Industry associations have joined the thousands of racing fans rallying around Barbaro, who was pulled up in the May 20 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and underwent surgery on his right hind leg the following day.
The story has gotten regular play from major news outlets around the country. Visitors to the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., have been dropping off gifts for the 3-year-old colt owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson's Lael Stable.
"On behalf of the entire Thoroughbred racing industry, our thanks go out to Dr. Dean Richardson and his staff at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, the attending veterinarians and staff at Pimlico and, especially, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, Michael Matz, Peter Brette, and Edgar Prado for their part in helping Barbaro to this point. All of us continue to pray for his recovery," National Thoroughbred Racing Commissioner D.G. Van Clief Jr. said in a statement. "Lots of people have been asking what this means for our sport. While we are tremendously saddened by Barbaro's injury, the events of the last few days, especially the massive outpouring of public support for Barbaro, reinforce the strong emotional connection that people have with our equine athletes and our sport.
"The current situation has also demonstrated the strong bond which exists between horses and their owners, trainers, handlers, and riders, and has focused attention on the extraordinary care available to horses. There have been significant advances in the last few years in our ability to ensure the health and safety of our equine athletes and to care for them when they are injured. There is always more to do in this area, and we will continue to work with the owners, veterinarians, researchers, and the foundations that support them."
Barbaro, trained by Matz and ridden by Prado, won the May 6 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) before the Preakness. He was undefeated before the injury.
"The entire Churchill Downs family of racetracks sends its hopes and prayers for Barbaro's safe and speedy recovery to the horse's owners and breeders, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, to trainer Michael Matz, and to jockey Edgar Prado and their respective families," Churchill Downs Inc. president and chief executive officer Tom Meeker said in a statement. "We also wish to express our gratitude to Dr. Dean Richardson and the entire team at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's New Bolton Center for the professional and compassionate care offered to Barbaro following his injury.
"Barbaro and his connections are now part of our Kentucky Derby family. I know I speak for CDI team members and horse racing fans across the country in expressing our sincere desire to see Barbaro recover and enjoy a long and healthy retirement."