Barbaro Updates: 192
updates are now here.
Update 1414: Just back from grazing Hawty Creek, it continues to be cold outside! I called Peter Brette, the first time we have spoken for a couple of days. Peter appeared fine given the circumstances. I could however tell in his voice that things had been tough for him, but he won't reveal that directly for sure! He did thank me for the site and all it has done ... that was nice. I asked him how Chelokee and Round Pond were after their most recent works, and they appear to be well. Chelokee may be back in the entries soon.
There are many many articles out there, and it will take me a while to get to them, but I like this as it quotes a couple of other trainers: We'll always remember Barbaro's battle, relevant excerpt:
"I think we all will remember Barbaro as one of the best 3-year-olds we've seen, and remember his courage for fighting the past several months," Albertrani said. "This is the first time I've been around to see a horse fight for his life for so long, and have had so many obstacles in his way ... he was a fighter. To see that in a horse, well, actually no one's ever seen that before.
"I think he would have been a great stallion. You normally hope those traits are passed down generation to generation, or at least hope they are to maybe one or two of his offspring. That would have been something special."
Fellow trainer Graham Motion has an interesting perspective on Barbaro and the late colt's stoic trainer, Michael Matz. Both championship-level trainers work out of the secluded northern Maryland training facility at Fair Hill, which was Barbaro's home for much of his racing career.
"Michael keeps his thoughts close to him and shows very little emotion," Motion said. "I realized early this morning when I talked to him just how grave things must have become from the changed tone in his voice."
"Barbaro was every trainer's dream from a racing perspective," Motion added. "And while it's a sad day for everyone involved --- the Jacksons, the people at New Bolton who worked so hard for so long to keep him alive --- it has to be especially sad for Michael. What had to be the best day of his professional life, winning the Kentucky Derby, has turned out to be associated with the saddest of memories with the very same horse. Michael can't ever again recall the happiness of the Derby without the sadness associated with Barbaro's fate."
Update 1413: I went over to New Bolton at Lunchtime. There are some nice flowers displayed in the lobby area. There were also some flowers placed on the outside fence line. There are still some media there and we went to lunch. Actually six of us went to lunch, but only three of us stayed and ate lunch! Jeannine Edwards, John Hennegan (First Saturday in May) and I had some nice conversations about Barbaro, horse racing in general and John's documentary.
When we returned to New Bolton I asked Jeannine and Mike Jensen what is was like to cover a story like Barbaro, and both have covered it pretty extensively. Both agreed yesterday was a hard day for them. Jeannine noted that it was tough to have to ask questions of people who are clearly grieving when on a personal level she has a lot of empathy for their situation, and I think, quite frankly likes the horse like any of us and is very sad about this outcome!
I also ran into Kathy Freeborn and Jennifer Rench of New Bolton. If they are reflective of the entire staffs' mood for the sad loss of Barbaro, then New Bolton is a sad place today.
Dr. Richardson sent me a nice e-mail this morning thanking me for the work we have done on this site, and I hope we continue. He noted he had read the site, if not very often!
Update 1412: It was Fair Hill as usual this morning, but of course it was not usual. The atmosphere was a little subdued, and I suspect quite a few people simply had nothing to say. A few riders offered their thoughts, as did a couple of trainers. Mostly they were just sad that this had to happen to such a wonderful horse who had shown great talent determination and will. Many of us have memories of Barbaro from the good days, when he was a runner. We may have watched his final work before the Preakness (he did not look like he was working, just galloping); or simply watched him graze, without a care in the world, in one of Michael Matz's paddocks two days after destroying the field in the Kentucky Derby. Anyway, I am sure we all remembered our moments and memories this morning.
I rode six, my usual six. They all went well, although it was a bit of a blur. My cell phone rang quite a lot, I talked to a few media people who are becoming friends. Perhaps I should interview them on their attachment to Barbaro. As I was grazing Hawty Creek at the end of the morning a "Fan of Barbaro" stopped by for a chat. It was nice to share a few thoughts.
Off to New Bolton for an hour or so to see how things are over there.
Update 1411: Wide media coverage on the internet of yesterday's very sad news. Likely I will highlight a few throughout the next few days, but here are a couple of the articles to start:
Thoroughbred Times: Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro euthanized, excerpt:
"We were really lucky, really lucky," Gretchen Jackson said. "I just appreciate the heck out of him, and I think he knew it. He was well loved. Such luck; at least heâ€™s out of his damn stall, and running around with Secretariat, I hope."
Philadelphia Inquirer: Kentucky Derby champion Barbaro euthanized, excerpt:
"It is rough, but not to be there is rough," Gretchen Jackson said of being in the stall at the end.
"He's been a friend or whatever, everything to us... I think we've been concerned about him for a while. We just wanted the right moment where he's still himself. I think it had reached the point where it was timely."
There will be more activity at New Bolton today I think. I know Jeannine Edwards is planning to return and Good Morning America is planning to do a piece on Barbaro. Flowers were starting to arrive yesterday afternoon at New Bolton. I remember seeing one young girl with her father, they came to deliver some flowers and good wishes. After Fair Hill I will likely return to New Bolton and see how things are.
Off to Fair Hill, it looks like another chilly morning.