 millimeters in the heel area," said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. "It has to grow at least three times that, which could take more than six months. It's a very gradual process; the bottom of his foot has to completely heal as well."
Barbaro continues to be comfortable in his right hind leg cast, so there are no immediate plans to change it. "As always, we monitor his comfort very closely, and we will likely change the cast within the next two weeks," said Dr. Richardson. "Barbaro's vital signs continue to be excellent, as is his appetite. He definitely enjoys his daily excursions outside to walk and graze." Barbaro spends about 30 to 40 minutes outside every day, depending on the weather.
Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Pennsylvania's George D. Widener Hospital, where he is recovering from injuries suffered at the Preakness on May 20.
The next update will be posted on Tuesday, October 3, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.
Update 719: Just a quick FYI, New Bolton has a scheduled Barbaro update to release for today, but it may be released later this afternoon. I was chatting to them on another matter this morning and this is what I learned.
Update 718: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (monday night). I saw Michael Matz as I was going to the track on my second set on Chappy. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. While it was a bit of a chilly start to the day, it's absolutely gorgeous now as the sun is coming up. I am now heading to the woodchip track to gallop Chappy. We only have two more weeks to ride on the woodchips as we then begin the switch over to the Tapeta surface. As I am walking on to the track, I also asked Adrian Rolls if Better Talk Now was back from his Canadian exploits. He said he had arrived back in Fair Hill last night and all is well.
updated tuesday 7:20am
Update 717: We have a couple of quick reports, the first from a visit to Fair Hill this past weekend, and the second, a meeting with Mr Aleo (Lost in the Fog day at Golden Gate Fields is Saturday September 30, I believe it will be covered by HRTV).
Racing also returns to ESPN on saturday, so hopefully we will hear from Jeannine. The major race in Europe this weekend is the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe. Sue McMullen will hopefully keep us updated with this marquee race. And finally, Discreet Cat also runs on sunday: Discreet Cat vs. Bernardini unlikely to happen.
Posted by Alex at 9:45 AM
| Comments (385)
Barbaro Updates: 84
Posted September 25, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 716: I spoke too soon. Peter just called (8:20 pm) and he had heard from Michael who had visited Barbaro earlier this afternoon. All was well.
Update 715: No later update today for Barbaro, which is not unusual. The Thoroughbred Times has a story on the status of the anti-horse slaughter bill in the senate: Vote on horse slaughter bill may be delayed until next year. Keep up your great work, each person's effort makes an impact.
Update 714: I have created an archive page of Barbaro updates, which includes all the updates. I did this for two reasons:
a. it is hard to find the old updates, now you can
b. if this site goes offline temporarily (if we have technical issues), you can use the archive site, which I will continue to update
Update 713: I just interviewed Edgar Prado, the interview appears below. I had called up his agent last week to confirm Edgar was coming down to visit Barbaro. I had mentioned to his agent during the call that I would really like to interview Edgar. He asked me to call back in a few days. So I chose today, when I knew there was no racing at Belmont.
When I called back (after I got off my last horse this morning) I was not expecting to be past on directly to Edgar to begin the interview. So I was in my truck, interviewing Edgar over my cell phone, looking for scraps of paper to make notes. Once the interview was complete, I told Edgar I would call back in 45 minutes, so he could hear the interview before I published it. When I called his agent back, Edgar had left, but his agent gave me Edgar's cell number to call. I did, and after I read back the interview Edgar asked me when I was next coming to Belmont. So likely I will go up for the Jockey Club, and meet with him in person. Very cool. and of course, here is the interview:
Me: What were your first impressions of Barbaro?
Edgar: I first rode him in the Tropical Park Derby. I was very impressed with the way he handled himself on the track, and when he came back after the race he was not even blowing, he could not even blow out a match. I had not ridden a horse with such a turn of foot since Kitten's Joy, a really nice turf horse.
Me: At what point did you realize you were going to win the Kentucky Derby?
Edgar: Before the race: I was very comfortable after he won his races on the dirt, and I could tell he still had room to improve. I was very confident he was training so well coming up to the Derby, he was handling the racetrack so well, and his pre-Derby breeze (under Peter Brette) was exceptional.
Edgar: During the race: Between the 3/8ths pole and 5/16ths. He was going so easily, I had not asked him, and he was going so well. I really did not need to urge him too much, I did not use the stick, a nice hand ride.
Me: How does Barbaro compare to others you have ridden?
He could run on any track and any kind of surface. I could put him anywhere I wanted (in a race). He had acceleration that was incredible. He was only a three year old and was just developing. He had the right to be one of the best horses to ever run a race.
Me: Why do you continue to visit Barbaro?
I like him very much. He gave me the biggest thrill of my life in the Derby. The courage he is currently displaying in his recovery just shows how special this horse is. A horse like this does not come around too often, I am honored to have been part of his story, he is very special.
Update 712: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (sunday night). I saw Michael Matz while I was on my second set, jogging Chappy two miles on the dirt. Michael had heard from Dr. Richardson. Michael was on Messaging standing by the clockers stand when i passed him, he was talking to Barclay Tagg. I asked Barclay if they had finalized plans for Showing Up's next race, not yet was the answer. I wonder if he saw George Washington's win! I also saw Graham Motion, and congratulated him on Better Talk Now's victory. It seems he will now not go for the Melbourne Cup. Its possible he may run again in Canada, but is now returning to Fair Hill. Graham thought the pace did not really suite Better Talk Now, and he really did run a great race.
Another poignant poem: Four Hundred Horses.
update monday, 8:15 am, september 25
Posted by Alex at 12:04 PM
| Comments (464)
Barbaro Updates: 83
Posted September 24, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 711: Congratulations to Better Talk Now and all his connections: Better Talk Now outduels challengers for Sky Classic victory. In typical Better Talk Now style, he dropped back, and came with a late run, and won by a head. I just spoke to Adrian Rolls, Graham Motion's assistant, who gave me the quick update. It appears they are no longer considering the Melbourne Cup (according to the article) but it is nice to see Graham proved correct in his assessment that Better Talk Now is as good as ever.
I just spoke to Peter Brette, no later update today on Barbaro. He had not heard anything, which he assumes is a good thing.
Update 710: Here is the Orlando Sentinal article: Barbaro's Big Breakthrough: Although his survival remains in doubt, the Derby champ's injury (and recovery) leaves promising legacy for his fellow thoroughbreds. I was interviewed for this article, so was excited to see it going to press today. The article is another great read (much like those in Update 709), but of course I have to highlight where I am quoted and this site is referenced:
"You think of athletes as holding out for contracts; they're getting [in trouble] for positive drug tests. Athletes don't necessarily have the best [reputation]," says Alex Brown, an exercise rider at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland. "And here's a horse that just did his best, he was brilliant, he just goes home at night and eats some hay and then he breaks his leg in front of a national audience."
Ever since the Preakness, Brown has kept the world updated on Barbaro's condition with daily posts on timwoolleyracing.com. Tim Woolley has a stable at Fair Hill, and Barbaro trained for the Preakness nearby. The Web site had been around for a while, before anyone knew who Barbaro was. It used to get maybe five hits a day.
Now, thousands visit it daily. Brown receives information from the insiders -- those such as Richardson and Michael Matz, Barbaro's trainer -- and he posts the news on the site, much to the appreciation of Barbaro lovers everywhere.
Update 709: I bought the Philadelphia Inquirer, thinking they may run the same Barbaro story that was written for the Orlando Sentinal (which I have not yet posted) and lo and behold, they wrote a couple of their own very cool articles: STANDING BY BARBARO and A happy horse could take six months to a year. Both Mike Jensen articles are fantastic, and you will learn a lot about Barbaro's current condition (foot growth etc.) as well as insights into Mrs. Jackson. The following is an excerpt from the second article:
The cast on Barbaro's right hind leg is mostly precautionary. All the signs are good on that front, but Richardson said, "There's still no guarantee we can get his left hind foot to the point where he can be in a field and be a happy horse."
The hoof is growing - about 18 millimeters in the heel area, Richardson estimated. "He's got to go three times that, at least."
If that took six months or longer, "we hope that his comfort and the stability of the foot improves during that interval," Richardson said. "In other words, it's not all or none. It's a very gradual progressive thing, and the big problem is that we still need to get the bottom of his foot to completely heal. That's a big deal."
Update 708: Oddly I was just on a horse racing site to see if there was any more fall out from yesterday's Georgeous George win (nothing) and then I checked my e-mail, a follow up from Sue McMullen follows:
Just been confirmed that Ballydoyle are to appeal yesterday's decision to ban Shamus Heffernan for 14 days for what the Ascot stewards adjudged to be improper riding and team tactics.
An exasperated and understandably furious Aiden O'Brien yesterday implied there was little point in appealing but many of us felt that they would have to do so (and we hoped they would) as it was such a harsh penalty with very unpleasant implications. It will now be referred to Shaftesbury Avenue in London, HQ of racing in the UK. On a personal note, the more I see the race the more harsh it seems and while it's tempting to say more, I should perhaps leave it there.
Thankfully, in spite of this, the eulogies have continued in tribute to George's superb performance, with writers exhausting the supply of superlatives to describe his outstanding victory, which made some very classy milers look ordinary.
As you might expect and subject to his continued wellbeing, George is bound for Kentucky and the Breeders' Cup Mile where we hope he will be able to unleash his brilliance.
If anyone can find the URL to the Barbaro story in the Orlando Sentinal, please post in the comments. I have seen the same story via mercury news, but would rather link to the home paper of the writer. Its a cool story!
Update 707: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (saturday night). I went to Fair Hill and to Michael Matz's barn to get the update. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. A lovely poem from Bobby J.: Message of Encouragement From Bobby.
update sunday, september 24, 8 am
Posted by Alex at 11:54 AM
| Comments (436)
Barbaro Updates: 82
Posted September 23, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 706: Strong Contender beat Lawyer Ron in the Louisiana Super Derby: 'Contender Packs Big Wallop in Super Derby. Having watched the race on HRTV, I am not sure either will be able to step up and compete in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Two nice three year olds, and perhaps Strong Contender has a bright future down the road, but I don't think either is currently in the same league as Bernardini ?
Update 705: Apparently the Queen Elizabeth race today at Ascot, won impressively by the Jackson-bred Georgeous George (George Washington), was a race of controversy which left one jockey banned: O'BRIEN AND DETTORI IN ASCOT ROW. Sue McMullen provided this on the spot report:
Some fall-out from today.
We had high drama and almost 'high noon' at Ascot this afternoon, following George Washington's effortless victory in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, which has left some of us mystified and will do little to enhance relations between Coolmore and Godolphin.
Readers of this may wonder why I made no reference to the incident in my review of the race, and the truth is that it wasn't worthy of comment in the context of an outstanding display, under hands and heels and no resort to the whip, from a horse described by Kinane as one of the best he's ridden. And none of us could have known how this incident would unfold.
Shamus Heffernan on George's stablemate Ivan Denisovich drifted slightly wide causing Frankie Dettori on Goldolphin's Librettist who was challenging wide, to move further out. It happens in racing and jockeys here are duly censured. But it made no difference whatsoever to the outcome of the race as Librettist was already flat to the boards, going nowhere and George Washington had still to find a gap to make his run. Frankly, Librettist wouldn't have beaten George today unless he'd been given a ride in the Godolphin horsebox, and even then I would have backed George.
Those of us close to the weighing room when Frankie walked back in realised from remarks he was making for all to hear that he wasn't exactly happy with what had happened but Librettist was well and truly beaten, which must have been frustrating for him. I have to report that some of us thought it was just Frankie not being very happy with life but the stewards subsequently banned Shamus Heffernan for 14 days for careless riding and alleged team tactics. Many in the press room felt that this was a draconian punishment. Shamus looked dumbfounded and utterly shocked when he emerged from his encounter with the stewards. Careless riding? Ok. But team tactics? For what purpose exactly? George's electrifying burst of speed when he finally saw daylight needed no help from anybody, other than the man aboard and even he wouldn't have broken into a sweat.
It is likely that the incident will be reported in the US racing pages and it's a desperate shame that a wonderful performance from a great horse and a fantastic training achievement to get him back should have such an unpleasant and sadly largely irrelevant allegation hanging over it. There was never any suggestion that it made any difference to the outcome of the race, with George Washington trouncing his opposition.
Aiden is a softly spoken, genuinely modest and mild-mannered individual but he looked very angry when he emerged from the stewards room. There was an ugly scene when Frankie swore at him using a four-letter word, in front of journalists and officials. Shamus was given quite a severe punishment for a dubious allegation that has left many of us mystified, so it will be interesting to see if Frankie is disciplined for swearing at a trainer in public.
On a happier note and before this drama unfolded, I had a quiet word with Aiden and told him the gist of my preview for this site when I touched upon the continued emphasis on George's alleged fragile temperament and how much was made of this, with the BBC even using the services of a horse behaviour expert. He said ' have you ever known anything so ridiculous?' He seemed really pleased and thanked me for expressing my views, shaking my hand in gratitude, which I found deeply touching. Modest as ever, he attributed George's impeccable behaviour today to the team at home.
Update 704: I went over to New Bolton Center at lunchtime with Peter. Peter visited Barbaro while I relaxed and looked at the get well wishes that are in the reception area and hung on the outside fence. I did see some of the well wishes that appeared to have been left from those who visited NBC last weekend, very nice.
Peter groomed Barbaro, changed his bandages, and put on a massage blanket for 20 minutes. I think this is a typical routine when Peter visits. The entire visit lasted about 50 minutes. All is well, Barbaro remains comfortable.
Update 703: Sue McMullen e-mailed this report from Ascot:
Gorgeous George served it up to them today in fantastic style. Turning into the straight he was trapped behind horses with nowhere to go but seeing a gap Kinane went for it and yet another son of Danehill showed the way home. He went after Araafa, who beat him in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, like a heat-seeking missile and scooted past. It was a very, very impressive performance. I was secretly pleased to see him confound the detractors who describe him as quirky with a perfect display of cool. He walked around the parade ring like a lamb, taking everything in and looking around, without a bead of sweat and I was just a few feet away from him. It's a very hot day and yet he was totally unperturbed, loading into the gate without a problem. As mentioned yesterday, much has been made of his 'temperament' and I noticed on one of the monitors that the BBC even had expert opinion from a well-respected horse behaviourist commenting on the George enigma. Front page of the Racing Post screamed 'Can George Keep His Head?'. Well he did and he showed them! Ok, so maybe he does have a few quirks but to listen to some, you half expect a raging beast to appear, lathered with sweat, eyes bulging on stalks, pawing the air. It was also a great training performance on the part of O'Brien to bring him back after injury in the Irish Guineas and for helping him settle.
This is some horse and his fans can only hope he can continue to show his brilliance and remain as cool as he was today.
I was speaking to Mike Cattermole, presenter on one of our dedicated racing channels and race caller, (and one of the nicest guys on the planet) about Bobby and he said 'he's doing OK isn't he? It's a great story'. It's good to know that Bobby has a big following here too!
This report is necessarily brief as I must allow Paul back onto his own laptop!
Update 702: Sue McMullen sent us this quick update from Ascot:
It's a beautiful warm day here at Ascot and I'm able to send this with the invaluable help (his words!) of my occasional colleague Paul Wheeler from the Sunday Herald who has very generously allowed me to use his laptop. I wasn't expecting to work today so although I have a press pass, I don't have a berth!
There is an old saying that you should back the horse belonging to the first trainer you see at the course and when I arrived I just happened to bump into Jeremy Noseda, handler of Simply Perfect who has just won the Meon Valley Stud Fillies' Mile. The ground is officially soft but they've been going off at a fair pace and this race was no exception. By tomorrow the ground should have dried out and be almost perfect. The unbeaten Sesmen was a bit rank early on and had to make her own running so it possibly wasn't a true indication of her ability, but you can't take anything away from the winner who Noseda described as a very tough filly who improved for this trip. The daughter of Danehill drifted close to the line, causing Jamie Spencer on Treat to snatch up but following the inevitable steward's enquiry, the places remained unaltered.
Noseda confirmed that Sixties Icon will be supplemented for the Arc. It's a bold move for this winner of the St Leger and they know they have three very good horses to take on, but he's tough and frankly, good luck to them. When you have a good horse you might as well shoot for the moon. It's a great position to be in to have one good enough to go for the Arc and all credit to them.
The O'Brien team won the Group 2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes for two year old colts with Admiralofthefleet, ridden by Mick Kinane. The ground had been a worry for this son of Danehill and they went off at a scorching pace, but Kinane just sat and bided his time. This impressive colt is one of 84 Derby entries from Ballydoyle.
QEII to follow
Update 701: Just saw Miraculous Miss coming back from the woodchip track. She had just worked 7/8ths under Ramon Dominguez. Everyone seemed pleased with the move, she went in 1:31. We have a visitor today, Debbie, and we are now in the clockers stand watching training and workers after the break.
Update 700: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (friday night). I saw Michael Matz as his third set was preparing to go to the track. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. Peter also noted he is planning to visit Barbaro today, so hopefully I will get an update from that visit. Its a quiet day for me today, ridden two, and two more to go. All two year olds, three of whom are doing a little breeze. Of the first two, the first breezed / open galloped, and he went well although a little slow, I had misjudged the clock!
This is a very poignant poem: Please come back for me... It is also in the comments of update 81, timestamp 4:19 am.
update, saturday, 7:40 am, september 23
Posted by Alex at 11:32 AM
| Comments (535)
Barbaro Updates: 81
Posted September 22, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 699: Peter Brette just called, he had spoken to Michael, who had visited Barbaro this afternoon. Barbaro remains comfortable. Peter plans to visit Barbaro tomorrow.
Update 698: Rachel from Kennett Florist left this update (timestamp: 9:12pm):
Sorry I never got a chance to post yesterday, things were a bit busy here at the homestead. Everyone seems to be in good spirits at NBC... they a litte help from the sugar fairy today. Barbaro had his carrots and treats delivered in a timely manor... we don't want him waiting on his stud muffins. We also found out he really likes the Nicker Makers, so Alie and I stopped and stocked up.
Mrs Jackson was at NBC today. She was out front getting her picture taken... forgot to ask her what it was for. She was standing in front of all the signs hanging on the fence at the entrance (one was hung on the day of our get-together by Della). The weather has gotten cooler here, it feels like fall. But I bet it feels good to graze on a crisp fall day!
The Bloodhorse has a page in rememberance to Lost in the Fog: REMEMBERING Lost in the Fog.
Update 697: A couple of races in North America to keep an eye on for the weekend. The Louisana Super Derby is the principle 3yo race: Super Derby a Classic confrontation. Lawyer Ron, Point Determined and Strong Contender will each need impressive performances to move forward to the Breeders' Cup Classic. One of my all time favourites, Sunday Silence, used a win in the Super Derby to prepare for the Breeders' Cup Classic.
The second race, The Sky Classic Stakes, a grade 2 turf race, to be run on sunday in Woodbine: Better Talk Now seeks return to winning ways in Sky Classic at Woodbine. Lets hope we see Better Talk Now return to his winning ways, and if we do, I can get an interview with Ramon Dominguez, who I think will be in Fair Hill next week. Graham is quoted in the article:
"I've said all year that he's as good as he's ever been," Motion said. "I still believe that. But he'll have to step up on Sunday and prove he is the same horse."
"I still get emotional when I think back to the Breeders' Cup. It was a turning point for me in my career," Motion said. "Year in and year out, he gives everything he has. But to me, he has never gotten the respect he deserves. He's a great horse."
Update 696: One of my remaining sets was Chappy (me), breezing with Happy (Tim). Judge, who trains Chappy, had his neighbour and a couple of their friends visiting to watch. They all read this site, I thought that was very cool. For the breeze itself, Happy went very well, Chappy was fine, but I do think she prefers the turf (she seemed to handle the woodchip track when breezing so much better, which is a good signal to indicate a turf horse.) Her pedigree is also pretty much all turf. We shall see, we still have a little way to go before they are ready for the races.
Sue McMullen sent this e-mail, the preview of the key races at Ascot this weekend:
Saturday's card at Ascot is billed as 'The Mile Championships' and includes the best all-aged mile race in Europe, the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. The winner of this race is often crowned champion miler of Europe and since the World Thoroughbred Racehorse rankings were first published in 1979, 11 winners of the QEII have headed the mile category, with seven occuping second place.
Not suprisingly, nine very classy horses line up tomorrow and all eyes will be on the enigmatic George Washington. Bred by the Jacksons, George won the 2,000 Guineas in the same imperious and exciting manner as Bobby won the Kentucky Derby, but that victory also labelled him, perhaps unfairly, as having a somewhat fragile temperament, which Ballydoyle have tended to play down. He was slightly reluctant to go down to the start, proved difficult to load into the gate and then, to the amusement of onlookers, refused flatly to walk into the winners' circle, which prompted debate in the press about his 'temperament' and if it would withstand further racing. To be fair to him, he wasn't leaping about or uncontrollable when refusing to go into the winners' circle, just quietly planting his feet and saying 'no' but much was made of this 'aberration'. He was beaten on his next two outings, first at the Curragh in the Irish Guineas, where he faced what was described as soft ground, but was in fact bog-like, and also pulled muscles, but still managed to finish second. His injury resulted in time out of serious training to recover, and he made his comeback last month at Goodwood in the Celebration Mile, where just about everything went wrong for him. He was slow to break, was rank early on and hung badly right and didn't seem to like the straight, exhibiting the same erratic style of running as he had at Newmarket, but he still showed the electric acceleration in the uphill finish to grab third. In his defense, Goodwood is a totally different track to anything he'd experienced and it clearly didn't suit him, plus his pacemaker River Tiber seemed to have forgotten he was there. Ascot should suit him better and he is now apparently accompanied everywhere by a retired stablemate to keep him happy. Aiden is always very defensive of his horses, understandably, and describes George as an intelligent individual who wants to do things his way and was just inexperienced at Newmarket. Horses aren't machines and they sometimes get unfairly labelled especially by racewriters, some of whom have pretty fragile temperaments themselves and who know little about horses off the track, just because they are a bit different. As long as the seriously talented George can handle the pressures of the the big event, who are we to question how he does it and to be fair, he's coped well since Newmarket.
In 11 attempts O'Brien has never won this race, coming close to it with the hugely talented and very unlucky Hawk Wing, who was dogged with problems throughout his career, and the awesome Giants Causeway, who was only beaten on tactics by Observatory in 2000. Everybody knew that if he saw the whites of their eyes, nothing could get passed 'the iron horse' in a battle, so they brought Observatory so ridiculously wide he was almost in the car park and Giants Causeway didn't see him until it was too late. Sneaky, but the only way to do it.
Lining up against George, who heads the betting market, will be his stablemates Ivan Denisovich and River Tiber, plus his Irish 2,000 Guineas conqueror, Araafa and the Godolphin trio, Echo of Light, Librettist and Proclamation. And if that doesn't set the scene for a mouth-watering clash, add the heroine of the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, Naninna, and Court Masterpiece, winner of the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood (ahead of Araafa and Echo of Light) and Killybegs, winner of this year's Craven Stakes who finished ahead of George at Goodwood. Despite the quality and experience of the opposition, there is no doubt that an in-form George can beat this illustrious crew.
Another Group One on the card is The Meon Valley Stud Fillies' Mile, always a useful pointer to the following season's classics, won in the past by the likes of Nannina, Soviet Song, Reams of Verse, Oh So Sharp and Bosra Sham. Sadly it will be without the hot favourite for next year's 1,000 Guineas, the American-bred and very exciting filly Sander Camillo (by Dixie Union) as her next target is the Chevely Park. But eight nice fillies line-up, including the unbeaten Sesmen, English Ballet, winner of the Sweet Solera Stakes and Simply Perfect, winner of the May Hill.
Update 695: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). I saw Michael Matz as I was heading out on my third set this morning. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. For the third set Tim and I took Chesapeake City Slew and Grandma out back to gallop up the hills. There were two other sets of horses out there galloping around, Tim thought it was a little like Newmarket Heath. I am not sure Newmarket has the deer we have, seemingly placed ready to spook the horses.
It is another beautiful morning at Fair Hill. During my first set, galloping on the dirt track, I saw Miraculous Miss galloping by me. She looks good, and I am guessing will be getting ready to work after her big win at Delaware. I also saw Red Aspen out grazing by Tim's barn. Tim said she ate up well last night after her nice win.
update 8:00 am, friday morning, september 22
Update 694: This morning's Barbaro update might be a little later, an hour or so. Just an FYI. In the meantime here is Fred Stone's painting of Barbaro: A Legacy of Hope
The Bloodhorse reports Horse Slaughter Bill on Hold. While this is clearly a set back, do not let it derail your efforts. You can also sign this petition.
Mike Rea will get to spend a little time at home this weekend: Good Morning Everyone and has been out to watch some soccer: One Tired Man. I really hope the soccer team was more successful than mine, who were unceremonially dumped out of cup competition mid week in england!
The IN HONOR OF BARBARO RESCUE CHALLENGE continues, this fifth challenge is to honor Lost in the Fog.
Finally, The Daily racing Form confirms Sue McMullen's e-mail yesterday (update 691): Dylan Thomas may go to Turfway.
Posted by Alex at 9:29 AM
| Comments (453)
Barbaro Updates: 80
Posted September 21, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 693: Redaspen returned to the winners circle today! She won the ninth at Laurel, a never won four, other than, allowance race. I am very happy for Tim and his owners, Equivine Farm. Victor Molina was back in the saddle, and perhaps that was all that was needed. I have always admired Redaspen, she is a wonderful looking mare with plenty of talent. I am really happy she was able to show that today. I forgot to mention earlier, Master of Disaster won yesterday, a two turn stake at Monmouth. This was a nice return after a quick visit to Saratoga.
Update 692: Peter Brette just called. All remains well with Barbaro. He had spoken to Michael Matz who had visited this afternoon. Just a short update as I am at an MBA Admissions event in D.C.
Update 691: The morning at Fair Hill finished up nice and uneventfully, and it is beautiful outside! Ed Fountaine's piece on his interview with Edgar Prado is short, but it was nice to see Edgar interviewed about Barbaro and his visit: THROUGH THE BINOCS.
I asked Sue McMullen about Dylan Thomas' plan to race in the US this fall, this is her e-mail reply:
Alex, I was waiting to see what they go for as he's also been entered for the Grade 2 Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park next week. Whichever he goes for, this is very much a fishing exercise to see if he handles dirt. They don't want to expose him to the hype of the Breeders' Cup Classic without any preparation. Having said that, the Jockey Club isn't exactly low key! But if he doesn't handle either polytrack or dirt, plans will change and he won't go for the Classic, for which he is currently around 10-1. Aiden O'Brien told The Indepent that the horse is in good form. "We are looking at giving him a run before the Breeders' Cup Classic to see how he handles what will be a new surface for him."
O'Brien doesn't really appear worried about meeting Bernadini as he wouldn't go for the Jockey Club expecting to win. "It would be a trial for him, a chance just to run a nice race and learn. We'd be throwing him in a the deep end, and no doubt he'll be shocked. But he's very tough, acts on fast ground, and never gives up," he said. "He stays a mile and a half, but has the class for a mile, mile and a quarter. He is the right type of horse, a grinder, but first he has to get into a position to grind - that's the tricky part."
I think the Bloodhorse is a bit premature touting this as a clash to decide the honours for best horse, if Dylan does go for the Jockey Club based on the fact that it will be merely a trial for Dylan. The history to this is that Galileo, who also has a turf pedigree, just didn't handle the dirt at Belmont in 2001. The imperious 'Giants Causeway' who we dubbed 'the iron horse' didn't need a prep. He practically got off the plane and ran in the Classic the year before at Churchill, but he had a dirt pedigree and was just very unlucky to come up against Tiznow. Mick Kinane also dropped the reins, which didn't help. I have the most vivid memory of hanging out of the press viewing balcony at Churchill and screaming for the iron horse as they came into the straight.
I will send you a review of Ascot tomorrow. We have the Queen Elizabeth II Mile on Saturday and a great card.
It was interesting to hear about Giants Causeway. I was at York the day he won the Juddmonte, and I was also at the Breeders' Cup for his second in the Classic. My buddy was the exercise rider for another horse in that race ... Fusaichi Pegasus.
Update 690: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (wednesday). Just saw Michael Matz on the track for my second set with Chappy. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. It is a beautiful morning this morning here in Fair Hill...if not a little chilly. For my first set, as I was coming back from the track, there were three deer on the horse path. As they moved away from me, they were silouetted by the rising sun. Another beautiful view as I hung on to my neck strap. I'm now walking back to the barn on Chappy, about to get on Chesapeake City Slew.
updated thursday 7:20am
Update 689: The Tribute to Barbaro Contest is now ready for voting. Given the limitations of polling on the discussion board Wendy has had to be creative with the voting process: TRIBUTE TO BARBARO CONTEST. Thank you to all those who participated in the contest, and to those of you who vote.
Here is another tribute to Lost in the Fog. It includes each of his winning races, and clips of interviews with his connections. I love the call for his maiden win: "Lost in the Fog, remember his name, its a very impressive debut ..." This Daily Racing Form article: Fog was one of their own includes quotes from two fellow trainers at Golden Gate Field, and what it meant to have the Fog in their presence.
On the racing front, it seems the Dylan Thomas is coming over the pond for the Jockey Club to take on Bernardini and Invasor: Irish Derby Winner Dylan Thomas to Run in JC Gold Cup. This is shaping into an excellent race. Brother Derek has also put in a strong work: Brother Derek on Track With Bullet Work, and it looks like he will be pointing to the Goodwood, taking on Giacomo, on the same day as the Jockey Club.
Posted by Alex at 9:20 AM
| Comments (610)
Barbaro Updates: 79
Posted September 20, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 688: Ed Fountaine, racing writer for the New York Post, did a quick interview with Edgar today about his visit with Barbaro yesterday. It will be in the New York Post tomorrow. Ed gave me a quick run down of the interview. It was Edgar's fourth visit. Compared to his previous visit in July, Edgar said that Barbaro looked brighter, had gained weight, and was walking around as if nothing had happened. New Bolton sent me one of their pictures from the visit, taken by Kathy Freeborn. It is of course our featured photograph.
Update 687: I just spoke to Peter Brette, who had heard from Michael, who visited Barbaro this afternoon. All remains well!
Alie, from Kennett Florist left this comment from her visit (timestamp: 8:39 pm):
NBC was in good spirts today. I delivered treats for Bobby & staff. Of course carotts. The weather is nice today. So I am sure Barbaro must have loved his time outdoors. Have a great night. God Bless.
Update 686: This site is featured in the USA Today blog: Barbaro update: 'Excellent week', very nice.
I think one of our readers, Julie, is visiting Lost in the Fog's team tomorrow. I wanted to provide links to the articles I had not yet highlighted of the Fog:
Lost in the Fog euthanized: Eclipse Award winner loses battle with cancer, probably the best article, with good quotes from both his trainer Greg Gilchrist and his owner, Mr. Aleo.
Champion Ocala-bred race horse euthanized, this article is a great perspective from his breeder, Susan Seper.
Former owners recall impressive presence of Lost in the Fog, this article covers the perspective from the Florida Farm where the Fog was broken as a yearling.
Update 685: Pictures from Edgar Prado's visit yesterday are now available on Penn's site. Very nice.
Update 684: I just spoke to Mrs. Jackson, the main purpose of the call was to discuss the state of anti-slaughter legislation and acquire some contact information. Of course I had to ask how Barbaro was during her visit today, and he remains comfortable!
Update 683: The remainder of my morning went well. I broke a horse out of the gate to get his gate card (need approval by the gate crew before a horse first starts). I also took Chesapeake City Slew to the gate, Tim was with me, on Grandma. We walked / jogged out, this is probably their fourth time to the gate. I took a 2yo Waquoit colt to the gate, he galloped out, so it seemed like a very busy gate day today. We have a cool gate crew, and as a rider you have to really trust those you are working with when working in and around the gate. It is also a beautiful morning here at Fair Hill.
The IN HONOR OF BARBARO RESCUE CHALLENGE continues with a fourth challenge, another $500 matching challenge. Amazing, they have raised over $7,000 in less than a week thanks to your collective generosity!
Update 682: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (tuesday night). I saw Michael Matz on the track after I pulled up on Chappy, my second set. He had literally just heard from Dr. Richardson. Michael let me know that Barbaro went out twice yesterday to graze! I also saw Kathy Anderson this morning who visited Barbaro yesterday. She too expressed satisfaction. Kathy noted dozens of red roses which were delivered! I have also heard there may be photographs of Edgar's visit which I will of course try to follow up on later this morning. So basically, Barbaro had a slew of visitors yesterday and he remains comfortable.
updated wednesday 7:25am
Update 681: It has been four months since the Preakness, as noted by Barbaro's supporters in New Zealand: Four months on - Barbaro doing well. They also note Edgar's fourth visit!
I did want to return our attention back a little bit to current racing news: Countdown to the Cup: All Eyes on JC Gold Cup. The Jockey Club Gold Cup, October 8, will be our next big race to follow (although it is the Super Derby this weekend, featuring Lawyer Ron, so no doubt we will also take a quick look at that one too). The Jockey Club will be Bernardini's first race against older horses, and he is scheduled to meet Invasor. A race of great interest. Bernardini worked on monday in 1:02 2/5ths at Belmont. I think this was his second work since the Travers.
Also on the work tab recently was Giacomo. He worked on sunday, 3/4s in 1:14 (and possibly change). I asked Steve Willard (his exercise rider) about the move, and he said he did it easily (I have never worked a horse that far, in that time, and can say he / she did it easily!) Anyway , it seems Giacomo is pointed to The Goodwood, which runs the same day, different coast, as the Jockey Club.
The article also has a piece on Bernardini contending for Horse of the Year with the idea that Barbaro could still get the three year old honours. Steve, I like your thinking!
Posted by Alex at 9:19 AM
| Comments (431)
Posted September 19, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 680: Just spoke to Peter, who visited Barbaro today at lunchtime. He gave him a grooming, and all was well. Peter confirmed Edgar Prado did visit Barbaro today, this morning. Dr. Richardson brought Barbaro outside while Edgar was visiting. This is the fourth time Edgar has visited Barbaro, and again, it appears he did this without any fuss. Very cool.
Update 679: Rachel from Kennett Florist left this comment (timestamp 7:08pm):
Hello to All,
Just got back from NBC. We brought a big ole basket for the donor horses as well as lots of goodies for Barbaro, and a few snacks for the staff. The donor horse "Mom" was VERY appreciative as always. You all are wonderful.
Word is that Edgar had been to visit Barbaro and was able to get outside with him. A very happy day for both I'm sure.
Rachel at Kennett Florist
And now for a more uplifting video clip on the Fog, during his racing career: Happier Times - Good Memory. Its an interview with Russell Baze, outside the Fog's stall the day before one of his big races. Very cool. Russell did give us an interview when it was first announced the Fog had cancer, coincidentally when Russell had just ridden seven winners from seven mounts.
Update 678: Another moving tribute to Lost in the Fog: Lost in the Fog: A Champion Remembered, posted in the comments by Alex Fleming (timestamp: 6:38pm). When looking at this tribute you realize how much better the Fog was against his competition. To win sprint races with the ease he won sprint races is exceptional!
Barbara Livingston also e-mailed me that she has updated her Lost in the Fog Gallery.
Update 677: Here is New Bolton's update: Barbaro continues to Improve:
According to veterinarians at Penn's George D. Widener Hospital, Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro continues to gradually improve. "He had an excellent week," said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. "We replaced the boot on his left hind foot with a bandage because the hoof is doing well."
In addition, Barbaro continues to be comfortable in the cast that has been on his right hind leg for the past three weeks. "We won't change it unless there is a reason to do so, and we will continue to monitor his comfort closely before deciding when to replace or remove this cast," said Dr. Richardson. "He is enjoying his daily excursions outside to graze, and his appetite is excellent."
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 26, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.
Update 676: The Daily Racing Form has this article on Lost in the Fog: Lost in the Fog euthanized. It includes the following quotes of Mr. Aleo, the Fog's owner:
"We did everything we possibly could," a subdued Aleo said from his office on Monday afternoon. "But it's kind of heartbreaking. To have a great horse like that and he never got the chance to pass on his genes. And he never really got a chance to run his best races in his prime."
"He did the right thing by us," Aleo concluded, "and we tried to do what we thought was right by him, always. But there will never be another one like him."
I called up the writer, Glenye Cain (we have corresponded a little over Barbaro over the last month or two), to get her perspective from the interview of Mr. Aleo. This is what Glenye told me:
Mr. Aleo's comments made the story. I do not know Mr. Aleo personally and this was the first time I had talked with him. You can only imagine how difficult it is for a reporter to talk to someone for the first time under such circumstances.
The thing that struck me about Mr. Aleo was his question "I hope we did the right thing?", he still questions whether they did the right thing for the horse, and that is and has been his sole concern. He did not want to allow him to suffer unecessarily. It was very touching. He was very subdued, a little shocked.
It is great that this summer we have seen two sets of connections to two great horses manage their decisions solely in the interest of the horse in question. They provide great examples to all of us.
Glenye also owns a horse, a retired thoroughbred race horse, that at one time in his career was trained by Graham Motion. Emperor Tigere is now a field hunter. Glenye acquired him from the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.
Update 675: I believe Edgar Prado is planning a special visit today. I called his agent who confirmed.
Update 674: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (monday night). I saw Michael Matz as I was walking on to the track with Chappy for my second set. He had just heard from Dr. Richardson. It is an appropriately foggy morning here in Fair Hill and I am jogging my second mile on Chappy as I call in this update from my cell phone.
Update 673: Tributes to Lost in the Fog continue unabated. A couple of examples on the discussion boards: Lost in the Fog: Forvever Running Free and THE LAST BATTLE.
Calder Race Track issued a news release: Farewell to a Champion: Goodbye, Lost in the Fog. The Fog made his final start at Calder. There is a nice picture of him under exercise rider Sue Milne.
Golden Gate Field also issued a news release: CHAMPION LOST IN THE FOG EUTHANIZED. The following are two excerpts:
Gilchrist said it was tough to say goodbye to Lost in the Fog.
"It was very emotional," said Gilchrist. "I probably won't ever get over it. I always said when it got too bad, Lost in the Fog would let me know. I think he did yesterday (Sunday). If he was a person, he would have said, 'It's time.' That's life and we have to deal with it. People come and go. I'll just see him on the other side."
Gilchrist said Lost in the Fog will be cremated and it's likely his ashes will go to Southern Chase Farm in Florida, where he was raised.
When asked how he would like fans to remember Lost in the Fog, Gilchrist replied, "Just remember him for the great warrior and champion he was."
Golden Gate Fields is planning to honor Lost in the Fog on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Here are the snail mail addresses of Lost in the Fog's connections.
The IN HONOR OF BARBARO RESCUE CHALLENGE has eclipsed $7,000!
For those who wish to follow Erin's progress, you can now view her web-site: Erin Brennan. Erin is the daughter of Annie from Kennett Florist.
Posted by Alex at 9:23 AM
| Comments (416)
Barbaro Updates: 77
Posted September 17, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 672: Just spoke to Peter Brette, who had heard from Michael, who visited Barbaro this afternoon. Barbaro continued to have a comfortable day.
Rachel, from Kennett Florist left this report (comment timestamp: 8:31 pm):
We are so very sad to hear the news of Foggy. God give his family strength and know that he is at peace. He was and is surrounded by love. Our thoughts are with all who love him.
Glad to hear that Alex had a chance to talk to Mrs Jackson. What a remarkable woman she is indeed. When I spoke to NBC today, the report was the same. Barbaro was comfortable and happily chomping down his carrots.
Also wanted to note that we had such a lovely time meeting with a bunch of Fans that travelled this way for a get together. Thank you for including us in your trip and inviting us to lunch. The time seemed to fly and I hope next time we can visit longer.
Rachel at Kennett Florist
And the tributes to Lost in the Fog continue, here is another poem, from Kerrie (timestamp 9:56 pm):
LOST IN THE FOG: SECRETARIAT WELCOMES HIM HOME
SECRETARIAT had called for a meeting.
All the Horse's in Heaven were there.
He wanted to announce a newcomer and to tell everyone to prepare.
"Gather 'round," he said to the crowd. "I have something important to say."
"A long time ago, when I first arrived, I was told I should wait for this day."
Legend has it there'd be a great horse, that he'd come from earth down below.
he'd stay with us to eternity and the leadership crown we'd bestow.
All the horse's sat and listened in silence, hearts raced with exciting suspense.
Then SECRETARIAT related this story while speaking with true reverence.
I had a dream about one year ago, that this Horse was now on his way.
he'd be our leader this side of the bridge and he'd cross on a crisp Summer day.
Each Summer I'd sit by the Bridge, not knowing which day It would be?
Get out his crown and a cloud for his nap, for You'll soon meet the Horse they called FOGGY.
As the horse's sat 'round listening in awe, a sound from below reached their ears.
Each knew the sound they had all heard before, it was that of a family in tears.
As they waited in sombering silence, SECRETARIAT whispered "he's here!"
The Foals all ran to the edge of the Bridge to see the one they had learned to revere.
Then a spot in the distance got larger. The Great Horse was gaiting with ease.
FOGGY crossed the Bridge with his head held high and all the horse's just fell to their knees.
FOGGY now waits at the Bridge where the horse's have set up his throne.
When all his friends go to Heaven some day, he'll be there to welcome them home.
REST IN PEACE LOST IN THE FOG. WE HAVE A NEW STAR IN HEAVEN..RUN WITH THE ANGELS..
Update 671: In honor of Lost in the Fog I wanted to highlight a couple of tributes, the first a video: Lost in the Fog: Tribute to a Champion. Listening the commentary of his race at Saratoga is amazing. The second, a poem by Linnie (timestamp: 8:25pm):
Just very quickly, I wrote the following humble tribute to a great hero:
Lost in the Fog
You are lost no more
The angels have beckoned
And have opened God's door
Lost in the Fog
No more pain shall you bear
As the grief in my heart
is assuaged by my tears
Lost in the Fog
'Twas a most gallant fight
Now you make your true passage
Through the comforting Light
Lost in the Fog
Down the backstretch toward Home
Your eyes fixed on the prize
Peaceful days now will come
Lost in the Fog
An incredible race
And a sprint to the Finish
With the stature of Grace
Lost in the Fog
Ne'er a Hero so strong
That will wear a King's Crown
On a misty September Morn
Lost in the Fog
Angels wait at God's door
To welcome the Champion
'Twill be lost Nevermore ...
Update 670: Gretchen Jackson just called. She wanted to thank everyone for all their efforts and was very happy that Barbaro had brought so many wonderful people together. She talked about the responsibility she felt that came with the ownership of a Derby winner, and was hoping that that responsibility can yield some good things. Mrs. Jackson is obviously very passionate about the anti-slaughter legislation, is doing everything she can to support the legislation, and is very appreciative of everyone's efforts here.
Of course I had to ask her for a Barbaro update. He is doing well. Mrs. Jackson visited at lunchtime, and Barbaro was laying down, in an upright position, eating! He is very relaxed. I asked Mrs. Jackson if I could interview her in the near future for the site, of course she said yes.
Update 669: It is very sad to report Lost in the Fog was euthanized last night: Champion Lost in the Fog Euthanized. The following is an excerpt:
"We accomplished what we wanted to do," said trainer Greg Gilchrist Sept. 18. "It was all about giving him quality (time). We did everything we could for him. He was happy and content right up to the end. He went quietly and easily."
Gilchrist had just finished grazing Lost in the Fog outside his barn at Golden Gate Fields on the San Francisco Bay Sept. 17, which he did twice daily, and was heading to the paddock to saddle a horse when Lost in the Fog went into distress.
Very sad. This was first reported on the internet on derbytrail.com.
Update 668: And Chesapeake City Slew did go to the gate, along with Grandma (two of Tim's we need to update in the horse section). Both were very good in the gate and galloped around nicely. The morning also included a first breeze for "Rocky". He went in the company of another whose first breeze it was, we were clocked in 12.1, but I thought we went in 14 (secs.), so it just goes to show that us riders really are a little clueless to the clock. Since I was on the inside, I was setting the pace.
The discussion boards continue to be extremely active with people discussing best approaches for the anti-slaughter bill, which is obviously the principal issue at hand. We highlighted the Miracle Horse Rescue Barbaro challenge over the weekend (almost $6,000 raised so far) along with the offer of a free bracelet to those who contribute to a horse rescue organization.
One offer I have neglected to highlighted, but interesting and important nonetheless, is this unique fundraising idea (The Wild Animal Sactuary Fundraiser) for the Wild Animal Sanctuary that is being closed down. It seems a pretty cool chance for Barbaro fans to own some cool racing memorabilia.
Barclay Tagg is in Fair Hill this morning. I asked him how Funny Cide was after his race, and he said he was fine.
Update 667: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (sunday night). I saw Michael Matz on the track as I was leaving the starting gate. Michael had just heard from Dr. Richardson. It's an absolutely beautiful morning here in Fair Hill...a crimson sunrise with the mist coming out of the ground. The horse that I took to the gate, I don't think I had ridden before (not entirely sure) but he was here today to just stand in the gate. The plan is to then break him out of the gate Wednesday for his gate card. I'm now just getting on my third set, Chesapeake City Slew, who I am guessing may also be going to the gate.
updated monday 7:30am
Update 666: Peter called (3pm) to report that Michael had called, visited, and Barbaro was doing well. Another comfortable day, sunday. Barbaro also went out grazing, and today was certainly a lovely day to do that.
Posted by Alex at 10:50 PM
| Comments (666)
Barbaro Updates: 76
Posted September 16, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 665: Sue McMullen e-mailed me this report from racing today in Ireland:
It was touted as a clash between the two of them and so it proved today when Teofilo and Holy Roman Emperor justified their billing as two of the best juveniles around, finishing first and second in the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh.
Jim Bolger has said all year that the unbeaten Teofilo is one of the best he's ever trained and you have to take notice of the man who has top filly Alexander Goldrun in his yard and was responsible for St Jovite. Teofilo showed a real turn of foot to power away from his stablemate Slaney Time, who had ensured a decent pace, leaving Holy Roman Emperor, who was stepping up in trip, in hot pursuit but it wasn't to be his day. The two colts now head the betting for next season's 2000 Guineas and we must hope they fulfil the promise we've seen today. Teofilo looks as if he'll improve physically with age and is a very exciting prospect. There's consolation for Coolmore as Teofilo is by Galileo who is having a wonderful season as a sire, having produced the first three home in last week's St Leger. Physically more imposing, Holy Roman Emperor, by Danehill, showed real acceleration in pursuit of Teofilo who had aleady slipped the field but he was never going to catch him. Let's hope these two progress as we could see some real battles next year.
Another item of news from this side of the pond is that Big Timer is to head to Belmont for the Champagne Stakes next month, in the hope of getting an invitation to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The dirt shouldn't inconvenience the impressive son of Street Cry, whose owners have turned down big offers for him. All credit to European trainers who continue to send horses to the US, which adds further interest to the big races for fans throughout the world. Racing is increasingly global and this season we've had three of Australia's top sprinters in the UK to contest our big sprints and the Japanese sent Heart's Cry to the King George, with Deep Impact, heading to the Arc. Both these superb colts are by the flag-bearer for Japanese Racing, the late, great and sorely-missed Sunday Silence.
You can also read Sporting Life's summary of the 2yo race: TEOFILO LANDS KNOCKOUT BLOW. As I was making this update a friend of mine, Bob Hatfield (probably most famous for finishing second on BarryPhillipsDisco at Wetherby about 20 years ago, when a styrup leather had snapped at the first fence) called, he is now based in Louisville, so I have a floor reserved for the Breeders' Cup if I make it out this year. I have been to more Breeders' Cups than I have missed, since I have been in the US. The first was watching Sunday Silence win the Classic!
The IN HONOR OF BARBARO RESCUE CHALLENGE continues with its third challenge!
Update 664: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (saturday night). I saw Michael Matz as they were getting a set ready to go to the track at about 8:30 am. He had heard from Dr. Richardson. For me, no riding today, a nice day off, but it is a beautiful day here at Fair Hill today (at last).
Here are a couple of reports on the two Belmont races: Barclay Tagg and the Jackson's Stormy Kiss was third (Win McCool takes first stakes) in the Floral Park while Funny Cide was fourth in the Brooklyn (Wanderin Boy easily takes Brooklyn). Barclay had this to say about Funny Cide's early position:
Funny Cide, wheeling back two weeks after he finished eighth in the Woodward, stalked the pace under Cornelio Velasquez, dropped back around the turn, attempted to come on again, but never seriously threatened. He was beaten 5 3/4 lengths.
"I thought that was perfect," Tagg said of Funny Cide's early position. "I didn't tell him to do that. I said don't rush him and don't grab a hold of him, just let him run any way he wants."
There were two gatherings of "Barbaromaniacs" yesterday (three if you include those who visited Fair Hill). A group went to Calder Races and were treated very well judging by the report (comment timestamp 1:55 am), and a group met at NBC and then lunched in Kennett Square (trip to NBC). I was planning to attend the latter group later in the day, but unfortunately sleep took priority.
Update 663: Another comfortable day for Barbaro. I just spoke to Peter (6pm) who had heard from Michael who had visited. Peter is hoping to go over and visit himself tomorrow. A nice comment from Sallie on her visit to Fair Hill this morning (timestamp: 6:12 pm):
Alex, a big public THANK YOU for hosting us today at Fair Hill! It was fabulous. I can't wipe the goofy grin from my face, thinking about my morning!
Fellow Fans of Barbaro, if you can, please do take Alex up on his offer of hospitality--Alex is even more kind and gracious in person than he is in text. Plus, you'll see an absolutely gorgeous, top-of-the-line horse training facility, meet some wonderful horse people and in my case, some delightful fellow Web Site Afficionados, slog through the grass and up to the track to watch Alex do his thing, and like as not see some "celebrities" from this site, human and equine!!! (I am now totally taken with Chappy and look forward to reading more about her. Randy's Bullet really caught me eye, too, he's beautiful....)
Anyway, thanks again, Alex! I had a great time!!!
Update 662: A vigil tonight at 7 pm for Barbaro and Lost in the Fog. Whereever you are, whatever you are doing spare some thoughts for these two great champions.
Sue McMullen sent this review and preview of racing in Ireland this weekend:
The Aga Khan-owned filly Kastoria today beat Yeats, hero of the Ascot Gold Cup and the Goodwood Gold Cup, in the Irish St Leger at the Curragh. Kieren Fallon rode Yeats and sent him on 5 furlongs out, but it didn't quite go according to plan as John Oxx's filly, ridden by Mick Kinane, wouldn't be shaken off and went passed Yeats to win by half a length. There are no firm plans for the filly but John Oxx says she might go for the Canadian International.
Some of the top babies will be on display tomorrow in the National Stakes, also at the Curragh. This Group One event for two year-olds has been won in the past by some of the best horses in the world, including Sinndar, Hawk Wing, Dubawi and George Washington (bred by the Jackson's). This year's event is already being touted as one of the season's top clashes as it includes the Aiden O'Brien-trained Holy Roman Emperor, one of the yard's top juveniles and the horse that Kieren Fallon fears the most, Teofilo, trained by Jim Bolger and ridden by Kevin Manning. Bolger rates the unbeaten Teofilo as one of the best juveniles he has ever handled and Holy Roman Emperor, winner of the Pheonix Stakes is currently 5-1 for next year's first classic for colts, the 2,000 Guineas.
Finally, an update on the IN HONOR OF BARBARO RESCUE CHALLENGE, it is great to see how generosity can be contageous!
Update 661: Horses to follow today include Funny Cide in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap (Good Reward well-spotted in Brooklyn) and the Jackson's Stormy Kiss (Stormy Kiss Gets Speed Tested in Floral Park) in the grade 3 Floral Park. These are the ninth and eighth races respectively at Belmont. Good luck Barclay and all concerned. The Jackson's Enticing was also down to run at Ayr this weekend but has been scratched due to the soft ground. She will now be pointed to the Cheveley Park or Conrwallis Stakes (thanks Sue McMullen).
We had three visitors at Fair Hill this morning, two from Gettysburg, one from Ellicot City). These were the first visitors we have had for a few weeks. I hope they had fun. I had three left to ride while they were at Fair Hill, two on the dirt track and one out back. Anyway, it is fun having people visit, so if you want to stop by, saturday's, 8 am, Parlo 1. Just e-mail me ahead of time so I know and can confirm I am around.
Update 660: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (friday night). I saw Michael Matz as I was going to the woodchip track to breeze Chappy. Michael had heard from Dr. Richardson. Michael confirmed Barbaro was good when he saw him yesterday. Chappy breezed very nicely on the chips- a luxury we have at Fair Hill given the rainy weather we have had lately. My first set, I open galloped a two year old for his second time. It was his first time in view of his owner. He went very well- possibly 14 seconds to the eighth, also on the chips.
updated saturday 7:45am
Update 659: A lovely article on Lost in the Fog, which also includes a picture of him grazing (for those without a Daily Racing Form subscription, which is free, this article makes it worthwhile): Vigil for an ailing champ, a couple of excerpts:
But then, a horse like Lost in the Fog tends to reorder priorities. More than just a reliable meal ticket or a lovable barn character, he raised the emotional stakes. Owner Harry Aleo would beam like a proud father whenever Lost in the Fog was mentioned. Russell Baze looked upon his most famous mount as a fellow artist and collaborator in high drama. Gilchrist treats Lost in the Fog like the younger brother he never had.
"This office was filled with baskets of carrots and apples, flowers everywhere, and a big pile of cards," said Rowena Gilchrist, the trainer's 92-year-old mother, who wears a Lost in the Fog ballcap and keeps her son's office neat as a pin. "Look at this, what this lady sent from Novato, with the carrots and cookies."
It read: "Mr. Gilchrist. Please accept this basket I made for Foggy. The statue is of Epona - the Celtic goddess of the horse - she is for healing and has been holding vigil in my home for Barbaro."
"Here's another one," offered Patty Prospero, Gilchrist's significant other, as well as the Golden Gate paymaster. "This man from Indiana even wrote a poem."
The update on Barbaro this morning should be around 8 or 9 am.
Posted by Alex at 9:43 AM
| Comments (576)
Barbaro Updates: 75
Posted September 15, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 658: I just spoke to Peter who had spoken to Michael, who had visited Barbaro today. All remains well with Barbaro today.
updated 6:15 pm, friday september 15
Update 657: And now for today's report from Kennett Florist (timestamp: 9:13 pm):
Everything is good at NBC today. Brought Mr B a nice big baskets of green tops, pears, stud muffins and other treats to get him through the weekend. I will be stopping up tomorrow morning with a little something extra for him, just to make sure he is green top secure.
Also, wanted to repost the link for Senators that Mrs Jackson sent. Fans of Barbaro Unite. S1915 Passes Senate... sorry was thinking about the headlines.
I also wanted to note this offer (Fans of Barbaro Band for Horses), for those generously contributing to rescue organizations. Thanks Lisa and Skyler.
Update 656: Apparently Kennett Florist had trouble posting in the comments yesterday, so this was their report from yesterday, e-mailed to me by Rachel:
When we went to NBC Thursday we were told Barbaro was happily munching on his carrots and sharing some grapes with an ICU mate. We threw in some stud muffins as well since we know he adores them!
Check out the pictures from Mike Rea's Birthday party. Nancy has them up on his snapfish site and they are so awesome!
Mrs Jackson has sent the list of Senators as promised. It is the best info we could ask for. It lists senators by state and how they are voting, as well as all of their contact information. If your senator is voting yes, please know you can still contact him or her to ask that S1915 get out of committee and on the floor!
Thank you all!!
Rachel at Kennett Florist
Update 655: Well, the rain returned so the morning was cut a little short (a couple of my later mounts were canceled). I did take two of Tim's out back across the fields. The first, Gator Nation, it was his first bit of exercise since he ran over the weekend. He seems in good order. For the second, I nearly ran into the local hunt (foxes have no need to worry, the hounds are fat, and instructed not to kill I guess). In fact the local hunt feed the foxes in the winter time. I guess hearing the hounds speak is a signal that the fall is closing in on us.
A nice article on Lost in the Fog that also notes Barbaro: A grueling race for survival: Sprint champ Lost in the Fog now competing against cancer, the following is an excerpt:
Greg Gilchrist, who trains Lost in the Fog, knows the star of his stable will never again answer the call to the post, because he is in the race of his life, for his life.
"He's a warrior, and this is a race he really needs to win right here," said Gilchrist.
While Barbaro is strong enough to leave his stall to graze, Lost in the Fog recently began what most human cancer patients dread - chemotherapy treatments.
"He received his first one last Thursday and will need at least six more rounds of chemo," said Dr. Gary Magdesian, a member of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at University of California at Davis.
Update 654: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (thursday night). I just saw Michael Matz coming back from their second set. The rain seems to have eased off which meant a pretty busy (chaotic) first set on the woodchip track. My second set, I was jogging Chappy around the dirt track and saw two deer butting heads on the other side of the quarter pole. It would have been pretty cool to watch if I wasn't on a two-year old !
updated friday 7:45am
Update 653: Now that Michael Matz has returned to Fair Hill I am hoping the update for Barbaro will be back to an earlier time this morning. As we wait I thought I would alert you to this generous offer posted to the discussion board: IN HONOR OF BARBARO RESCUE CHALLENGE. One of our site regulars has made a wonderful matching offer for Miracle Horse Rescue.
Posted by Alex at 9:38 AM
| Comments (612)
Barbaro Updates: 74
Posted September 13, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 652: The Keeneland Sales continue into their fourth day with a couple more seven figure purchases (Bloodhorse: Pulpit, Distorted Humor Colts Bring Seven-Figure Prices Thursday at Keeneland and Thoroughbredtimes: Jess Jackson buys Pulpit colt for $1.3-million). We do know Michael Matz has returned from Keeneland and is now back at Fair Hill. (I asked him how the sale was when I saw Michael this morning, he said he did a lot of walking!) Michael was on his way to visit Barbaro this afternoon when I called Peter, so while I have no update from the visit it is good to know things are back to a more usual routine for Barbaro!
I have been working on updating the FAQ (not finished updating, but keep the questions coming).
Update 651: Yesterday Juliet went to Golden Gate Field with a basket of goodies she had prepared in the hopes of visiting Lost in the Fog. Unfortunately despite the best efforts of those on the security gate she was unsuccessful (Tried to Visit Foggy Today). I think she was a little surprised to hear from Greg Gilchrist later in the day!
Update 650: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (wednesday night). I just stopped by Michael Matz's barn (10:00 am) and heard from Michael (yes, he is back from Keeneland). I would have seen him on the track this morning if the weather was not so grim. Rain, rain, rain. I rode one on the woodchip track first thing, shedrowed one a little later, and called it quits for the morning.
I did call up New Bolton to inquire about the status of the Barbaro Fund. This is what I learned, as of August 30th, the entire fund is a little over $1.2 million, with 1,431 donors. The funds received in honor of Dr. Richardson: $11,511. 243 donors! Impressive!
Update 649: Today's Barbaro update will again likely be delayed, due to the sales in Keeneland (prices have settled down after the opening two days: Thoroughbred Times: Average price, median continue rise at Keeneland, Maktoum springs for third straight topper and Average, Median Rise During Day Three of Keeneland Sale).
It looks like Funny Cide will be running on saturday (as Barclay told us on tuesday): Funny Cide in Brooklyn off short rest, it includes the following excerpt:
Cornelio Velasquez worked Funny Cide five furlongs on Tuesday and though the final time of 1:02.36 was slower than the gelding normally works, Velasquez told trainer Barclay Tagg that everything went well.
"I had him in the Kentucky Horse Park by the time he got to the gap, but when I got back to the barn [Velasquez] he was so excited," Tagg said. "I said to him 'What's wrong with him?' He said, 'I just eased up on him, the race is on Saturday.' "
The article also includes news on the Jackson's and Barclay's Stormy Kiss, also scheduled to run on saturday at Belmont, and options for Showing Up for the Breeders' Cup.
We just added a picture of Mike Rea, who is "long reigning" a yearling. This is done to help with the horse's mouth and get a little stearing etc. before we actually get on the horse.
Update 648: Rachel, from Kennett Florist left the following comment from today (updates 73 timestamp: 8:28pm)
So much to relay from NBC today. This morning Alie and I were on the road bright and early to serve 300 donuts, coffee and juice to the campus before their Town Hall Meeting. This is something that had never been done before according to Dr Sweeney, and we were happy to do it on behalf of a fan of Barbaro. The staff that we talked to were so grateful and send their thanks for everything that is done for them or any of the animals there. When I was bringing the leftover donuts to the main building, they asked if I was coming back with carrots for B. So before I got in my truck, I called the shop and told them to load them up, our boy needed carrots.
This afternoon, I brought up some baskets of those lovely organic green top carrots as well as some stud muffins (just got a new batch in today) and other treats. Mrs Jackson had just left visiting Barbaro, so sorry I had missed her would have like to have told her how you all are rallying behind what ever she needs. Let me reiterate what I had commented on yesterday. Mrs Jackson is asking all of us to contact our respective senators (I will post a list when I receive it), and pressure them to move on S1915. Ask them to get it pushed straight to the floor and by pass the committees... and that it needs to happen now, this year. What I know about governement wouldn't fill a thimble, so I am only relaying what Mrs Jackson has requested. She is going back down to Washington on Friday, hopefully we will here something when she gets back.
I also had a chance to meet the donor horses "mom"/caretaker. We had a basket for her kids this afternoon and we had a chance to talk. She has been working there for 19 years and does truly feel as these animals are her kids. She has been buying them goodies out of her own pocket for years. So she sends very big thanks to all of those who have specifically sent baskets of apples, carrots, etc to her children.
Thank you to all you fans aka maniacs!
Update 647: I just did a telephone interview with Ramon Dominguez, who rode Bluegrass Cat in the Derby and Miraculous Miss last saturday at Delaware. I wanted to get his perspective not only on these two horses, but of course on Barbaro, who he rode against on a few occasions. Ramon is the leading jockey at Delaware Park, and just also seems to be very cool. Here is what he had to say:
On the Derby and Barbaro:
Bluegrass Cat is very cool horse, and was very easy to ride. Todd Pletcher, prior to the race, gave me little instructions. We had a great trip. He broke very sharply to gain a good position. Going into the first turn I was able to come over to the rail to save as much ground as possible. On the backside I was able to ease him out, and by the 5/8ths pole I was just behind Barbaro. Without question Barbaro was traveling the easiest of all the horses. By the 3/8ths pole I was getting pretty excited and at the quarter pole I tried to make my run. It was between the 3/8ths pole and quarter pole I realized Barbaro had too much, Edgar had let him lengthen his stride ...
On the Preakness and Barbaro:
I rode Diabolical in the Preakness. I was in front of Barbaro when the accident happened, but I heard a jockey hollering, glanced back and saw a horse being pulled up. It was very very sad. It put a huge dark cloud over the entire race. I am now thrilled to see Barbaro has made it this far, and his prognosis looks more positive.
More on Barbaro:
I did ride against Barbaro a few times. For example in the race at Laurel (Futurity on the grass) I rode Diabolical who was second to Barbaro. Barbaro was as cool on the grass as he was on the dirt. He had a very quick turn of foot. He would pick up the bit like a sprinter would. He is a very good horse, I hope he makes it.
On Bluegrass Cat:
As a jockey I always check the form and follow the horses I have ridden. Of course I wanted to follow Bluegrass Cat (Johnny Velasquez returned from injury to reclaim his mount) as I rode him in the biggest race, you get attached to horses you ride in the big races. I was sad he was injured after the Travers but happy it is not considered life threatening. He should do well as a stallion, he is very well bred.
On Miraculous Miss and the Endine Stakes at Delaware:
She was very calm in the gate, absolutely no problem at all. She did break a little slowly. She is an extremely nice filly. This is the fourth time I have won with her. Each time she runs the same race, when it is time to go, she just explodes.
Posted by Alex at 9:31 PM
| Comments (657)
Barbaro Updates: 73
Posted September 12, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 646: Peter Brette just called and he visited Barbaro this afternoon. He said he looked well, seems to be a similar report as we have heard over the last few days.
updated 3:15 pm, wednesday afternoon, september 13
Update 645: I just had a brief conversation with Greg Gilchrist to get an update on Lost in the Fog. It has been six days since his chemotherapy treatment, which I think knocked him back a little (as one can only imagine). Anyway, Greg said he had walked this morning, was having a nice bath as we spoke and would then be taken out for a pick of grass. I did not push for his assessment for how the Fog was doing, I was more interested in his routine. I will call back in about a week to get a further update. It is the first time I have spoken to Greg, he just seems a very decent guy.
Update 644: Today's Barbaro update will again likely be later this afternoon. I just went by Michael's barn and spoke to Peter. He said he had not heard anything yet today (which is a good sign I am sure) but he was planning to visit after he was done at the barn this morning.
I fell off today, actually not totally correct, I came off twice ... and it was the same horse (who will remain nameless). Oh well, both horse and rider are fine. I had a decent streak going, no spills since before the preakness, so probably a thousand rides since the last fall. In 2005 I went the entire calender year without a fall, then in one month early this spring fell off about five times! Anyway, a fall every now and again is probably good just to remember how to fall.
Update 643: It seems the consensus choice for a name to be used for addressing the Senate on the anti horse-slaughter issue is "Fans of Barbaro" (see update 642). There is much discussion about efforts for this bill on the discussion boards (and thanks prospero for giving us these boards).
Mike's party was a great success yesterday (thanks to you guys, Kennett Florist, his wonderful family and friends), here is pinkwellies' version: Mike's Birthday surprise!.
The second day of the Keeneland sales continued the first day trend, high prices and the Sheikh Mohammed team out bidding Coolemore for the very best (or at least the most expensive): Thoroughbred Times: Sheikh Mohammed, Kingmambo colt pace record day, Keeneland September Pace Remains Hot; Record Price for Yearling Established and Sheikh buys $11.7M colt.
Again, today's update on Barbaro will be delayed, due to Michael being in Keeneland.
Update 642: Peter Brette did visit Barbaro, after a few races today at Delaware Park. He again noted Barbaro looked well and everyone seems happy with his current progress.
Rachel from Kennett Florist left this comment (update 72: timestamp: 8:36 pm)
Hay Gang.... I will get to Mike's party momentarily (lots to share)... but first and because it is the primary reason we are all here... Horses!
Mrs Jackson called Alie as we were walking in the door from MD. She is asking for your help. There has been a lot of talk about the Anti-Horse slaughter Bill. According to Mrs J it is going to go to senate soon. We need to put pressure on the senators to bypass the groups and go straight to the floor. She will send us a list of Senators by state and name and we will pas that info along (I know you all have that, but this is what Mrs J is passing along to us). She is heading back down to Washington at the end of the week. We will continue to share what ever information she wishes us to pass along.
We know there has been discussion on how to "call" ourselves, since Barbaromaniacs is a little on the non-senatorial side of things. There have been lots of ideas passed around, but Mrs Jackson requested we use Fans of Barbaro or Barbaro Fans. That way there is an official GROUP who are working toward the good of all horses. (You will always be Barbaromaniacs in my heart - as I am one as well!!)
Please, this is going to happen and soon. Mrs Jackson stressed the point we need to concentrate on is getting this straight to the floor and bypassing all the groups and committees. We can do this!!
Rachel at Kennett Florist
Posted by Alex at 9:28 PM
| Comments (632)
Barbaro Updates: 72
Posted September 11, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 641: Here is today's release from New Bolton Center: Barbaro improving slowly and steadily
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro is improving slowly and steadily according to veterinarians at Penn's George D. Widener Hospital . "We are pleased with his progress," said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery. "He is wearing the cast on his right hind limb well; we continue to monitor it closely, and we expect to change the cast and radiograph the leg within the next seven to 10 days."
In addition, Barbaro continues to stand comfortably on his laminitic left hind foot. "The left hind foot is progressing well, especially as it grows down from the coronary band," said Dr. Richardson. "However, we remain cautious, because Barbaro will still need several more months of healing before we'll know how well the overall hoof structure can be restored."
Barbaro continues to be hand-grazed daily, and his vital signs and appetite are excellent.
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 19 unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.
I am still hoping to hear from Peter after he visits. His visit was delayed by a little racing I think. I did manage to go to Mike Rea's birthday party. He looked great, is all I can say. I was pretty amazed at how well he looked, and he seemed a little overwhelmed by the surprise party. Kudos to his family and to Kennett Florist and to you guys for helping make this day special for Mike! It was cool though, I was introduced to the head nurse (the title may be way wrong), and she has been following this site since the Preakness. She gave Mike a picture of Barbaro for his birthday, very cool.
Update 640: Still no update on Barbaro, but Peter did talk to Michael, and since the topic did not come up Peter is assuming things are status quo. Peter is planning to visit this afternoon so I will call him back later today to get an update.
Happy birthday to Mike Rea, will plan on being at the party: HAPPY BIRTHDAY SON-BABY BROTHER-HUSBAND-FATHER.
Update 639: Still waiting for an update on Barbaro. In the meantime I called Barclay Tagg to get an update on Showing Up after his race in the Man o' War, and to see how Funny Cide was progressing. Barclay said Showing Up came out of his race well. He was not disappointed with his run, he ran well (of course he would have liked to have won)! I did not ask Barclay what the current plan is. Funny Cide did a little easy breeze today (so he is obviously doing well after the Woodward.) Barclay said they were considering the Brooklyn Handicap for Funny Cide, a grade 2 at Belmont, on saturday.
A nice article on Barbaro, everyones fascination with his progress, and this site: Barbaro and the 9-11 Connection, the following is an excerpt:
We all began to breathe more easily after the horse's long surgery. Baskets of flowers, carrots, cards, and monetary donations deluged the New Bolton Center of the University of Pennsylvania vet school, where Barbaro remains stabled in intensive care. A fund was started in his honor. We rejoiced when he was briefly reunited with the jockey who undoubtedly saved his life, Edgar Prado, and when he was courted by the Governor of Pennsylvania.
Update 638: The initial update on Barbaro will again be delayed (due to Michael being in Keeneland). I hope to get an update by lunchtime today (tuesday). New Bolton is scheduled to release an update today too.
Its a lovely morning this morning at Fair Hill. A little on the crisp side. Thus far I have ridden four horses, all two year olds. One was having his first little work this morning (open gallop a quarter) and another was galloping for the first time since his first little work (open gallop an eighth). Its the time when two year olds are starting to learn their trade. They have done some gate work and now are starting to realize what everything is about. Before coming to Fair Hill many are broken at farms that specialize in educating young race horses. The following article discusses where Barbaro was broken before coming into training: Stephens Thoroughbreds helped shape a Derby win. The following is an excerpt:
John Stephens remembered Barbaro as "always being a very nice horse with a good mind and who did everything easily." He won't tell you that he knew the colt was Kentucky Derby bound. "We definitely thought he'd be a very good racehorse," he said. "But there's no way you can tell if a horse is going to go on to be a great horse."
The Stephenses attended the Kentucky Derby, their first such trip, as guests of the Jacksons. They cheered on Barbaro with what Stephens described as "contained excitement" and joined the celebration in the winner's circle.
"We have been so fortunate to have great clients," said Stephens, 45. "The Jacksons have been so wonderful to us. They flew into Ocala just before the Florida Derby, came out to the farm to watch their horses gallop, then took us on their plane to Miami for the Florida Derby. That was a great experience, but the Kentucky Derby was an unbelievable experience. I'm still having trouble believing it really happened."
And now to return to Fair Hill to ride three more (one of whom is not a two year old).
Update 637: Its Mike Rea's birthday tomorrow, and Kennett Florist have helped organize a party for him thanks to your generosity. Rachel left a comment (timestamp: 8:12 pm):
We are still trying to sort out all the things we are planning for Mike's Rea's Birthday! We're hoping that they have some friends from Fair Hill there tomorrow at 1:00. We've ordered the cake and I have 3 different people going in different directions tonight looking for gifts that we've decided on, with the help of Nancy, Mike's sister. The cake is ordered and my hubby is picking up the ice cream and a bulk box of peanut M&M's. We are looking forward to some lightness after all the other news. I will take pictures tomorrow and hopefully have a way to share them!
With all the other craziness, we had to send the driver to NBC today. All sounded well when I talked to Dr Sweeney today, and we are gearing up for the Town Hall meeting that we are hosting a donut and coffee hour before... that will include the entire facility!! (something that has never been done)
Rachel at Kennett Florist
I saw flyers about the party in the barns at Fair Hill this morning so I am hoping Mike will get a lot of people visiting tomorrow afternoon!
Whose who in racing is in Keeneland for the sales. Michael Matz and the Jackson's are there. Here are a few reports from the first day: Daily Racing Form: Storm Cat colt brings $8.2 million, Bloodhorse: Son of Storm Cat Hits $8.2 Million at Keeneland and Thoroughbred Times: Keeneland near record-setting pace again after first session. It seems its the usual battle at the very top of the market: Godolphin versus Coolmore.
Update 636: We have uploaded four new pictures. The featured image of Barbaro was taken a week or so before the Preakness, at Fair Hill. There is a photo of Lost in the Fog a week before the Breeders' Cup last year and a photo of Miraculous Miss on the Paddock at Delaware on saturday before her impressive win. Each of these images was taken by Lydia Williams: Theshedrow.com. I met Lydia at Delaware Park on saturday and introduced myself. I explained I was part of this site and she gladly agreed to send the pictures (and take one of Miraculous Miss for us). The fourth picture is from Wendy, from her visit to Lost in the Fog on saturday.
You can see all the images at the gallery. Scroll your mouse over an image for a brief explanation.
Update 635: Peter visited Barbaro with Eduardo earlier this afternoon. They gave him a good grooming and Peter remarked that he thought Barbaro really does look well. Another pretty upbeat report on his overall condition. Peter assumes Dr. Richardson will be on grazing duty today.
update 3 pm, monday september 11
Posted by Alex at 7:08 PM
| Comments (505)
Barbaro Updates: 71
Posted September 10, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 634: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (sunday night). This update came from Dr. Dean Richardson (who is now back from his seminar), via Michael Matz (Keeneland) to Peter Brette, this morning. Peter is planning to visit later today so will try to catch up with Peter again later.
Miraculous Miss seems to be in good shape after her great effort on saturday. I asked Lil (Klesaris) how she was this morning and she said she was doing well.
Update 633: Today's update on Barbaro will again be delayed, I don't anticipate hearing anything until at least lunchtime, since Michael is away at the Keeneland sales.
The Thoroughbred Times has a short article on Miraculous Miss' win on saturday: Miraculous Miss earns third straight graded stakes win in Endine which oddly does not mention why she had not run since her last win in April.
Bernardini worked for the first time since his facile Travers win: Bernardini Breezes in First Work Since Travers and it appears he is in very good order:
"He went great," said Tom Albertrani, who trains Bernardini for Darley Stable. "Honestly, this work was as good as ever.
"He came out of the Travers in great condition and, considering today was his first work since the race, he couldn't be doing any better."
Update 632: A nice interview by the Bloodhorse with Gretchen Jackson (today at Keeneland): Gretchen Jackson: It's Still Day to Day, But Barbaro 'Starting to Blossom', it includes the following two quotes:
"You're naturally guarded. But for a not medically-educated person such as me, in the last month since his crisis with laminitis, he seems to have gone so much in the right direction. He seems to use all four legs better to equal his weight, to spread his weight amongst four legs, to stand more. And he has never ceased from eating up a storm. Arms and legs included. He would like to grab your arm or leg or hand. He just is doing it all remarkably well. He's just phenomenal.
"Yes, it's day to day. I never have asked Dean (Richardson) when is he going to get out of here. I have never asked him. Maybe Dean doesn't either. It (Barbaro's recovery) doesn't seem to have gone back. We haven't had a crisis since the laminitis. His coat is shiny. He lost a lot of his tail. Did you know that? (It's from) balancing him coming out from operations; I don't know if its hands on him or what. But he lost a lot of his tail. But that's all coming back. Everything is just starting to blossom, and you want to see light at the end of the tunnel. We haven't had Dean say there is light is at the end of the tunnel."
Update 631: Peter visited Barbaro about lunchtime today and all remains well. He received a massage this morning too (Barbaro, not Peter!).
Sue McMullen sent me this e-mail reviewing racing in France today:
The three trials for the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe were held at Longchamp today. The Prix Foy was won by Shirocco, ridden by Christophe Soumillon, who beat his stable mate Hurricane Run, ridden by Kieren Fallon. But you can't read too much into this as it was run at a pedestrian pace with the Arc contenders aware that the race is only a few weeks away. Fallon said Hurricane Run doesn't like small fields and tends to raise his game when the stakes are high, as we saw in the King George at Ascot. Shirocco is unbeaten this year and goes for the Arc then the Breeders Cup again, but this time he might go for the Classic. I wouldn't necessarily read too much into the form of this race as none of the Arc principals were going to be asked to do too much. It gave the two main Arc contenders, first and second in the betting, a nice workout.
The Prix Niel was won by another Andre Fabre trained horse, Rail Link, with Soumillon notching another victory, who beat Youmzain in a strong drive to the line.
The Prix Vermeille, for fillies and mares, was won by Mandesha, piloted by, guess who, Christophe Soumillon, who is owned by the Aga Khan's daughter Princess Zahra. Mandesha looked very impressive and she may be supplemented for the Arc, when her connections, including trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre have an opportunity to examine the timings.
Andre Fabre trains three of the first four in the betting for the Arc, Hurricane Run, then Shirocco, and third favourite Deep Impact, Japan's top horse, with Rail Link in fourth.
As usual, it will be some race.
The sportinglife adds a report: SHIROCCO CLAIMS HURRICANE SCALP. The Arc de Triomphe is the principal race for older horses in europe in the fall.
Update 630: Wendy offers a nice report on her visit with Lost in the Fog yesterday (saturday), its on the discussion boards: My Visit with Fog. It includes the following excerpt:
I walked back to Greg's barn and met him in his office. I introduced myself and we chatted for a short while. I had printed off the posts from yesterday morning so he could get an understanding of the website and what people have been posting. He pointed to the wall behind me and said, "Look! This is what I have received just today! There's so much that I have been sharing it with others." Then he said, "C'mon, let's go see the guy."
Update 629: Peter is planning to visit Barbaro around lunchtime today, after morning work in the barn, so I will catch up with him and get a report later (early afternoon I hope). You have made the paper: Barbaro's superfans. This is the article Kennett Florist refered to a couple of days ago in the local paper, I guess it has now only just gone online.
It is a georgeous morning again at Fair Hill. I did not have anything to ride but went to Tim's to see how Randy's Bullet and Gator Nation came out of their respective races yesterday at Laurel. They arrived back in the barn about 9:30 pm last night. Both looked well this morning. I saw Randy's Bullet shedrowing and then being led out for a pick of grass. He looked fine. Tim is now heading up to Monmouth to run Red Aspen in the sixth race.
Posted by Alex at 12:40 PM
| Comments (457)
Barbaro Updates: 70
Posted September 9, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 628: It is Mike Rea's birthday on tuesday: Please Don't Forget Mike Rea's Birthday!
Update 627: Tim called back and Randy's Bullet appeared to be cooling out in good order.
Update 626: Just spoke to Tim. Randy's Bullet broke his maiden at Laurel, was produced with great timing to win the race. Tim is now on his way back to the receiving barn to see him. He believes all is well, and will call back in 30 minutes with an update. Gator Nation was put on the front end, and for a second start it was a tough thing to do, he ran a little green down the lane.
Miraculous Miss, how fantastic was it to see her return with a win. She spotted the field a few lengths but came with a sweeping run and it was just great to see. She looked great in the paddock, very cool and calm. Clearly no ill effects from her Acorn experience. I saw Steve Klesaris directly after the race and congratulated him, he was pretty excited. Lil, his wife and assistant, was walking her back after the race and she just looked completely elated. Very cool! As far as the rest of Delaware, both Graham Motion and Michael Matz had winners also, so a decent day for Fair Hill, Ramon Dominguez cleaned up!
Showing Up seemed to run well in the Man o' War, he looked like he was trying to bite another horse early in the race. He was a little keen down the backside and I think that may have been his undoing. Anyway, a good performance for a 3yo facing older horses on the turf for the first time. I imagine the turf was a little yielding. I'll call Barclay in the next day or so to see how he came out of the race. It seems Barclay had a nice winner earlier on the card.
I received the following e-mail from Sue McMullen reporting on the top European racing today:
A feast of racing today for racegoers at York and Leopardstown. First York, where the St Leger was relocated from Doncaster while the latter is closed for rebuilding. There's an old saying that the fastest horse wins the Guineas, the luckiest horse wins the Epsom Derby and the best horse wins the St Leger and Sixties Icon, under a confident ride by Frankie Dettori, underlined this piece of racing folklore. Described as the 'easiest Classic he's ever won' and his fourth St Leger, Frankie had little to fear from anything else in the race and when he asked the favourite to quicken, Sixties Icon proved he was the class horse of the race and cruised effortlessly to the front, never in danger of being headed. Trainer Jeremy Noseda, winning his first British Classic, couldn't be there to savour victory as he is currently at the Keeneland sales so anybody reading this from the sales who saw a mad Brit leaping up and down watching a monitor, it was probably him. Sixties Icon is described by his groom Sean as 'a show off, just like Frankie!' It was a refreshing change to see some credit go to his regular work rider, Mick Deniro (I'm sure Alex will appreciate this!) as the jockeys tend to get all the glory when so much of the daily work at home goes unmentioned.
Meanwhile at Leopardstown yet another thrilling finish to the Irish Champion Stakes, which never fails to light up the season. The toughest mares in training, Ouija Board and Alexander Goldrun were taken on by Dylan Thomas, winner of the Irish Derby. An imposing individual, representing Ballydoyle and ridden by Kieren Fallon, Dylan locked horns with Ouija in the home stretch and at one point Lord Derby's tough-as-teak mare headed the Aiden O'Brien colt. But Dylan lengthened his stride (memories of our Bobby here) and fought back. So it was not Ouija's day but she gave him a real fight, battling her heart out to the wire with the game Alexander Goldrun, who was forced to challenge wide, in third.
This seems to be a day for the old sayings and another one is 'don't get beaten by one you've past' so Jamie Spencer might well have an attack of 'if only' as it could be said that he went too soon and ruined Ouija's chances. But you can't take anything away from the winner, who had the services of one of the world's best pilots, and the gallant mare lost nothing in defeat. Lord Derby, or 'Teddy' as he is known to his friends, has enjoyed the most incredible rollercoaster ride over the last few years and he is desperately proud of Ouija Board and all she has accomplished around the world, as indicated by this comment to RTE sport. "She has run a brave race and it was no disgrace being beaten by an Irish Derby winner to whom she was giving 4lb. She's a truly loyal horse and always tries her best."
Following victory in what is regarded as a seriously prestigious race in the global racing calendar, Dylan Thomas will be aimed at the Breeders' Cup, in either the Turf or the Classic.
It was also good to see Kieren in the familiar dark blue colours of his employers and regardless of the accusations made against him, there are many in the UK who believe a man is innocent until proven guilty and were outraged that he was suspended from riding while awaiting trial.
Note: Kieren Fallon is currently suspended in England from riding, and will not be riding in the Breeders' Cup.
Update 625: Before I report on racing today I wanted to give you an update on Lost in the Fog I just received from the press office at Golden Gate Fields (Tom Ferrall):
Lost in the Fog was resting in his stall at Golden Gate Fields Saturday, two days after receiving his first chemotherapy treatment at UC Davis.
The champion sprinter of 2005 had the chemotherapy treatment Thursday and was able to return home to Golden Gate Fields Friday afternoon.
"I think it (the treatment) affected him a little bit, but he's eating and he's drinking," reported trainer Greg Gilchrist Saturday. "He seems a little tired, but that’s to be expected. I think he'll snap out of it."
Gilchrist said Lost in the Fog, who was diagnosed with three cancerous tumors last month, will have his next chemotherapy treatment "Sept. 27 or Sept. 28."
Gilchrist said he thanks everyone for the tremendous support that he, owner Harry J. Aleo and Lost in the Fog have received.
Lost in the Fog vigil, tonight, 7 pm, whereever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some thoughts for the Fog.
Update 624: Just spoke to Peter who was just finishing up his visit with Barbaro (noontime). He said Barbaro was well, again, Peter was pretty upbeat. He is now off to Delaware Park, as am I. I also caught up with Kim, Peter's wife. She let me know that Barbaro's baby brother has now been weaned. No new pictures yet, but we are hoping for some.
update saturday september 9, 12:20 pm
Update 623: I just spoke to Peter Brette. He is planning to visit Barbaro after morning work, and on his way to Delaware Park (where he will be busy saddling plenty of runners this afternoon). I will get an update from Peter after his visit, hopefully by early afternoon.
While there is still no confirmation on whether Better Talk Now will run in the Melbourne Cup, I think it is quite likely. A race has been recently named after the three time winner Makybe Diva: Craiglee Stakes renamed for three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva. Makybe Diva herself has been retired to the breeding shed. Here is part of an e-mail I received about her first mating from Susan Senior:
Well the "deed" has been done between the Diva and Gallileo. Bloodstock breeding experts call it a "match made in heaven".
Some trivia and good for a smile - The Diva had her favourite song (I'ts only the beginning) played during her mating and the Barn was decorated in her racing colours of red, white and blue!!! This is the absolute truth! One respected and revered trainer George Hanlon is quoted as saying quite seriously "Horses are only human".
It made me smile!
It is sad to report Electrocutionist - suffered suspected heart attack. He had recently run second to Ouija Board who is running today, in his penultimate start.
Update 622: Lost in the Fog received his first chemotherapy treatment at 11:30 am, thursday. He is now back in his familiar barn at Golden Gate Fields. Here is a detialed report of the treatment from UC Davis: Lost in the Fog: Chemo Begins. It includes the following excerpts:
Lost In The Fog tolerated the treatment extremely well and remained comfortable throughout. He remained bright and alert overnight, maintained a normal temperature, and had an excellent appetite and attitude.
Lost In The Fog was released from the teaching hospital at 11:45 AM Friday, September 8, into the care of his trainer, Mr. Greg Gilchrist, and his veterinarian, Dr. Don Smith, who will monitor the horse closely at Golden Gate Fields. Dr. Smith will collect blood at regular intervals to monitor the effects of the first round of chemotherapy.
Subsequent chemotherapy treatments will be scheduled based on the results of these blood tests and on Lost In The Fog's progress.
Lost In The Fog was a model patient while hospitalized at the VMTH and behaved very well. He will, no doubt, enjoy his return to the familiar environment and faces in Mr. Gilchrist's barn at Golden Gate Fields.
The dedicated veterinarians and staff who have provided Lost In The Fog with round-the-clock care during his visits to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital are rooting for him. We sincerely appreciate the messages of support and encouragement that have poured in from Lost In The Fog's many fans and admirers around the globe.
The article includes a nice headshot of the Fog and also provides an e-mail address you can use to send your wishes: email@example.com.
The Barbaro update will likely be delayed today, just an FYI, but a few people are away and we might not learn anything until this afternoon.
Posted by Alex at 9:22 AM
| Comments (700)
Barbaro Updates: 69
Posted September 8, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 621: The discussion boards that we set up on 8/8/06 (a month ago) eclipsed 10,000 messages today. Amazing. Busiest day: yesterday (this site going down obviously helped that but..), 974 messages posted, 3429 visits (members and non members) and 181407 messages viewed.
Update 620: Racing around ... we have plenty of racing to follow tomorrow, unfortunately non of which is on network TV (or ESPN). Delaware Park has "owners day", which basically means the purses go up, they get a good card and offer some great food for those with the right tickets (this year I will get one)! The racing should be great. From Fair Hill we have Miraculous Miss making her long anticipated return, and she has been looking good in her recent works. Diabolical is also entered in the Kent for Steve Klesaris, he has done well since the Preakness. Michael Matz has plenty of runners (Peter will have a busy day), and I will have some great food! Tim has a couple of runners at Laurel, Randy's Bullet and Gator Nation, so I will have to keep an eye on those on the simulcast. I will also of course be following Showing Up's exploits at Belmont.
In europe there are two races of interest, the St Leger (third leg of their equivalent of the triple crown) and the Irish Champion Stakes. This is covered by the Daily Racing Form: Ouija Board-'Alexander' rematch, and below by our friend Sue McMullen:
plus we've got the Irish Champion Stakes this weekend. This, as you probably know, is ALWAYS one of the best races of the season. We've seen some magnificent battles over the years between the very best horses and this year's will be no exception. A mouth-watering clash between two of the best mares in the world, Ouija Board and Alexander Goldrun, and the young pretender Dylan Thomas, who is joint favourite with Ouija Board. If Dylan were to win, he would have to overturn the trend of this season and win a Group One against his elders.
Winner of the Irish Derby by an impressive three-and-a-half lengths, Dylan Thomas will be at the mercy of the two wonderful mares who fought out a thrilling finish to the Group One Vodafone Nassau Stakes at Goodwood in one of the best Flat races this season. On that occasion the globe-trotting Oujia Board prevailed by a short-head over Alexander Goldrun, both mares fighting to the line, and should she win again it will take her tally of Group Ones to a magnificent seven.
Update 619: Just spoke to Peter Brette following his and Eduardo's visit to Barbaro. Barbaro remains comfortable. Peter was pretty upbeat. They did not take him out to graze as Michael had done this this morning, straight after Fair Hill, and on his way to Keeneland (sales next week I think). Eduardo groomed Barbaro. Its a short report but a good visit for all.
Rachel at Kennett Florist left this comment (timestamp: 2:30 pm):
As a collective group your voices are strong and we applaud each and everyone of you for all you have done! Thank you Tim, Alex, Mr and Mrs Jackson and everyone who stood up and let their voice be heard!! We will continue to fight with you for the good of all horses!
All was quiet with NBC when Alie went up yesterday afternoon. The reports we get are the same as Alex. Barbaro continues to be doing well. We brought his majesty some green tops and pears and had a nice basket for the blood donor horses.
We are in the process of throwing together a birthday party/surprise for Mike Rea! His birthday is next Tuesday (September 12) and we're hoping to surprise the heck out of him! I've talked to his sister Nancy to make sure what gifts, treats, etc we get are things that he will enjoy. My brother and sister in law are both physical therapists so they're helping me with some ideas that would be things that would also be useful. This family and this man are amazing, and whatever we can do to help support Mike, we will do!
God Bless Barbaro and all that have come together because of him!
Update 618: I just spoke to Steve Willard, Giacomo's exercise rider. Giacomo worked again today. It was the last day for them at Del Mar, and they are now shipping back to Santa Anita. Steve said Giacomo is doing well. He had a little light breeze to stretch his legs and keep the wind in him (5/8ths 1:04 I think). They are basically putting the miles into him, and he is keeping good muscle tone. His mental condition remains good and he is eating well. I am not sure yet whether they have his next race planned.
Update 617: I just spoke to Barclay Tagg to get an update on Showing Up. He jogged back to the gate today. He stood in the gate, and he also paddock schooled a little. Sounds like a nice quiet day before his big race tomorrow. Showing Up is the first of the three year old "big guns" to take on older horses, in the Man o' War. Good luck to Barclay and the Jacksons. Here is the Daily Racing Form's review of the race: Showing Up faces hotter competition, excerpt:
Having easily handled 3-year-olds in two turf stakes, Showing Up will face older horses for the first time in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park. He will face Grade 1 winners Cacique, Relaxed Gesture, and Go Deputy in the Man o' War, run at 1 3/8 miles on the inner turf course.
I asked Barclay if Showing Up will train tomorrow before the race. , He said he would likely jog a little.
Peter is heading over to visit Barbaro early afternoon. He is taking Eduardo with him, so this will be Eduardo's first visit in quite a while. I'll get an update later from Peter. Eduardo was very grateful for the gift basket I forwarded to him, very grateful.
Update 616: As I noted in update 615, Michael Matz reported this morning all remained well for Barbaro yesterday. It is another gorgeous morning this morning at Fair Hill.
Sorry, the site crashed yesterday, coincidentally just as the congress vote was coming in, and now we know: House votes to ban horse slaughter for food. I am amazed at everyone's efforts, but there is still a road ahead to get things completed. Lots of discussion on this issue on the discussion boards.
Lost in the Fog underwent his forst Chemotherapy session: Lost in the Fog has his first chemotherapy treatment, an excerpt:
Lost in the Fog, the 2005 Eclipse sprint champion, had his first of six planned chemotherapy treatments at the University of California at Davis on Thursday.
Magdesian said that Lost in the Fog's blood work would be monitored closely between treatments as would his bone marrow. Lost in the Fog's chemotherapy sessions will be spaced three weeks apart.
Posted by Alex at 11:48 AM
| Comments (633)
Barbaro Updates: 68
Posted September 7, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 615: Saw Michael Matz this morning on my first set and Barbaro remained well through yesterday (thursday). I will add further updates in about an hour...very glad the site is back!
updated friday 6:45am
Update 614: Still no update for Barbaro today. I saw Michael Matz as I was having lunch in Prizzios, our local convenience store. He was on his way to see Barbaro, so we should be able to get an update later.
Update 613: Just spoke to Barclay Tagg. Showing Up galloped a mile and a half today on the dirt track at Belmont, which is once around. He jogged back to the 7/8ths pole before the gallop. I asked how he is doing, Barclay: "Same old horse" ... (that's good). Two days to the Man o' War. Funny Cide jogged a turn of the main track and remains well.
Update 612: A nice article from the Washington Post this morning: Stretch Drive for Saving Horses also includes a Barbaro reference:
Horses helped build this country. And even today they enrich the lives of millions of Americans. Our immense response to the champion Thoroughbred Barbaro's injury -- the cards and emails and flowers are still pouring in -- demonstrate that the regal and loyal animal still holds a special place in our hearts.
Update 611: Michael Matz visited Barbaro last evening and he said all was well. I saw him first set on the dirt track. It was a stunning sunrise this morning with a layer of mist coming up out of the ground. Just finished galloping Chappy for my second set and hoping for a nice uneventful morning.
updated thursday 7:05am
Update 610: Ray Paulick, editor-in-chief of the Bloodhorse makes end of year predictions: Locks which include this one we can all agree to:
Equine surgeon Dean Richardson and the staff at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center will win the 2006 Eclipse Award of Merit. No one is more deserving than Richardson and his team at New Bolton. The work done in the hours and days following Barbaro's devastating injury in the Preakness was remarkable from a veterinary medicine standpoint. Their decision (and that of owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson) to provide frequent updates (including photographs and video) on Barbaro's recovery, despite the very real possibility that the colt could die, allowed millions of people who might have given up on horse racing because of the injury to stay connected with the sport.
Another article from the Thoroughbred Times discusses the transparency of Barbaro's condition and its effect: Focus on fracture repair. The article begins:
THE UNPRECEDENTED media coverage of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Barbaro's injury, surgical repair, and recovery at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center has turned casual horse enthusiasts into quasi-medical interns. Countless numbers of people have downloaded the images of Barbaro's fractured leg and its repair, and they have followed the daily media updates through cast changes, implant removal and replacement, laminitis, and suspected osteomyelitis (bone infection).
At each step of the way, ordinary people--carpenters, secretaries, truck drivers, and cooks--have been exposed to the methods used to repair equine fractures and the medical care necessary following such procedures. They have followed Barbaro's assisted recovery in New Bolton's surgical recovery tank, read about the titanium plate and screws in his injured limb, and seen pictures of him standing in a supportive sling.
It is too early to be sure about Barbaro's legacy. As the Kentucky Derby winner continues to battle complications associated with repair of his right hind leg, it is premature to speculate how Barbaro will be viewed in years to come. Will he be thought of as a gifted athlete that excited and thrilled the world of horse racing? Will he be remembered for his ability in the breeding shed? Will he be forever linked to his struggle to recover from a devastating injury? One thing is certain so far: Barbaro may well be best remembered for providing the public with an education in the advances and possibilities available through veterinary medicine.
Congratulations to everyone for all your hard work yesterday on the anti horse-slaughter bill. A quick reminder, the morning report will actually be a report from Michael's visit yesterday evening.
Posted by Alex at 8:51 AM
| Comments (828)
Barbaro Updates: 67
Posted September 6, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 609: A report from Kennett Florist (timestamp: 6:36pm):
All is quiet this afternoon. The town hall meeting that was scheduled for this morning that we were going to bring treats for was postponed. We did bring some treats for the staff and our beloved boy. I'm still a little gun shy around those darn green tops. The stitches come out today!! LOL
The carrots were heading right up to Barbaro.
Anyway, also wanted to let you know we're planning a trip to Elkton, MD next Tuesday, September 12. It's just an FYI. Thanks again for all your calls and emails!
Martine posted in the comments a conversation she had with the Fog's owner (timestamp 9:10 pm):
I had a nice conversation yesterday with Lost in the Fog's owner, Harry Aleo. Mr. Aleo is a very sweet man who took time -- at a time when things are obviously quite hectic -- to talk about the Fog and what a fighter is! Mr. Aleo was gracious and touched by the interest of others in LITF. Great guy, great horse. Best wishes to both of them!
Anyone that reads the comments below today can be nothing but impressed with everyones efforts for tomorrow's vote. Amazing. Vigil tonight, 7pm, east coast time.
Update 608: Barbaro remains comfortable. This took a while today, but Peter did just call (3:10 pm). He had Barbaro out grazing for 15 - 20 minutes, no problems at all. It was the first time Peter had grazed him so that was good!
Update 607: Still no Barbaro update, but just got off the phone with Peter. He is going over to visit this afternoon. Michael asked him to take Bobby out to graze, so I plan to get an update later from Peter.
Update 606: Still no morning report for Barbaro. I spoke to Barclay Tagg to get updates on Showing Up and Funny Cide. Showing up shedrowed today, which is very typical the day after a work. They all remain pleased with him going into the Man o' War on saturday. Funny Cide did his first bit of exercise since the Woodward on saturday. He jogged a mile. He felt good, the rider was very happy with the way he was moving, so at this stage he does not appear to have suffered any ill effects from his Woodward race.
The Thoroughbred Times has this article on the vote for tomorrow: Close vote predicted on horse slaughter bill, excerpt:
"I think it's changing by the moment," said Charles Stenholm, who was the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee for six years. "It's going to be a very close vote. There's no question about that."
Update 605: Saw Michael Matz going on to the woodchip track for my first set this morning. He let me know that for the next few days he'll have to provide me evening reports from his visit with Barbaro the night before as Dr. Richardson is away at a seminar for a few days. Michael's evening report from last night (tuesday) is that Bobby was comfortable and all remains well. He visited about 8pm.
For whatever reason, I forgot one of my gloves this morning...my left hand glove. This is the hand that holds on to everything (neck strap, mane, and reins). So this might be a problem! But we survived the first set intact. And now about to get on Chappy. I will endeavour to post a report on Barbaro later today as I am able.
updated wednesday 6:55am
Update 604: Kennett Florist's report of their NBC visit yesterday (timestamp 1:03pm):
So glad to be back today!! There was so much to catch up with that I never got a chance to post until late tonight. It was so nice to be back at NBC today. (Good grief, what will I do when Barbaro goes home?) We welcomed everyone back from their long weekend with pizza and salad for lunch. Everyone expressed their gratitude for your kindness. We brought up a big basket of carrots and pears for the big guy! I can imagine he was wondering where his usual daily delivery of green tops was... "OK, I get that they don't deliver on Sundays, but what's with this long weekend thing?" All kidding aside, when I asked about Barbaro, Iwas told that he had a really good weekend.
Alie went back up later with a special delivery for a special friend, some apples, carrots and treats for the blood donor horses, and some other treats for the two legged beasts. I got to make a trip to Fair Hill, with goodies for Michael Matz, Peter, Alex, Tim and Dr Anderson.
Again, thank you all for everything you do... the candles, prayers, tributes, poems, jokes, etc. It truly is nice to be HOME!
Having bolted out of Fair Hill early yesterday (drenched) I am now excited to return!
Miraculous Miss is back in the entries, 11th race at Delaware Park on saturday. It has been a long road to get her back after the Acorn gate incident. I will be going over to Delaware Park, it is a great days racing altogether saturday.
Bluegrass Cat is adapting to his new life on a farm: Bluegrass Cat adapts to life off the track, relevant excerpt:
The son of Storm Cat (the Kentucky Derby runner-up and winner of $1.8 million) was happily bedded down in his new home, munching hay, when I paid a visit this past week.
He turned to the door and seemed happy to see people. No doubt the transition from Todd Pletcher's busy racing stable to being the only horse inside the barn during the day has taken some adjusting on Bluegrass Cat's part.
He'll get 30 days in the stall while healing begins on the non-displaced fracture of his right hind pastern. He will not need surgery.
After the stall rest will come 30 days of walking for exercise. For now, he's wearing a thick bandage wrapped around his leg to protect the fracture.
Finally one day to go for the anti horse-slaughter bill. We will have a vigil tonight, 7 pm (east coast time) for the passing of the bill. A list has been compiled of those not on board with the bill: List of Reps that are NOT for the bill. And we have this lovely poem: My Poem and Plea for HR503:
Help me find the words, Dear Lord, to reach the heart of man
That each will hear this message and will clearly understand.
To some, it may be humble prayer for those who can not pray
To others, a voice of wisdom that can end unspoken pain.
Each and every person bears a gift to stop this crime
All were born and living just to be here at this time.
It doesn't matter who you are or where you've stood before
An open heart is all you need to close this fateful door.
Time is of the essence lest another thousand fall
In excruciating slaughter, born of greed and hidden gall.
Captive bolt and bleeding while the others watch in fear
Sold for wealthy foreign appetites, when will Our Country hear?
America's companion who has carried her so far
Across the plains in covered wagons, homestead bound, to farm.
Express mail was a pony, through rain, through sleet, through snow
Throughout this nation's history are hoof prints leading home.
The cowboy's friend and livelyhood, his song beneath the stars
All the pretty horses prance through childhood dreams and hearts.
The bloodhorse is bred and trained to bear our triple crown
An artist gift is born where mare and foal are bedded down.
Please let these words and images move each of us to stand!
It is our duty and our right as stewards in this Land.
Call and write your congressmen on HR503
Let the USA shine proud again from sea to shining sea.
Posted by Alex at 8:53 AM
| Comments (901)
Barbaro Updates: 66
Posted September 5, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 603: Just spoke to Kathy Anderson, she visited Barbaro about 4:30 pm this afternoon. She was happy with Bobby, she had not been able to visit for a few days and was pleased with what she observed. He seemed bright and alert in his stall, which she said was quite warm (that being a positive thing since we are having decidedly wet fall weather right now)!
Update 602: Edgar Prado continued his winning ways by winning the riding title at Saratoga, and in doing so beating out probably the second (Gomez) and third (Velasquez) leading riders in the country: Prado edges Gomez to win third Saratoga riding title. Now Edgar, time to pay a quick visit!
Other jockeys in the news include Victor Espinoza: Debutante Win Gives Espinoza Del Mar Record, Joe Bravo: Joe Bravo Wins Six Races at Monmouth and Kieran Fallon: Fallon Withdraws Attempt to Ride in Breeders' Cup.
Update 601: New Bolton's release: Barbaro continues to do well:
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro continues to please veterinarians with his progress after his most recent right hind leg cast change last week. "Barbaro is wearing the new cast satisfactorily," said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery. "We continue to monitor him closely, and depending on how he progresses, we may change it again within the next two weeks."
The colt's left hind foot, which has laminitis, continues to improve gradually, according to Dr. Richardson. The bandage on this foot is changed daily.
"Barbaro's appetite is great, and we take him out each day to hand graze him," said Dr. Richardson. "His vital signs remain normal, and he seems very happy."
Barbaro is 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 12 unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.
Update 600: Just spoke to Barclay Tagg, he worked Showing Up this morning as scheduled, on the inner turf, no dogs (i.e. on the rail). He went in 1:01.1 and was very pleased with the work. This will be his last work before the Man o' War on saturday.
New Bolton Center are releasing a Barbaro update today, that should be available shortly.
Its raining hard here now, training hours were cut short!
Update 599: Another comfortable night for Barbaro (monday night). Michael Matz told me as I was just pulling up on Chappy after galloping 1 3/8 mile in my second set. Michael had heard from Dr. Richardson as usual. It's a little bit rainy this morning but it's actually quite pleasant to ride.
updated tuesday 7:10am
Update 598: Another visit to Lost in the Fog has been posted to the discussion board: A Visit with Lost in the Fog, this was a visit from Saturday. The Bring out your best Barbaro tribute contest closes at 2 pm today. Thanks to all those who have submitted entries thus far.
The Jacksons and the managing partner for the ownership group of Funny Cide will be in Washington today: Time and Location Change for Whitfield Press Conference on H.R. 503, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. The presser notes the conference is 11 pm today, I assume 11 am, but when i called to check yesterday they were on holiday! ShellyA is also in DC for this: INFORMATION FROM DC.
I had been meaning to repost Sabina's link, it includes a couple of additional pictures of Barbaro, and more importantly, a link to this site!
Dan Hendricks is pointing the blame for Brother Derek's fourth last weekend squarely on his own shoulders: Hendricks: Derek wasn't quite fit. I guess I can see what he means. When a horse breezes so easily it means they have obvious talent, but if they are not being pushed then they are not always getting too much out of those breezes. Also, I have now added a link to the site's FAQ to the left.
Posted by Alex at 8:57 AM
| Comments (424)
Barbaro Wristband Fundraiser
Posted September 4, 2006
The Barbaro Wristband, authorized by Mrs. Jackson.
by Sharon Clark. All proceeds to the Barbaro Fund.
All proceeds from the Barbaro wristband fundraiser will be donated to the Barbaro Fund for the George D. Widener Hospital at New Bolton Center. "This fund in Barbaro's name will honor him and provide a lasting resource to help care for animals treated at the Widener Hospital."
The wristbands are the colors of the Lael Stables' Jockey silks. Mrs. Jackson, Barbaro's co-owner, was doing an interview for the Catholic News Service. During her interview she made a comment to "live the moment. It's the greatest way in the world to live -- because you truly live. If you're always projecting into the future, you're not enjoying the moment."
BARBARO IS A WINNER! He has captured the heart of the nation. From the race track to the Intensive Care Unit -- he has shown only grace, determination, and the heart of a champion.
The wristbands are to be worn as a reminder of all that Barbaro has represented -- his courage, his triumph, his charm, and most of all his heart. When the person wearing the wristband happens to catch a glimpse of it -- it will be a reminder say a little prayer for him, and also to send him loving and healing thoughts.
MEDIUM WRISTBAND (7 3/8")
QUANTITY _____ ($5.00 EACH)
LARGE WRISTBAND (8 3/8")
QUANTITY _____ ($5.00 EACH)
TOTAL $ _____.__ (CASH OR CHECKS PAYABLE SHARON CLARK)
To order wristbands; please print this page and send $5.00 for each wristband to:
P.O. Box 78
Silver Spring, PA 17575
You may e-mail Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Alex at 8:49 PM
Barbaro Updates: 65
Posted September 4, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 597: Another comfortable day for Barbaro. Just spoke to Peter Brette who had heard from Michael Matz, who visited Bobby this afternoon.
Update 596: Returning to Fair Hill, I had three more to ride after the break. Two of which were nicely uneventful, one of which was intent to try to remove me from the saddle (rearing, leaping and lunging). Fortunately luck prevailed, although I had to apologise for some colourful language. Tim breezed Red Aspen and Gator Nation after the break on the woodchips. Tim was on Red Aspen and Jesus Bracho (Fair Hill's resident jockey) was on Gator Nation. The 5/8ths breeze seemed to go well for all concerned.
Perhaps slightly off topic (perhaps not), but it seems the animal world lost a real hero and advocate, Steve Irwin: A Huge Loss to the Animal World. One of you had recently written to Steve about the Wild Animal Sanctuary closure in Colorado: The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado is being forced to close it's doors. Lets hope Steve's tremendous legacy continues!
Update 595: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (sunday night). I saw Michael Matz as I was on my way to the woodchip track for my third set. He had heard from Dr. Richardson, who has now returned from his vacation.
Mondays are usually a little chaotic at the track, many horses have had the sunday off and are pretty "fresh". Given the weather we had saturday, quite a few horses will have had two days off. This monday did include a loose horse early on the woodchip track. I cannot name the rider, she said she would not speak to me again if I did, but all was well. Barclay Tagg (who must be in town just for the day) caught the horse by the gap (it was not one of his). I asked Barclay again about Funny Cide, he said they had him thoroughly checked over and he seems fine.
I also caught up with Graham Motion, and asked him for a job. His immediate response "What happened ?" I then mentioned I just wanted to go with Better Talk Now to the Melbourne Cup. I tried to convince him that he really needs someone on his team with Melbourne Cup experience (I know where the closest bar to the paddock is located etc.) He smiled. It seems they will make a decision in the next couple of days about running, there are a few things they need to sort through before a decision to run can be made. It will certainly be a very sporting venture if they do go.
update 8:20 am, september 4
Update 594: Bo Derek was on ABC yesterday discussing the Anti Horse-Slaughter legislation: Perfect '10' Actress Rallies for Horses, she even makes reference to Barbaro in her short clip. The vote on this issue is scheduled for September 7, so this will be a busy week. The discussion boards are very active on this issue.
It looks more and more likely that Better Talk Now will be pointed for the Melbourne Cup: Better Talk Now pointed for Melbourne Cup. I need to see if I can get a job with Graham! What a great adventure this would be. I witnessed Makybe Diva's first Melbourne Cup victory, and having been to many races around the world, this was my most memorable racing experience.
It does beg the question, why don't US-based horses compete for the Melbourne Cup. A couple of reasons might include, timing (its the same week as the Breeders Cup), and the distance of the race (its way too far for many of the horses in the US who are used to a mile and a half being an absolute marathon). Anyway, the Melbourne Cup is known as the race that stops a nation (it actually stops two nations when you include New Zealand). It is so refreshing to see how our sport really can be capture the imagination of countries in such a significant way, if only for a day.
We have been voted with a Yeah (I thought that was pretty cool)! The Barbaro update this morning may be a little late, I am not sure. It is Labor Day, but this does not impact training horses, i.e. Fair Hill will be business as usual. That being said, it might be tough for me to get the update up until a little later.
Posted by Alex at 9:18 AM
| Comments (363)
Barbaro Updates: 64
Posted September 3, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 593: Just spoke to Peter Brette. He was unable to visit Barbaro today, I think he spent most of the day cleaning things up in his yard after the weather that came through yesterday (something I have neglected to do). As far as Peter is aware, Barbaro remains fine, so that is good enough for me.
Update 592: An excellent article on Lost in the Fog: HOME STRETCH.
Update 591: Just spoke to Barclay Tagg about Funny Cide. No real excuses, Funny appeared to come back from the race fine. Barclay is having the vet go over him thoroughly but nothing appears to be amiss. Barclay mentioned that his jockey felt Funny bobble a little going down the backside and did not pick up the bit from that point on.
Showing Up is still scheduled for his final work in tuesday before the Man o' War, we will follow him into saturday's race.
Update 590: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (saturday night). I saw Michael as I was leaving the woodchip track on my first set this morning. Due to the poor weather yesterday I went in today to ride a couple for Tim. Michael has a few riders come in on sundays, one of whom (today) is Emily. She took some nice pictures of Round Pond at Monmouth last weekend. Her partner is a professional photographer and is covering the 2006 World Equestrian Games.
update sunday, september 3, 8:25 am
Update 589: With the Woodward now complete (Premium Tap springs $64 upset) our racing focus will shift to Belmont next weekend where Showing Up will return to the races in the Man o' War: Man o' War is Showing Up's best option. This is the first of the three year old "big guns" taking on older horses (but not likely Fair Hill's Better talk Now who won it last year: Better Talk Now Unlikely to Defend Man o' War). Barclay mentioned to me a couple of days ago that Showing Up was likely to have his final breeze in preparation for the Man o' War on tuesday at Belmont. If Showing Up runs well in the Man o' War he will be on target for the Breeders Cup Turf.
I am beginning to develop an FAQ for this site. If you would like questions added, please list them in the comments section of that page.
This morning's update on Barbaro will likely be a little later than usual. I have a couple to get on beginning at 7 am, once I am done I will then try to get the update.
Posted by Alex at 10:11 AM
| Comments (271)
Barbaro Updates: 63
Posted September 2, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 588: Both Brother Derek and Bob and John were beaten in their first starts since the Triple Crown: Cindago Tops Bob and John in El Cajon; Brother Derek Fades, excerpt:
Brother Derek, off since back-to-back fourth-place finishes in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness (both gr. I) in May, did not have the easiest of returns for trainer Dan Hendricks. He was a step slow getting away from the gate and pulled jockey Alex Solis to the leaders while stuck four wide on the clubhouse turn. He continued to prompt the pace to the far turn but fell back while racing between horses as they came off the bend. He finished a tired fourth.
Update 587: Peter just called (5:45 pm) and Barbaro remains comfortable, Michael had visited and spoke to Peter. Another good day. Peter is planning a visit tomorrow.
Don't forget, 7 pm vigil for Barbaro and Lost in the Fog. Whereever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some thoughts for Bobby and the Fog.
Update 586: Woodward odds and ends. Congratulations to Premium Tap and John Kimmel. John Kimmel used to have a string at Fair Hill, and along time ago I used to freelance for him. The result seems to highlight that the three year old division is the stronger division at this point and will likely yeild the horse of the year. I also see Corey Black has been added to the broadcast crew. He has had a pretty "interesting" racing career. Was a great apprentice jockey many years ago in California, was more recently agent for Gary Stevens (now retired), and then last year he came east with a jockey to be his agent. He would also gallop / breeze (I guess as part of his agent duties) and come over to Fair Hill a few days a week.
Update 585: Apparently we are not the only ones where bad weather is impacting racing (Philadelphia Park and Monmouth cancelled, hoping for a fast track for Funny in Saratoga), its a bog in England! Sue McMullen just sent me this e-mail about the feature race at Haydock Park today (Haydock Park Sprint comes down to two):
The big sprint at Haydock was today and it was won by Reverence, who of course beat Enticing in the Nunthorpe. It was nice for the horse to win again as some felt he was lucky in the Nunthorpe as he had the ground in his favour. You couldn't even argue that he had his ground (soft) as it was pretty desperate in the north of England today. They were baling water off the course before the first and Thirsk was abandoned after three races. So it was heavy even for Reverence and would have tapped his stamina. I believe the time was 2.7 secs slower than standard, which is a lot for a six furlong race. All credit to Reverence for plugging his way through a bog.
Update 584: Spoke to Barclay Tagg (10 am) and Funny Cide was on his way over to the detention barn (I think they have to be there six hours before their race) in preparation for this afternoon's feature race, The Woodward. Funny Cide jogged this morning, a quiet bit of exercise. So far so good, there is no rain in Saratoga, yet. Barclay asked about the weather down here, I am not sure he was too thrilled with the answer (rain and wind). Here is a nice article on Funny Cide for today: Funny Cide's glorious return. The article concludes:
Win, place or show, Saturday they will be showing up to watch the horse who once showed the world that anything was possible. And for this, just seeing him again will be good enough.
I thought it was appropriate to highlight the efforts of those on this site wrt the anti horse-slaughter bill: OUR PROGRESS SO FAR.... This is only one example of all the generosity (time and reesources) of those of you on this site.
Finally, Mike seems to be settling in well to his new spot: Hello Again from Mike and Family!!!!!!!! and apparently is finding his sense of humour!
Edit: added Funny Cide article
Update 583: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (friday night). As I suspected, I had to go to Michael's barn to get the update (he had heard from Dr. Richardson). There is not much training going on other than that done in each barn's respective shedrows. I shedrowed two for Tim, but was pretty glad to get out of there. I suspect Fair Hill might be a little busy tomorrow if the storm clears out. Michael also mentioned that Dr. Richardson is returning from his vacation today.
update 7:40 am, saturday, september 2
Update 582: Here is the assessment of Fog by UC Davis, and I assume this was published before the Bloodhorse piece that indicated they were going to begin Chemotherapy: Lost in the Fog Update -- Sept. 1, 2006, relevant excerpt:
Lost in the Fog was very bright, alert, comfortable, eating well, and physically looked very good and in good spirits. He has not shown any signs of abdominal discomfort this week. The tumor in his spleen and the second tumor high in the abdomen between his kidneys and below his spinal column have not changed in size during the past two weeks, and no new tumors were detected in the spleen or liver or other abdominal or thoracic organs.
These findings indicate that the dexamathasone treatment has controlled the previously rapid growth of the tumors but has not caused them to shrink.
The location and size of the tumor high in the abdomen precludes the possibility that it can be removed surgically; however, chemotherapy remains an option, with the goal of inducing remission of the tumor masses.
The Thoroghbred Times also reports on Fog's current condition: Lost in the Fog to undergo chemotherapy treatments.
It is a wet, blustery morning this morning. This will certainly make training more complicated. No doubt the dirt track will be shut again, but the wood chip track will be open, and I bet a few trainers will send a few horses out there. The barn shedrows will be the busy training spots today as most horsemen will jog / walk their horses around their respective shedrows. For salaried riders, days like today are obviously not a problem. For freelancers, we only get paid for what we ride, so today will not be profitable!
It may also be a little tricky to get the Barbaro update early this morning, its likely I will need to venture over to Michael Matz's barn, so I do anticipate a delay.
Posted by Alex at 9:13 AM
| Comments (353)
Barbaro Updates: 62
Posted September 1, 2006
updates are now here.
Update 581: Chemotherapy Next for Champ Lost in the Fog, some relevant excerpts:
Gilchrist, during a brief teleconference from Golden Gate Fields, said the hope is that chemotherapy can put the 4-year-old colt's lymphoma into remission and give the horse as much as two years of quality life.
"It would have to be a miracle for Lost in the Fog to be cured," Gilchrist said. "This is something that puts it into remission and allows him to go on."
"We've come to another cross in the road. They feel that we were doing isn't really helping that much," Gilchrist said. "He could have two, three, four months (to live) with what we are doing right now. There are always exceptions, of course, when you are dealing with something like this. But with chemotherapy it could be as much as two years."
In the meantime, Lost in the Fog "is in very good spirits," Gilchrist said, although he has lost a little weight because they haven't been feeding him as much as they did when he was in training. "His quality of life is good right now. If you just walked up to him, you wouldn't know there was anything wrong with him. I don't think he's being affected by anything going on around him or within him."
Update 580: Just spoke to Peter and he had just spoken to Michael, Barbaro continues to remain comfortable. Michael was over this afternoon and was pleased with Bobby.
Kennett Florist's Alie left this comment (timestamp: 9:05pm):
I went to NBC before 9 this morning with bagels, coffee, juices, cream cheeses, ect. with a side of green tops. I went back alittle before
4 pm. With snacks for the next shift. And evening carotts & treats for ICU. I cannot tell the number of people who ask me to express how much They appreciate all you guys do. All seemed well. Everyone rushing around, before the storm starts. So far we have only had a little drizzle.
I will check in tomorrow. Rachel will be back Tuesday.
Have a great night.
From Kennett square & KF
And finally, we will have a vigil tomorrow, September 2, 7 pm east coast time. This will be for both Barbaro and Lost in the Fog. Whereever you are, whatever you are doing, spare some time for Bobby and The Fog.
Update 579: Lost in the Fog's condition unchanged from the Daily Racing Form. Relevant excerpt:
"There's really not much to say. Everything is pretty much as it was," trainer Greg Gilchrist said from Del Mar on Friday. "Yesterday, we scanned the horse again, and, really, there's no change. Things are no better. Things are no worse. Everything's pretty much status quo."
Gilchrist said that he and Lost in the Fog's owner, Harry Aleo, would consult with veterinarians, "and we'll discuss our options."
Update 578: Just spoke to Steve Willard, Giacomo's exercise rider. Giacomo had his first breeze today since his run in the Pacific Classic. As Steve said to me, he was feeling good and doing well so it was time to breeze him again. He breezed well, he went 5/8ths of a mile. He was blowing a little bit after the breeze (very normal) and cooled out well. Steve also noted that Giacomo's mental attitude is terrific after his last race. Steve was not yet sure what race they were pointing for next for Giacomo but great to hear he is doing well. Steve now gets a day off!
Update 577: Just spoke to Barclay Tagg. Funny Cide had his final gallop before tomorrow's Woodward. He did the same as yesterday (on the "Clare Court" track, galloping three times around). He went well and is feeling good! He will go out for a quick jog tomorrow as the race is quite late in the afternoon (lets hope the weather cooperates).
Fair Hill's woodchip track was a busy place this morning. The dirt was closed and there was plenty of traffic for one track in anticipation of the pending weather coming in. Right after the break a few of the Fair Hill "Big Guns" were out to breeze. Miraculous Miss, under Ramon Dominguez went 5/8ths, I think in about 1:01. This may be her final stiff breeze before she starts back (she has not run since the Acorn). Also out breezing were the Graham Motion pair, Better Talk Now and Film Maker. They also went 5/8ths, nice and easy, in hand (I think). I believe that may be their first works since their Arlington trip a couple of weekends ago. I was also out breezing, with Tim, hence I could not really watch the aforementioned breezes too closely. I did see Miraculous Miss at the beginning of her breeze, she was coming by between the 3/8ths and half mile pole, as we were turning in. She looked like she was galloping along. Our breeze also went well, nice and in hand.
Update 576: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (thursday night). Just saw Michael Matz on my way to the woodchip track for my second set to breeze Chappy. Tim and I are breezing in company; Tim is on Who's Happy. Unfortunately, the dirt track is closed today due to the impending weather which makes for a little too exciting a time on the woodchip track with all the horses out there. I think Miraculous Miss might also be breezing today after the break.
updated friday 6:55am
Update 575: The Woodward, the marquee race for saturday, is currently an eleven horse field, headed by Flower Alley, last year's Travers winner. Funny Cide will be in post position 10 (assuming the track is not sloppy and he does run). Flower Alley on his game. Coverage is on ESPN, 4:30 pm.
On the three year old front, Brother Derek and Bob and John are both making their first starts back since the triple crown, against each other on saturday in Del Mar: Brother Derek back, faces Bob and John. An excerpt:
The bar has been raised high. Bernardini has parlayed his Preakness victory into wins in the Jim Dandy and Travers Stakes. Lawyer Ron came back last weekend to capture the St. Louis Derby. Discreet Cat romped last weekend at Saratoga. Showing Up took the Secretariat Stakes. Yes, many of the top 3-year-olds from the first half of the year have kept on motoring right through the summer.
Now it's time for two more familiar names to show if they are as good now as they were then. On Saturday at Del Mar, two of the spring's biggest stars make their comebacks, with the added intrigue of racing against one another.
We know Bluegrass Cat has now returned home: Bluegrass Cat finds home at stud farm, a decision whether to perform surgery has not yet been made, excerpt:
Pletcher said he is not sure what will happen now but he said WinStar, which owns the colt, was leaning toward not performing surgery on the leg.
Lost in the Fog's test results should be made available (to his connections) today, the results are to be compared with previous tests: Lost in the Fog undergoes tests:
Results of the detailed physical examination, which took an hour on Thursday afternoon, won't be known for 24 hours until blood work is analyzed and comparisons are made between the ultrasound examination with previous tests.
For those considering visiting Fair Hill this weekend, check the weather! You are still welcome to visit us, be at Parlo 1 at 8 am, but if there is wet weather it will not be as much fun, and there won't be too much activity.
Posted by Alex at 9:04 AM
| Comments (488)