10/16/2006 11:00PM

Barbaro continues progress

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Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner who broke his right hind leg in the Preakness Stakes, continues to improve one week after having a cast on the leg changed, veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center said Tuesday in a weekly report on the colt's progress.

"Barbaro is wearing his new cast comfortably, and his vital signs and appetite remain excellent," said Dr. Dean Richardson, the center's chief of surgery.

Last week, doctors at New Bolton changed the cast as part of a routine procedure.

Barbaro remains in intensive care at the hospital, in part because of developing laminitis in his left hind foot this summer. Eighty percent of the left hind hoof's wall was removed because of the condition, which can be fatal.

Richardson said that the left hind foot also continues to improve, but he stressed that the hoof still needs to repair itself.

"The hoof is growing slowly, but he has a long way to go, especially along the front of the hoof," Richardson said. "The foot will require meticulous care for a long time."