May 21, 2006


Hopes for a Triple Crown Winner Come to an Abrupt, Untimely End (George Solomon, May 21, 2006, Washington Post)

The ambulance pulled up at exactly 6:26 in front of Barn E, the Pimlico stakes barn. Inside was Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner who -- before yesterday's horrific injury -- was the clear favorite to win the Preakness Stakes and move on to the Belmont in three weeks with a chance to become the first Triple Crown winner in 28 years.

Security officials quickly threw a canvas shield across Barbaro's stall as a team of veterinarians moved quickly to stabilize the horse. With a record crowd of 118,402 looking on at this ancient Baltimore racetrack, Barbaro broke prematurely from the starting gate, was led back to the gate but broke again seemingly well. He ran about a furlong before pulling up. [...]

Larry Bramlage, one of the attending veterinarians, said Barbaro broke from the gate well, but "around a furlong planted his hind right foot unevenly, above and below the ankle."

With onlookers watching, some in tears, the ambulance pulled out of the stable area for the two-hour trip to the equine hospital in Chester County, Pa.

The prognosis last night was pretty grim.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 21, 2006 8:41 AM

More like heartbreaking. When he jumped the bell and bolted the gate, I assumed he was out of the race. His head must have been seriously messed up at that point. It's also possible the initial fracture occurred when he broke through the gate. Damn shame.

Posted by: ghostcat at May 21, 2006 2:44 PM

I grew up Where The Turf Meets the Surf (Del Mar), and spoke with a family friend last night who is a retired trainer of some repute. Sadly, he doesn't think Barbaro can survive barring a miracle.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at May 21, 2006 7:28 PM