Derby winner continues to improve following surgery

Updated: January 19, 2007, 10:11 PM ET
Associated Press

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. -- Barbaro's pain medication was reduced and the Kentucky Derby winner continued to improve following surgery on his left hind hoof.

Barbaro, plagued by the often-fatal hoof disease called laminitis, underwent surgery Saturday, and has made steady progress since, said chief surgeon Dean Richardson of the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center.

"Barbaro's comfort level is improving steadily, and we are gradually tapering off his pain medication," Richardson said in an update issued Thursday. "His vital signs are stable, and his appetite is good."

Earlier in the week, Richardson said Barbaro had improved considerably from a procedure that removed a section of the hoof.

Barbaro has been recovering at New Bolton since shattering three bones in his right rear leg at the start of the Preakness Stakes on May 20.

Last July, Barbaro developed laminitis in his left hoof due to uneven weight distribution in the limbs, 80 percent of that hoof was removed.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press