01/28/2007 1:00AM

Barbaro undergoes procedure


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro has had a new custom-made brace removed from his right hind leg – the leg he broke in the Preakness in May – and underwent an unidentified procedure on that leg at the New Bolton Center on Saturday, according to an Associated Press report.

“They did some procedures on the one he originally injured,” Roy Jackson, who bred and owns Barbaro with his wife Gretchen, told the Associated Press on Saturday. “He had a little bit of a bruise, an abscess.”

Jackson said that he had visited Barbaro and found him alert and eating.

Speaking to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Gretchen Jackson said, “The brace didn’t work on him. They had to take that off. He really didn’t like that brace they put on him.

“He’s got a lot of issues, and not any of them is bad enough to say goodbye. But put together it's not a good day for Barbaro.”

The latest procedure and removal of the orthotic brace occurred just three days after Barbaro’s previous procedure. On Jan. 24, while Barbaro was under general anesthesia, his veterinary team applied the plastic and steel brace to help stabilize his right hind leg. They reported that they also drained an abscess from the colt’s right hind foot and changed the cast on his left hind leg.

Barbaro’s veterinarians have been treating his left hind leg for laminitis, a painful and potentially life-threatening hoof disease, since July. Laminitis often occurs as a complication when horses shift excessive weight off of an injured leg and onto a healthy one.

Gretchen Jackson also said that no new signs of laminitis had been found in any of Barbaro’s feet.

Barbaro has been in the intensive care unit at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center equine hospital since May 20 and has been under the care of chief surgeon Dr. Dean Richardson.