Derby winner Barbaro 'comfortable' after surgery
WebPosted Sun, 21 May 2006 21:41:03 EDT
Kentucky Derby champion Barbaro emerged from a day-long operation Sunday and "practically jogged back to his stall," according to the colt's surgeon.
"He is extremely comfortable in the leg," said Dr. Dean Richardson, who stressed before the seven-hour procedure that he's never worked on so many catastrophic injuries to one horse.
Barbaro was forced to undergo surgery after sustaining what Richardson called "life-threatening" leg fractures during the Preakness Stakes.
The clear favourite to win the second leg of the Triple Crown on Saturday in Pimlico, Md., Barbaro broke three bones above and below his right rear ankle. Jockey Edgar Prado pulled his horse out of the race moments after it started.
Bernardini won the mile-and-three-sixteenths race by six lengths over the nearest rival, Sweetnorthernsain.
Barbaro was transported by equine ambulance to the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center for Large Animals, where the surgery began at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday.
Richardson told the Associated Press before the operation that Barbaro's injuries are life-threatening and very serious.
"You do not see this severe injury frequently because the fact is most horses that suffer this typically are put down on the race track," Richardson said.
"It's about as bad as it could be," he added. "The main thing going for the horse is a report that his skin was not broken at the time of injury. It's a testament to the care given [by] the team of doctors on the track and Mr. Prado on the racetrack."
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