The Daily Bongo

Horse Racing

Saturday, May 18, 2013 -- Evening

Calumet is Back!
Orb was the favorite for today's 138th running of the Preakness Stakes. He seemed to have a good recovery from the Kentucky Derby, but we all know how successful horses have been in the Triple Crown bid. When he got the rail post for the start, I thought it might be problematic because horses who come from behind can get trapped in traffic. Well, it seems that Orb doesn't like being in traffic, and he wound up finishing fourth in the race today. Gary Stevens, who had retired and then come back to race again, rode Oxbow to a wire-to-wire win in 1:57.54. Itsmylucky Day was second, and Mylute was third. Oxbow ran for Calumet Farm, just like earlier Triple Crown runners, Whirlaway and Citation. So there is no Triple Crown winner again this year.

Orb in the home stretch with Revolutionary in the background

Saturday, May 4, 2013 -- Evening

139th Kentucky Derby
I haven't been watching much horse racing this year, but I have been following some of the stories, so before this year's Kentucky Derby, I was favoring Orb, especially since some of the other front runners were out due to injuries. The race was a muddy one because there had been rain on and off all day. Orb was the favorite amongst the bettors, and my favorite. Orb had won his last four races, with his last win being in the Florida Derby. When the race started today, Orb was all the way at the back of the pack. It seemed like he might have been out of it, but Palace Malice set a fairly face pace (for a muddy track) before finally giving up the lead on the turn into the home stretch. Orb started his run right before the turn for home, and jockey, Joel Rosario, brought the horse up on the outside. Orb finished in a time of 2.02.89. Golden Soul finished second, and Revolutionary was third. This was the first win in seven tries for trainer Shug McGaughey. Now the question is how will Orb do in the Preakness? Is this the year we finally get another Triple Crown winner?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 -- Afternoon

Secretariat Gets the Record
Secretariat winning the 1973 Preakness Stakes Well, it's almost 30 years, but Secretariat was finally vindicated. Back in 1973 when Secretariat won the Triple Crown, he had track records in the Kentucky Derby (1:59 2/5) and the Belmont Stakes (2:24). There was a problem with the official timer at Pimlico, and it recorded Secretariat's winning time as 1:55. The controversy arose when two clockers from the Daily Racing Form clocked Secretariat at 1:53 2/5. The officials at Pimlico, the Maryland Jockey Club, admitted there was a problem with the clock, and recognized the time as 1:54 2/5. This year, Penny Chenery, Secretariat's owner, asked the Maryland Jockey Club to officially review the time. They did, and after having a few companies independently review the videotapes of the race, the Maryland Jockey Club unanimously voted that Secretariat's time should be officially recognized as 1:53, which is a new stakes record. It would have been a track record, but Farma Way sent that in 1991 in the Pimlico Special (1:52 2/5). At least for the hardcore Secretariat fans that are still out there, it is a victory. Ms. Chenery cheered and clapped at the hearing when the judgement was announced.

Saturday, June 9, 2012 -- Evening

Union Rags Wins Belmont
Although there was no Triple Crown, I thought that today's 144th Belmont was an exciting race. Union Rags finally lived up to the hype and won the race by a head. Paynter, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Mike Smith, lead most of the way and kept the pace relatively slow. The final time for the mile and a half was 2:30.42. Unfortunately for Baffert and Smith who were the team for Bodemeister (who was also second in both the Derby and Preakness), Smith allowed Paynter to move away from the rail, making room for Union Rags to sneak through. Smith blamed himself, but I think that he did a great job in all three Triple Crown races. Atigun finished third. I was happy for Union Rags, who was my favorite for the Derby, because it gave Michael Matz, Barbaro's trainer, another Triple Crown win. Yeah, it was a let down to not have a Triple Crown, but hope always springs eternal in the breast of the horse racing fan. Maybe next year!

Photo of I'll Have Another

Friday, June 8, 2012 -- Early Evening

I Won't Have Another
Really disappointing news for all horse racing fans. The folks behind I'll Have Another, owner J. Paul Reddam and trainer Doug O'Neill, announced that the colt would be scratched from tomorrow's Belmont Stakes. It seems that I'll Have Another had a problem with some swelling in his left front leg. To prevent any future problems, or a possible breakdown in the race, they decided to pull the horse out of the race and retire him. This is such bad news for the sport and the race because now there is no interest in the Belmont, and it's a huge letdown for any who hoped for another Triple Crown win. I don't know. I've been hearing folks say that the Triple Crown races are too hard for horses. Weird, because it has been this way since the races started. Maybe breeders aren't trying to get physical characteristics that don't fit in with endurance and physical strength. I know that I'm really disappointed.

Saturday, May 19, 2012 -- Early Evening

137th Preakness Stakes
Today's 137th running of the Preakness Stakes was an exciting one. It was promoted as a match-up between I'll Have Another and Bodemeister. Since Bodemeister had set such a fast pace for the Derby, the thought was that if he just managed to go slower, Bodemeister might have a chance to win. When the horses bounded from the gate, Bodemeister got a good start. Again, he took the lead, but this time, his quarters were slower than the Derby. I'll Have Another also was up in the top few, staying fairly close to Bodemeister. When they came into the stretch, it was obvious that it was going to be a fight between the two. I'll Have Another started his drive, but Bodemeister didn't roll over. It looked like Bodemeister might be able to hold off I'll Have Another, but at the wire, I'll Have Another managed to get his nose in front, winning officially by a neck. It was really thrilling race, with the 1 3/16 miles run in 1:55.94. Creative Cause was back in a fading third, but no one was paying any attention to the rest of the horses. Zetterholm finished in fourth.

Saturday, May 5, 2012 -- Evening

138th Kentucky Derby
This afternoon was the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby. I thought this year was a wide open one because non of the entrants seemed to really have that spark. Union Rags, trained by Michael Matz, was my sentimental favorite because of the Barbar connection. Matz was Barbaro's trainer. Hansen was another favorite just because his owner is such a kook. The owner, Dr. Kendall Hansen, wanted to die Hansen's tail blue for the Derby because he thought that it would look cool for the gray horse to have a blue tail. The temperatures were hot in Louisville, and practically all the horses were sweating up a storm. Bodemeister, ridden by Mike Smith, took the lead, and held it for almost the entire race. However, I'll Have Another came on in the stretch to win by 1 1/2 length in a time of 2:01.83. Bodemeister held on to take second by a neck, and Dullahan was third. The order of the finish for the rest of the field was: Went the Day Well, Creative Cause, Liaison, Union Rags, Rousing Sermon, Hansen, Daddy Nose Best, Optimizer, Alpha, El Padrino, Done Talking, Sabercat, 8-1 third choice Gemologist, Trinniberg, Prospective, Take Charge Indy, and Daddy Long Legs.

Saturday, June 11, 2011 -- Evening

Boring Belmont
The 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes was a bit of a let down. Granted, the quality of the horses in this three year old crop are nothing to write home about. Heavy rains felt over the day resulting in a sloppy track. The sportscasters were pimping both Animal Kingdom and Shackleford, which makes sense since the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The sloppy track favored Shackleford because usually the front runners get in the front, and don't have mud thrown all over them. Once out of the gate, Animal Kingdom stumbled after being crowded by Mucho Macho Man on the outside. Shackleford took the early lead, but in the last part of the stretch drive, he collapsed, letting Ruler On Ice, pass him to win the race by 3/4ths of a length. Stay Thirst finished second, and Brilliant Speed was third. The final time as a slow 2:30.88. Complete finish:
Place Horse
1st Rule On Ice
2nd Stay Thirsty
3rd Brilliant Speed
4th Nehro
5th Shackleford
6th Animal Kingdom
7th Mucho Macho Man
8th Santiva
9th Monzon
10th Master of Hounds
11th Prime Cut
12th Isn't He Perfect

Saturday, May 21, 2011 -- Evening

Shackleford Wins Preakness
Today was the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes. Animal Kingdom, the Kentucky Derby winner, was the favorite. Usually Animal Kingdom took at least six week breaks between races, so coming back within two weeks was a big change up for him. I was not impressed with his effort, and didn't think that Animal Kingdom would do well. Imagine my surprise, when Animal Kingdom made a run down the stretch and almost caught Shackleford, who lead from wire to wire. Shackleford won by a 1/2 length over Animal Kingdom with Astrology finishing third. Time for the 1 3/16 miles was 1:56.47. There won't be a Triple Crown winner this year, but that's not surprising considering the overall mediocrity of the field this year. The complete finish for the race:
Place Horse
1st Shackleford
2nd Animal Kingdom
3rd Astrology
4th Dialed In
5th Dance City
6th Mucho Macho Man
7th King Congie
8th Mr. Commons
9th Isn't He Perfect
10th Concealed Identity
11th Norman Asbjornson
12th Sway Away
13th Midnight Interlude
14th Flashpoint

Saturday, May 7, 2011 -- Evening

Animal Kingdom, winner of the 137th Kentucky Derby
Animal Kingdom on Top
As Tony Kornheiser said in Friday's Pardon the Interruption, with the withdrawal of Uncle Mo from the 137th Kentucky Derby field, the race became a gathering of nags. That was the consensus of most experts. The race was so wide open that maybe seven or more of the 19 horse field stood a good chance of winning the race. After two and a half hours of hearing happy, gooey stories about the women in the race, Rosie Napravnik, jockey of Pants On Fire, Kathy Ritvo, trainer of Mucho Macho Man, and Kathleen O'Connell, trainer of Watch Me Go, we finally got down to the race. The field was bunched up, and favorite, Dialed In was not a factor. Shackleford lead for most of the race and put up a valiant struggle at the finish, but only managed to finish fourth. Animal Kingdom came from behind to win by 2 3/4 lengths in a time of 2:02.04. Nehro was second, a neck in front of Mucho Macho Man, who was 3/4 length in front of Shackleford. The complete finish for the race:
Place Horse
1st Animal Kingdom
2nd Nehro
3rd Mucho Macho Man
4th Shackleford
5th Master of Hounds
6th Santiva
7th Brilliant Speed
8th Dialed In
9th Pants On Fire
10th Twice the Appeal
11th Soldat
12th Stay Thirsty
13th Derby Kitten
14th Decisive Moment
15th Archarcharch
16th Midnight Interlude
17th Twinspired
18th Watch Me Go
19th Comma to the Top

Thursday, May 5, 2011 -- Evening

Kentucky Derby Pole Positions
The Kentucky Derby post positions were drawn this afternoon. Uncle Mo got the number 18 slot. Dialed In, favorite for the 137th running of the Derby. I'm favoring Uncle Mo because he was really doing well until the recent Wood Memorial Stakes. His trainer and owners say that Uncle Mo had a stomach ailment, and that he is 50-50 for the Derby.

Saturday, June 5, 2010 -- Evening

How to Improve the Triple Crown
The biggest discussion about the Belmont Stakes this year has been how irrelevant it is. Over the past 30 years, there hasn't been a Triple Crown winner. Personally, I think that the biggest reason is that the Kentucky Derby is just overrun with horses. Any horse that makes a certain amount of money goes for the Derby. Quality horses that might not have the winnings to make it into the Derby, make it to the Preakness or Belmont, and run the Derby winner into the ground. The announcers on ESPN and ABC mostly talked about how to get a Triple Crown winner. Cutting the Derby field to 14 was the one that I liked. I didn't like the idea of having the Preakness on Memorial Day weekend and the Belmont on the Fourth of July weekend (or on the day).
Drosselmeyer Wins the Belmont
Ice Box was the favorite in 142nd running of the Belmont. I really didn't have a favorite because the field seemed wide open to me. I haven't been impressed with the quality of the three year colts this year. ABC's coverage of the Belmont was extremely crappy. They showed the start of the race with a head on shot of the running. There was no way to tell who was in what position, then as the race progressed, they showed it from the grandstand (or that's how distant it looked). Then they showed it from the Blimp. Meanwhile, the guy calling the race sucked. He did a crappy job of saying who was winning the race as they headed down the homestretch. In the end, Drosselmeyer won by 3/4th's of a length. Fly Down was second, and early leader, First Dude, finished third. Ice Box finished in sixth place. First Dude did not set a blistering pace, and he still had something left in the end, but not enough to win. The best thing about Drosselmeyer winning was that it gave Mike Smith, his jockey, his first win in thirteen tries. Trainer Bill Mott got his first Triple Crown race win too. The time for the mile and a half was an extremely slow 2:31.57.

Sunday, May 16, 2010 -- Evening

Lookin At Lucky Is Indeed Lucky
I hate to admit it, but I have been so busy with a new house that I just purchased that I totally forgot that the Preakness was on Saturday. I was reminded when I heard the results, but of course, that was after the fact. It's not that I was oblivious to the race. After all, I had been hearing reports of Calvin Borel claiming that he would win the Triple Crown this year, which I thought was funny because Super Saver, the Kentucky Derby winner, didn't seem so impressive to me. In fact, I think that Super Saver benefitted from a muddy track and an open rail. Super Saver was definitely not on my radar as a Triple Crown winner. Super Saver started the Preakness as the favorite, but tired badly through the race, and wound up finishing 8th. Lookin At Lucky took the lead at the start of the home stretch and held off First Dude, who finished second, and third place finisher, Jackson Bend by three quarters of a length. Lookin At Lucky won by 1:55.47. First Dude finished a head in front of Jackson Bend. Trainer Bob Baffert has already said that Lookin At Lucky will skip the Belmont and race in the Haskell Invitational on August 1 at Monmouth Park.

Saturday, May 1, 2010 -- Evening

136th Running of the Kentucky Derby
Today was the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby. It was a bit of a let down this year because Eskendereya was scratched from the race early in the week because of a leg injury. The problem was described as a swelling in the left front leg, and Todd Pletcher wanted to play it save by taking Eskendereya out of the running. Then it rained today. The announcers at NBC were saying in the utterly boring two and a half broadcast before the race that over two inches of ran had come down today. The track was muddy, and that instantly signaled to me that the traditional favorite was not likely to win today. Fortunately for Todd Pletcher, he scored his first ever Kentucky Derby win with 8-1 Super Saver. Super Saver was ridden by Calvin Borel, who knows the ins and outs of Churchill Downs better than any other Derby jockey. Borel took Super Saver up along the rail, and scored a 2 1/2 length victory over Ice Box. Paddy O'Prado was third. Favorite Lookin At Lucky broke from the number one post position and cut off and jostled around several times at the start, even having to be pulled up twice when openings in front of him were cut off. Lookin At Lucky finished sixth, and one of Pletcher's four entries, filly, Devil May Care, finished tenth. The winning time for the mile and a quarter was a slow, 2:04.45. I suppose that's not so bad for a muddy, sloppy track.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 -- Morning

Rachel Is The Man
The 2009 Eclipse Award presentation was held last night in California. The big news, of course, was the Horse of the Year award, with Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta as the only finalists. Rachel Alexandra won with 130 votes to Zenyatta's 99. It was a difficult decision, but I can understand the vote. Rachel won all eight of her races compared to Zenyatta who only raced in five races this year, also winning all of them. Rachel Alexandra totally dominated the three year old filly AND three year old colt competition. She was the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness and the first filly ever to win the Woodward Stakes against 3 year old and older males. In addition, she won the Haskell, another race against the boys. When you put in three wins against male horses to Zenyatta's one race, and win, against the boys, you have to give Rachel Alexandra the edge. In addition to the Horse of the Year honors, Rachel Alexandra was named Champion Three Year Old Female of the year, and Zenyatta won Champion Older Female (older than three years.) Summer Bird was Champion Three Year Old Male, and Gio Ponti, Champion Older Male. We also learned over the weekend that Zenyatta would be back to race in 2010. Zenyatta was wowing observers with her workout times at Hollywood Park, so it looks as if she hasn't lost her form.

Saturday, November 7, 2009 -- Evening

Classic Zenyatta

Today was the Breeder's Cup Classic, the mile and a quarter race for three-year-old and up horses. Zenyatta was the favorite for the race, and generating a huge amount of buzz. Everyone was talking about girl power and how good the undefeated mare is. I was glued to the TV to see if Zenyatta would remain undefeated. If you haven't seen Zenyatta in action, you are missing out. The mare is a dark bay/brown, around 17.5 hands (which is huge for a Thoroughbred, let alone a female), and loves to prance in the saddling area and the post parade. Today, she was prancing even more than usual. She seemed to know that the crowd was there for her, and she was making the most of her celebrity. Mike Smith, her jockey for 11 of her 14 races, said that it was nothing out of the ordinary, but that she did seem more jazzed than usual, and he couldn't wait to see what she would do. There were problems during the loading of the horses. Quality Road really freaked out and absolutely refused to go into the gate. The starters blindfolded him and lead him in, but at that point, Quality Road lost it. He started kicking his rear legs and kicked the front of the gate. They had to scratch him at that point because Quality Road was hysterical and had cut his hind leg. They unloaded the horses, and then reloaded them because they had been standing in the gate for so long. When the finally broke, Zenyatta did not break well. She broke on the wrong lead and was trailing the field. I wasn't too concerned because I know that Zenyatta can put on a burst of speed. As they made the turn into home, she was still in the middle of the pack with a wall in front of her. But Smith threaded her through the crowd, got her to the outside, and Zenyatta just took off, passing all the others to win by a length in 2:00.62. As Smith said after the race, she didn't even come out of third gear. Smith said that Zenyatta is the best horse he has ever ridden, and the best horse ever. I would have to say that I would give Zenyatta is something else. It's too bad that we weren't able to see Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra face off, and since this might be Zenyatta's last race, we might never see it. Gio Ponti was second by 1 1/4 lengths over Twice Over. The order of the rest was Summer Bird, Colonel John, Richard's Kid, Awesome Gem, Regal Ransom, Mine That Bird, Rip Van Winkle, Einstein, Girolamo.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 -- Evening

Zenyatta's owners, Jerry and Ann Moss, and trainer, John Shirrefs, have decided to enter the undefeated five year old mare in the Breeder's Cup Classic. This will be her first race against the boys, but she loves the Santa Anita track and has been working out quite well. Zenyatta is the favorite, and I will be glued to the TV on Saturday to see how she does. Mine That Bird, Summer Bird, Quality Road, and Rip Van Winkle will also be running in the mile and a quarter race.

Saturday, September 5, 2009 -- Evening

Rachel is The Man!
Rachel Alexandra had a date with the older boys in today's Woodward Stakes at Saratoga. The race wasn't on any of the regular channels, but it was on TVG. Rachel Alexandra was the favorite, and she broke well. She also took off like dogs were at her heels. She had a time of :22.85 for the first quarter and :46.41 for the half mile. I was starting to get worried because that was an extremely fast pace for a 1 1/8 mile race. As they made the tern into the final stretch, the other horses started to charge, but Calvin Borel and Rachel Alexandra weren't done yet. She dug her heels in, and put on a valiant fight for the win. And win she did. Rachel held off Macho Again to win by a head in 1:48.29. It was a great demonstration. It was an incredibly impressive feat because this the first times since 1887 that a three year old filly took on older horses and won. Also, it broke the Saratoga jinx of being the burial ground for favorites. Bullsbay finished third, followed by Asiatic Boy, It's a Bird, Past the Point, Cool Coal Man, and Da' Tara.

Monday, August 3, 2009 -- Evening

Rachel Alexandra Beats the Boys...Again
Rachel Alexandra was one of seven horses running in the 41st running of the mile and an eighth Haskell Invitational Handicap at Monmouth Park yesterday. The heavens had opened, drenching the track. But that didn't stop our intrepid heroine from showing up the boys. Munnings took the early lead, but Rachel Alexandra, and Belmont winner, Summer Bird, kept pace with him. Rachel Alexandra on the outside, and Summer Bird on the rail. Calvin Borel kept Rachel Alexandra in third place until the turn into home, and then he let her go. She swept past the other two horses and started to pull away, winning by six lengths in a fast 1:47.21. The time was impressive considering the condition of the track. Summer Bird finished in second with Munnings taking third. The question is what will be Rachel's next race? it might be the Travers later this month at Saratoga. All we do know is that Rachel Alexandra's owner, Jess Jackson (also owner of Curlin) has said it won't be the Breeder's Cup. Why? Because Jackson is not a huge fan of the synthetic track at Santa Anita, this year's Breeder Cup host track. Rachel Alexandra is very impressive. It's not common for fillies to beat the colts, and to do so consistently and effortlessly. What a horse!

Sunday, June 28, 2009 -- Afternoon

Rachel Alexandra
Yesterday was the 1 1/8th mile Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park. Rachel Alexandra was entered, and only two other fillies were entered against her. Malibu Prayer took the early lead and set a fast pace. She was followed closely by Flashing. Rachel Alexandra waited behind them and made her move around the turn to home. At that point, neither of the other two had anything left in the tank. Rachel Alexandra galloped easily to a 19 and 1/2 length win in 1:46.33. Malibu Prayer finished in second place 12 1/4 lengths ahead of Flashing. There do not seem to be any challengers in the filly realm for Rachel Alexandra.

Saturday, June 6, 2009 -- Early Evening

Today was the 141st running of the Belmont Stakes. All the talk this week was of a jockey triple crown (as if one existed) because Calvin Borel was back on Mine That Bird. So everyone was thinking that Mine That Bird would win the race because a mile and a half is well suited to a horse that comes from behind. Also, Mine That Bird's sire was Birdstone who won the 2004 Belmont. As the horses were being lead to the paddock before the race, you could see that Mine That Bird was agitated. He was acting alot more nervous, nowhere near as calm as before the other races. When the race started, Dunkirk took the lead. Mine That Bird was dead last at that point. However, coming down the backstretch, Borel let Mine That Bird start to run. Now the thing to keep in mind is that the homestretch at Belmont Park is lengthy, and when Mine That Bird took the lead early in the homestretch, things weren't looking good. Dunkirk, for one, didn't give up, and Summer Bird, another son of Birdstone, was coming up on the outside. Mine That Bird gave up the lead, and Summer Bird just blew by him and Dunkirk. Summer Bird won by 2 3/4 lengths over Dunkirk, and Mine That Bird was an additional 1/4 length behind Dunkirk. Time for the 1 1/2 miles was 1:27.54. Calvin Borel was criticized afterwards because he didn't take any time during the week to scope out the track. At least Mine That Bird finished in the money in all three Triple Crown races.


Belmont Park, Saturday, June 6

# Horse Jockey Weight Win Place Show
4 Summer Bird K. Desormeaux 126 25.80 9.30 4.70
2 Dunkirk J. Velazquez 126   5.40 3.60
7 Mine That Bird C. Borel 126     2.60

Finish Time: 2:27.54
Also ran: Charitable Man, Luv Gov, Flying Private, Brave Victory, Mr. Hot Stuff, Chocolate Candy and Miner's Escape
Winning Trainer: Ice Tim A - Owner: Jayaraman, Kalarikkal K. and Vilasini D.

$2 Exacta (4-2) Paid $121.00
$2 Trifecta (4-2-7) Paid $295.00
$2 Superfecta (4-2-7-6) Paid $852.00

Saturday, May 16, 2009 -- Evening

Today was the 134th running of the Preakness Stakes. There was a good deal of talk since the Kentucky Derby about Rachel Alexandra. Rachel Alexandra won the Kentucky Oaks, which was run the day before the Derby, and won by 20 lengths. Although she is a filly, everyone has been saying that she is the best racehorse on the track. In face, Calvin Borel chose to ride Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness over Derby winner, Mine That Bird, because as Borel said, Rachel Alexandra is the best horse he has ever ridden. Rachel Alexandra started the race breaking from the 13th post position. We heard over and over again that no horse had ever won the Preakness from the 13th post position. Of course, that is until one wins. The race was held up while Mine That Bird acted up at post, but when the bell rang, Rachel Alexandra brokw well, and quickly moved into the lead. She held the lead the whole way. At the top of the home stretch, Rachel Alexandra had a four length lead. Mine That Bird and Musket Man came from behind, and almost caught Rachel Alexandra in the end, but she finished one length ahead of Mine That Bird. After the race, Borel seemed subdued and said that Rachel Alexandra couldn't get into her rhythm because she just couldn't seem to get into the track. There was Borel, subdued and apologetic for Rachel Alexandra's sub-par performance because he just felt that she didn't run her best race...AND she won! Very interesting outlook. The time for the 1 3/16th mile race was 1:55.08. Next up is the Belmont. We'll have to wait to see if Rachel Alexandra runs in the race.


Pimlico Racecourse, Saturday, May 16

# Horse Jockey Weight Win Place Show
13 Rachel Alexandra C. Borel 121 5.60 4.60 3.60
2 Mine That Bird M. Smith 126   6.60 4.80
3 Musket Man E. Coa 126     5.00
Finish Time: 1:55.08
Also ran: Flying Private, Big Drama, Papa Clem, Terrain, Luv Gov, General Quarters, Friesan Fire, Pioneerof the Nile, Tone It Down and Take the Points
Winning Trainer: Asmussen Steven M - Owner: Stonestreet Stables LLC and McCormick, Harold

$2 Exacta (13-2) Paid $39.20
$1 Superfecta (13-2-3-10) Paid $2,903.80
$2 Super High Five (13-2-3-10-1) Paid $34,003.20
$2 Trifecta (13-2-3) Paid $216.20

Saturday, May 2, 2009 -- Evening

The track was still sloppy for today's 135th running of the Kentucky Derby. The favorite was Friesan Fire, a horse that Larry Jones trained that was good on sloppy tracks. Jones, trainer of Eight Belles, who broke both front ankles in last year's race, is retiring after this year. As his wife, Cindy said, they aren't retiring because of Eight Belles, even though her death hit them hard. They are retiring because she taught them that life was short, and you don't know when it will end. Both realize that they have to live each day as if it is your life. Jones admited that he felt that he was becoming more of a racing manager, which really wasn't appealing to him. Since there are two hours of of television to fill before the race started, the announcers talked about how all the fatalities and injuries over recent years have made officials in the various states consider how to make things safer. One of the things that is being changed are drug regulations. Steriods are banned in Kentucky, for example, along with other drugs which mask problems like inflamation, such as Lasix. The interesting thing that should be noted is that Big Brown raced and won while on steroids. Eight Belles was steriod free. I think soemtimes people jump on what appear to be obvious causes without doing the research to find out if it is the actual cause. Jerry Bailey, former jockey who is one of the announcers on NBC, said that he used to think that the answer was the synthetic tracks are the answer. Tons of tracks have been converting to the synthetic bases in the hopes of preventing injuries, but the safety of the tracks have actually been questioned. More research is needed to find out how safe the tracks are, and what will make them better. What do I think might be the cause of the breakdowns? I think that the horses are being bred to be stronger and lighter so they can go faster and faster. Back in the early to mid 1900s, the horses used to run often, and run longer races. Nowadays, horses run less, but much shorter distances, and with much faster times. The breeders aren't breeding for stamina, but speed, and that's making the legs of the horses more frail. At least that is my opinion, and Sally Jenkins, who wrote an article on breeders breeding muscularly strong, but skeletally frail and light horses.

As for the race itself, it was great. As they were making the final turn, I saw a horse breaking out in the middle of the pack. It was Mine That Bird. He took off, weaved through the horses, expertly guided by Calvin Borel. Calvin guided Mine That Bird onto the rail, and Mine That Bird just flew down the home stretch to win by 6 and 3/4 lengths. Pioneer of the NIle was second with Musket Man third. The race was run in 2:02.66. Mine That Bird was a 50-1 longshot, and wound up paying $103.20, the second highest payout in Derby History. Friesan Fire wound up getting stuck in traffic in the 19 horse field, and then being forced out really wide. He wound up finishing next to last.


Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 2

# Horse Jockey Weight Win Place Show
8 Mine That Bird C. Borel 126 103.20 54.00 25.80
16 Pioneerof The Nile G. Gomez 126   8.40 6.40
2 Musket Man E. Coa 126     12.00
Finish Time: 2:02.66
Scratched: I Want Revenge
Also ran (in order of finish): Papa Clem, Chocolate Candy, Summer Bird, Join in the Dance, Regal Ransom, West Side Bernie, General Quarters, Dunkirk, Hold Me Back, Advice, Desert Party, Mr. Hot Stuff, Atomic Rain, Nowhere to Hide, Friesan Fire, Flying Private
Winning Trainer: Woolley Bennie L Jr - Owner: Double Eagle Ranch and Bueno Suerte Equine
$2 Exacta (8-16) Paid $2,074.80
$2 Trifecta (8-16-2) Paid $41,500.60
$2 Superfecta (8-16-2-7) Paid $557,006.40

Saturday, May 2, 2009 -- Early Afternoon

The news this morning is that the favorite for the Kentucky Derby, I Want Revenge, is scratched because he has a warm spot on his ankle. There have been some heavy rains in Kentucky, and the Churchill Downs course is not in the best of conditions. So the owners of I Want Revenge thought it would be best to scratch their horse. The field for the Derby this year is fairly mediocre. No horses are standouts, and it is really difficult for anyone to pick a favorite. The field this year has been decimated by injuries and poor performance. The race is today: post time is 6:04 p.m. ET.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 -- Evening

Curlin finished fourth in today's Breeders' Cup Classic. The races were held at Santa Anita Park this year, and this may have affected some of the horses because the track has a synthetic turf. Curlin had never raced on a synthetic surface before, and it seems that may have hurt him. Curlin took the lead on the turn for home, but then got passed by Raven's Pass. Raven's Pass went on to win the mile and a quarter race by two lengths in 1:59.27. Henrythenavigator finished second and Tiago was third. Curlin was fourth in a dead heat with Go Between. Curlin's owners really can't complain though because Curlin is still the leading money winner with over $10 million in earnings.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 -- Morning

The owners of Big Brown are really reaching for a problem other than lack of steroids to explain why the horse lost the Belmont Stakes. There were reports in Blood Horse magazine that Big Brown's right rear shoe came loose at the start of the Belmont. The photographer zoomed in on the image to show it all to us. However, this sort of thing happens naturally. Tom Dutrow, the trainer, noticed that there was some separation between shoe and hoof, but Big Brown didn't seem sore. Also, the farrior had to remove the shoe, and at that time, noted that the shoe wasn't totally loose on the foot, just off in the back. Of course, the owners want any other than steroids to be the problem. However, it's hard to ignore the fact that the horse doesn't seem to have any problems, and the only thing that can be said for sure is that Big Brown did not get his monthly steroid shot in the middle of May.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 -- Late Morning

Rick Dutrow, trainer of Big Brown, is blaming jockey, Kent Desormeaux, for Big Brown's dismal performance in the Belmont Stakes. When I was watching the race, you could see that Big Brown was tossing his head around a good deal. Dutrow claims that was because Desormeaux was pulling back on Big Brown and not letting him run his race. Dutrow said that he told Desormeaux to let Big Brown run if he wanted to because the pace of the race might not be fast. Da' Tara, who won the race, had the lead the whole way and finished the race in 2:29.65, which isn't a fast time. Thy syndicate that owns Big Brown said that Desormeaux will continue as the regular jockey, although Dutrow admitted that his preference was for Edgar Prado. Another item to note is that Big Brown's monthly steroid shots will be started again. I think that Dutrow started blaming Desormeaux because Dutrow was getting alot of questions about Big Brown failing due to the fact that he didn't get his monthly shot of Winstrol, the anabolic steroid that Big Brown has been getting on a monthly basis.

Saturday, June 7, 2008 -- Evening

Today was the 140th running of the Belmont Stakes. For the past few weeks now, everyone, including me, has had Triple Crown fever. It seemed a foregone conclusion that Big Brown would easily win the race and become the twelfth Triple Crown winner and the first since Affirmed won it in 1978. People expressed concern when Big Brown developed a quarter crack in his left front hoof. However, it was taken care of, and Big Brown had the clearance to run in the race. Casino Drive was scratched from the race when he developed a stone bruise in his left hind leg, which left Casino Drive favoring the leg. Casino Drive was considered the biggest challenger for Big Brown because of Casino Drive's genes. He had Jazel (winner of the 2006 Belmont) and Rags to Riches (winner of the 2007 Belmont) as his siblings. The path seemed clear for a win. However, Big Brown was denied the Triple Crown when he didn't show up to run. Perhaps it was the heat, with temperatures in the 90s. Perhaps it was because of the lapses in training due to the quarter crack. Perhaps it was due to the lack of his monthly steroid shot on May 15. Whatever the cause, when Kent Desormeaux asked Big Brown to run, he just continued to canter. Desormeaux didn't continue to ask Big Brown, but let him ease up. Big Brown finished last in the field of nice. The winner was the Nick Zito trained Da' Tara, a 38-1 longshot. Da' Tara lead for most of the race and won the mile and a half race by 5 1/4 lengths in a time of 2:29.65. Denis of Cork finished second and Anak Nakal and Ready's Echo were in a dead heat for third place. Big Brown was being examined for problems since his performance was so far from normal. There may be more news on Big Brown if someone does actually determine a physical cause for his poor performance.

Finish  Horse                Jockey                  Trainer
------  -----                ------                  -------

  1     Da' Tara             Alan Garcia             Nick Zito
  2     Denis of Cork        Robby Albarado          David Carroll
  3     Anak Nakal           Julien Leparoux         Nick Zito
  3     Ready's Echo         John Velazquez          Todd Pletcher
  4     Macho Again          Garrett Gomez           Dallas Stewart
  5     Tale of Ekati        Eibar Coa               Barclay Tagg
  6     Guadalcanal          Javier Castellano       Fred Seitz
  7     Icabad Crane         Jeremy Rose             Graham Motion
  8     Big Brown            Kent Desormeaux         Richard Dutrow Jr.
140th running
Running Time: 2:29.65
Purse: $1,000,000
Site: Belmont Park, Elmont, New York
Stakes Record - 2:24 held by Secretariat

Saturday, May 17, 2008 -- Evening

Today was the 133rd running of the Preakness Stakes. Big Brown was the prohibitive favorite. Considering that the only horses running in the Preakness were not huge stake winners, it was not surprising. The race was predictable. Big Brown laid back in third and fourth place at the start of the race. Then he easily took the lead on the last turn and galloped away easily to win the race. Big Brown won by 5 1/4 lengths, with Macho Again finishing in second and Icabad Crane finishing third. The time for the 1 3/16 mile race was 1:54.80.

Finish  Horse                Jockey                  Trainer
------  -----                ------                  -------

  1     Big Brown            Kent Desormeaux         Richard Dutrow Jr.
  2     Macho Again          Julien Leparoux         Dallas Stewart
  3     Icabad Crane         Jeremy Rose             Graham Motion
  4     Racecar Rhapsody     Robby Albarado          Ken McPeek
  5     Stevil               John Velazquez          Nick Zito
  6     Kentucky Bear        Jamie Theriot           Reade Baker
  7     Hey Byrn             Charles Lopez           Eddie Plesa 
  8     Giant Moon           Ramon Dominguez         Richard Schosberg
  9     Tres Borrachos       Tyler Baze              Beau Greely
  10    Yankee Bravo         Alex Solis              Patrick Gallagher
  11    Gayego               Mike Smith              Paulo Lobo 
  12    Riley Tucker         Edgar Prado             Bill Mott 
134th running
Running Time: 1:54.80
Purse: $1,000,000
Site: Pimlico, Baltimore, Maryland
Stakes Record - 1:53.46 held jointly by 
                Curlin (2007)
                Tank's Prospect (1985)
                Louis Quatorze (1966) 

Saturday, May 3, 2008 -- Early Evening

Today was the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby. The favorite for the race was Big Brown. He's a horse who has been lightly raced, three races in total, and is undefeated. Even though Big Brown was the favorite, there were several who thought that his changes were slim because Big Brown was in the outside, number 20, post position. Few horses have won from that position because they either wind up at the back of the pack or they have to go around the whole pack, increasing the distance they have have to run. The race wasn't the fastest run race, and that worked in the favor of Big Brown. He ran on the outside for most of the race, never falling lower than fifth place. Big Brown made his move as they came around the final bend, and galloped easily to win the race by 5 lengths in 2:01.82. The filly, Eight Belles, finished second, and Denis of Cork finished third. The race ended in tragedy, however, when Eight Belles collapsed shortly after the finish. She had broken both of her front ankles and was immediately euthanized on the track. It was really sad because the film crew briefly showed the horse lying on the track. This is the second injury on the track in the past week. Chelokee broke a front leg on Friday in the Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs. Back to good news. Big Brown barely broke a sweat in his win, and I'm starting to get a good vibe about a Triple Crown win this year. We will have to see.

Finish  Horse                Jockey                  Trainer
------  -----                ------                  -------

  1     Big Brown            Kent Desormeaux         Richard Dutrow Jr.
  2     Eight Belles (f)     Gabriel Saez            Larry Jones
  3     Denis of Cork        Calvin Borel            David Carroll
  4     Tale of Ekati        Eibar Coa               Barclay Tagg
  5     Recapturetheglory    E.T. Baird              Louie Roussel
  6     Colonel John         Corey Nakatani          Eoin Harty
  7     Anak Nakal           Raphael Bejarano        Nick Zito
  8     Pyro                 Shaun Bridgmohan        Steve Asmussen
  9     Cowboy Cal           John Velazquez          Todd Pletcher
 10     Z Fortune            Robby Albarado          Steve Asmussen
 11     Smooth Air           Manoel Cruz             Bennie Stutts Jr.
 12     Visionaire           Jose Lezcano            Michael Matz
 13     Court Vision         Garrett Gomez           Bill Mott
 14     Z Humor              Rene Douglas            Bill Mott
 15     Cool Coal Man        Julien Leparoux         Nick Zito
 16     Bob Black Jack       Rich Migliore           James Kasparoff
 17     Gayego               Mike Smith              Paulo Lobo
 18     Big Truck            Javier Catellano        Barclay Tagg
 19     Adriano              Edgar Prado             Graham Motion
 20     Monba                Ramon Dominguez         Todd Pletcher

Race 10 of 12 - 134th running
Running Time: 2:01 4/5
Purse: $2,200,000
Site: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky
Stakes Record - Secretariat 1:59 2/5 (1973)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 -- Evening

One year after Barbaro was euthanized, his owners, the Jacksons, have announced that his ashes and a bronze statue will be placed at the entrance of Churchill Downs. As Roy Jackson said, his favorite memory of Barbaro is his win at the Kentucky Derby. Barbaro is the first Derby winner to be buried on the grounds at Churchill Downs.

Saturday, August 25, 2007 -- Evening

Street Sense was the favorite in today's Travers Stakes at Saratoga. As befits a champion, Street Sense showed his grit by coming on to challenge Grasshopper, and then to finally pass him to win by half a length.. Time for the mile and a quarter was 2:02.69. Ten and 1/2 lengths further back was third place finisher, Helsinki.

Saturday, June 9, 2007 -- Evening

Today's Belmont Stakes was one of the most exciting races that I have seen in a long time. The field was comprised of only seven horses, but the big story was that one of the horses was the filly, Rags to Riches. She's been chewing up the track in her races against other fillies, and her trainer, Todd Pletcher, thought that she would be a contender against the colts at a mile and a half. Distance racing is in her blood, with her sire, A. P. Indy, and her half brother, Jazel, won the Belmont Stakes. Of course, the last time a filly won the race was in 1905. When the horses broke from the gate, Rags to Riches stumbled. Through most of the race, she was back in fifth place, but the pace was extremely slow with the first half in 50 seconds. It looked like Rags to Riches and Curlin were in great position. As they turned into the homestretch, both Curlin and Rags to Riches took off from the rest of the field and battled down the stretch. Rags to Riches finished with her nose in front of Curlin. Tiago finished in third with Hard Spun in fourth followed by C P West, Imawildandrazyguy, and one of the early leaders, Slew's Tizzy, trailing. Final time for the mile and a half was 2:28 3/5. It was such an exciting race. I was screaming for Rags to Riches to win. Great race! The funniest part was how the race announcer commented on Imawildandrazyguy lumbering along behind all the other horses. The sad part was that the usual jockey for Rags to Riches, Garrett Gomez, had committed to riding Hard Spun. So he was out, and John Velazquez on his first ride on Rags to Riches won the Belmont. Gomez must really be kicking himself this evening.

139th running of the Belmont Stakes
Final Post Name Jockey Trainer Odds Win Place Show
17Rags to RichesVelazquezPletcher3-110.604.403.20
23CurlinAlbaradoAsmussen6-5 3.002.30
32TiagoSmithShirreffs10-1  3.70
46Hard SpunGomezJones5-2   
54CP WestPradoZito12-1   
75Slew's TizzyBejarano Fox20-1   

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 -- Evening

The post postitions were drawn today for the Belmont Stakes. Both Curlin and Hard Spun have returned to the fight with five other horses. Curlin and Hard Spun are early favorites, along with Rags to Riches. With only seven in the field, there shouldn't be crowd to get in the way.

139nd running of the Belmont Stakes (Post Positions)


William Kaplan
Mark Guidry
John Shirreffs
Mike Smith
Steve Asmussen
Robby Albarado
C P West
Nick Zito
Edgar Prado
Slew's Tizzy
Gregory Fox
Rafael Bejarano
Hard Spun
Larry Jones
Garrett Gomez
Rags to Riches
Todd Pletcher
John Velazquez

Saturday, May 19, 2007 -- Evening

As for horse racing, all the excitment was at Pimlico for the 132nd running of the Preakness Stakes. I really didn't have a favorite, but I did favor Hard Spun. The race started out fast with Xchanger setting a blistering pace. Hard Spun was lying in third and made his move on the backside. So did Street Sense and Curlin. It looked like Street Sense was going to win because he had the lead, but Curlin didn't give up. Curlin got his head in front for the photo finish win. That means no Triple Crown again this year. This is the longest drought of winners in Triple Crown history, with the last one by Affirmed in 1978. The time for the race was a fast 1:53.46. You really have to wonder what would have happened if Curlin didn't run into traffic in the Kentucky Derby. Even with the traffic, he was able to finish in third. The Preakness finish had the same top three finishers as the Kentucky Derby--just in a different order. Also in racing, the Barbaro Stakes was held before the Preakness and was won by the Michael Matz trained, Chelokee. Chelokee won the 1 1/16 mile race by 4 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:43.44. Silver Express was second and Zephyr Cat was third. Sonehouse and Dancin Buddha rounded out the field.

132nd running of the Preakness Stakes


3-1 7-2
Steve Asmussen
Robby Albarado
Street Sense
6-5 7-5
Carl Nafzger
Calvin Borel
Hard Spun
4-1 5-2
Larry Jones
Mario Pino
CP West
22-1 20-1
Nick Zito
Edgar Prado
Circular Quay
5-1 8-1
Todd Pletcher
John Velazquez
King of the Roxy
15-1 12-1
Todd Pletcher
Garrett Gomez
Mint Slewlep
35-1 30-1
Robert Bailes
Alan Garcia
21-1 15-1
Mark Shuman
Ramon Dominguez
Flying First Class
14-1 20-1
D. Wayne Lukas
Mark Guidry

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 -- Evening

The post positions were selected today for Saturday's 132 running of the Preakness Stakes. Only nine horses are entered. Some people are expecting Hard Spun to do a good job and ruin Street Sense's Triple Crown bid. If Hard Spun runs like he did two weeks ago, I think that he might have a very good chance. Michael Matz is going to race Chelokee in the Barbaro Stakes on Preakness day. The original intent by Pimlico Racetrack was to have Barbaro make an appearance on Preakness day, make a lap around the track, and then have the horses run in the Barbaro. Well, Barbaro won't be there physically, but he will be in most fans' hearts.

132nd running of the Preakness Stakes (Post Positions)


Mint Slewlep
Robert Bailes
Alan Garcia
Mark Shuman
Ramon Dominguez
Circular Quay
Todd Pletcher
John Velazquez
Steve Asmussen
Robby Albarado
King of the Roxy
Todd Pletcher
Garrett Gomez
Flying First Class
D. Wayne Lukas
Mark Guidry
Hard Spun
Larry Jones
Mario Pino
Street Sense
Carl Nafzger
Calvin Borel
CP West
Nick Zito
Edgar Prado

133rd running of the Kentucky Derby
Final Post Name Jockey Trainer Odds Win Place Show
17Street SenseBorelNafzger4-111.806.404.60
28Hard SpunPinoJones15-1 9.807.00
32CurlinAlbaradoAsmussen7-2  5.60
616Circular QuayVelazquezPletcher8-1   
818Any Given SaturdayGomezPletcher12-1   
913Sam P.DominguezPletcher20-1   
1012Nobiz Like ShobizVelasquezTagg8-1   
1220Great HunterNakataniO'Neill15-1   
1511Bwana BullCastellanoHollendorfer50-1   
164Storm in MayLeyvaKaplan30-1   
1814Scat DaddyPradoPletcher10-1   
206Cowtown CatJaraPletcher20-1   

Saturday, May 5, 2007 -- Early Evening

The 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby just finished a few minutes ago, and boy was it a thrilling one. Curlin has dropped from the early morning favorite, and Street Sense had replaced him. When the horses broke from the starting gate, both Curlin and Street Sense fell to the bottom of the pack, with Street Sense all the way in 19th place out of the 20 horse field. Nobiz LIke Showbiz was in a good posiition near the front of the pack, placed just right to avoid the blistering pace that Hard Spun was setting with a 46 second first half mile. Street Sense's jockey, Calvin Borel, kept the horse up along the railing, and fortunately, racing luck was on their side when the entire pack of horse moved away from the railing to leave an opening for Street Sense. Borel took advantage of it, and rode Street Sense from 19th place to first. The leader of the race, Hard Spun, held on for second, and Curlin finished in third. Street Sense finished the 1 1/4 race in 2:02.17. He did not receive the $1 million dollar Barbaro bonus because he only finished 2 1/2 lengths in front of Hard Spun. I didn't think Street Sense would win because he did have the jinx of having won the two year old Juvenile championship. Also, he really extended him self in his Florida Derby win and the hard loss by a nose in the Bluegrass Stakes. The most famoous attendee of the race was Queen Elizabeth II, who was in Virginia yesterday to celebrate the 450h anniversary of the settling of Jamestown. Now all the discussion will be geared towards the Preakness, and if Street Sense could be the next Triple Crown winner. I'll post the complete results on my horses page later this evening.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007 -- Evening

The post positions were drawn for Saturday's Kentucky Derby. The field was packed with the maximum of 20 horses. Michael Matz will not be Chelokee in the race because his winnings didn't make Chelokee eligible for the race. If more than 20 horses are entered for the race, they rank the horses by earnings. The top 20 earners get in. Chelokee was in 22nd place of the horses that were entered, so he's out. Of the horses that are running, Curlin, Street Sense, and Nobiz LIke Showbiz are generating the most talk. I think that I'm going to go with Nobiz Like Showbiz, especially if his trainer rigs him out with the blinkers and cotton for the ears. There is a $1 million bonus if the winner wins the race by more than the 6 1/2 lengths by which Barbaro won. For the post positions, go to my horses page.

133rd running of the KENTUCKY DERBY
Post Positions (Morning Line Odds)
PP  Horse


Trainer Jockey
1 Sedgefield 50-1 Darrin Miller Julien Leparoux
7-2 Steve Asmussen Robby Albarado
3 Zanjero 30-1 Steve Asmussen Shaun Bridgmohan
Storm in May
30-1 Bill Kaplan Juan Leyva
5 Imawildandcrazyguy 50-1 Bill Kaplan Mark Guidry
Cowtown Cat
20-1 Todd Pletcher Fernando Jara
Street Sense
4-1 Carl Nafzger Calvin Borel
Hard Spun
15-1 Larry Jones Mario Pino
9 Liquidity 30-1 Doug O'Neill David Flores
10 Teuflesberg 30-1 Jamie Sanders Stewart Elliott
11 Bwana Bull 50-1 Jerry Hollendorfer Javier Castellano
Nobiz Like Shobiz
8-1 Barclay Tagg Cornelio Velasquez
13 Sam P. 20-1 Todd Pletcher Ramon Dominguez
Scat Daddy
10-1 Todd Pletcher Edgar Prado
15-1 John Shirreffs Mike Smith
Circular Quay
8-1 Todd Pletcher John Velazquez
30-1 Bill Currin Kent Desormeaux
18 Any Given Saturday 12-1 Todd Pletcher Garrett Gomez
20-1 Darrin Miller Rafael Bejarano
Great Hunter
15-1 Doug O'Neill Corey Nakatani

Sunday, April 29, 2007 -- Late Afternoon

Today would have been Barbaro's fourth birthday, and in honor of the occasion, there are several celebrations planned at racetracks across the county. One ot the things that NBC wanted to do was to air the documntary, Barbaro, a Nation's Horse. The show should have been on at 5 p.m. EDT, but was delayed by a rather exciting New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres semi-final playoff game. The game is tied now with a score of 1-1, and is in the first overtime. Until someone scores, the game continues. Because the game has continued into the second overtime, the Barbaro documentary is rescheduled for 9 p.m. on Friday, May 4, repeating at midnight, on CNBC.

Monday, April 16, 2007 -- Afternoon

Blood Horse magazine is posting the complete race video from recent graded stakes (meaning stakes races with a purse larger than $75,000 and around for more than two years under the same conditions as examples). The races should be available in their entirety within 20 minutes after the race has been completed.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 -- Late Morning

Yesterday afternoon was the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Race course in Kentucky. It has long been one of the favorite precursors to the Kentucky Derby. Street Sense was the favorite to win the race, and the finish was quite challenging. Four horses, including Street Sense made the surge to the wire, and Dominican was the one to get his nose in front. Street Sense was a nose behind in second wih Zanjero a head behind in third, and the early leader, Teuflesberg, another head behind in fourth place. The 1 1/8th mile race was run in 1:51 1/5. There was talk when Street Sense won the Tampa Bay Derby that he might have ruined his chances at the Kentucky Derby because of his hard run. That has yet to be seen, of course. In the other big race yesterday, Curlin won the Arkansas Derby by 10 1/2 lengths, runing the 1 1/8th mile race in 1:50.09. Second was Storm in May with Deadly Dealer in third. Curlin is undefeated in three races and has placed himself in the nice position as possible favorite for the Kentucky Derby.

Sunday, April 8, 2007 -- Late Afternoon

There were a couple of Kentucky Derby prep races yesterday. First up was the Wood Memorial. The favorite in the race was Nobiz Like Shobiz, and he did not disappoint, holding on to win the race by a half a length in 1:49.26. Sightseeing was second and Any Given Saturday was third. For this race, Nobiz Like Shobiz wore blinkers and had cotton stuffed in his ears. The hope was that these accessories would help keep him concentrated on the race, and the move did indeed work. The other race of note was the Santa Anita Derby. This one was an upset with the half brother of 2005 Kentucky Derby winner, Giacomo, winning the race. Tiago was not the longest shot in the race, but the second longest. Tiago came from behind, and thanks to the fast early pace, won his first race by a half a length. HIs only other "win" in January was a win by disqualification of the horse who finished first. Tiago ran the mile and 1/8th in 1:49.51. King of the Roxy was second and Sam P. was third. The last prep race run yesterday was the Illinois Derby. That was won by Cowtown Cat by 2 1/2 lengths over Reporting for Duty. Bold Start was third. The favorite of the race, Cobalt Blue, the California horse owned by Merv Griffin, finished seventh, never really being a challenger. The time for this mile and 1/8th race was 1:51.21.

Saturday, March 31, 2007 -- Evening

The Florida Derby was held today. It's one of the prep races for the Kentucky Derby, and was won last year by Barbaro. This year, Barbaro's trainer had a horse in the race, Chelokee who has been lightly raced, but that he was hoping would become Derby eligible. In order to make it into the Derby if more than 20 horses are entered, a horse's earning from graded stakes will be considered. Those with a low amount will be tossed from the race. Back to the Florida Derby. Scat Daddy won by a length and a quarter with a time of 1:49 for the mile and an eighth race. Notional finshed in second 3/4th's of a length in front of Chelokee. Rounding out the field were Stormello, Boogie Boggs, Imawildandcrazyguy, Birdbirdistheword, Adore the Gold, and Johannesburg Star.

Elsewhere in racing, Invasor won the Dubai World cup, a $6 miillon dollar race, the richest in horse racing. Invasor ran the mile and a quarter race in 1:59:50. Premium Tap finished second. Bullish Luck was third followed by Vermillion, Forty licks, Kandidat, and Discreet Cat. Discreet Cat, undefeated before the race, finished in last place 23 lengths behind Invasor. Invasor should be back in the US to race in the Surburban Handicap at Belmont Park.

Saturday, March 17, 2007 -- Evening

The Tampa Bay Derby was held earlier this evening, and Street Sense, the two year old juvenile champion, won the race by a nose over Any Given Saturday. The mile and 1/16 race was run in 1:43.11 which broke the track record. There has been alot of talk about Street Sense because he was the juvenile champion and is thought to be a strong contender for the Kentucky Derby this year. The controversy is that winners of the Breeder's Cup Juvenile race don't have a good record in the Kentucky Derby, and Street Sense is only going to have two prep races before the Derby. I don't think that is a problem. If the horse is ready, he's ready. Racing a horse alot doesn't necessarily make him ready. Street Sense carried two more pounds than Any Given Saturday. Finishing in third place was Delightful Kiss and Most Distinguished was fourth.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007 -- Late Morning

Barbaro's owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, have set up a $3 million endowment in honor of Dr. Dean Richardson at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary school to study equine diseases. The endowment will go towards further research in laminitis which was the ultimate cause of death for Barbaro. In other Barbaro news, Bloodhorse magazine is going to release a commerative issue with 80 pages of articles and 50 color photos. There will probably be a glut of materials on Barbaro in the upcoming months, with a book already due for release at the end of February titled Barbaro: A Nation's Love Story.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 -- Evening

There have been a few stories about Barbaro in the news since Monday. People are still coming to terms with the fact that he was euthanized. The person hardest hit by the death was Dr. Dean Richardson, who has treated Barbaro since the fracture occurred in May. Richardson said that he become emotionally attached to Barbaro. His daily routine was to stop at the ICU to check on Barbaro every morning, and it's hard to know that he isn't there anymore. It seems that the final night for Barbaro was filled with pain because he developed laminitis in his front legs. As Richardson said, Barbaro couldn't find a comfortable spot, and was very unhappy in the last few hours. The decision to euthanize was the right one, but Richardson still hoped that he could have done more. As Richardson told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Because you wanted the horse so badly to survive, to me, the goal wasn't achieved. We didn't save the horse. I'm not embarrassed or ashamed or anything like that about what we did. But it's still so profoundly disappointing, that it's hard not to feel like you've let him down." Very touching words. The question that some have had is should the decision to put Barbaro down have occurred in May when the accident happened. That's the thing that is really hard to answer. We might have had a differnt outlook if Barbaro didn't develop laminitis, if the infection hadn't occurred in the right leg, if the laminitis didn't worsen, if, if if. Unfortunately, it turned out the way it did, but I would agree with the owners and Dr. Richardson. You have to make the effort, knowing that the odds might be against you. I had a diabetic cat who became very ill. I found out later that the vets gave him a 20% chance to survive. They didn't tell me that at the time, and I spent $2000 treating him. He lived, and continued to have a happy and healthy (although diabetic) life for a few years after that. it's a personal decision that we all wanted to turn out better for Barbaro.

Sunday, January 28, 2007 -- Early Evening

Barbaro is not doing well. Earlier in the week, Barbaro had the cast that was put on his right hind leg a few weeks ago, removed to have a brace put in its place. It seems that Barbaro has not been tolerating the brace well, and the vets had to do some more surgery yesterday to put in some more pins and plates in the leg to stablize the bones. The problem is that they can't put a cast on because Barbaro has an abscess on that leg that has to be treated. Dr. Dean Richardson is worried though because the discomfort that Barbaro is filling in his hind legs puts him at higher risk to develop laminitis in his front feet. It that happens, they might have to put Barbaro down. The problem is that Barbaro has major problems with both hind legs that are not resolving. This is very sad news, made especially so because it comes just weeks after hearing that Barbaro might be able to leave New Bolton Center.

Friday, January 26, 2007 -- Evening

Barbaro is doing well after treatment yesterday. He had the cast replaced on his left hind leg and a new brace put on his right hind leg. It appears there was an abscess on his right hind leg, and the brace will provide support while allowing the vets to take treat the abscess. Barbaro is doing well though, and continues to have a good attitude and appetite. The vets are planning to replace the cast on the left hind leg on a regular interval every two weeks.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 -- Early Afternoon

The Eclipse Awards were held last night, and Invasor was named Horse of the Year. He beat out Barbaro, Bernardini, and Lava Man for the award. Bernardini was awarded the 3-year-old Horse of the Year with Barbaro finishing in second place. I can understand why Barbaro didn't get either award. It's hard to consider a horse as the winner of a year long award when his racing time was at the beginning of the year, and he spent most of the rest of the year injured. I know that everyone has a sentimental tie to Barbaro, but Invasor is a good choice. I think that he won out over Bernardini because of the Breeders Cup result. On the Barbaro health side of things, he is doing much better. Dr. Dean Richardson, who received an award for his care of Barbaro at the Eclipse dinner, said that Barbaro is being weaned from the pain medication for the laminitis. Also, it appears that Barbaro will most likely be headed to Kentucky when he is released from the New Bolton Center. That isn't expected now for at least a month, if not longer. When Barbaro is released, he will most likely be under the care of Dr. Scott Morrison of Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic.

Friday, January 19, 2007 -- Evening

Barbaro is doing better with each passing day. His vital signs are stable, his appetite is good, and his pain medication is being reduced. There are very good signs. The next update is scheduled for next Wednesday, January 24, unless there are developments that warrant publication.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 -- Early Afternoon

Barbaro's owners and the New Bolten Center are going to be given a special Eclipse award at the January 22 awards dinner. The award is to honor the efforts that both have made in treating Barbaro and giving him a chance at a longer life. Barbaro, Invasor, Bernardini, and Lava Man are all contenders for the Horse of the Year award. Winners will be announced at the awards dinner.

Monday, January 15, 2007 -- Evening

Dr. Dean Richardson has said that Barbaro is doing significantly better in the past two days since the surgery on Saturday. What is so hard about the Barbaro situation is that he was doing so well that he was going to get to leave the New Bolton Center. Now, it is back to a day to day situation. As Dr. Richardson said, it is going to be a long road that might eventually still lead to Barbaro's death. it is so hard to tell with laminitis. It would just seem such a shame to come so far to lose in the end.

Saturday, January 13, 2007 -- Evening

Barbaro has had more tissue removed from his left hoof and the deep digital flexor tendon in the hoof cut. The flexor tendon could make the matter worse by pulling the hoof away from the coffin bone. The tendon was cut in July but has since healed. The hope is that this will help the situation with the laminitis in the foot. Also, the cast was replaced on the right hind leg since Barbaro was feeling pain in the left leg. That could mean that he would favor it and the uneven weight distribution to the right leg could cause laminitis in that leg. If that were the case, it would be very bad news.

Friday, January 12, 2007 -- Early Evening

Barbaro's condition is not as bad as it was in July. It seems that he really doesn't have any "significant" infection in either hoof, and according to Dr. Dean Richardson, Barbaro has more healthyt tissue in the left hoof than bad. Barbaro is spending several hours in a sling for now, but the condition isn't as dire as it was in the summer.

Thursday, January 11, 2007 -- Afternoon

Barbaro is doing okay. He is spending several hours in a sling in intensive care, and is eating well and getting up and down on his own. X-rays of both hind legs look good so Dr. Dean Richardson is considering several options for continued care.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 -- Afternoon

Barbaro has had a setback with his left hoof yesterday. Last week, the vets at the New Bolton Center had placed a small cast on the left hoof, which was affected with laminitis. Yesterday, they noticed that the foot became much more painful for Barbaro. They removed the cast and found that that was an increased amount of separation of the inside of the hoof from the outer hoof wall. They removed some of the damaged tissue and are keeping an eye on Barbaro. He continues to eat well and appears to be stable. Laminitis is tricky, and as the doctors have repeatedly said, it will be a long road before his recovery is assured.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 -- Evening

A new video of Barbaro has been released by his vets and played on Good Morning American. Dr. Dean Richardson was walking Barbaro outside, and there was no bandage on Barbaro's injured right hoof. He definitely does walk differently on that leg, and it seems to bend awkwardly, but it doesn't seem to bother him. Dr. Richardson said that Barbaro will be leaving the New Bolton Center soon because it will be in Barbaro's best interests to be in a place where he can be walked every day on soft ground. The majority of area around the New Bolton Center is covered by asphalt, which isn't the best for Barbaro.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 -- Afternoon

Barbaro's left hoof was checked by a hoof specialist yesterday to find out how the healing process is going. That is the hoof that was affected by laminitis in the summer. A recommendation was given on how to trim to the hoof to achieve the best balance, but the main recommendation was wait for more healing. There isn't any news on when Barbaro will leave the New Bolton Center or where he will go when he does leave. The news release that the New Bolton Center posts about Barbaro should be available by tomorrow. In fun news, the Sir Barton Stakes that is run at Pimlico on Preakness day is being renamed the Barbaro Stakes. The race is a 1 1/16 mile race for three years olds.

Friday, December 15, 2006 -- Morning

Barbaro might be released from the hospital in the near future. It seems that he has been doing so well that Dr. Dean Richardson thinks that he might be able to complete his recuperation from home. Also on the Barbaro front, a portion of the sales from a figurine of him have been given to the New Bolton Center. Here is a link to the statuette.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro had the cast removed from his right rear leg today. After his recovery from the anesthesia in the swimming pool, he walked back to the stall putting weight evenly on all legs. The right leg is looking good. The only thing left now is for the left hoof to complete its healing from laminitis. Right now, everything is well with it, but it will still require several months of growth to determine what the final outcome will be.

Bernardini has been retired from racing, and he will stand at stud Sheikh Mohammed's Darley at Jonabell near Lexington. The cost to mate your mare with Bernardini will be $100,000.

Saturday, November 4, 2006 -- Evening

Surprising and sad day at the Breeders Cup races at Churchill Downs this afternoon. The sad news came when co-favorite in the Distaff race, Pine Island, stumbled after dislocating and fracturing her left front ankle. So severe was the injury, with broken skin meaning that infection was a strong possibility for future treatment, that Pine Island was euthanized shortly afterwards. Her jockey, Javier Castellano, was thrown heavily to the ground, and there was some concern because he was also Bernardini's jockey. Catellano was all right physically, but was feeling the effects emotional. The other co-favorite, Fleet Indian, was pulled up with a suspensory ligament injury. It is thought that Fleet Indian will be just fine, and she was due to be up for sale at Keeneland on Monday as a broodmare, but has been pulled from the sale. Winner of the Distaff race was Round Pond trained by Michael Matz, trainer of Barbaro.

There was also abit of a surprise for Bernardini fans. He finished second to Invasor in the Classic race. There was alot of talk of a matchup between Bernardini and Lava Man in the race, and only a few even considered Invasor. Lava Man was not much of a challenger in the race and finished 7th. Brother Derek, the early leader, has a very slight bump by Bernardini in the stretch and there was an objection placed against Bernardini, but the objection was denied and the results stood. Invasor, ridden by 18 year old sensation, Fernando Jara, came flying by Bernardini in the stretch to win by a length. Premium Tap was third and Giacomo was fourth.

Juvenile Fillies: 1 1/16M, Dirt, F, 2 Year Olds
PGM Horse Win Place Show
1 Dreaming of Anna $7.20 $4.60 $3.40
4 Octave $5.80 $4.40
7 Cotton Blossom $9.00

Winning Time: 1:43.81
Unplaced horses listed in order of finish.
Also ran: Appealing Zophie, Cash Included, She's Included, Adhrhythm, Bel Air Beauty, Sutra, Quick Little Miss, Satulagi, Gatorize, Her Majesty and Lilly Carson

Juvenile: 1 1/16M, Dirt, A, 2 Year Olds
PGM Horse Win Place Show
1 Street Sense $32.40 $12.60 $8.00
9 Circular Quay $5.00 $3.20
7 Great Hunter $4.40

Winning Time: 1:42.59
Unplaced horses listed in order of finish.
Also ran: Scat Daddy, Stormello, C P West, U D Ghetto, King of the Roxy, Skip Code, Teuflesberg, Pegasus Wind, Malt Magic, Got the Last Laugh and Principle Secret

Filly & Mare Turf: 1 3/8M, Turf, B, 3 Year Olds and Up
PGM Horse Win Place Show
2 Ouija Board $4.80 $3.40 $2.60
4 Film Maker $5.80 $4.40
5 Honey Ryder $4.40

Winning Time: 2:14.55
Unplaced horses listed in order of finish.
Also ran: Wait a While, My Typhoon, Mauralakana, Dancing Edie, Quiet Royal and Germance

Sprint: 6F, Dirt, 3 Year Olds and Up
PGM Horse Win Place Show
1 Thor's Echo $33.20 $15.80 $10.20
2 Friendly Island $50.00 $32.80
7 Nightmare Affair $15.20

Winning Time: 1:08.80
Unplaced horses listed in order of finish.
Also ran: Bordonaro, Attila's Storm, Too Much Bling, War Front, Siren Lure, Pomeroy, Kelly's Landing, Lewis Michael, Malibu Mint, Areyoutalkintome and Henny Hughes

Mile: 1M, Turf, 3 Year Olds and Up
PGM Horse Win Place Show
10 Miesque's Approval $50.60 $17.20 $10.40
7 Aragorn $5.80 $4.40
8 Badge of Silver $9.80

Winning Time: 1:34.75
Unplaced horses listed in order of finish.
Also ran: Sleeping Indian, Rob Roy, Silent Name, Gorella, Aussie Rules, Araafa, Librettist, Free Thinking, Super Frolic, Ad Valorem and Echo of Light

Distaff: 1 1/8M, Dirt, B, 3 Year Olds and Up
PGM Horse Win Place Show
1 Round Pond $29.80 $14.00 $9.00
13 Happy Ticket $14.20 $9.20
14 Balletto $5.60

Winning Time: 1:50.50
Unplaced horses listed in order of finish.
Also ran: Asi Siempre, Lemons Forever, Sharp Lisa, Baghdaria, Spun Sugar, Pool Land, Hollywood Story, Bushfire, Healthy Addiction, Fleet Indian and Pine Island

Turf: 1 1/2M, Turf, 3 Year Olds and Up
PGM Horse Win Place Show
9 Red Rocks $23.60 $11.20 $6.20
8 Better Talk Now $17.40 $10.00
10 English Channel $4.20

Winning Time: 2:27.32
Unplaced horses listed in order of finish.
Also ran: Rush Bay, Go Deputy, T. H. Approval, Silverfoot, Cacique and Icy Atlantic

Classic: 1 1/4M, Dirt, 3 Year Olds and Up
PGM Horse Win Place Show
11 Invasor $15.40 $5.80 $4.60
3 Bernardini $3.40 $3.00
2 Premium Tap $8.80

Winning Time: 2:02.18
Unplaced horses listed in order of finish.
Also ran: Giacomo, Brother Derek, Lava Man, Perfect Drift, Lawyer Ron, Sun King, Flower Alley, Suave and David Junior

Saturday, November 4, 2006 -- Morning

This afternoon's Breeder's Cup Classic has a 5:20 pm ET post time and should be a doozy. There are three horses that could be considered for Horse of the Year honor. Of course, first there is Bernardini, who won the Preakness, Travers and Jockey's Club Gold Cup in his six straight wins this year. A question mark still hangs over Bernardini because he really hasn't faced any stiff competition. Perhaps it's just that he makes it look easier than it actually is. Who knows. Then there is Lava Man, the $50,000 claimer who has won $2,770,000. This year, the 5 year old gelding has seven wins in seven races. The only problem with Lava Man is that he hasn't won outside of California, and the Breeder's Cup Classic is at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Lava Man is a grandson of Seattle Slew. Then there is Invasor. He's raced in Uruguay and Dubai, and has run only three races this year--all wins. The last race was the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga in August. That could be Invasor's weak spot because he is coming into the Breeder's Cup Classic with a light race schedule and just workouts to get him into conditiion. Invasor has only lost one race--in Dubai. There's also George Washington, who has raced well in Europe, Brother Derek, Lawyer Ron, Giacomo, last year's Kentucky Derby winner, and six others who might be spolilers in the race. All in all, it should be entertaining, and the winner will more than likely be Horse of the Year.

Field for the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic - 5:20 PM (ET)
Post Horse Jockey M/L Odds
 1 Brother Derek A. Solis 30-1
 2 Premium Tap E. Prado 30-1
 3 Bernardini J. Castellano 1-1
 4 George Washington M. Kinane 10-1
 5 Lawyer Ron P. Valenzuela 20-1
 6 Perfect Drift G. Gomez 20-1
 7 David Junior J. Spencer 10-1
 8 Lava Man C. Nakatani  6-1 
 9 Giacomo M. Smith 30-1
 10 Flower Alley J. Velazquez 30-1
 11 Invasor F. Jara 5-1
 12 Suave K. Desormeaux 30-1
 13 Sun King R. Bejarano  15-1 

Thursday, November 2, 2006 -- Evening

More news about Barbaro. Dr. Dean Richardson has said that the cast may come off of Barbaro's injured right leg next week. Dr. Richardson was also honored at National Turf Writers Association Dinner yesterday. He received the Joe Palmer award which is for "meritorious service to racing." Barbaro's owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, trainer, Michael Matz, jockey, Edgar Prado, and exercise rider, Peter Brette, were given the Mr. Fitz Award. That is named after Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, and it is given to the individual or group that typifies the spirit of racing. Fitzsimmons trained Gallant Fox, Omaha, Nashua, and Bold Ruler about many others.

Thursday, November 2, 2006 -- Early Afternoon

The Breeder's Cup Classic is this Saturday at Churchill Downs. Bernardini is entered for the race along with Lava Man, Brother Derek, Lawyer Ron, and Perfect Drift. In total 13 horses will be competing for the Classic. If Bernardini wins, he will be a shoo-in for Horse of the Year honors.

Barbaro is featured in the Fall 2006 Penn Veterinary Medicine Bellwether magazine. The main article covers the team of veterinarians who have been caring for Barbaro since his accident. The coverage is extensive and even has a timeline for Barbaro since the Preakness. An additional article has questions and answers about Barbaro, covering such topics as the source of the bone graft that Barbaro received (which came from his tuber coxae--the point of the hip for us laypeople) and his feeding schedule. Barbaro is doing as well as can be expected and the weekly updates have been moved to bi-weekly.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro is continuing to do well. Dr. Dean Richardson changed the cast on Barbaro's right leg, and was very happy with the progress that the leg is making. There is still the issue of the left hind leg. As we keep on hearing, there is growth in the hoof, but it will be months before we know if the hoof has grown back enough. That has to make it hard for everyone because if the hoof does not grow back properly, there is still the issue of what they should do, and Barbaro still might not make it. The reason it is hard is because you see the horse doing well, and things just not working out. For the cast change today, Barbaro had general anesthesia and had his hooves trimmed. A new shoe was placed on the right hind leg and was out grazing and using both hind legs in the afternoon. There are some sores on his leg from wearing a cast for such a long time, but it isn't anything that the doctors are concerned about, and there are no signs of infection.

Sunday, October 8, 2006 -- Evening

It's a shame that Barbaro and Bernardini didn't get a chance to actually race against each other in a race that didn't end with Barbaro being injured. Bernardini ran in the Jockey Club Gold Cup yesterday at Belmont Park. The mile and a quarter race was for horses three years old and up, and Bernardini showed that he has the stuff of greatness when he won by 6 and 3/4 lengths in a time of two minutes and one second. Wanderin Boy finished second. There wasn't any betting allowed for show because there were only four horses in the race. Andromeda's Hero finished third and Dylan Thomas was fourth.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 -- Evening

Dr. Dean Richardson gave an update on Barbaro's condition. It seems that a quarter of his hoof has grown by and that he is doing well. He has to regrow another three quarters of the hoof and the bottom of the foot has to get better. It could take up to six months for the hoof to regrow. The right leg is doing well, and the cast is still on the leg. It won't be changed just yet. Richardson will keep an eye on Barbaro's progress.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro had a very good week this past week. He continues to be grazed outside. Also, the left leg which is the one stricken with laminitis is doing good, and Dr. Dean Richardson has decided to replace the boot on the foot with a bandage. The cast is still on his right leg and will be monitored. If the vets decide to replace it, they will.

Monday, September 18, 2006 -- Evening

Lost in the Fog was euthanized yesterday. it was noticed around a month ago that Lost in the Fog was ill, and then the owners and trainer found out that it was due to cancer. The cancer was around the spleen, and also close to the spinal cord. It's extremely rare for a horse to get cancer. They decided to try chemotherapy on the horse, but then the trainer noticed that Lost in the Fog appeared to be in pain yesterday. After consulting with the vets, Lost in the Fog was put down. The cancer was just too advanced and there wasn't any hope for poor Lost in the Fog.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro's cast was replaced on Sunday after a small crack was noticed in it. The leg is doing very well, and it appears that the short pastern is totally fused and there is only small healing left on the long pastern. The cast that is on now is expected to be on for a while, and the bone looks so good that they may keep the cast off with the next removal. There is also no sign of infection. As for the laminitis, it appears as if the hoof is growing back. However, the problem is that it will take several months before it is certain that the hoof will fully grown. Barbaro was on the CBS Morning Show last week, and he looks really good. Check out the video. Barbaro appears to be full of spunk and energy. Dr. Dean Richardson is getting dragged around by Barbaro as he goes to eat grass. As Richardson said though, before the accident, it would take 3-4 people to hold Barbaro.

Monday, August 28, 2006 -- Afternoon

Bluegrass Cat was retired yesterday. Bluegrass Cat was lame on Sunday, and when they checked his right rear leg, they found that he has a non-displaced fracture of the pastern. Bluegrass Cat had an excellent 2-year-old season, and wasn't shabby as a three-year-old with seconds in the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and the Travers (on Saturday). The owners thought it was best at this point to retire him to a stud career. You have to wonder when he broke the bone, and if he did it during the race, how much it affected the outcome.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 -- Early Afternoon

Bernardini won the Travers Stakes yesterday. In fact, all the hype about the match-up between Bernardini and Bluegrass Cat was for naught because Bernardini won the mile and a quarter race easily by seven and a half lengths in a time of 2:01.60. Bluegrass Cat finished in second place six and a quarter lengths in front of Dr. Pleasure. Bernardini is a strong contender for Horse of the Year, and you just have to wonder what would have happened in the Preakness if Barbaro didn't break his leg. It would have been interesting to see a summer of matchups between those two.

Zara Phillips, daughter of Great Britain's Princess Anne, won the gold medal in the World Equestrian Games in Germany. Zara is her mother's daughter. Princess Anne represented Britain in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

Friday, August 25, 2006 -- Evening

Horse racing news. 4 year old sprinter, Lost in the Fog, was diagnosed with inoperable spleen tumors last week. He was given only a few weeks to live because there were additional tumors in his body close to the spine that were inoperable. Since last week though, he has been on medication to reduce the size of the tumors so they can be removed. Lost in the Fog is doing well, still his old chipper self, and in fact feeling better because he is taking a low dose of pain medication which removes some of the colic symptoms. Things are necessarily as bleak as everyone originally thought, and Lost in the Fog's trainer, Greg Gilchrist, is not letting anyone give in to negativity.

Tomorrow is the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. The race is shaping up as a battle between Bernardini, the even-money favorite, and Bluegrass Cat, who finished second in the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. Bernardini does appear to be the one to beat, but horse racing can be unpredictable. All you need is for Bluegrass Cat to have a good day, and Bernardini to be off, and the favorite can be unseated.

Monday, August 14, 2006 -- Late Afternoon

Things have been going so well for Barbaro lately, that Dr. Dean Richardson has approved trips outside of the ICU unit. Barbaro has been taken into a little paddock just outside of his barn, and have been given the opportunity to pick some of his own grass. Dr. Richardson said that Barbaro has been going out for the past few days (as of Aug. 11). When Barbaro first went out, he was abit in culture shock of getting sunshine and fresh grass. Watch the video of Barbaro outside.

Sunday, August 13, 2006 -- Evening

Long shot, Cactus Creek won the Adios at the Meadows race track here in Pittsburgh. The race is for pacers, and it seems that the winners of the three heats that were raced earlier in the day, just faded in the final. Cactus Creek paced the mile in 1:50 2/5. Western Ace was second and Total Truth was third. The favorite, Sandro Hanover, finished sixth in the final after winning his heat earlier.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro's cast was replaced late yesterday, and the leg under the cast is looking very good. This seems to tie in with the blood work results which have been steadily improving and aren't showing any sign of infection. The wrapping on the left leg are changed daily, and it also looks good. The hoof area is dry and there is "excellent early regrowth at the coronary band,” according to Dr. Dean Richardson.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro had another cast change today. There hasn't been a report on how that went, and there is not expected to be a news release until sometime tomorrow.

Sunday, August 6, 2006 -- Evening

Bluegrass Cat won the $1 million Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park today. He won by seven lengths. Praying for Cash was second and Strong Contender was third. The time for the 1 1/8th mile race was 1:48.85. Next up for Bluegrass Cat is a meeting with Bernardini in the Travers.

Thursday, August 3, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro is improving, slowly. It seems that his left rear hoof is showing evidence of regrowth. There is still a long road to go before Barbaro is totally out of the woods.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro is doing much better. In fact, Dr. Dean Richardson said that if Barbaro did not develop laminitis in his left rear leg, he would be out of the cast on his right rear. It seems that his right leg is in really good shape and healed enough that the cast could come off and he could just have a splinted shoe. However, because his left leg is so sore, they don't want to risk laminitis now in the right, so the cast stays on.

Saturday, July 29, 2006 -- Evening

Bernardini easily won the Jim Dandy Stakes today at Saratoga. People has been wondering if his Preakness win was just a fluke or the real deal. It looked like the real deal this afternoon when Bernadini won by nine lengths over Minister's Bid in a time of 1:50.50 for the mile and an eighth. Third was Hemingway's Key, followed by Dr. Pleasure, then Oh So Awesome, and with Sunriver rounding out the field. In the Diana Stakes Angara beat out Sweet Talker by a head to win the race. Argentina was a nose farther back in third place. The Diana Stakes is for 3 year and old fillies and mares, and the time for the race was 1:49 1/5 for the 1 1/8th mile race. Faster than the Jim Dandy which is for 3 years olds. The track was listed as sloppy after a heavy thunderstorm earlier in the day.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro had his cast changed yesterday, and his blood work has consistently been good. These are all very good and promising signs.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro is still in stable condition with normal vital signs. Dean Richardson said that he doesn't think any changes in his condition will happen quickly. In Richardson's opinion, it is going to be a marathon with changes happening over time, but that it could be months of treatment.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 -- Afternoon

Michael Matz, Barbaro's trainer, said that Barbaro is continuing to hold his own. He saw the horse this morning, and said that he is still listed in stable condition and his vital signs are still normal. Yesterday afternoon, Dr. Dean Richardson, replaced the cast on the right leg and took x-rays of the area. The pastern looks like it is in good condition and all the pins and plate look like they are in place. The incision also looks clean and has no sign of infection. The left cast was also replaced to treat the laminitis. The procedures were done while Barbaro was lightly sedated and in the sling. Dr. Richardson said that Barbaro is a very intelligent horse and "adapted very well to being managed in the sling." Matz is encouraged but not getting too hopeful because he already lost two horses to laminitis.

Monday, July 17, 2006 -- Afternoon

Barbaro is continuing to do well, and his vital signs are still normal. The one thing that his doctor, Dean Richardson, wanted to stress is that Barbaro has a bad case of laminitis and the treatment for it is complex. They are keeping a close eye on Barbaro, and changing the cast on the foot with laminitis as needed. They want to make sure to treat it as needed and to look for any signs of infection. Barbaro really does seem to have a will to live. Let's hope that his body doesn't fight against his spirit.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro had another good night, and appears to be responding well to treatment. He doesn't seem to be in pain. So he is still in stable condition. This doesn't mean that Barbaro is safe. He can still develop laminitis in another leg, and if that happens, he will be put down.

Friday, July 14, 2006 -- Late Evening

Dr. Dean Richardson gave another press conference about Barbaro later today. It seems that Barbaro is still in stable condition. As Dr. Richardson said, they are treating the laminitis aggressively, and will continue to do so far as long as it is needed. As he said, the treatment could continue for months if Barbaro continues to respond positively. Edgar Prado stopped by to visit with Barbaro. Prado left New York at 4:30 am, spent a few hours with Barbaro, and then went back to New York to make the races at 3 pm. Prado walked with Barbaro, fed him, and then Barbaro put his head on Prado shoulder and went to sleep. Prado was crushed at the news that things had taken a turn for the worse, but says that Barbaro has the will to overcome the bad odds.

Friday, July 14, 2006 -- Afternoon

Barbaro's vet, Dr. Dean Richardson, says that Barbaro is in stable condition. He was out of the sling for 12 hours and slept on his side for 4 hours. That doesn't mean he is out of the woods--not by a long shot. It just means that things are extended for abit and that he might have a chance to recover.

Friday, July 14, 2006 -- Morning

Barbaro is doing abit better this morning. He had a restful night according to vet, Dr. Dean Richardson. The promising news is that Barbaro even slept on his side which is a sign that he is feeling better. Although he continues to eat and look good, that doesn't mean that he is out of the woods. As Richardson said, if Barbaro appears to be favoring his left hind leg, or not wanting to put weight on it, he would have to put Barbaro down. Although things look promising now, that doesn't mean that we might not have a different story later today.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 -- Late Afternoon

Barbaro's chances for survival are poor. As long as he continues to eat and is not in alot of pain, the vets will continue to treat him. However, it is possible that he might be put down in the next 24 hours. This is very sad news indeed. Right now, the vets have cut away the hoof wall on the left hind leg in the hopes of treating the laminitis. Both of Barbaro's rear legs are now in a cast. Barbaro is also spending some time in a sling. We can only hope for the best news, but it's not looking good at all. I will post any updates on Barbaro's condition as soon as I hear them.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 -- Afternoon

Really bad news on the Barbaro front. He has developed laminitis in his non-injured left hind leg. As Dr. Dean Richardson said, they aren't going to put Barbaro down at this point because he is eating and has normal vital signs. However, the laminitis was the worst case scenario that the doctors were concerned about. It's caused because the horse has pain in one of its legs and doesn't put weight on the sore foot. The non-sore foot then develops the laminitis because of the increase in weight and pressure on it. So when Barbaro developed the infection in his right hind leg, he must have shifted more weight to the left which resulted in the laminitis. Things are really not looking good for Barbaro at this point, and we can only hope that somehow things will improve.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 -- Early Afternoon

Barbaro is listed in guarded condition. Dr. Dean Richardson said that the road has hit a bumpy spot, but that the vets are treating Barbaro aggressively in the hopes of saving him. It seems that Barbaro is still not comfortable, and isn't responding well to treatment. The vets are in close contact with the owners, Gretchen and Roy Jackson, and we can only keep our fingers crossed. As Dr. Richardson said, "There's so much concern. It's significant. Two weeks ago, we were at 50-50 (for survival). With this new problem, we are less than that." It's such a sad turn of events that he went from doing so well to being in such bad shape. The Maryland Racing Commission has reviewed the tapes from the Preakness and determined that Barbaro's breakdown was just a matter of bad racing luck. There was some controversy that Barbaro might have had his hind leg clipped by another horse and that resulted in the break. However, the Commission was unable to see anything conclusive.

Monday, July 10, 2006 -- Afternoon

Barbaro's cast was replaced yet again today. This is the sixth cast that Barbaro has had since the fracture was first repaired. The longer cast was replaced with a shorter cast so Barbaro will be able to move around more easily. It seems with the longer cast, he was having trouble getting up from a lying position. Dr. Dean Richardson said that Barbaro is doing well, has a fine appetite, and that his temperature is again normal. The abscess in his left hind hoof was also treated.

Sunday, July 9, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro had more complications and further surgery late last night. Dr. Dean Richardson replaced the plate and several screws in Barbaro's injured leg. There are some problems with the pastern joint (which is the area that was most severly shattered), and the vets stablized the area with fresh implants and bone grafts. To increase the stability of the leg, Barbaro's cast was made longer to give more support. There appears to be some infection in the fractured area which the doctors cleaned. They are also treating the left hind hoof for an infection too. This is the second surgery in less than a week and is not very promising. I'll be keeping a closer eye on Barbaro's progress.

Saturday, July 8, 2006 -- Morning

There is news on the Barbaro front. On Monday, Barbaro underwent surgery again to replace the cast on his leg and to replace a couple of bent screws and add three more around his pastern bone. The leg is healing well, but there are complications. It appears that Barbaro had been having problems with the second cast, and that lead to the decision to replace the cast. Also, he has been running a fever over several days which heighten the concern. An abscess was found on the sole of Barbaro's uninjured left hind leg, which again is a problem. This abscess is being treated topically and Barbaro is being given antiobiotics for any systemic problems. Obviously, Barbaro is not out of the woods yet, and it is going to be a long road still. As for the cast, Dr. Dean Richardson said that it will remain until he is certain that Barbaro's bones have healed and have the strength to support the leg on its own.

Saturday, June 24, 2006 -- Late Evening

We went to the Meadows racetrack today. It's maybe half an hour from our house and has harness racing. When I was a child, I used to read books on betting and would make pretend bets on the horses. The local newspaper would have the racing entries for the day, and I would write down my predictions on who would win, place, and show. Then I would check to see how I did the next day. With practice, I was pretty good. I haven't done that in years, so today my record was not very good. I gave my boyfriend the tips, and we won a few dollars. Basically we bet $20 and won $10 to $12. I hope to get better with practice, and plan on going to the races more often. The most exciting was the tenth race. I picked Solomon's Boogedy because his name is similar to my boyfriend's. Well, he was hanging at the end of the pack, but came on in the stretch to finish in a dead heat for second place. My boyfriend was really excited by that one. Out of the ten races that we saw, I picked two winners--Hidden Viggorish (won the 8th race) and Komodo (won the 11th race). Hidden Viggorish won the second division of the Currier & Ives 3 year old filly trot. She has five wins and one place out of seven races. Not bad--and obviously an easy pick to win. We bet for the horses to show because that would be a guaranteed way to get some money if the horse finished in the top three. I'm going to research handicapping again, and try my hand at exactas and trifectas. Here are a slew of pictures from the night.

Monday, June 19, 2006 -- Afternoon

Barbaro is steadily improving according to Dr. Dean Richardson. Before he is considered to be more than 51% likely to survive, the vets want to make certain that his foot is healing enough that he will be able to have his bones support the weight of the foot without the titanium plate. The plate is only supposed to be supportive during the healing process. The bone should become strong enough to hold the weight of the horse on its own. Things are looking good and everyone is hopeful.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro's leg is doing excellent according to Dean Richardson. Dr. Richardson replaced Barbaro's cast today, and he said that “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 procedure was done under general anesthesia, and Barbaro is now awake and continuing to improve. This is very good news.

Saturday, June 10, 2006 -- Evening

ABC did a very nice job with the Belmont Stakes broadcast. Although the show was two hours long, they filled the time with two other races that were held at Belmont Park. First there were several sections about Barbaro. We had the longer clip first that went over all the details of the past three weeks and the update on Barbaro for today which is that he is doing well. Then periodically through the show, they would send the cameras back to Barbaro, including showing a clip of Barbaro rolling around in his stall--oblivious to any problems with his rear leg. When it got closer to the start of the race, they wheeled in a television and had it facing Barbaro's stall door. It did look like he was looking at the television screen. Probably, he heard noises that he recognized as pre-race noises, and that caught his attention. It seems that since the New Bolton Center setup an e-mail address for folks to send best wishes to Barbaro that he has received 40,000 messages.

On to the races themselves. First up was the Acorn Stakes for three year old fillies. The race was delayed for several minutes, and the horses were unloaded from the starting gate when Miraculous Miss reared in the gate, flipped over, and was trapped on her back in the stall. She was flailing around with her legs, and there was concern that she would seriously hurt herself along with Wonder Lady Anne L who was in the gate next to her. Miraculous Miss was one of the favorites in the race too, having won the five of her last six races. Bushfire won the race after a stirring stretch battle between her and Hello Liberty. At one point at the head of the stretch, Hello Liberty pulled ahead of Bushfire, but Bushfire came on to win the race by a neck. The time for the mile long race was 1:35.89. Last Romance was third, and Adieu (the favorite) finished fourth.

After that was the Manhattan Stakes, a mile and a quarter (10 furlong) turf race. This race was very exciting. Edgar Prado was on Cacique, who was one of the favorites. The folks associated with the horse (I can't remember if was the trainer or owner) were talking before the race that if the pace was slow, Cacique might take the lead early. Well, Cacique did just that. In the stretch, he held off late charging Relaxed Gesture to win by a nose. It was a photo finish between the top four finishing horses. Grey Swallow finished third, a neck behind Relaxed Gesture. English Channel was a head behind in fourth place. The time for the race was 2:04.10

Finally, on to the Belmont itself. Bob and John had the early lead, and Jazil was lagging behind the field of horses. However, before the final turn, Jazil put the steam on and took the lead. He came on in the stretch to take the lead and to hold off late bids by Bluegrass Cat and sunriver to win in a time of 2:27 4/5 by 1 1/4 lengths. Steppenwolfer was fourth (the early favorite to win.) It was quite funny because all week long we have been hearing Steppenwolfer stories, how he was bred to win longer distance races and how he was named after the music group, Steppenwolf. All for naught with Jazil winning. The winning stories with Jazil are that this is the first Triple Crown race that his trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin (a two time Eclipse winning trainer) won. Jazil's jockey was 18 year old Fernando Jara, and his owner is Sheik Hamdan from Dubai, and brother to the owner of Preakness winner, Bernardini.

June 10, 2006 - Belmont Park Course - Official Results
Pos. Horse Jockey
Win Jazil Fernando Jara
Place Bluegrass Cat John Velazquez
Show Sunriver Rafael Bejarano
4 Steppenwolfer Robby Albarado
5 Oh So Awesome Mike Smith
6 Hemingway's Key Jeremy Rose
7 Platinum Couple Jose L. Espinoza
8 Bob and John Garrett Gomez
9 Sacred Light Victor Espinoza
10 High Finance Eibar Coa
11 Deputy Glitters Edgar Prado
12 Double Galore Michael J. Luzzi

Results of the 138th running of the Belmont Stakes
Number Horse (Jockey) Win Place Show
8 Jazil (Fernando Jara) $14.40 $6.70 $4.70
9 Bluegrass Cat (John Velazquez) $6.40 $4.70
2 Sunriver (Rafael Bejarano) $6.10

Thursday, June 8, 2006 -- Evening

Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell, went to visit Barbaro today. Rendell was there to present the New Bolton Center with a check for $13.5 million that will go towards the building of new medical facilities. Barbaro is still improving with every day. It seems that he is showing a great deal of interest in the mares that are in the area. All of that bodes well for his recovery.

Field for the 138st running of the Belmont Stakes

1Platinum CoupleVictor Espinoza30-1
2SunriverRafael Bejarano4-1
3Hemingway's KeyJeremy Rose15-1
4Bob and JohnGarrett Gomez5-1
5High FinanceEibar Coa12-1
6Oh So AwesomeMike Smith20-1
7Deputy GlittersEdgar Prado15-1
8JazilFernando Jara10-1
9Bluegrass CatJohn Velazquez3-1
10Double GaloreMike Luzzi30-1
11SteppenwolferRobby Albarado9-2
12Sacred LightVictor Espinoza15-1

Wednesday, June 7, 2006 -- Evening

The post positions were selected today for the Belmont Stakes. The trainer of Deputy Glitters, Tom Albertrani, has already said that if the track is muddy, he will scratch Deputy Glitters. It seems that he doesn't do very well with muddy tracks. check out the horse racing page for the post positions. Of course, even though Barbaro won't be in the race, he is going to feature heavily on the ESPN and ABC telecasts. There is going to be discussion of his surgery and how he is doing. This is going to be the first time since 2000 that ABC will be broadcasting the Belmont. I remember when ABC and CBS used to be THE horse racing channels.

Saturday, June 3, 2006 -- Evening

One of the horses racing in the English Derby at Epsom Downs today was euthanized after breaking his right front leg 600 yards from the finish of the race. Horatio Nelson was the second favorite in the race and according to his jockey, Kieren Fallon, Horation Nelson was stiff in the legs before the race. The course vet and the trainer checked out the horse for several minutes before the start of the race (holding up the start of the race) and deteremined that the horse was fine to go. Horatio Nelson stumbled 600 yards before the finish as he was being squeezed between the favorite, Visindar and Hala Bek. Fallon pulled up the horse immediately. Five vets checked out Horatio Nelson, and the fractures were similar to those that Barbaro suffered, a fracture in the cannon, sesamoid bone, and a dislocated fetlock joint. The only difference was that Horatio Nelson's injuries went through the skin. Since there was a possibility that infection was already present and that blood flow was disrupted to the area, it was decided to euthanize Horatio Nelson. The race finished in a four way photo finish with Sir Percy winning the race by a head, Dragon Dancer was second by a head over Dylan Thomas who was third by a head over Hala Bek. Queen Elizabeth II was in attendance at today's races. The Queen is a huge racing fan and can recite the lineage of her racing stable to the amazement of many racing folks.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 -- Evening

According to Dean Richardson, Barbaro is going to keep his cast on for now. It appears that Barbaro is doing a great job of walking on the leg with the cast and resting his non-injured left leg. So the doctor thinks that it might be best to leave things as they are and keep his eye on the leg and cast. Originally he thought that the cast would loosen or there would be swelling, but so far, there is nothing. Richardson upped the odds to a 51 percent survival as opposed to 50 percent because there is still a ways to go before we know that Barbaro will be a-okay. As he said, Barbaro will not be able to gallop or do a dressage test. At the very best, he will have a "hitch in his giddiup." Just as with humans, the time when infection is most likely to occur is within the first 10 to 14 days after surgery.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 -- Afternoon

Edgar Prado stopped by to visit Barbaro this morning, and it was quite a change to see the smile on his face instead of the frown of dispair that we saw on Prado's face when the two were last together. Barbaro is still doing fine and has an interest in his surroundings and seeing who is outside of his stall. As the doctor, Dean Richardson, said, you wouldn't be able to tell from looking at Barbaro through the open half of his stall that he was a horse with a broken leg. All of this is positive news, but we should know more after the vet examines Barbaro leg without the cast this week. Barbaro will never be able to race or gallop strongly, but he will be able to get around. Most importantly, he will be alive.

Monday, May 29, 2006 -- Evening

The latest news on Barbaro is that he is continuing to do well. He has spent the weekend quietly, munching on the carrots and apples that have been sent to him from well-wishers. It seems that Edgar Prado is going to visit Barbaro tomorrow. One of the most touching pictures that I saw was in the print edition of Sports Illustrated. The look of grief on Prado's face was heartbreaking. I've never seen a mouth with such a sad pout, and his shoulders were slumped. Very touching! Also this week, Dean Richardson, Barbaro's vet, plans on changing the cast and examining the leg to eee how things are progressing.

Saturday, May 27, 2006 -- Late Evening

The word on Barbaro is still good. He has been eating and displaying his usual feisty behavior. There has been a lot of discussion about the way folks are reacting to Barbaro's injury. I think that the key element of the reaction is that the injury happened in the public eye. Everyone who watched the race or was in the stands saw the injury and felt for this animal who had the potential to be truly great (a possible Triple Crown winner) and might lose his life. Yes, there are more pressing problems in life. However, sometimes you need to have a distraction from those global problems (like famine and civil war in the African nations). This was a more personal experience.

Friday, May 26, 2006 -- Late Evening

Barbaro is in excellent condition according to his doctor, Dean Richardson. It seems that everything is going well, and Barbaro has an excellent appetite. It seems that with each day, he is getting better than the previous day. One of the things talked about today was the shoe that was placed on the non-broken hind leg. The purpose of the shoe is to prevent Barbaro from getting laminitis in the non-broken hoof due to excess weight being placed on that leg if Barbaro favors the broken leg. The shoe helps with laminitis because it cushions the sole of the foot, it has a raise in it so that both hind legs are level (since Barbaro has a cast on his right leg, it is higher than the left), and has silicon and sulfter to help in preventing infection to the sole. The University of Pennsylvania released a diagram of the shoe that was patented by the University.

Thursday, May 25, 2006 -- Morning

The latest Barbaro update is still good. Barbaro is napping and crunching away on the carrots and apples that concerned fans have sent to him. It seems that people have been sending tons of flowers, cards, and food to the New Bolton Center. Because it is too much for any one horse to eat, the staff have been sharing it with all the horses in the hospital. Barbaro is getting his fair share though, or at least as much as the doctors will allow. Edgar Prado was devastated by Barbaro's injury and has cried many tears over the horse. As he said, Barbaro was such a great horse, and it really hurts to see one like that suffer such a fate. Granted it is bad for any horse, but it touches you more when it is a horse with the winning potential of Barbaro.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 -- Evening

Bernardini is not going to the Belmont Stakes on June 10. The owner of Bernardini, Sheik Mohammed, is going to get a break from racing, and won't be back until August. Bernardini is going to be pointed towards the Breeder's Cup Classic with a $5 million prize. A decision hasn't been made yet on the August race, but it will probably be either the Travers at Saratoga or the Haskell Invitational or Jim Dandy Stakes at Monmouth.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 -- Afternoon

The latest news on Barbaro is that he is doing fine. Last night one of the doctors at the clinic checked up on Barbaro and found him lying down in the stall That's an excellent sign. It seems that Barbaro has been very comfortable with his leg. We can only hope that things keep on this steady road to recovery.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 -- Evening

I saw a news conference clip with Dr. Dean Richardson when I got home from work, and in it, he was saying that Barbaro was scratching at his left ear with his left rear leg. He also commented that Barbaro was lifting up his left leg in warning when someone came near him. These are really good signs because it means that Barbaro is putting the weight on his right rear leg. On the New Bolton Center web page, there will be updates on Barbaro's condition every day at 3 pm or as conditions warrant.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 -- Afternoon

Today's news on Barbaro is that he is doing even better than yesterday. He has a healthy appetite, is walking fine with weight evenly spread over all four legs, and has good vital signs (pulse, temperature, etc.). Things are still promising. It seems that the vet, Dean Richardson, miscounted the screws that were used in Barbaro's leg, and corrected the number from 23 to 27. That's a heck of a lot of screws in a small area. The goal, according to the owners, is that Barbaro have a painfree life. Dr. Richardson had to do some backpedaling today because he had commented that Barbaro was being "salvaged for breeding." As he said, he did not mean to imply that the owners of Barbaro would have had him destroyed if he was a gelding and not capable of breeding. The point that Richardson was trying to get across is that Barbaro would never race again. The only avenue left open to Barbaro is breeding. You can be angry at the concept, but that's what winning race horses do--race and then breed when they can't race anymore. The New Bolton Center has responded to all the questions and well-wishes for Barbaro with links on their website to send Barbaro e-mail get well messages and to support the Barbaro fun. If you are interested in other ways to express your thoughts about Barbaro, there is the website.

Monday, May 22, 2006 -- Evening

Since the biggest concern with Barbaro right now is risk of infection, I thought that the vets would probably be giving Barbaro antibiotics preemptively. Well, it appears that they are. Barbaro is under a 24 hour watch for any signs of infection or laminitis. I can only imagine how much this is going to cost. According to Forbes magazine, Dean Richardson said that the cost would in the tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, the owners have the financial resources to cover such a cost. There are no further updates on Barbaro's condition this evening.

Monday, May 22, 2006 -- Afternoon

Barbaro is still doing well this morning. According to his doctor, Dean Richardson, Barbaro is frisky, eating, and showing an interest in female horses which are all good signs. However, Barbaro still has a 50-50 chance of recovery even at this point because the chances of getting infection or laminitis in the rear leg that wasn't broken is still strong. Laminitis is inflammation of the bones in the foot that is getting more weight put on it. So if Barbaro doesn't put equal weight on both hind legs, the one that gets more weight put on it can get inflamed. That would not be good and could lead to problems that might result in Barbaro being put down. So even though the surgery was a success and things are looking positive, folks shouldn't think that Barbaro is out of the woods. Fortunately for Barbaro, the vets at Pimlico took the appropriate steps, and he was taken to the best equine facility in the country. The next hurdle for Barbaro will be the risk of infection. As Dr. Richardson said, it will be weeks before we know if Barbaro will make it.

Sunday, May 21, 2006 -- Late Evening

More information on Barbaro and the surgery. The surgeon placed 23 pins and a plate in Barbaro's leg to stablize the multiple fractures. As you can see from the x-ray released by the vets, the ankle area is covered in pins. To avoid any problems with Barbaro waking from the anesthesia and flailing around with his legs and rebreaking the fractures, he was placed in a pool. This way, if there were any jerky movements, his legs would be protected. That worked perfectly for Barbaro, and once he was fully awake, he was led to his stall. According to Michael Matz, Barbaro practically jogged into his stall and started to eat hay. This is very encouraging news, however, we all have to keep in mind that Barbaro will not be out of the woods just yet. There are many complications that can still arise. The Barbaro story reminded me of Ruffian. She was an undefeated three year old filly in 1975. She had not raced in the Kentucky Derby that was won by Foolish Pleasure in 1975. So they decided to have a match race between Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure to see who would win. Ruffian was pulling away from Foolish Pleasure when there was a snapping sound, and Ruffian had fractured her sesamoid bone (one of the bones also broken by Barbaro). The fracture was repaired in an operation, but when Ruffian woke from the anesthesia, she started to thrash around (typical for horses) and rebroke the leg, injuring it even more. She was put down at that point. Ruffian is buried at Belmont Park near the flagpole. The situation with Barbaro was extremely reminiscent of the Ruffian injury, but we can all wish and pray for a different ending. And it is looking promising. Dr. Dean Richardson gave a news conference with alot more details about the surgery and prognosis. He described the raft device that held Barbaro in the water while keeping the leg dry while Barbaro came out of the anesthesia. As Richardson said, it is still a long road that will require several weeks of rehab at the New Bolton Center. Richardson has too much experience and knowledge of things that can still go horribly wrong to say the Barbaro will have a complete recovery. Michael Matz, Barbaro's trainer who observed today's surgery, is feeling more hopeful about Barbaro's chances than he was feeling yesterday.

Sunday, May 21, 2006 -- Evening

Barbaro appears to be out of surgery and in ICU. The surgery took seven hours, and the length of the surgery was due to the prep time with anesthesia and in bringing Barbaro out of the anesthesia. At this point, he is standing in the ICU unit. He is not out of the woods yet because there might still be complications with infections or laminitis which is inflamation of the bones in the foot. The fractures in Barbaro's pastern (the bone between the ankle and the hoof) was severly broken and in more than 20 pieces. At this point, the cannon, ankle, and pastern are stablized and Barbaro is comfortable. Blood flow was good to the ankle both before and after the surgery, so things are looking good for Barbaro. More updates will follow as I find out about them.

Sunday, May 21, 2006 -- Late Afternoon

Barbaro is still in surgery. It seems that the surgeon who is working on him, Dean Richardson, said "he's never worked on so many catastrophic injuries to one horse." The main reason for that is because horses who have suffered such injuries usually are destroyed at the track and never make it to surgery. At least Barbaro has been given a fighting chance. Although Barbaro has been in surgery for five hours, there is still more work left to be done to stablize the ankle as much as possible. The damage was even more severe than originally thought with a broken cannon, pastern, and a dislocated fetlock (ankle). Two factors in Barbaro's favor are that he is behaving very well and there wasn't any skin breakage at the time of the injury.

Sunday, May 21, 2006 -- Early Afternoon

Barbaro is scheduled to have surgery on his ankle this afternoon. He was transported to the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania last night, and the surgeons will be looking at x-rays to see if the fractures were made worse by transportation. Right now, Barbaro's rear right land is heavily bandaged, and Barbaro has been sedated and responding calmly to his treatment. All of this is promising because it increases his chances of not reinjuring his leg post surgery. The question is really what the surgeons will find when they examine the x-rays taken immediately after the race and when he arrived at New Bolton Center. Barbaro has a fracture in his cannon bone above the ankle with multiple fractures in the long pastern bone and damage to the sesamoid bone. This image shows the location of the injury. This is a very worrisome injury, and there is still much concern for Barbaro's life. Hopefully, we will have some good news this evening.

Saturday, May 20, 2006 -- Evening

An event that should have been filled with joy and anticipation of a possible Triple Crown winner turned to sadness when Barbaro was pulled up a furlong into the Preakness Stakes. Barbaro suffered a fracture above and below his ankle on his hind right leg. Unfortunately, the sad thing is that this is a "significant injury" in the words of the track vet, Larry Bramlage, and might result in Barbaro being destroyed. It seems that the damage might be so severe that there might be damage to the blood supply to the leg. Unfortunately, horses can't just be kept still for six weeks at a time, so if during the surgery, the damage is found to be life threatening, Barbaro will be euthanized. A pall hung over the Preakness which was won by Bernardini by 5 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:54:65. Sweetnorthernsaint was second, six lengths ahead of Hemingway's Key. Brother Derek finished fourth again. Speculation is rampant at this part that Barbaro might have injured the ankle prior to the start of the race when he crashed through the starting gate, causing a delay to the start of the race. Bramlage said that he didn't think that had anything to do with the injury. According to Bramlage, the fracture above the ankle occurred first one furlong into the race when Barbaro misstepped, and then the lower fracture happened as Barbaro continued to put weight on the leg. Barbaro will have surgery tomorrow at the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and we should know then if he will survive. Poor Barbaro!

May 20, 2006 - Pimlico Race Course - Official Results
Pos. Horse Jockey
Win Bernardini Javier Castellano
Place Sweetnorthernsaint Kent Desormeaux
Show Hemingway's Key Jeremy Rose
4 Brother Derek Alex Solis
5 Greeley's Legacy Richard Migliore
6 Platinum Couple Jose Espinoza
7 Like Now Garrett Gomez
8 Diabolical Ramon Dominguez
DNF Barbaro Edgar Prado

Results of the 131st Preakness Stakes

Number Horse (Jockey) Win Place Show
8 Bernardini (J.Castellano) $27.80 $9.40 $5.80
7 Sweeetnorthernsaint (K. Desormeaux) --- $7.80 $5.00
3 Hemingway's Key (J. Rose) --- --- $8.00

Friday, May 19, 2006 -- Afternoon

Tomorrow is the Preakness Stakes, and Barbaro is the talk of all the newspapers. Some seem to believe that he won't be well rested because his previous races have been farther apart. That has always been the problem with the Triple Crown races. They are close together and early in the year for a young three year old. That's why there aren't that many Triple Crown winners. I think that Barbaro stands as good a chance as any horse, and I think that Michael Matz did a good job of sending Barbaro to Fair Hills. It's a facility near the Pimlico racetrack where the Preakness is held. The place is quieter so Barbaro wasn't having media folks disrupting him. Also, he could be turned out intot a paddock to relax and Matz could do any sort of track training whenever he wanted to do it without having to follow Pimlico's tight structure. It seems from things that Matz has said, Barbaro has recovered well from the Derby, and I expect to see a good showing. The Preakness is a different race because it is a shorter race than the Derby, and the turns are sharper.

Field for the 131st running of the Preakness Stakes

1Like NowGarrett Gomez 12-1
2Platinum CoupleVictor Espinoza50-1
3Hemingway's KeyJeremy Rose30-1
4Greeley's LegacyRichard Migliore20-1
5Brother DerekAlex Solis3-1
6BarbaroEdgar PradoEven
7SweetnorthernsaintKent Desormeaux 4-1
8BernardiniJavier Castellano8-1
9DiabolicalRamon Dominguez30-1

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 -- Afternoon

I watched the post position selection for the Preakness Stakes this afternoon. The most exciting thing that happened is when Michael Matz, Barbaro's trainer, picked third and wanted to take post position 4 which was already taken by Greeley's Legacy. Matz decided to then take number 6. It seemed that Matz wanted post number 4 because positions 1 and 5 are loaded simultanously (then 2 and 6 and so forth). The picking of the post positions is done by randomly having a number assigned to each horse. A number is then pulled, and that number is unveiled on a board to show which horse that is. The trainer for that horse has 60 seconds to get to the podium and pick a position. Brother Derek, who had the number 18 post position has number 5 in the Preakness.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 -- Late Morning

Bluegrass Cat, Steppenwolfer, and Jazil are all going to skip the Preakness Stakes to concentrate on the mile and a half Belmont Stakes held on June 10. Steppenwolfer's trainer said that he would like to be the giant killer, just lurking there to beat Barbaro and stomp on his Triple Crown dreams. Meanwhile Brother Derek's trainer has come up with an excuse for Brother Derek's fourth place finish. It seems that Brother Derek lost a shoe on his front right foot before the race. Alex Solis, Brother Derek's jockey, claimed that the shoe might have come off in the post parade.

Saturday, May 6, 2006 -- Early Evening

Barbaro, the 6-1 race day favorite, won the 132nd running of the Kentucky Derby easily by 6 1/2 lengths. As I was watching the horse during the pre-event show on NBC, I was impressed by his calmness. Also, at this point, Barbaro was undefeated (5-0, now 6-0). The thing that irritated me the most is that NBC spent the entire hour prior to the race just talking about human sob stories as opposed to actually giving information on the horses and their racing records. So we heard about early favorite, Brother Derek's trainer, Dan Hendricks, who was paralyzed after having a motorcross bike accident two years ago. Then there was Brother Derek's jockey, Alex Solis, who broke a vertebrae in his back a few years ago. Finally there was the story of Michael Matz, the Olympic equestrian turned trainer, who was in a plane crash 17 years ago. He survived and saved three children who were flying alone on the plane on their way to visit their grandparents. Matz is the trainer of Barbaro. As you can well imagine, none of this helps in figuring out how to handicap the race. When the race started, the speed horses like Keyed Entry and Sinister Minister led a blistering pace with the first half in :46. Barbaro was behind the leaders in third place, and made his move on the final turn. At that point, he just breezed past and distanced himself from the pack. The time for the race was 2:01.36. For a comparison, the track record is held by the great Secretariat who ran the mile and a quarter in 1:59 2/5 in 1973. Second place finisher was Bluegrass Cat with Steppenwolfer third. Brother Derek was in a dead heat for fourth with Jazil. Lawyer Ron, the horse that I was favoring yesterday finished 12th. The odds on the horses were all pretty high this year because there really weren't any clear favorites. Even the bookies though that this was a race that might be up for grabs. Barbaro had an impressive showing, and I am going to be cheering him on to win the Triple Crown. The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed in 1978.

May 6, 2006 - Churchill Downs - Official Results
Pos. Horse Jockey
Win Barbaro Edgar Prado
Place Bluegrass Cat Ramon Dominguez
Show Steppenwolfer Robby Albarado
4 Jazil Fernando Jara
5 Brother Derek Alex Solis
6 Showing Up Cornelio Velasquez
7 Sweetnorthernsaint Kent Desormeaux
8 Deputy Glitters Jose Lezcano
9 Point Determined Rafael Bejarano
10 Seaside Retreat Patrick Husbands
11 Storm Treasure David Flores
12 Lawyer Ron John McKee
13 Cause To Believe Russell Baze
14 Flashy Bull Mike Smith
15 Private Vow Shaun Bridgmohan
16 Sinister Minister Victor Espinoza
17 Bob and John Garrett Gomez
18 A.P. Warrior Corey Nakatani
19 Sharp Humor Mark Guidry
20 Keyed Entry Patrick Valenzuela

PGM Horse Win Place Show
8 Barbaro $14.20 $8.00 $6.00
13 Bluegrass Cat $28.40 $15.40
2 Steppenwolfer $7.80

Friday, May 5, 2006 -- Afternoon

Lawyer Ron was sold yesterday. Before competing in the Kentucky Derby, horses are worth more because of the potential they have to be Derby winners. So if you are going to sell your horse, you want to do it before he runs in the Derby because if he loses, his worth will drop. Lawyer Ron is still going to race in the colors of his former owner (blue and white), who died a few months ago. A partial interest in the horse was sold to Our Legal Team LLC and Stonewall Stallions LLC (both of which are owned by Audrey Haisfield).

Field for the 132nd running of the Kentucky Derby

1JazilFernando Jara30-1
2SteppenwolferRobby Albarado30-1
3Keyed EntryPatrick Valenzuela30-1
4Sinister MinisterVictor Espinoza12-1
5Point DeterminedRafael Bejarano12-1
6Showing UpCornelio Velasquez20-1
7Bob and JohnGarrett Gom12-1
8BarbaroEdgar Prado4-1
9Sharp HumorMark Guidry20-1
10A. P. WarriorCorey Nakatani15-1
11SweetnorthernsaintKent Desormeaux10-1
12Private VowShaun Bridgmohan50-1
13Bluegrass CatRamon Dominguez30-1
14Deputy GlittersJose Lezcano50-1
15Seaside RetreatPatrick Husbands50-1
16Cause to BelieveRussell Baze50-1
17Lawyer RonJohn McKee4-1
18Brother DerekAlex Solis3-1
19Storm TreasureDavid Flores50-1
20Flashy BullMike Smith50-1

Thursday, May 4, 2006 -- Evening

The pole positions were chosen for the 132nd running of the Kentucky Derby today. Brother Derek, who is the favorite, is going to be starting on the outside. He is going into the 18 post position out of 20. I think that this race is going to be a toss up. There are too many horses who have won a race or two, and I don't think that any of them have an edge. Also, I don't think any of them are Triple Crown possibilities. Right now, I am leaning towards Lawyer Ron as my favorite. It's just hard to get excited about any of the horses in this field.

Monday, May 1, 2006 -- Evening

Rain is forecast for Louisville on Kentucky Derby day so the trainers moved up workouts. Lawyer Ron had the fastest time for five furlongs of 58.76 seconds. Barbaro did the same distance in 59.48 seconds. Of course, the Derby is a mile and a quarter or 10 furlongs.

Saturday, April 15, 2006 -- Early Evening

There were three prep races for the Kentucky Derby were held today. First was the Santa Anita Derby. Brother Derek won by 3 1/4 lengths in 1:48. A. P. Warrior was second and Sacred Light was third. In the Bluegrass Stakes held at Keeneland in Kentucky, Sinister Minister won in a pole to pole effort. Time was 1:48.85. Sinister Minister was 10 lengths ahead of Storm Treasure. Strong Contender was third and the favorite, Bluegrass Cat, finished in fourth. On to the Arkansas Derby. Favorite, Lawyer Ron won by 2 3/4 lengths over Steppenwolfer. In third was Private Vow. The time for this race was a pedestrian 1:51.38. Lawyer Ron took a page from Sinister Minister's book, and lead practically the entire way with just a minor challenge from Private Vow at the top of the stretch. It will be interesting to see how the three match up in the Kentucky Derby which is three weeks away.

Saturday, April 1, 2006 -- Evening

Today was the Florida Derby, one of the many prep races for the Kentucky Derby. The intersting thing about this race is that one of the horses in the field was the undefeated, Barbaro. Well, Barbaro won the 1 1/8 mile race by a half a length. I have to start keeping track of the various prep races like the Wood Memorial and see who wins to see who I might like to win the Derby.