Barbaro Updates: 122
updates are now here.
Update 973: Tim's horse Redaspen won a nice stake race last night at the Meadowlands. Congrats Tim! Barbaro update will be later today as has been routine lately.
Update 972: Peter Brette visited barbaro today (friday) and all remains well. An upbeat report.
I just arrived in Louisville, KY and am waiting for my host, Bob, to come pick me up at the airport. Really looking forward to tomorrow. (friday 6:10pm)
Update 971: Another comfortable night for Barbaro last night (Thursday night). I just spoke to Peter Brette. Peter may visit Barbaro later today so I'll try to catch up with him again for another update.
Update 970: Just caught up with Doug O'Neill, trainer of Lava Man. I asked him:
Me: Why did you come to Kentucky early and your thoughts on the Polytrack at Keeneland and how Lava Man is doing:
Doug: I wanted to get the plane ride out of the way. I wanted to get Lava Man settled. He had trained in California on the Cushion Track and he was happy training on that surface so it made sense to train on the Polytrack. He worked really well over it. Lava Man could not be doing any better right now. His typical training routine is to jog a mile and gallop about a mile and a half.
Me: Thoughts on the Classic:
Doug: Many people are calling it a two horse race, but I think it is wide open. Lawyer Ron has a huge chance. The turf miler from europe (George Washington) scares me, this is a much deeper field that people give credit.
Me: What is it like to train a horse like Lava Man?
Doug: Its great being around a champion. He does something special all the time, every time you lead him over there. Everyone wishes they would have a horse like this.
Me: On Barbaro
Doug: It was obviously very unfortunate, but Barbaro has really brought a lot of good to the sport. Many people now looking at racing can see we are caring people, and technology has really moved forward.
Doug: Say high to Andy for me.
Note Andy Durnin provided me Doug's cell phone number (and Steve Willard's, Gary Steven's etc. etc.).
Update 969: Eight horses ridden. Now waiting for the shuttle to the airport, flight to Pittsburg and then on to Louisville, to arrive about 6 pm.
Sue McMullen sent this e-mail:
It would be unfair to omit French filly Germance (Christophe Soumillon) who slipped under the radar for my preview of Euro runners as she was already in the US, having shipped from Keeneland after her fourth to Vacare in the Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup. Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget the Silver Hawk filly is very good, winning five of her starts this year including a Group 1 at Longchamp but she will need to improve to get past an in-form Ouija. Reports on the latter are bullish as she is doing very well at Churchill but they have taken each race at a time with her waiting for her to show that she's had enough of a long season shuttling around the world and some hard battles. Trainer Ed Dunlop this week told journalists who expressed these fears that she is "no ordinary horse."
A final word on our 'Gorgeous George', Aiden O'Brien this week told journalists at a press conference that they believe they have absolutely nothing to lose going for the Classic as they would have expected George to win the Mile. With the absence of Barbaro it would be wonderful if George can overcome everything and reproduce his talent on the dirt and able to take on Bernadini. What a race that could be.
Update 968: Lots of articles, in no particular order.
Racing: Shadow of Barbaro stalks Bernardini's march to greatness
Meaningful win for Matz, Prado
Bernardini awaiting his biggest challenge
Bernardini Still In Barbaro's Shadow
Matz's return trip already a winner
A dark day Matz can't forget
Michael Matz wishes Barbaro could be here
I may have one more short interview before I leave for the Breeders' Cup. The Barbaro update will be later this morning - early after, and I will continue to post Barbaro updates as I have them while in Kentucky.