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Jan 05, 2007

Barbaro looks good as 2007 begins


Kennett Square, PA (Sports Network) - According to the medical staff tending to Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner is eating well with a bright eye and good disposition. Chief of Surgery, Dr. Dean Richardson reports that the now four-year-old continues in the right direction.

"The shoe on his right hind foot was further modified as his strength improved," said Richardson. "We are aware that there is some public concern about his abnormal motion on the right hind limb, however, this is not unexpected. His gait may be abnormal as he learns to adapt to having fusions of two major joints in his lower limb and to the special shoe. In addition, the fracture had some collapse on the medial (inside) part of the pastern region after he developed laminitis on the left hind foot. Although this is visually unattractive, the mechanics of the lower leg are not seriously affected because the pastern and fetlock joints are fused."

Richardson noted that the objective has been to give Barbaro a leg that would allow him to live happily. However, the left hind foot is still of concern.

"The right hind has healed well enough that we are optimistic about that possibility," Dr. Richardson continued. "However, Barbaro’s left hind foot, which had laminitis, remains a more formidable long-term challenge. The foot must grow much more for him to have a truly successful outcome."

The colt is owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson. It is expected that the Jacksons will shortly announced where Barbaro will be transferred when released from the New Bolton Center.

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