Sunday June 4
Update 59: Barbaro had another good night last night (saturday night). I spoke to Martine (exercise rider of Michael Matz) on the track this morning, who gave me the good news; that Michael had received another positive report from Dr. Richardson. I later saw Michael who confirmed the news.
update, sunday 8:10 am
Update 60: No new news to report for sunday evening. Spoke to Peter and Kim Brette late afternoon, and they were busy painting their deck. They had not visited Barbaro today, but certainly would have heard something if there was different news to report. Two weeks have now passed since the surgery, lets hope things continue as they have done so thus far.
Update 61: The Bloodhorse has a nice article on Peter Brette: Assistant Trainer Brette Maintains His Composure in Triumph and Tragedy. The article discusses Peter's career before working for Michael Matz (via Dubai), and the special relationship he and Michael have developed. The following excerpt notes the story of the two soldiers who delivered the american flag to the wounded warrior, we mentioned in update 52 as well as the special relationship between Peter and Michael.
Brette still can't believe all the attention the colt's injury and recuperation has received around the world. "It's unbelievable how many people he's touched," he said. "Some soldiers came the other day with an American flag that was sent for him from Iraq. And that's over at New Bolton now. They flew 19 hours from Iraq and drove another three hours just so he could have this flag."
It is rare to find the kind of relationship Matz and Brette have had in only a little over a year together. During that time they have formed a special bond and trust that has enabled the soft-spoken and low-key Matz to go about his business with the serenity and peace of mind that befits his personality.
Monday June 5
Update 62: Barbaro continues to do well, he had another good night last night (sunday night). I met Michael Matz's 'set' coming back from the track this morning, and received the good news. On a (somewhat) unrelated note, as I was jogging by the 3/16ths of the main track first set (6:05 am) I saw a fox (vixen) and what appeared to be three cubs playing.
update: monday, 7:15 am
Update 63: The new Bolton Center press release confirms that Barbaro is continuing to do well. The release also discusses gifts from unlikely sources:
Concern and support for Barbaro continues to pour in, often from unexpected sources. After seeing a photo of Barbaro lowered in our special equine recovery pool last month, the Notre Dame Masters Swim team --in support of a fellow athlete--made a donation for maintenance of the pool.
The release then goes on to discuss the importance of the recovery pool in the process of bringing a patient out of anesthesia without injury. Yesterday, the Bloodhorse provided an update: Barbaro Walks Stall, Munches Huge Carrots which included the following excerpt:
The colt remains on stall rest and spent parts of Sunday walking around the stall, peering out the window and eating carrots that were sent as a gift.
"Each carrot was almost equivalent to that small bag you buy in the grocery store," said Dr. Corinne Sweeney, executive director of the hospital.
Update 64: Just spoke to Peter Brette, who visited Barbaro again today (monday afternoon). Another positive report, so it looks like another good day for Barbaro! This is good news for all of us, but specifically those who are finding it hard to focus on anything else ... even their pending wedding (Shannon: comment 139)
Tuesday June 6
Update 65: Another good night for Barbaro last night (monday night). Took me a while to get the update this morning, but thanks to Annie for helping me get it (from Michael, from Dr. Dean Richardson).
update tuesday, 8:35 am
Update 66: The Bloodhorse notes Belmont Patrons Can Sign 'World's Largest Get Well Card' for Barbaro. If you go to the Belmont I assume you will be signing the card. I had planned to go, but have since decided to stay at home. It seems Edgar Prado will be kicking off the signing at 10 AM. In 'opinions' Joe Clancy (who is often seen at fair Hill) writes a wonderful piece: More Than We Know (thanks Chris) which includes the following excerpt:
Thanks to Barbaro, they know more now. They realize the training center, situated within a 5,600-acre state property, houses Thoroughbreds worth millions. They also get why the training center succeeds. Who wouldn't want to live, work, and play at Fair Hill? Horse, human, deer, bird, groundhog, it doesn't matter. When Matz extolled the virtues of open fields, hills, and places for a Thoroughbred to train, a reporter asked if the workouts were timed.
It is certainly a great place to ride horses, and Joe forgot about the Foxes!
Annie (Michael Matz exercise rider) also left a comment last night, which included the following excerpt:
Life at the barn still goes on, but we wait every morning for the report from New Bolton. At around 6.30am Its always a welcome relief to hear he is doing so well. I know it makes my job a little easier knowing the Big Horse has gotten another night under his belt [so to speak].
Update 67: The Thoroughbred Times has an excellent article: Matz groom Orozco recalls harrowing moments at Preakness that highlights the immediate reactions of those at Pimlico at the time of the horrific incident. Clearly we make decisions in fleeting moments that make have long term consequences, and perhaps Rafael Orozco's decision to get to Barbaro soonest may have helped significantly in the recovery process. The following is an excerpt:
"I want to help," Orozco said. "I see that when he passed in front of me that his rear right leg was broke and I said, 'Oh my God' and I [ran] out there.
"The jockey tried to pull him up, you know, and my only reaction was to help Barbaro. I don't want him to fall down and hurt his leg more or something."
People doing what they do because that is what they do.
Update 68: Spoke to Peter Brette, after he had just finished evening feed. He was unable to visit Barbaro today but spoke to Michael earlier and things seem to remain positive. Its been a week since they stopped the antibiotics, which seems to be very positive. I saw Kim (Brette, Peter's wife) in the local shop this morning (Prizzios) and while we discussed how positive things are to this point, we also concluded that there really is still a very long way to go. Lets hope things continue as they have progressed thus far!
Wednesday June 7
Update 69: Another good night for 'Bobby' last night (tuesday night). I called over to Michael Matz's barn this morning as I was leaving our barn and Annie gave the thumbs up. Barbaro continues to do well.
update: wednesday, 8:35 am
Update 70: I caught up with Dr. Kathy Anderson (Barbaro's Fair Hill vet) this morning and quizzed her on the cast situation. I was curious to know the 'risks' to the cast replacement and when it was likely to happen, as well as the rationale for leaving it on for this length of time. This is what I learned from our conversation:
a. its great the cast has been on so long, it enables the healing process, so the longer he can remain in this cast the better, but its likely that after about 3 weeks it may need changing.
b. the risks to the change in cast include the need for the second cast to be an exact fit, thus allowing the current healing process to continue, and avoiding the potential for rub marks appearing (if the fit is not good) which may in turn cause infection.
Kathy also mentioned that Fox News will be doing a story on Barbaro this friday, 5:45 eastern. Kathy will be interviewed for that story.
The following Mercury News story: Barbaro's injuries are deja vu for one Kentucky veterinarian notes Nureyev's paddock accident which was similarly catastrophic. Dr. J.D. Howard, the surgeon for Nureyev, discusses many of the issues they needed to overcome as he discussed the recovery of Nureyev, the following is an excerpt:
But as Howard knows all too well, Barbaro's journey will be a long and trying one. He just hopes the colt's connections can witness the same miraculous comeback he was a part of some 19 years ago.
"It's going to be a long deal and hopefully there won't be any setbacks," Howard said of Barbaro. "One day you think you've got it beat and the day after, you want to vomit. You just never know what the next day will bring.
"Hopefully, this horse won't have to experience that."
Update 71: Spoke to Peter Brette this afternoon, and while he was unable to visit, the reports seem to remain the same (very positive at this early stage). He plans to visit tomorrow, as does Pennsylvania Gov. Ed. Rendell. Received a cool 'slide show to music' file (not sure how best to describe it) of Barbaro. Will attempt to post it online in the next day or so.
Update 72: We have added a Barbaro 'multi media' page. We hope to include a variety of media about Barbaro on this page, created by his fans. Thanks Debra Lopez (Wisconsin) for the first solicitation.
Thursday June 8
Update 73: Another good night for Barbaro (wednesday night). Spoke to Michael Matz this morning, who then had to check his messages to see if Dean (Dr. Richardson) had called. With the visit of Ed Rendell today, Fox News coverage tomorrow and the Belmont on saturday, I am sure there will be plenty of (mainstream) media updates, which we will aggregate and post here (as well as reports from Peter etc.) Just a quick 'reminder' about our new Barbaro Multimedia page. Debra Lopez's work has already solicited five comments, including this:
OMG, that was so beautiful. I had to watch it twice, since the first time I had so many tears I couldn't see it. I was wondering who sings that song, it's so touching and says everything we are feeling.
update thursday, 8:38 am
Update 74: I know many of us have been waiting for the official word from New Bolton, here is their latest release, June 8, confirming what we heard this morning. The following is an excerpt:
Barbaro's medical team reported that the colt is doing extremely well, and has been especially frisky today, displaying interest in nearby mares that are also at the Hospital.
The release also includes information about his special visitor (Ed Rendell) and a gift:
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell stopped by this morning to give Barbaro his good wishes and to personally present Jim Riepe, president of the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees, with a check for $13.5 million for the New Bolton Center. The funds will be used toward the completion of new medical facilities at the Center, including a new isolation building, a colic barn and a chemical digestion facility.
Update 75: Some new pictures of Barbaro from the Governor Ed. Rendell visit. A nice article from The Kennett Paper: Barbaro has brought worldwide attention to New Bolton Center notes the impact Barbaro has had at New Bolton and the overwhelming response he is receiving worldwide:
"I don't think we've ever seen or imagined having a patient that the whole world cared about in such a unique way, and I don't think we'll ever see it again,' said Corinne R. Sweeney, associate dean for the New Bolton Center and the hospital's executive director.
The article notes the types of gifts Barbaro has received, and also the openness to sharing his recovery updates, that has been the approach adopted by his owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson. (We certainly appreciate that!)
Update 76: Just spoke to Peter Brette who visited Barbaro after work today (and thus after Ed Rendell). He reports Barbaro is in great shape, Dr. Richardson is very happy with him, and apparently he performed very well for the cameras earlier in the day. Another good day in a long journey.
Friday June 9
Update 77: No official update yet this morning. I spoke to Michael and others, and we suspect Dean (Richardson) may actually be away for a couple of days, hence the reason he did not call. As Anne Kelly said, we are assuming no news is good news. (Obviously cannot confirm that). Will update once I hear something more definitive. On another note, more than a few people at fair Hill were excited to see the Barbaro piece by Debra Lopez : Our Prayer for Barbaro. Anne and I were discussing it as we were walking to the track (she loved it); Penny (Tim Woolley's wife) asked me if I could imagine what it was like watching four women cry (she was viewing it from her office I think). Tim was very impressed (should this not be on TV ?) and Kim (Brette) left a comment after watching it with her family. Thanks Debra, your work has touched many people.
Update 78: Just spoke to Kathy Anderson (Barbaro's Fair Hill vet.) She had not heard anything yet today (Dean Richardson is away) but she is visiting this afternoon, so I will call her again later (Kathy assumes all is well). She did mention a few things of interest:
a. Barbaro was actually rearing up during the Pennsylvania Governor's visit yesterday (the cast must really work!)
b. The gift yesterday was a gift that was in the works, but certainly Barbaro's presence helped 'close' the transaction
c. There is whisper of another gift, thanks to Barbaro (need to explore this)
The Fox News piece is still planned for later today (5:45 pm east coast) but Kathy is no longer being interviewed for the piece.
Update 79: New Bolton's press release today confirms Barbaro's continuing good progress (its good to know no news this AM did mean good news). It begins:
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro continues to please veterinarians at the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals with his progress on this day before the running of the finale of horse racing's triple crown.
The release also notes that TV coverage of the Belmont tomorrow will include footage of Barbaro recuperating in his stall at New Bolton.
On another note, I was talking to a friend this afternoon who noted that Barclay Tagg (Funny Cide fame, also trainer for the Jackson's, past exercise rider of Ruffian in her very early career) mentioned, shortly after seeing Barbaro win his first stakes race in Maryland, that he considered it the best performance he had seen since Secretariat!
Update 80: Just saw the Fox News piece, which turned out to be an interview with Michael Matz. The most important aspect of the interview (I think) was the first question ... how is Barbaro doing ? The answer: looks good, appropriate weight on the injured leg, vital signs good etc. (so that is our most recent update). I think Michael did a great job, especially the answer to the question of whether a horse other than Barbaro would have received the same treatment. It was a short interview, but glad to get the update!
Other quick things: the Bloodhorse has an article: Dr. Bramlage Looks Back on Barbaro's Preakness that notes the importance of keeping people up to date with the news as it unfolds, which has been an ongoing aspect to this entire story:
"I think our ontrack vet program worked great that day," Bramlage noted. "The worse thing for viewers is not to have any information. I think we were accurate, gave the best information we had, and made people as comfortable as possible. It was a bad injury and we had to tell people that.
Finally TimesUnion.com has a story: Barbaro still on Prado's mind that highlight's Edgar Prado's 'state of mind' as he rides the Belmont:
"When I am in the jockeys' room before the Belmont, my thoughts will be with Barbaro," Prado said. "But when I go out and do my business, he will stay here, in the jocks' room. After the race I will think about him again."
Saturday June 10 (Belmont Day)
Update 81: Another good night last night for Barbaro (friday night). Just spoke to Michael Matz who had just received word. More updates later, but have to run and get on two more horses and (hopefully) watch england win our first world cup game!
update: saturday, 8:40 am
Update 82: Belmont Day which obviously reminds us all of the horrific accident of three weeks ago. Lets hope the Belmont afternoon is great racing without incident. I am sure there will be plenty of Barbaro coverage this afternoon on ESPN and ABC so we will keep an eye out for it. If anyone reading this is attending Belmont today, it would be great to post your 'reports' in the comments section, especially surrounding the get well card and other Barbaro stuff. While Fair Hill is not represented in the big race, Miraculous Miss, trained by Steve Klesaris, is running in the Acorn, so we will be rooting for her.
Peter Brette is planning to visit Barbaro this afternoon so we will try to catch up with an update later. (Note, Kathy Anderson did not end up visiting yesterday, hence no 'report', although she did talk to someone who did visit Barbaro, and he was fine.)
Update 83: The ESPN 2 broadcast yesterday included a story on Hoist The Flag, and comparisons to Barbaro. The story noted Hoist The Flag's spectacular early career (undefeated, his jockey Jean Cruguet noting he was the best he had ridden, and he rode Seattle Slew) and horrific accident, prior to the triple crown. His injuries appear to be similar to Barbaro's catastrophic injuries, and the decision to try to save the horse was going to involve the need for truly ground breaking work. He went on to become a (very) successful sire. The following article (thanks Lynette): The Dream Lives On notes the story in the context of War Emblem's preparation for the Belmont (2002). The following are excerpts:
In March 1971, thoroughbred racing was preparing for a coronation. A magnificent colt named Hoist the Flag was blazing toward the Kentucky Derby, conjuring up images of his grandsire, Triple Crown winner War Admiral. "I don't think he'll ever get beat," raved his jockey, Jean Cruguet, "unless he falls down." As Hoist the Flag scorched through workouts at Belmont Park, onlookers watched with giddy anticipation.
Jenny and Reed had done the impossible. Hoist the Flag survived. He would become an exceptional sire, bequeathing his talent to generations of offspring.
Update 84: If you can, tune into the Belmont TV coverage (ESPN and then ABC), they are doing a fantastic job of providing Barbaro updates. Some great shots of him today, rolling in his stall, getting a bath and more. I am sure they will repeat this later. The horse does look great.
Update 85: Peter Brette decided not to visit Barbaro today given all the media at New Bolton. We, of course, have benefited from the media coverage thanks to ESPN and ABC. He looks great today!