Greatness and Goodness: Barbaro and His Legacy
The authorized biography of Barbaro, the undefeated 2006 kentucky derby champion. Barbaro hurt his leg in the Preakness, he then spent 8 months at New Bolton Center before succumbing to Laminitis. Along the way, Barbaro inspired a movement. This is his story.
After the episode, I conducted two additional years of research for the book, traveling North America by racetracks. I wrote the book during 2010-2011 and then conducted a year of book signings. What an experience.
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Book Excerpts: Horse Slaughter
Alex Brown left no stone unturned when researching and writing this book. Fans of horse racing will enjoy this look back at a tremendous racehorse on the track, who almost beat the odds to survive an injury which usually results in immediate euthanasia. The story and the photo essay will truly bring everything back into focus as if it happened yesterday, as 2006 is a racing year that few will ever forget.
The result is a truly breathtaking coffee table book with considerably more depth than the usual all pictures and no substance often produced in the genre. It is a beautifully produced product that shows the depth of commitment poured into it by Brown.
Barbaro reeled off five easy wins to set himself up for the 2006 Kentucky Derby. He was undefeated, yet there were still doubters.
Barbaro wowed everyone who saw him in the flesh as he prepared for the Kentucky Derby. His final Derby workout was sensational. In the Derby itself, he simply crushed the field to win the race by the largest winning margin in sixty years, with the fastest final quarter since Secretariat in 1973. His jockey, Edgar Prado, did not even need to resort to his stick for extra urging; Barbaro was just that good.
Only the fifth undefeated Kentucky Derby winner, Barbaro seemed destined to be our first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. Barbaro trained well leading up to the Preakness and arrived at Pimlico with the swagger of a rock star.
After a false start, Barbaro broke down in the early part of the race. This event was viewed on national TV by an audience devastated by this rapid turn of events. Rather than euthanize the colt, it was decided to send him to New Bolton Center in an attempt to save his life. Eight months later, on January 29, 2007, Barbaro was euthanized. Ironically, doctors had repaired his broken leg. Barbaro succumbed to the wretched disease, laminitis.
Greatness and Goodness: Barbaro and his Legacy examines Barbaro’s life and puts his racetrack record within the context of some of the greatest racehorses to ever run. Through beautiful photos, narrative, and the words of the people who knew him best, this one-of-a-kind book explores why Barbaro became so inspirational to so many people and why his fans turned their energy into doing good things in his name. Good work that has persisted well beyond Barbaro’s all too brief life. Greatness and Goodness also explores important issues raised by the Barbaro saga, including laminitis research, racehorse retirement and horse slaughter.
Alex Brown managed timwoolleyracing.com, which served as a hub of activity for Fans of Barbaro. Alex embarked on his own journey in 2007, to do additional research for this book. More than two years later, this journey led Alex to work at seven racetracks for seven different trainers. During this time Alex also covered the Triple Crown series for the New York Times.
During his racing career Alex rode as an amateur jockey, and galloped horses for leading trainers including Steve Asmussen, Michael Dickinson and Barclay Tagg. Alex has also had an academic career, which included pioneering work in social media. His experience in social media marketing combined with his horsemanship have uniquely positioned Alex to be part of this journey, and to tell the story from the inside. Alex is originally from Cheshire, England, and now resides in Lincoln University, Pennsylvania.
Finalist, Animals/Pets: General, for the USA “BEST BOOKS 2011” AWARDS