Barbaro Updates: 110
updates are now here.
Update 884: Barbaro "mania" continues as Barbaro is on the Today Show, the front page of the Wilmington News Journal (update 883) and Channel 4 news in New York (I think from an e-mail I received). Five months!
A lovely morning at Fair Hill, and certainly crisp. For me work has quietened down considerably (phew). First set I galloped a 2yo in company a mile and a quarter. Both went very nice and evenly. This was after a day off after their first "work", so it could have been anything but relaxing. For the second set I just shedrowed a horse. She will do this for a couple of days before going to the track. The third set, well I could not wait for this. He was going to the gate. The gate crew are big Eagles fans. I wear my Brett Favre shirt with pride everyday day from fall to spring. Well all I can say is after yesterday's football the banter at Fair Hill this morning is quite fun! (and the horse was good in the gate, then worked a half).
As I was behind the gate I got to talking to Fen, who gallops for Graham Motion (and gallops Film Maker). Film Maker and Better Talk Now both worked yesterday on the turf (steeplechase track) and went well. They are due to ship to Keeneland tomorrow (fly) and will likely have one more work this weekend as they prepare for the respective Breeders' Cup races.
No Barbaro update yet, will know more about when that will happen when I get back from Fair Hill after my last set.
Update 883: A nice article on Barbaro and New Bolton Center in general: Kentucky Derby winner's spirit wins over medical staff. The following is an excerpt:
"He definitely has a personality," said Kasey McCafferty, the charge nurse in the intensive care unit and natal intensive care unit at the hospital. "He has bit me and kicked me. He can be feisty. He's not nasty and he's not trying to hurt anybody, but he's a stinker. He can get full of himself.
"Every time you see him, you have to pay attention because he's always messing with you. He makes you prove that you know what you're doing. Once you do that, he's fine."
McCafferty was laughing when she said that, as she looks forward to seeing him every day.
She watches him bend his ears back and scrunch up his face like a kid trying to avoid eating spinach when he doesn't like something. She said he breaks out in a sort of smile when he decides he wants to have some fun with the staff.
A quick reminder that today's update will be later today now that Michael is in Keeneland preparing Round Pond for the Breeders' Cup.
Update 882: Just spoke to Sabina Pierce, who is now out of hospital and back at home. Sabina is very grateful for all the support she has received from the site.
Update 881: No update for Barbaro this evening. I just spoke to Peter who had no further information since this morning. It is likely that as we approach the Breeders' Cup updates will likely be once a day now that Michael is in Keeneland.
Update 880: Collier Hill took the Sky Classic in Woodbine: Collier Hill digs deep to hold off Go Deputy in Canadian International. I have to confess I did not see the race, but I am so psyched Dean McKeown rode the winner. I worked with Dean many years ago at Richard Whitaker's. It was a time when Richard's stable was pretty decent. I am not sure of its status now, but then we had Orient, Clantime, Jo Sugden and Tobermory Boy. Basically some pretty good sprinters. Dean was the stable jockey, coming up from Newmarket where he could not buy a winner. When he came to Richard's he had his three horses to look after and basically rebuilt his riding career. He is also a great horseman, and a good guy. Anyway, I have not followed his career much since I have been to the US, but I assume this is a big winner for him. Another person working at Richard's that same year is my Beeders' Cup host, Bob Hatfield. Basically not only did we have a pretty good year at Richard's, but it was fun too.
I went to the Fair Hill Three Day event today for a couple of hours. It turned out one of the competitors was someone I knew when I was a kid in England, Robin Walker. Unfortunately he was eliminated before the final day so I did not get a chance to catch up (either that or he just decided not to compete in the final leg). May be I will get over there a little earlier next year!
Update 879: Another comfortable night last night for Barbaro (saturday night). I just spoke to Peter, who had heard from Michael, who had heard from Dr. Richardson.
update sunday, october 22, 11:00 am
Update 878: Today's big race is in Canada: Sky Conqueror aims to keep on rolling in Canadian International. As the name of the race suggests, it does attract plenty of international interest. Here is Sue McMullen's preview of the horses running in the race that have traveled from Europe:
Included in the European line-up for today's Canadian International at Woodbine are the Aga Khan's mare Kastoria, trained by John Oxx who wouldn't take a horse across the Irish Sea on a wild goose chase let alone the Atlantic, plus the daughter of Selkirk is in great form having won her last three including the Group 1 Irish St Leger (beating Yeats who is due to run in the Melbourne Cup), a Listed race and a Group 3, when she beat another in this field, the grand old veteran Collier Hill who at eight-years-old has won 13 of 43 races, including two over jumps and been placed 16 times (10 seconds) winning more than Â£1 million in prize money. This extraordinary and consistent individual is trained by Alan Swinbank in Yorkshire and although he doesn't exactly have a typical profile of a horse running at Group level nobody's told him that and he even mixes it occasionally with the 'big boys', including a valiant second to Japanese superstar Heart's Cry in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March. Good luck to the old boy and what marvellous fun his owners must have shuttling around Europe, Dubai and now Canada to watch him.
Blue Monday is a definite danger among the overseas raiders, having been only a length third behind David Junior (who heads for the BC Classic) in the Coral Eclipse, third in the Juddmonte International and won his last start, the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Arc Trial at Newbury. Another to fly the flag for the UK is also the youngest horse in the field, the Galileo three-year-old The Last Drop who ran second to Sixties Icon in the St Leger.
Update 877: Today's update will be delayed. Michael is on his way to Keeneland (Round Pond is there preparing for the Breeders' Cup). I will call Peter later today to get an update. Its likely coming up to the Breeders' Cup updates will be later in the day.
While we are waiting I thought you might enjoy this quick conversation Michelle Matz had with Eduardo Hernandez, Barbaro's groom. I had asked Michelle if she could ask Eduardo a few questions for us as Michelle speaks great spanish. Here is the brief conversation:
Michelle: When did you start taking care of Barbaro, and what were your initial impressions?
Eduardo: I started taking care of him last year in December. He was a very happy horse.
Michelle: When did you realize Barbaro was "special" ?
Eduardo: I realized he was a great horse after he won the Tropical Park Derby at Calder.
Michelle: What were your thoughts when you won the Kentucky Derby?
Eduardo: I was very happy, and I wanted to keep on winning.
Michelle: What are your thoughts now as Barbaro continues his recovery?
Eduardo: I am very happy he is recovering well. I really just want him to keep getting better.
Five months and counting.