Barbaro Updates: 83
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