09/25/2006 11:00PM

Barbaro's left hind hoof regrowing

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Barbaro's left hind hoof, 80 percent of which was surgically removed in July after he developed the hoof disease laminitis, is regrowing.

The 2006 Kentucky Derby winner's left hind hoof has grown about 18 millimeters in the heel area, according to a release issued Tuesday by the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center equine hospital.

"It has to grow at least three times that, which could take more than six months," noted the center's chief surgeon, Dr. Dean Richardson. "It's a very gradual process; the bottom of his foot has to completely heal as well."

Barbaro developed the laminitis - a painful and potentially fatal hoof disease - as a complication after he shattered his right hind leg in the May 20 Preakness Stakes. He underwent a lengthy surgery the following day. Laminitis is a common complication in such cases, occurring when a horse shifts too much weight off the injury.

The 3-year-old Barbaro spends 30 to 40 minutes hand-grazing outside his stall each day, weather permitting. He remains in intensive care at the hospital.