Updated on 09/26/2011 1:31PM

Better Talk Now recovering from illness


Better Talk Now, the popular multiple-Grade 1-winning gelding whose racing career spanned nine years, was showing signs of progress Friday after having been taken to the New Bolton Center in Pennsylvania earlier in the week with a gastrointestinal problem.

According to a posting on trainer Graham Motion’s website, herringswellstables.com, Better Talk Now, now 12 years old, was shipped from the Fair Hill training center to New Bolton on Tuesday and was found to have a condition that does not allow for normal function of his esophagus and small intestine.

According to the posting, Motion's veterinarian, Dr. Luis Castro, explained that the problem "has led to a continuous amount of gastric fluid build-up over the last 48 hours and severe reflux, which in turn has led to pneumonia from inhalation of the reflux.’’

The cause of the problem was unknown, according to Castro, but botulism is suspected. The Friday posting on Motion’s website indicated that Better Talk Now has been able to regain some of his normal GI function and that his reflux has stopped and his attitude has improved. The plan was to take Better Talk Now off of fluids and start giving him food.

"He does seem to be making some progress this morning which is a big relief,’’ Motion said in a text.

Better Talk Now, owned by Bushwood Stables, won 14 races from 51 starts in career that began in 2001 and ended in 2009. He won 10 stakes races, including the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Turf, and earned $4,356,664.