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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Bernardini Wins Preakness Stakes; Post Time Favourite Barbaro Pulls Up

After the Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness favourite Barbaro took a bad step and was pulled up on the frontstretch, Darley Stable’s Bernardini raced to a smashing victory in the 131st running of the Grade I, $1,000,000 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Racecourse, USA, on Saturday, May 20, 2006..

A record crowd of 118,402 was on hand for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown under blue skies and mild temperatures to witness the historic Preakness day card. A total of $87,544,368 was wagered on the 13-race card, while $56,394,560 was bet on the Preakness race itself. Both totals were third highest all-time at Old Hilltop

Javier Castellano rode the lightly raced son of A.P. Indy to victory in 1:54.65 for the 1-3/16-mile distance on the main track. Sweetnorthernsaint could not fend off the winner as they raced down the stretch but finished a game second, 5-1/4 lengths behind. Hemingway’s Key finished third. Brother Derek, second in the wagering, broke poorly, got as close as second at the half-mile marker but tired and finished fourth.

The winner, who is trained by Tom Albertrani, had won the Withers (Grade III) in just his third lifetime start.

“I think he just came into his own. We just felt that he could probably compete at this level, knowing that Barbaro was the horse to beat,” Albertrani said. “This horse just blossomed and matured so much in the last couple of months that he was just beginning to get better and better.”

Barbaro, the 1-2 favorite, delayed the start when he broke through the gate and had to be restrained by jockey Edgar Prado and the Pimlico outriders. After he returned to the starting gate and after suffering a career-ending injury, the colt was vanned off the racetrack.

The Kentucky Derby winner suffered fractures above and below his right hind ankle. He was attended by Dr. Dan Dreyfuss and Dr. Nick Meittinis and vanned to the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania

Bernardini paid $27.80 to win, the eighth largest win payoff in Preakness history.. He led a $171.60 exacta, a $3,912.80 triple, a $11,151.20 superfecta, a $66.20 late daily double and headed the final leg of a $446.20 pick three and a $1,620.80 pick four.

MODERATOR ERIC WING: We are joined by Dr. Larry Bramlage, the on call veterinarian today representing the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). Dr. Bramlage thanks for coming down to speak to us.
Could you give us an update on the condition of Barbaro?
DR. BRAMLAGE: At this point he's been x-rayed so we know the injury, he has a fracture both above and below the ankle. Dr. Dan Dreyfuss is his attending veterinarian who took the radiographs.
The way that practical happens is they break the one above the ankle first, and they have so much energy and adrenaline that they try to keep running. It would be very much analogous to someone twisting their ankle badly and fracturing their ankle. They can stay in bed. Tried to keep running and he broke the bone just below the ankle because of the instability of the scenario.

The problems that brings up are two-fold. One, there are significant danger to the blood supply to the lower limb. That's the one you worry about the most as far as this being a life-threatening injury, but equally as important is that's an injury that you or I would be put in bed for six weeks before we were allowed to walk on it, and that's impossible to do with a horse.
So it's going to take some sort of major stabilizing surgery. The preliminary word was he was going to go to the University of Pennsylvania for treatment, but there's a couple of steps to take care of before that.
First of all, he didn't get a chance to run the race, so he is still full of energy. So they've tranquilized him and settled him down in the stall, and then you have to stabilize the limb in some fashion for transport so that he doesn't do additional damage to it while he's hauled up there.

So there's some major hurdles here. This is a significant injury, and there are at least a couple of things that it are very life-threatening for him. His career is over. This will be it for him as a racehorse.

Under the best of circumstances, we're looking go try to save him as a stallion.

Q. Just to confirm, Dr. Bramlage, is it the right hind ankle?
DR. BRAMLAGE: The right hind ankle. And the fractures are fracture of the bone just above and a serious fracture of the bone just below the ankle.

Q. Now, you said this was a touchy situation at best and that surgery was in the offing provided he could get that far. Best case scenario, when would he have this surgery in?
DR. BRAMLAGE: Well, that's somewhat depends on him. If you have your choice, you would like to settle the horse down, get him used to the fact that he has a fracture. He becomes a much better patient for anesthesia and recovery from anesthesia, which as everyone knows is a major obstacle for a horse like that for an animal of 1200 pounds.

But in some instances, the fracture is unstable enough that you'll take some intermediate route. We try not to take them immediately to the operating table because we know with a horse physiology and their psyche, especially, as I said in this scenario, he didn't get a chance to expend these energies.
He's still full of energy that they have to somehow deal with that psychological aspects of getting him under control and then taking him and make him a good patient for surgery and the anesthesia because this surgery will take some hours when they reconstruct him.

Q. Dr. Bramlage, Gary Stevens mentioned on the telecast before the race started that he seemed particularly revved up. Later he broke through the gate, and I presume he was vet checked after came back around before he was permitted to reenter the starting gate?
A Right.

Q. Could that, that pent-up energy in anyway have served as the foundation for this kind of trying to do too much, or is it just a total fluke in the same way that this could happen to any horse at any moment?
DR. BRAMLAGE: Any horse, any person. You know, why does a football player turn their ankle, break their tibia? Why does a basketball player blow out their knee. It's all of this excitement and energy certainly but that energy doesn't predispose the fact that he's going to have an injury. It has to be some sort of, you know, bad step, load the thing unevenly.

As everyone knows, they have six times our body weight and have about the same amount of ground surface as you or I do and those really elegantly built lower legs are very vulnerable to twisting it as just exactly the wrong ankle and create the fracture.

Q. Dr. Bramlage, before it was apparent to nay of us laymen that something was amiss, Edgar Prado was already in the process of pulling him up.
To what degree does the quickness of Prado's actions improve Barbaro's chances over the next 24, 48 hours?
DR. BRAMLAGE: Well, that relates to what I mentioned about the blood supply. The more steps he takes on an unstable limb, the more damage it's going to do to the blood supply.
Horses only have two relatively small arteries to that part of the leg and so it's critical that the horse get pulled up before they damage those too badly.

Edgar Prado probably knew something was wrong when that first fracture happened but the horse doesn't likely know that. They don't sense even in the end if Edgar had let him go he probably would have tried to chase him around the field because it doesn't hurt initially with all that adrenaline rush especially when you tear the covering of the bone where the -- where all nerve supply is.

The horse feels relatively nothing until the in inflammation set it. Edgar was probably more aware that he was injured than the horse was.

Q. Any questions from down here for Dr. Bramlage before we bring in the winning connection I'll repeat again for the benefit of those upstairs in the press box.
Could you attempt to clarify Dr. Bramlage when in your estimation the first fracture occurred? Was it after he broke through the starting gate, the actual running of the race? I mean after the real running of the race could it have happened earlier?
DR. BRAMLAGE: No, it couldn't have happened earlier because he broke out of the gate and was going whenever his action began to -- when Edgar felt something was wrong so this happened sometime after he was going in the what, the first future long or so.
At around that time and then it took him another hundred yards to get him slowed down. So, in my opinion, this had nothing to do with him breaking through the gate as far as a cause and effect of the fracture in his leg. He wouldn't have been able to go around the gate, get back in and break like he did.

Q. Alright. Well, Dr. Bramlage, we thank you very much for taking the time to explain the situation so professionally and I'm sure we all wish the best for Barbaro and thanks again for your information.

THE WITNESS: You're welcome.

Q. We bring you the winning connection.

Bernardini, the winner of the 131st Preakness Stakes, and we'll be joined by jockey Javier Castellano and John Ferguson, the blood stock manager for Darley Stable. And in a couple of minutes I'm sure we'll be joined by Tom Albertrani, but first let's talk to Javier Castellano, his first Triple Crown victory.

Javier, first, congratulations. That move on the turn was mighty powerful, and I think anybody watching it could pretty much assume that Bernardini was the winner. When exactly did you realize how much you had under you and that nobody was going to be gaining on you?
JAVIER CASTELLANO: Yeah. Really, I really excited because that's my first time riding the Preakness and my first win. I can't ask nobody else. That's great emotion, and I'm very, very lucky and fortunate and very grateful for the honor and to Sheik Mohammed and all the group, John, and Tom Albertrani did a great job.

The pressure when I feel I win the race was in the half mile pole when I had so much horse to go the best he can, and I realized in the three-eight.
I don't see the horses coming out and it's time to go into the two horses. I had so much horse, and it was incredible. I feel like I win the race and had to go. I let him go the whole. He took off.

Q. Describe the early part of the trip, Javier the horse had shown high speed in his earlier races. This was his first time this long, first time around two turns. It could be assumed maybe he would be part of that early pace but he wasn't. Tell us about the early stages and what your strategy was.

JAVIER CASTELLANO: Yeah, the horse was feeling so great all week, he training very well. It was really, really sharp today. He broke on top. He showed a lot of speed.
He's the kind of horse you can go to the lead and run - off the pace and they got different style. They got a lot of ability and it run -- today was very very good. It was the best for him today, and he broke on top on the first -- I got a great position, right behind the two horses.
I wasn't really worried about three quarter, you know, when we hit it right. He hookup with me and I think, you know, I don't want to move too soon. That's why I sit it down on the back side. I took my shot and waited the best I can and the horse responded very well today.

Q. John Ferguson, coming into the Preakness on the positive side of the ledger, he had two wonderful victories in the Withers and in his Maiden Breaker.
He was also bred from A.P. Indy out of the terrific Cara Rafaela so the blood lines were certainly there, and I know that's your specialty.
On the other side of the ledger, unraced as a two year old, only three lifetime starts, never been two turns. What was the deciding factor or part of the decision to go for it here in the Preakness against a horse as formidable as Barbaro and Brother Derek and Sweetnorthernsaint?

MR. FERGUSON: Absolutely. Obviously, it was a formidable challenge, but I think if you were to ask Tom Albertrani the same question you asked Javier when he thought he might win the Preakness, it was when he crossed the line at the Withers.
Tom was very obviously excited about it and the horse has run a fabulous race today. It's very special for us but obviously tempered by what has happened to Barbaro.
I mean racing is a very small world and the Jacksons, Michael Matz and his team, they're all good friends of ours. We all work together, and we're all in the same business, and we know how it feels because it's happened to all of us before, not such high profile horse in such high profile race, but it really hurts when it happens and I just hope and pray the horse is okay, because obviously you know Sheik Mohammed is thrilled to bits that he's won the Preakness.
We would have enjoyed it a little bit more if Barbaro was okay right now, and I just hope he can be saved and be a fantastic stallion in the future because that's no more than the Jacksons and the Michael Matz and everybody deserves.

Q. Speaking of Barbaro, Javier, at any point in the race prior to the finish, were you aware of what had happened to Barbaro? Almost at the very outset?
JAVIER CASTELLANO: Yeah. Like I said in the beginning, I wasn't realize it was going. That's what I worry about the race all the way. I don't see him coming out. Something happened. When I see the horse stay in the middle of the track. It two different emotions.
I'm really excited for me and for my group and win the Preakness, but at the same time I see the horse right in the middle of the horse and everybody try to help it. It really, really sad. Really is bad.

Q. You were passing horses like they were standing still. However, were you sneaking peeks back, looking for Edgar Prado's blue and green, white silks, thinking that, my gosh he must be somewhere behind me?
JAVIER CASTELLANO: Yeah. That's exactly what I did on the back side. I don't see the horse coming out. I don't see what happened. After I realize the horse, it was right in the middle of the track. I see the jockey, oh, my God. Really, really sad.
Feel bad for group, feel bad for the owners and you know. Everybody, like I say, everybody wants to see the horse. We wait for long, long time for the triple crown, for all the people, you know, including myself and got to give credit the first time he run the Derby and everybody, we see it this year, but I got to do my job and really a lot of confidence in my horse. He did a great job.

Q. Want to remind everybody listening upstairs in the press box if you wish to ask questions, you may do so. Just give them to John Gordon who is awaiting your questions, and we'll relay them down here.
In the meantime, we're joined by the winning trainer, Tom Albertrani.
And Tom, congratulations on a career highlight for you. I'm sure your first Triple Crown victory. John Ferguson mentioned earlier that you were very confident in Bernardini's ability as soon as he passed under the wire victorious at the Withers.
Still, you were expecting this good a performance? Did his ease of victory take you by surprise at all today?
TOM ALBERTRANI: It did a bit. I didn't really think he would win by that far a margin. He just seemed to really extend at the end. Without Barbaro in there, I don't know how much of a margin he might have won if he didn't get injured. He sure came with a explosive run at the end.

Q. Tom, I suppose because of the injury to Barbaro, some may say, well, the victory slightly tainted. Is it too soon to know if the horse comes out of the race, you'll be coming back in the Belmont to try to reemphasize or double emphasize what he did today?
TOM ALBERTRANI: Well, I think we'll let Sheik Mohammed decide what to do with this colt's next race. He was very happy for us to run this horse today, and it was a good decision bringing him here, and we had a lot of confidence I think in this horse, and we just felt he had the talent to compete at this level.

Q. He showed last time, and this is for John or Tom, really -- he showed last time that he was a brilliant miler. Showed today pretty darn brilliant two turn horse. Given his pedigree, are you kind of under the assumption the more distance the better for this horse?
MR. FERGUSON: I think you have to say he's very versatile. Anything from a mile, possibly a mile and a half, would be within his compass. He's certainly -- he's as well bred as any horse in the United States and that obviously makes him very exciting for the future.

Q. Tom, we were talking earlier, his two previous victories this year were both of on or near the pace. There was a lot of pace inside you today, but still people were thinking that Bernardini would probably be in the first flight despite the other speeds.
He was more or less taken back and allowed to make what was a very devastating run. Can you talk about the strategy to not mix it up early and allow him to make that punch?
TOM ALBERTRANI: Well, talking to Javier before the race, we gave him pretty much the same instructions as the Withers, ride him with confidence and patience. That's exactly what he did.
He had great position into the first turn, and my only concern was about the half mile pole when Brother Derek went by him, looked like we were maybe back - pedaling a little bit Edgar Prado. I got a little worried for a moment. He did didn't think he was going to run his race, but when I saw him come back into the picture about five 16 pole, from there on I knew he was going to just take off.

Q. We want to ask, first of all, if anybody down here has any questions specifically for Javier Castellano because he has to be the first one to go due to travel commitments.
Okay. Question for Javier. I'll repeat it Javier for folks upstairs. Go ahead.
Where does this win rate for you in your list of accomplishments, and we know not too far back on your resume is a win aboard Goal Sapper (ph) in the Breeders' Cup Class Classic?

Where does it rank?
JAVIER CASTELLANO: That's a great feeling when you ride that kind horses, and they really good horses, and they put them right there in good spot and you ride more confident, you believe in yourself and the horse, and that's great emotion for me and for more experience and my profession and career. That's a really great horse.
I rode in the Breeders' Cup. Another horse when I rode in Dubai. It was a two million race. That's a great emotion, too. I went to Dubai and I rode the Horse International Race, great one, and it's a great feeling.

Q. Year before last in the Golden Shaheen (ph). This horse is obviously been managed extremely well.
Can John and Tom, can you talk about the decision not to race him at two.

TOM ALBERTRANI: When he was a two year old, he had some minor problems. Nothing serious, just a bit weak and -- just some my minor problems he had. We didn't get the opportunity to run him as a two year old. When I first got him it was middle of September, and he was still a little weak, really, and he was probably ready to make his first start middle of December.
But then New York took a break for the winter. We decided to get him out of the cold weather and send him down to Florida. He didn't make his first start until the first week in January.

MR. FERGUSON: Prior to being trained by Tom, he was trained by the late great Bob Scanlon, and I just liked to say here and now about he was a great friend to all of us and very sorry to have lost him, and this is in many ways would have been special for him, you know, and I'm sure he's looking down because he did a superb job on this horse right through most of the his two year old career.

Q. Just want to confirm we got a question from upstairs but it pertains to Larry Bramlage.
Just for the record Dr. Bramlage is the on call veterinarian for the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the AAEP. We have another question from downstairs. Tim and I'll repeat it for everyone upstairs.

Can you talk, Tom, about what was going through your mind when you saw what happened to Barbaro?
TOM ALBERTRANI: Well, from where we were watching, I didn't even see it. You couldn't see when they broke, there was too many people in my way to see it. I saw Michael run by me, and I knew something was wrong and then I heard someone say that Barbaro had pulled up.

Q. How much, if any, knowing what you know now about Barbaro -- how much, if any, does that unfortunate development taint the victory in your mind?
TOM ALBERTRANI: You feel very upset, you know when you see something like that happen to the other connections, and you don't really want to see that. But, you know, I can understand what he's going through probably right now, you know, being a trainer and being around horses, they get injured. You're always upset when something like that happens.

Q. Can you talk about the ride that Javier gave you, Tom?
TOM ALBERTRANI: He gave me a beautiful ride. I mean it was picture perfect. We talked about it beforehand. He stayed close enough to the lead where he didn't have anything in his way. He just sat patiently, and my only concern was at the half mile pole when I thought maybe he wasn't going forward at that time but he stayed, was very patient with him and when he asked him, he just pushed the button.

Q. Tom, the media is wondering what your plans are for shipping the horse back to Belmont and what your availability is going to be tomorrow.

TOM ALBERTRANI: He'll be shipping back tomorrow about 6:30 in the morning, and I'll be driving back to New York first thing tomorrow morning.

Q. Tom and John, I'm sure you have a lot of input in this, there's always a lot of talk, gee, can a horse come back in two weeks after the Derby and run in the Preakness. The same question in a different form might apply to you in the Belmont. This horse has never run races closer than a month and a half. The Belmont is only three weeks away. Is that too close, or do you think it's doable, given his -- perhaps his slightly light campaign relative to the others?
MR. FERGUSON: I think it's very relevant, and I think you know it's a decision that Sheik Mohammed will make obviously when Tom has given him all the facts.
I would say though that, you know, at the end of the day, the Triple Crown is difficult to win, and that's how it should be, and, you know, the idea of going from a Kentucky Derby, two weeks later in a Preakness, and then on to a Belmont, for a horse to do it, it is a phenomenal achievement.
And it's been like that, and there's no reason, you know, why it should change. It is a very, very hard thing to do, and as a result, very few horse dos it.

Q. Tom, from your cursory post race look at Bernardini, did he look just fine to you afterwards?
TOM ALBERTRANI: I only had a brief chance to see him, but he looked fine. He was a little hot, but for him he looked fine after the race.

Q. Any additional questions either upstairs or down here for John Ferguson or Tom actually? Yes, sir?
Much has been made, John Ferguson about your horse's blood lines. Could you expand on them a little bit.

MR. FERGUSON: Of course. The horse's sire is A.P. Indy, who is a one of the greatest sires in the United States, in the world. An A.P. Indy is by Seattle Slew who, as you know, is one of the greatest.
And Bernardini's mother was Cara Rafaela. She's by Quiet American who is -- was a horse who won the mile. He's the Sheik's stallion.

Then Cara Rafaela herself is out of a place called Oil Fable. How far back do you want me to go?

Q. (Inaudible).

MR. FERGUSON: Of course. Cara Rafaela was a great match. She won the Hollywood Starlet. Quite American, he's a very serious brood master.
Being A.P. Indy on the top and Quite American on the bottom. It's quite an attractive mix. When this horse was born and he is an outstandingly good-looking individual and very athletic. So to be honest, from the day he was born, he was what you might call a very exciting proposition.

Q. Couple of questions from the press corp. One, has either of you had the opportunity to talk to Sheik Mohammed yet?
MR. FERGUSON: I've had a very brief word with him. He's absolutely delighted. I think he may be -- that was a ring. He might be trying to get ahold of me. Very sorry he's not here because he's wean to the Preakness before. He came with Worldly Manner, and he's well aware of the fantastic day the people of Baltimore put on and so obviously very sorry he's not here but as the ruler of Dubai, inevitably he has huge commitments in that region. Unfortunately, this is one sacrifice he's had to make. I think he's very envious of me right now sitting here.

Q. John, we're all very honored that you put the Sheik Mohammed on hold to talk with us.
Tom, another question from upstairs. Could you talk about your early days in racing and whether you ever thought you'd be here talking about a victory in the Triple Crown race?
TOM ALBERTRANI: Well, I started when I was 13, walking horses with my uncle, Jack Demarco. I kind of moved up grooming horses, and I started to ride races at the age of 18, and I rode for a couple of years. Wasn't very good but rode for a couple years.

Then I started as an assistant trainer in, I believe, 1982 for Mark Cassidy, and that moved me on to Billy Mott for nine years as his assistant trainer, and then in '95 I was asked to go oversees and be assistant trainer to join the Godolphin Group. Then I settled back here in the states a couple years ago.

Q. Any other questions? Paula would like to know is there more -- can you continue on?
TOM ALBERTRANI: Oh, not in a million years. I never thought I'd be sitting here winning the Preakness. I thought I would ride the Preakness one day, but I never thought I would train a Preakness winner.

Q. (Inaudible.)
MR. FERGUSON: We will breed approximately 70 to 80 yearlings in the United States.

Q. (Inaudible.)
MR. FERGUSON: From the day he was born, he was a very terrific horse. As a yearling he would have been probably the best yearling we had on the farm so really from very early days.

Q. Any other questions for John or Tom. Yes, Ed. Even before the Withers were you thinking Preakness all along with this horse?
TOM ALBERTRANI: No. Not exactly. We're going to run the horse the day before the Withers. When Withers came only with only three other runners in the race, we felt that it was worth taking our chances in the Withers and running against Luxemberg who we were going to run against in the Allowance Race three weeks prior to the Withers when Bernardini had a slight bruise in his right foot the morning of the Allowance Race. That was the day of the Bayshore. So we felt that with only three horses in the races, we were taking our chances in the Withers, but until he won so impressively, we're thinking about Preakness after that race.

Q. Is it possible that if you had run in the (inaudible) even if he had won, you wouldn't have come to the Preakness?
TOM ALBERTRANI: Probably not, but this horse has just blossomed and matured so much in the last couple of months that he was just beginning to get better and better. And I think he just, you know, he came into his own at the right time, and after the Withers it was very impressive, and we just felt that he could probably compete at this level, unknowing that Barbaro was the horse to beat. And there's Brother Derek and Sweetnorthernsaint also to beat, but we just had a lot of confidence and we saw the talent that this horse was beginning to show is that this could have been a good chance for him to run his best today.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOM ALBERTRANI: He was in. He was a late scratch that day.


Q. Anything else for John or Tom? Gentlemen, congratulations on a great victory and best of luck going forward.
Fastscripts by ASAP Sports

Losing Quotes

Edgar Prado (jockey of beaten favorite Barbaro, DNF) –– “When he went to the gate, he was feeling super and I felt like he was in the best condition for this race. He actually tried to buck me off a couple of times. He was feeling that good. He just touched the front of the doors of the gate and went right through it.

“During the race, he took a bad step and I can’t really tell you what happened. I heard a noise about 100 yards into the race and pulled him right up.”

Michael Trombetta (trainer of Sweetnorthernsaint, 2nd) ––––“Give me a while before I say anything, I just can’t talk right now....Our performance was great. Obviously he got a great trip. It looked like he stumbled a bit coming out. He might have grabbed a quarter. I think it’s incidental, and I don’t think it’s an excuse. It’s just a little thing we’ll have to patch up. This is terrible (about Barbaro).”

Kent Desormeaux (jockey of Sweetnorthernsaint, 2nd) ––“I don’t think people realize that the first jump out of the gate, he tore his quarter off, which is like pulling your thumb off. Brother Derek took us to the pedal and I had to go full throttle to the half-mile pole. It was not a conventional race where you get to cruise to the half-mile pole. I am very, very proud of the horse. I hate to see what happened to Barbaro and I certainly hope everything is alright.”

Nick Zito (trainer of Hemingway’s Key, 3rd) ––“I’m very happy because he has such a high energy threshold, you think Belmont maybe, because it’s a mile and a half. How do I get to know that if I just run in some race?
“The whole story is this. Let’s just hope Barbaro lives. These things happen that no one can dream of. I had the favorite in the Derby Trial for the Steinbrenner family, Protagonist. He was perfectly sound and he broke a sesamoid leaving the gate. That’s why I say you have to cherish the moment in racing, because here’s a star. Let’s just hope everything is OK.”

Jeremy Rose (jockey of Hemingway’s Key, 3rd) “My horse ran a great race. It setup alright for him. We got thrown around most of the way. It is hard to celebrate with what happened to Barbaro when he gets vanned off and it does not look good.

“From my vantage point, he broke down right next to me and I saw Edgar (Prado) pull him up. I thought maybe someone came over him or that he might have checked but it looked bad.”
(On Barbaro breaking through the gate before the start) “It surprised me because when that happens they usually don’t run their race. But you never, ever want to see them breakdown.”
(On how the race changed with Barbaro breaking down) “It changed it a lot. Now you have the 1-2 favorite that will not fire. After they break through (the gate), they have to be a real special horse to win the race which he probably was.”

Dan Hendricks (trainer of Brother Derek, 4th) –– “We had to go around Barbaro, and that puts your horse on the muscle more than you want. I can’t feel bad what happened to my horse after seeing what happened to the other horse. I feel really sorry for Michael (Matz) in that situation. I just feel really bad for the other team. You don’t want to see that happen. We’ll just go back to California and regroup.”

Alex Solis (jockey of Brother Derek, 4th) –– “The race did not go the way I wanted it to go. We broke slow. We planned to follow Barbaro. I luckily swung out and went around him when his unfortunate accident occurred. The track is in good shape. My horse made a move down the backstretch, but seemed to lose his footing around the turn. In the stretch, he tried really hard.”

George Weaver (trainer of Greeley’s Legacy, 5th) –– “When the horse broke down, we had to steady a little bit. No excuses. He just wasn’t into the bridle and wasn’t appreciative of the track from the word ‘‘go.’ He was a lot further back than I wanted him.”

Richard Migliore (jockey of Greeley’s Legacy, 5th) –– “My horse never handled the track. We had one pace the whole way around. He didn’t give his best effort today. My heart goes out to Barbaro’s connections.”

Joe Lostritto (trainer of Platinum Couple, 6th) –– “This was like a field of dreams. We didn’t get a break or a check, but that’s racing. What an experience.”

Jose Espinoza (jockey of Platinum Couple, 6th) –– “The race set up pretty well for us. I was always in a nice position. My horse was in hand at the (first) quarter. In the end, he was going really well and giving me everything.”

Kiaran McLaughlin (trainer of Like Now, 7th) –– “We had a good start early. They went a little quick. While I’m very happy for Tom winning, I’m very sad for Barbaro’s connections. It’s very sad.”

Garrett Gomez (jockey of Like Now, 7th) –– “We broke great. He left the gate like a rocket ship. I gave him a breather going down the backstretch, and at the 4-1/2-furlong pole they came to him. I shook him up to the 5/8ths pole, but at the 3/8ths pole he was done.”

Steve Klesaris (trainer of Diabolical, 8th) –– “We had a good trip early. No excuses. We were where we were supposed to be, rating off the lead. When it was time to move forward, we didn’t. Exactly why, I don’t have an answer now.”

Ramon Dominguez (jockey of Diabolical, 8th) –– “Everything set up beautifully. We broke running. We tucked in well. We were in perfect position and I was able to save ground. I felt we just couldn’t keep pace.

Additional Veternarian Comments on Barbaro Injury

Dr. Larry Bramlage
(on how the injury probably occurred) “Normally the way these happen is the one above happened first. Before Edgar could get him pulled up, the second fracture occurred, which makes this doubly difficult for the horse to heal everything up.

“This is a very serious injury. The critical scenario is how the horse responds when you splint him, take care of him and get him on his way to be treated.

“It will be a while before New Bolton Center will know exactly when the best time to treat him is.”

Note: Barbaro left Pimlico Race Course at 7:22 p.m. and arrived at the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa. shortly after 9:00 p.m.

(on the extent of the injury) “He has two major things to overcome. One, when he was injured, did he damage the blood supply enough that he still has blood supply to support healing? That’s always the concern when you have a two-phased injured. It’s like dominoes breaking one after the other. The blood supply in that part of the limb is very limited because they don’t have any muscle there.
“The second thing is he will have to undergo surgery and go through a recovery that would put you and I in bed. He’ll have to walk around. The stabilization is a critical part, along with the anesthesia and the recovery from surgery. That’s why, even at New Bolton Center, they’re probably not going to be able to tell you immediately what they have planned because they pretty much have to see how he responds and when is the best time to do the surgery. It might be tonight. It might be tomorrow.”
“It is the same thing as a star football player goes down or a basketball player injuries his knee. It just puts a damper on the enthusiasm of the crowd. They have a feeling for a horse like this being he is such a great athlete. He wants to run so bad. You can see how bad he wants to run when he went through the gate the first time.”

Dr. Larry Bramlage said he did not think the injury occurred when the colt broke through the gate before the start and when the gate opened for the race.

“I watched him break through the first time and I watched him break the second time. He didn’t break (from the gate) with the right hind injury.

“I would guess that it happened sometime out about a furlong. It took additional 110 yards to 200 yards for Edgar to get him under control because these don’t hurt immediately when they happen. There is so much adrenaline that the horse has no concept.

“Edgar probably knew before the horse knew that something was wrong. I don’t think breaking through the gate the first time had anything to do this.”
(on his recovery time) “It will be two months before we know that he is going to have recovered enough that we don’t have to worry about saving his life, and sometimes longer. He’s got a major fracture to heal.”
“He will have to have surgery, but when they do it depends on what kind of physiologic shape he’s at. You need to make the horse into a good patient so that you can get him anesthetized for recovery.”

Dr. Nick Meittinis, a private veterinarian who attended to the colt after the race
“He came off the van with the splint that was applied on the racetrack. He was sedated and backed off the van without putting any weight on the leg. After we x-rayed the leg and found what it consisted of, we put a very large padded bandage on him and the entire time the bandage went on he never moved a muscle. That’s going to be critical in his recuperation.

“His temperament is going to help him in his recuperative state.”
(on his prognosis) “I can’t give you a prognosis right now. It’s a little early. The surgeons up in New Bolton will see the x-rays and they will determine if any more displacement of the fractures occurred during shipping. That’s a possibility.

“We’ve got him in a very narrow trailer so that he has something to lean on and he doesn’t put weight on it. We’ve got padded bandage on him. That’s about the best we can do here. Hopefully he makes the trip well.”

The track veterinarian who put the split on in the track was Dr. Dan Dreyfuss.

“I saw an unstable right hind leg,” Dreyfuss said

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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