Barbaro, born April 29 2003, was undefeated in the six starts he completed. Barbaro won the Kentucky Derby by six and a half lengths, the largest winning margin since Assault in 1946. Barbaro's career was cut short by his Preakness accident. Barbaro spent eight months at the New Bolton Center and on January 29, 2007, succumbed to laminitis.
Barbaro was owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson, trained by Michael Matz and ridden by Edgar Prado and Jose Caraballo. Peter Brette, Michael Matz' assistant, rode Barbaro in his training and all his works. Eduardo Hernandez was Barbaro's groom for his 2006 campaign. They were all part of Team Barbaro.
Barbaro: The Race Horse
It is obviously sad that Barbaro's career, and ultimately his life, was cut short. We will never truly know how good Barbaro was going to be as a racehorse. That being said, he accomplished so much in his short career that it is quite possible he could have been the best horse we have seen since Secretariat.
There are a few things we do know about Barbaro's accomplishments:
1. His Kentucky Derby performance was spectacular. His winning margin of 6 1/2 lengths was the widest winning margin since Assault. He achieved this under a hand-ride from Edgar Prado. We are also told that Barbaro hardly broke a sweat in doing so.
2. Barbaro was equally adept on any surface. A sign of a true champion. His first races were on the turf, and he was considered a turf horse with an action that suited the turf. He was tried on the dirt simply because he was so good on the turf he had to be tried to see if he could compete for the most prestigious race for three year olds anywhere. His first race on the dirt was on a sloppy track. He galloped his way through the mud to win. The Kentucky Derby was on a fast dirt track. As impressive as Barbaro was winning the Kentucky Derby, there are some observers who still contend he was a better turf horse.
3. Barbaro was undefeated. He broke his maiden at Delaware Park, won the Laurel Futurity, the Tropical Park Derby, Holy Bull Stakes, the Florida Derby and then the Kentucky Derby.
Barbaro: The Patient
The Jackson's wish is for Barbaro to be remembered by his exploits on the racetrack. And there is no doubt that those exploits put Barbaro among the elite racehorses of our time. However, Barbaro did spend the final eight months of his life at the New Bolton Center and his time as a patient at the New Bolton Center allowed Fans of Barbaro:
a. to learn more about the character of Barbaro. Barbaro's character, that was communicated to Fans of Barbaro and the public in general via timwoolleyracing.com comprised the following attruibutes: he had an indomitable spirit. Nothing seemed too much for him, despite the odds he seemed to face. He obviously was not aware of those odds. He transitioned from being an athlete at the prime of his condition to a patient that seemed to understand his predicament, without issues. Despite his condition, he still maintained his dignity and received the respect that is necessary of a 3yo colt who is stall bound.
b. the eight months allowed for the forming of the group "Fans of Barbaro" and for the evolution of the group's needs from that of grief over a striken racehorse to the forming of a powerful horse welfare advocacy group.
Barbaro: The Inspiration for Fans of Barbaro
And not just FOBs, but how the ripple affect of Barbaro has made an impact on people from all walks of life? http://forums.delphiforums.com/alexbrown/messages?msg=44033.1
So Barbaro was a terrific racehorse, cut down in his prime. His stay at New Bolton Center cultivated a fan following that probably would not have happened if Barbaro was euthanized immediately following his Preakness accident. The character of Team Barbaro, which was again learned over the eight months Barbaro spent at New Bolton Center and particularly the direction provided by Barbaro's owners, Gretchen and Roy Jackson, all conspired to provide inspiration for Barbaro's legions of fans to support a legacy for Barbaro.
How the inspiration for Fans of Barbaro translated into all the positive work of the group is outlined in Why Does The FOB Community Work?
Barbaro was by Dynaformer, out of La Ville Rouge (above), who is by Carson City. Barbaro has two full siblings, a foal (pictured June 12) and a yearling (named Nicanor, above when he was a foal). He also has two half-brothers, Man in Havana a three year old old by Quiet American, and five year old, Holy Ground (by Saint Ballado) who is retired from racing and at stud in Florida (Holy Ground).
Barbaro's little brothers progressing Article in DRF about Barbaro's two little full brothers. Nicanor is now with Michael Matz's string of horses in Florida and recently ran his first race. Lentenor is currently at Stephens Thoroughbreds in Florida, where both Barbaro and Nicanor started their early training as well.
Video at Penn:
Highlighted Updates from TWR
Edgar Prado writes about his life and his connection with Barbaro. He also mentions the work of Fans of Barbaro. A short and excellent read.
The author, Glenye Cain, covered Barbaro for The Daily Racing Form. She sent me her book after I had had a few conversations with her about Barbaro, a horse she adopted (indirectly) off the racetrack that had at one time been trained by Graham Motion, and horse related issues such as horse-slaughter. As someone closely involved in racing I enjoyed the book as it shed light on aspects of our industry in which I was less familiar (breeding / auctions etc). I do think, however, the book best serves those first learning about the thoroughbred industry and wanting to get a solid base of knowledge from which to then build. Anyway, I understand the book got decent reviews when it was first published, and I would be excited if someone read it because I wrote about it. It is excellent.
Although targeted to kids (and they will love it) it is great for adults too. Really gives a sense of Barbaro's personality. The book also includes a baby picture of Barbaro.
A lovely photographic essay of Barbaro's triumph. A little Kentucky Derby history added, but this is all about Barbaro!
I think this is a must read for any FOB. Sean is a great writer and tells the story of Barbaro while interweaving it with background stories of Team Barbaro. The book also includes many photographs.
1st ANNIVERSARY OF BARBARO'S PASSING January 29, 2008
A year later, Barbaro's legacy still strong - Derby winner's death spurs fundraising efforts to save other horses The News Journal. Wilmington, Delaware 2/2/08, by Jack Ireland
Alex guest on "At The Races" with Steve Byk Radio broadcast with a Barbaro Tribute, also includes Julie from Churchill Downs discussing the Jackson's decision to memorialize Barbaro at Churchill. Aired 1/29/08
Barbaro to be interred at Churchill Downs Includes the announcment of Barbaro's yearling brother's name, Lentenor! TB Times 1/29/08
It's Post Time - Barbaro Remembered By Jon White, "What COULD have been..."
Barbaro memorial unveiling set for April 26
(Clay model of the statue...)
A public unveiling of a larger-than-life bronze statue of 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Barbaro will be held on April 26 at Churchill Downs.
The announcement about the unveiling was made on Thursday, the two-year anniversary of Barbaro’s death on January 29, 2007.
“Churchill Downs will provide additional details about the public unveiling as they become available, but we wanted to make certain that Barbaro’s worldwide legion of fans were aware of the ceremony’s date,” said Jim Gates, Churchill’s general manager. “Churchill Downs is proud to have been chosen as Barbaro’s final resting place, and this outstanding memorial is certain to become a popular year-round gathering place for horse lovers throughout the world.”
The statue will be part of Barbaro’s memorial and burial site at Churchill. The statue will be placed outside Gate 1 at the Louisville track, and Barbaro’s ashes will be interred beneath the statue.
A bronze marker featuring Barbaro’s likeness currently marks the future memorial site.
A homebred of Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stables, Barbaro posted a 6 1/2-length victory in the 2006 Kentucky Derby. The Dynaformer colt shattered his right hind leg in the opening strides of the 2006 Preakness Stakes (G1) and later was euthanized because of complications with laminitis.
“Gretchen and I are very much looking forward to the public ceremony this April,” Roy Jackson said. “We are absolutely thrilled that Barbaro will be honored at Churchill Downs with a magnificent statue of his greatest race.”
Equine sculptor Alexa King is overseeing production of the statue, which is nearing its final stages. The statue will feature Barbaro and jockey Edgar Prado in mid-flight near the finish line of the 2006 Kentucky Derby.
Churchill’s 2009 spring meet starts on April 25, and the memorial unveiling will take place the following day before live racing begins. The 135th running of the Kentucky Derby will be held on May 2. (from TB Times article 1/29/09)
THE UNVEILING OF THE BARBARO STATUE April 26th, 2009 Info & planning of various events for this very special FOB weekend (FOB-dinner, Old Friends visit, car pooling/hotel sharing etc.)
Barbaro Memorial Unveiling Set for April Bloodhorse 1/29/09