07/03/2006 12:00AM

Barbaro gets new screws, cast


Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner who was injured May 20 in the Preakness Stakes, underwent surgery Monday to replace and add screws to his damaged right hind leg, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton equine hospital.

Barbaro has been in intensive care at the hospital in Kennett Square, Pa., since he shattered the leg early in the running of the Preakness. Dr. Dean Richardson, who made the original repairs in a lengthy surgery on May 21, performed the additional surgery on Monday and also changed the colt's cast.

"Barbaro is back in his stall and is doing well," Richardson said in the statement. "Also, we replaced two bent screws and added three new ones across the pastern joint. His radiographs look great, and he had another successful pool recovery."

This was the second cast change in a month, replacing the one that Richardson put on Barbaro's right hind leg on June 13. Both times, the 3-year-old colt was anesthetized and recovered from the procedure in the hospital's innovative recovery pool, which is designed to limit a horse's ability to injure himself further by thrashing as he awakens.

New Bolton veterinarians declined to comment further on Barbaro's second surgery and the latest cast change or whether there was cause for concern over the leg's long-term structural viability.

Richardson has repeatedly expressed caution about Barbaro's future, saying that recovery from such serious injuries should be measured in months, not weeks. The colt has seemed to progress well since the initial surgery, in which Richardson implanted a stabilization device, called a locking compression plate, and 27 screws in the lower leg.

Barbaro sustained fractures in his long pastern bone, sesamoid, and cannon bone soon after the start of the Preakness Stakes. Jockey Edgar Prado, who was aboard the colt for his popular Derby win two weeks earlier, was able to pull Barbaro up.

Less than three hours later, Barbaro was on his way to New Bolton, where Richardson later said the bones were in "20-plus pieces."