Signs improving for Barbaro

Attitude, appetite better

Kentucky Derby winner remains stable

Horse Racing

July 17, 2006|By KEN MURRAY | KEN MURRAY,SUN REPORTER

KENNETT SQUARE, PA. -- Barbaro's attitude and appetite were upbeat again yesterday, as the vigil over the injured Kentucky Derby winner reached an uneventful 57th day at the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals.

Dr. Dean Richardson, chief of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, said in a statement that Barbaro got another restful night Saturday and remains in stable condition.

"His vital signs are good and his attitude remains positive," Richardson said. "He is acceptably comfortable today, and his appetite remains excellent."

Barbaro suffered three fractures in his right hind leg in the Preakness Stakes on May 20, and has since developed laminitis in his left foot.

After surgery last week to clean out an infection in the right leg and another procedure to remove 80 percent of the left hoof, Richardson said the prognosis for Barbaro's recovery was poor.

As of yesterday, however, Barbaro seemed to have responded well to his surgical procedures. The difference in the horse during the weekend and last week was evident to Peter Brette, assistant trainer under Michael Matz, when he visited Barbaro yesterday.

"He was bright, he was alert and he's sort of - he's always had a bit of sparkle in his eye," Brette told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Last week when I went to see him, he didn't. He was obviously very tired, and we were all very worried last week.

"We're still very worried, but it's very good for me to go in and see him like this. Once you see him as he is, it just puts the Preakness a little further in the back of your mind."

ken.murray@baltsun.com

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