'Thrilled' At Barbaro's Progress

It's been just over three months since Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was severely injured, breaking his leg while running the Preakness.

Though his recovery has been slow and anything but steady, the colt's doctors are very encouraged by his recent progress, according to The Early Show's resident veterinarian, Dr. Debbye Turner.

She went to New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine in Kennett Square, Pa., to visit Barbaro and his surgeon, fellow veterinarian Dr. Dean Richardson, and filed an exclusive update on the thoroughbred's condition.

From the start, Turner said, Barbaro has faced some steep odds against survival but, "He's a fighter, and has done his best to buck those odds."

When Turner stopped by Monday, Barbaro went out for a short walk and some grazing, something Turner says seemed nearly impossible just five weeks ago when Richardson discussed his prognosis during a news conference.

"I would say poor," he said then. "I'd be lying if I said anything other than poor."

But thanks to round-the-clock care, and effective pain management, Barbaro is on much surer footing now, Turner observed.

"I'm thrilled that he is pulling me around," Richardson told Turner, "and that's he's able to walk … comfortably. I'm thrilled, absolutely thrilled."

Barbaro shattered his right hind leg at the Preakness, then suffering a debilitating and potentially life-threatening condition called laminitis in his left hind foot. As a result, Barbaro's entire left hoof had to be removed.

So how has he bounced back so far, so soon? Is it him or Richardson?

"No, it's not me," Richardson chuckled as he responded to Turner's query. "It's certainly not me. A lot of it's the horse, and good luck."

And it doesn't hurt to have the support of thousands of well-wishers.

"We are still getting letters and cards written to Barbaro every day, every single day," he told Turner.
  • Brian Dakss

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