Barbaro Doing Well: Vets Plan to Remove Cast Next Week

Barbaro, the unbeaten winner of the Kentucky Derby, is in good health and progressing well on his road to recovery, Dean Richardson, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, told reporters in a Nov. 1 press conference during the National Turf Writers' Association dinner in Louisville, Ky.

"When I left this morning he was in his stall, eating, breathing, doing the things that horses are supposed to do," said Richardson, chief of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. "Michael Matz is here in Kentucky training his horses [for the Breeders' Cup], so [assistant trainer] Peter Brette has been coming daily to walk him and he's doing great. We took X rays of his right hind leg today and we're probably going to be removing his cast permanently next week."

Richardson cautioned that although the news on Barbaro's condition is positive, his recovery will be long and slow. He completely ruled out any possibility of the son of Dynaformer standing at stud in 2007.

"Every day that goes by is good and it gets better as he continues to do well, but he still does not have a normal left hind foot, and he needs a normal left hind foot before he can live a normal life as a horse," Richardson said. "He's better, but he has a long way to go."

About the Author

Claire Novak

Winner of the 2011 Eclipse Award for Feature/Commentary and the 2008 Louisville Metro Journalism Award for Sports Writing, Claire Novak has melded her love for human-interest journalism and the equine breed into a successful Turf writing career. Since her first freelance article on racing was published at in 2005, her byline has appeared in the New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, and on, among others. She lives near Lexington and, when not writing about racing, can often be found jumping her Thoroughbred, Bob.

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