Sunday June 11
Update 86: No official update this morning (I was not able to catch up with the Matz's barn this AM). I will catch up with Peter Brette later, so should have something later in the day. He did look great yesterday on TV. He appeared bright, happy, and not lame as he was moving about. I really think the coverage of Barbaro yesterday was very good.
We are now looking at three weeks since the horrific accident, and it seems all has gone exceptionally well in those three weeks. I was talking with Kathy Anderson yesterday about the critical issues going forward. It seems the next critical 'event' to consider is the changing of the cast, which will likely be in the next week or so (my guess based on our conversation). This will allow the vets a closer look at the healing process, and will also create some risks itself (replacing the cast; Barbaro will need to be anesthetized etc.) So perhaps we should celebrate the progress of the three weeks, but wait cautiously for the cast replacement process.
As far as I am aware, Miraculous Miss is on her way back to Fair Hill. Some scrapes and bruises are known, but it may be a few days before they really know if there are any ill effects from the gate incident in the Acorn.
update, Sunday, 9:25 AM
Update 87: Great article from mercurynews: A tough day for Barbaro's inner circle and followers that offers great details of Barbaro's status and routine, his cast, fondness for his neighbour, and some skin abrasions caused by the sling used in the surgery process. A few excerpts:
Three weeks after the catastrophic injuries to Barbaro's right hind ankle during the first furlong of the Preakness Stakes, the medical team at New Bolton is aware of potential setbacks, knowing that decisions on his future will be made only after his cast comes off for good. But the mood of the place, while still cautious, indicates that Barbaro keeps clearing every hurdle.
"He continues to make remarkable improvement, walking in his stall with his cast," co-owner Gretchen Jackson said last week
"He's using his cast really well," Adams said. "We're all really thrilled with that. It's dry. It's not cracked. It's not worn through at the bottom. All of the staining you see is purely superficial, because it's about 7 or 8 millimeters thick. Nothing's gotten through."
Roy and Gretchen Jackson, who live just down the road in West Grove, come by each day to see the horse, as does Matz, who arrived after running a horse at Delaware Park on Saturday afternoon.
"I changed a bandage in there, groomed him up a little," said Matz, standing just outside the ICU. "It's something that makes him happy."
And that can work both ways. Matz does some grooming each day.
"He was good to us," Matz said, "and we're just trying to return the favor."
Update 88: Just spoke to Peter Brette and he reported Michael (Matz) visited Barbaro today (sunday) and all remains well. Another good day.
Monday June 12
Update 89: Much like update 77 we have no official word yet this morning re: Barbaro, but presume that since we have not heard anything that things are OK. (I asked Michael Matz and his team this morning and as of 7:30 am they had not heard anything.) Would rather post this than not post anything, but will endevour to find at least one update per day going forward, as things progress.
updated: monday, 8:45 am
Update 90: New Bolton's release notes: Beginning today, updates on Barbaro's condition will be made weekly, unless there is a significant change to report. The release also speculates as to why Barbaro has attracted so much public attention, the following is an excerpt:
Why do heroic animals inspire such intense emotions? Partly, I think, because they perform their acts of heroism for us, and not of their own volition. While we may feel intense admiration and concern for human warriors and athletes who put themselves at risk of injury or death, our sympathy is always tempered by the belief that they were aware of the risks and were willing to face them. With animals we cannot shelter realistically behind this assumption.
We will continue to provide updates as we have them from people visiting etc.
Update 91: The following Thoroughbed Times article: Barbaro adjusting to life of constant attention at New Bolton does a good job of illustrating how at ease Barbaro is with his injured leg and supporting cast. We know about the early ear scratching episode, we have heard about him rearing up for the state Govenor, but it also appears he likes to buck too:
"He's got a big personality, he's feisty," said George D. Widener Hospital Executive Director Corinne Sweeney, D.V.M. "I saw him in the stall [Thursday morning] with Dr. Richardson [chief surgeon at Penn's veterinary school] and he actually was bucking for fun--you know those kind of horses--and he is moving around his stall all the time.
ESPN has an article : After Triple Crown, Barbaro is still the one to beat (thanks Lisa) where the connections of the Preakness and Belmont winners presume Barbaro remains the number one three year old, excerpt:
The day after saddling Jazil to victory in the Belmont Stakes, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin believes the injured Kentucky Derby winner most likely will end up the 3-year-old champion.
And Tom Albertrani, who trains Preakness winner Bernardini, agrees – at least for now.
"Barbaro didn't do anything wrong," McLaughlin said Sunday after watching several promising 2-year-olds train over Belmont Park's main track. "He's undefeated except for one race. It would be hard to top him, but we'll give it our best."
We, of course, would agree!
Update 93: Just spoke to Peter Brette, who visited Barbaro today (Monday). Barbaro is doing well, so his status remains the same. I asked Peter if he could investigate the source of the blanket Barbaro was wearing (when filmed on ESPN / ABC) with the signatures etc. It is a blanket from the Kentucky Derby. It has printed on it: 132 Kentucky Derby Winner Barbaro. It includes signatures from many people working at Churchill Downs.
To answer a couple of questions that have come up in the comments lately:
a. We will continue to provide updates as we have them, we hope that is at least once a day
b. Barbaro will not be returning to Fair Hill, simply because Fair Hill is a training center for horses that are running races etc. While I am not privy to plans for the future, it would not make sense to return to a place like Fair Hill. It makes better sense to return to the owner's farm, and then hopefully to a 'stallion station'.
Tuesday June 13
Update 94: It looks like today (tuesday) might be the day they are planning to replace Barbaro's cast. A couple of people close to Barbaro have mentioned this, and given the timeline (3+ weeks) it makes sense given previous conversations. Lets keep our fingers crossed for this process, as we know there are potential risks with this necessary step in the recovery process (the need for anesthesia, the exact fit of the new cast etc). The process will also allow the vets a much closer look at the healing process.
update: 7:50 am, tuesday
Update 95: The cast replacement did happen today. A friend called who had just spoken to Kathy Anderson, who confirmed that Barbaro had the cast replacement this morning. Everything looks good (radiographs, skin etc.) and he is now in the recovery pool, where they will wait for him to come out of the anesthesia.
update 11:30 am
Update 96: Out of the Pool! New Bolton's Press Release: Doctors change Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's cast notes the procedure Barbaro endured today. The following is an excerpt:
Today Chief of Surgery Dean W. Richardson replaced the cast that had been on Barbaro's hind leg since surgery on May 21. "His leg looks excellent," said Dr. Richardson. "The incision has healed well and judging by the radiographs, the graft is opacifying ("taking"). Callus is forming nicely, and all of the implants (plate and screws) look unchanged." The cast was replaced under general anesthesia, and Barbaro had a very smooth pool recovery.(thanks Edie!)
To "celebrate", we have just posted a new "movie" Beautiful Barbaro on our Fan Media page. Thanks Jayne!
Update 97: "Slightly groggy, but happy", as Kathy Anderson said to me in a brief call this afternoon. As far as everyone is concerned, today has gone as well as could be hoped for. Kathy visited with Barbaro this afternoon, and she gave him a good scratch (he was apparently a little itchy). She also viewed the radiographs etc. and as noted in the press release earlier things are starting to do whatever it is they are supposed to do (I am not a vet)!
Update 98: Given the focus on Barbaro today, with his cast replacement, I thought I would highlight this article on Dr. Richardson who has clearly been in the spotlight lately: New Bolton's Dr. Fix-It (thanks Daphne). A short excerpt:
"He knew it was a very bad injury and he knew immediately it was Barbaro," Reid said. "The feeling was indescribable. Being so far away from New Bolton, that bothered Dean. He knew the horse was coming his way."
Calls to Richardson's cell phone flooded in. First the equine vets at Pimlico, then Roy and Gretchen Jackson.
Here is an excerpt of a comment from Erica re: the 'power' of Barbaro:
I was so upset, wondering how I'm going to keep from getting depressed and how I was going to be ready for my marathon. Then... I thought of Barbaro and his great spirit. I thought of how well he has adjusted to a new life, a life of no racing. I thought of the messages that have been posted on this site describing how Barbaro's attitude has been such a big plus for his recovery. Thinking about this made me less sad and less upset.
Finally just to "re highlight" two of the "movies" created by you: Our Prayer for Barbaro and Beautiful Barbaro.
Wednesday June 14
Update 99: No new news yet this morning at Fair Hill, so like other mornings without news we are assuming no news is good news. Peter Brette may get to go and visit Barbaro later today, so if that happens I will get an update from Peter. Miraculous Miss (flipped in the gate in the Acorn) is back at Fair Hill and recovering. It does not appear she sustained any long term physical damage, but a few cuts and bruises.
update wednesday, 10:10 am
Update 100: The following philly.com article: Barbaro gets new cast on shattered leg provides a little more detail on the cast change of yesterday (thanks Lisa). It includes the following excerpt:
Richardson decided to change the cast yesterday, he said, because Barbaro's temperature had risen "half a degree" and the horse was showing signs that the cast was causing itchiness. It turned out Barbaro had two very small rubs on his heel, which wasn't surprising, Richardson said, because he has been so active in his stall. The rubs aren't "of any consequence," the surgeon said.
Barbaro's overall prognosis remains the same. There is optimism at New Bolton, but the crucial indicator is whether the horse can walk pain-free when the cast comes off for good, probably several months down the road.
Caught up with Kim Brette in the local shop this morning. We talked about the relief of yesterday's process. While all visible and outward indicators were positive prior to yesterday's removal of the cast, problems could have been revealed once the cast was removed. This was not the case of course.
Update 101: Just spoke to Peter Brette who visited Barbaro this afternoon (wednesday afternoon). All looks well. They are all very happy with him, he looks bright and well. Phew, took a while to get that update today. On that note, I am traveling to San Francisco tomorrow (coming back on sunday), so while I will endevour to get updates as I have them (and will be busy on my cell phone trying to get them), the timing might be off a little bit. Another good day! Many more days to go.
A little necessary humour (thanks Ernie)
Thursday June 15
Update 102: Another good night for Bobby last night (wednesday night). Dr. Richardson called Michael Matz's early this morning, who then let me know as I was coming to the wood chip track. I also ran into Kathy Anderson this morning (while on another horse) and asked her about whether a horse could live a "pain-free" life with the type of "hardware" Barbaro has in place. The short answer was yes! (then I had to disappear on my horse).
updated thursday, 8:35 AM
Update 103: Knowing Barbaro had another great night last night, and be able to report such before leaving for San Fran. is great. I will try to get in touch with Peter Brette once I get to San Fran. so hopefully will have another update late in the day. I am amazed at the persistent public interest in Barbaro (which is brilliant), and as some have noted in the comments, he is becoming an inspiration for many and possibly a 'platform' for change. Keep the conversation going!
Update 104: Spoke to Peter Brette late this afternoon (Thursday). Barbaro is continuing to do well and is getting more comfortable in his new cast.
Friday June 16
Update 105: No news yet for Barbaro this morning. Tim spoke to Michael Matz's crew and they had not heard anything yet, which seems to be coming more of the 'trend' lately (aside from yesterday morning). I will endevour to get a more concrete update later when I call Peter Brette.
update 9:00 am, friday
Update 106: a couple of nice articles have been posted in the comments. The first: Trainers, owners hold dream of discovering another Barbaro (thanks Ernie) notes the enormous loss the tragedy is to the Barbaro team. The following is an excerpt:
Brette, who rode the son of Dynaformer every morning, is equally convinced of that. "Unfortunately, people really didn't get to see how good he was," he says. "The Kentucky Derby was just the start, not the end for him. He was just going to get better and better."
Brette says the regular visits he and Matz make to Barbaro as he recovers at New Bolton Center in nearby Kennett Square, Pa., help to ease their pain only somewhat.
The second article discusses the visit of two soldiers from Fort Benning: FORT BENNING: Soldiers visit Kentucky Derby winner (thanks Edie) which I am assuming is the same visit we noted in update 52.
It includes the following:
Why a flag?
Because both women felt that the fact Barbaro tried to continue racing despite his obvious pain reminded them of the wounded soldiers they see every day, many of them severly injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Update 107: Just spoke to Peter Brette who has just visited Barbaro (after morning work friday). He is doing well, and apparently listening to some country music!
Saturday June 17
Update 108: Just spoke to Peter Brette who reported that Barbaro had another good night last night (friday night). He continues to do well, of course with a long road ahead.
update saturday, 8:40 am PST
Update 109: Barbaro continues to please everyone with his progress. Just spoke to Peter Brette this afternoon (saturday afternoon). He may visit tomorrow morning, so if so will try to get an update before leaving San Fran. I asked Peter about the origin of his name (someone asked in the comments). Apparently Barbaro is named after a foxhound of Roy Jackson's family. There is a painting of the hounds that includes Barbaro, and apparently his new full brother may be named after another of the hounds.
Update 110: A nice piece of humour as Barbaro responds to his mailbag: Barbaro Responds to Fans (thanks Ernie) Here is an excerpt from one of Barbaro's letters as he discusses his retirement plans:
But don't expect Barbaro to disappear into the sunset! I can command a pretty hefty speaker's fee. I'm actually already in discussions to host a Dr. Phil-style talk show, and I've been invited to speak at the Women's Health Forum at the Chicago Convention Center later this summer. But as for everything else, your guess is as good as mine.
It seems the original updates page is suffering from size issues (or something more technical). Further updates will be posted to this new page. Any comments, thoughts are very welcome as usual. Thanks to MSNs cache for being most current with data to enable me to recover all the "missing" updates!