- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 10, 2006

1:42 p.m.

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. (AP) — Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro’s right hind leg has a new cast, a new shoe and is healing well, while his left rear hoof is “gradually” improving from laminitis.

The cast was changed for the first time in six weeks, and Dr. Dean Richardson said today he was “pleased” with the progress in the leg that was shattered when Barbaro took a horrible misstep at the start of the Preakness on May 20.

Barbaro’s left hind foot, which had laminitis, continues its slow healing process.

“There is good growth along the quarters (closer to the heel) but there will need to be much more healing along the front of the hoof,” Richardson said in an update issued by the University of Pennsylvania’s George D. Widener Hospital. “We still have many months of healing ahead of us.”

Doctors removed 80 percent of the hoof in mid-July when Barbaro developed laminitis, a painful and often fatal disease brought on by excessive weight bearing on one leg due to the injury of another leg.

Richardson, chief of surgery at the hospital, also had a chance to get a close look at Barbaro’s right hind leg when the cast was changed yesterday.

“I was pleased with the continued progression of healing and the overall condition of this leg,” Richardson said. “There are no signs of infection and the primary incisions have healed surprisingly well. Because he has had a cast on for so long, there are a few cast sores, but nothing serious.”

Barbaro underwent anesthesia before the cast change, and had another pool recovery before his feet were trimmed and a new shoe was applied to his right hind leg. A few hours after recovery, Barbaro was out grazing and comfortable on both hind legs, according to the hospital.

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