Five-time grade I winner Better Talk Now is in critical condition after developing a gastrointestinal problem.
Veterinarians at the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., are “cautiously optimistic” the 12-year-old gelding will make a full recovery, according to Sue Kenny, office manager of Graham Motion’s Herringswell Stables. The son of Talkin Man was taken from Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland to New Bolton Sept. 20, but as of Sept. 23 had shown signs of improvement.
On Herringswell Stables’ website, Kenny described the nature of Better Talk Now’s condition. Dr. Fernando Castro is one of the treating veterinarians.
“Better Talk Now has a gastrointestinal problem that does not allow normal function of his esophagus and small intestine,” Kenny wrote. “This problem has led to a continuous amount of gastric fluid built up over the last 48 hours and severe reflux, which in turn has led to pneumonia from inhalation of the reflux.
“The cause of this problem is still unknown, although botulism is suspected. He has been undergoing supportive therapy at (New Bolton) since (Sept. 20) and for the first time since then, is regaining some of his normal GI function. His reflux has finally stopped and his attitude has greatly improved.
“He is still in critical condition, but it appears that as of today, he has taken an important first step toward recovery. We are cautiously optimistic.”
Racing for Brushwood Stables and Motion, Better Talk Now compiled a 14-8-5 record from 51 starts and earnings of $4,356,664. His biggest win came in the 2004 John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) when he scored at 27-1 under Ramon Dominguez. His last race was in August 2009.