06/12/2006 11:00PM

Barbaro receives new cast


Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner who has been in intensive care at an equine hospital since shattering his right hind leg in the May 20 Preakness Stakes, received a new cast for the leg Tuesday. Surgeon Dean Richardson said that the broken limb "looks excellent" and Barbaro continues to make progress.

Barbaro has been at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center since May 20. He arrived there less than two hours after breaking his left hind cannon bone and pastern a furlong into the Preakness. Richardson, the chief of surgery at the New Bolton Center's George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals, performed a lengthy surgery May 21 to repair the fractures. That procedure involved implanting a stabilization plate and 27 screws.

Tuesday's cast change took place while Barbaro was under general anesthesia. Just as he did after the initial surgery, Barbaro recovered in a special swimming pool to minimize the risk of injury as he woke up from anesthesia. The recovery went "smoothly," according to a release the hospital issued Tuesday afternoon.

"The incision has healed well, and judging by the radiographs, the graft is opacifying," Richardson said. "Opacifying," in layman's terms, indicates that the repairs are "taking."

"Callus is forming nicely, and all of the implants look unchanged," he said.

Barbaro remains in intensive care at the equine hospital.