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Barbaro happy, stable, napping

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. -- Barbaro's jockey Edgar Prado said he
spent days in tears over the Kentucky Derby winner's career-ending
breakdown in the Preakness Stakes.

"Of all the tears I have cried, if tears could heal a wound,
Barbaro would be healed by now," Prado said on the New York Racing
Association's Web site Wednesday. "I've been thinking about him
and I've been crying on and off. I can't do anymore."

Prado won three races Wednesday after the track was closed the
past two days. On Sunday, the day after the Preakness at Pimlico,
Prado won two races at Belmont.

"Saturday was a nightmare," Prado said. "I was heartbroken
Monday and Tuesday. The busier I stay, the better it will be for
me."

Barbaro, who was unbeaten in six races and a serious Triple
Crown threat, shattered three bones in his right hind leg at the
start of the Preakness.

"I have never ridden a horse that broke down that was as
special as Barbaro," Prado said. "A lot of people thought this
was the year there'd be a Triple Crown. All we can do now is pray
for him to have a speedy recovery and for him to enjoy the rest of
his life."

Meanwhile, Barbaro enjoyed a restful nap and a few crunchy
treats Wednesday, another small step toward recovery.

"Probably he has as many carrots as the doctors allow and as
many apples as the doctors allow because he's received enough to
feed the whole hospital," said Corinne R. Sweeney, executive
hospital director at the George D. Widener Hospital for Large
Animals at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center.

Fans have delivered "expressions of apples and baskets and
stuffed animals and religious statues," Sweeney said. "It's just
amazing the depth of the concern and the warmth that comes out."

Dr. Dean Richardson, who performed the six-hour surgery Sunday,
called his famous patient's condition excellent, though he has
cautioned that Barbaro remains vulnerable to infection and other
life-threatening complications.

"He is stable and happy," Richardson said Wednesday afternoon.

Barbaro's pastern bone was shattered in more than 20 pieces.
Doctors inserted a plate and 27 screws to repair the severe damage.

Barbaro's owners Gretchen and Roy Jackson have praised Prado for
being able to pull up Barbaro a few hundred yards after he was
injured at the start of the race.

"In talking with Edgar, he said he was fine after he broke
through the gate," Roy Jackson said, referring to Barbaro getting
through the gate early before being led around an re-loaded for the
start. "Edgar thinks it happened 50-75 yards after he left the
gate, coming down the wrong way on that leg. It was just one of
those things."

Prado said "anybody could have done the same job.

"I reacted pretty quickly and I tried to hold him together,"
he added. "The horse did his job by not fighting with me. He's an
intelligent horse. He knew he was hurt and he knew what he wanted --
he wanted to survive. I think he'll make it through. He's a very
special horse."