Barbaro continues progress on both sides

Updated: August 22, 2006, 8:31 PM ET
By Glenye Cain | Daily Racing Form

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro is making such good progress while in the hospital that his surgeon, Dr. Dean Richardson, has said he does not plan to change the colt's right hind cast during the next two weeks.

Barbaro shattered his lower right hind leg in the Preakness Stakes on May 20. He underwent surgery at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center the following day to repair three fractures. He remains in intensive care at the equine hospital.

Despite such setbacks as severe laminitis in his left hind leg and an infection in the injured right hind leg, Barbaro continues to beat the odds.

"Barbaro is doing well in both hind limbs," Richardson said in a statement issued Tuesday by the hospital. "Because of this, we do not plan to change his right hind cast in the next two weeks."

Fans of Barbaro, a 3-year-old Dynaformer colt, were heartened last week when the hospital announced it had begun allowing Barbaro to hand-graze outside the intensive care barn for 20 to 30 minutes a day. But Richardson warned that the horse is not out of danger, and recently, in a New York Times interview, assessed the horse's chances for survival as 50-50.

"He needs to continue to improve over the next few months before we will have a better idea about his long-term comfort," Richardson emphasized in the Tuesday statement. "Barbaro's appetite and his attitude right now are phenomenal. He attacks his feed, and when he goes out to graze, he acts like he thinks he could train.

"Right now, he is a surprisingly happy horse," he added. "He is gaining weight and has had his pain medications reduced without any effect on his well-being. His strength and overall appearance have been improving since he became well enough to be walked outside each day."