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Race Horse. He finished first at the 2006 Kentucky Derby race. His dramatic finish in that race led to widespread public speculation that he might be the next Triple Crown winner of horse racing (the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes; in the 125 year history of horse racing, only 11 horses have won the Triple Crown; the last horse was Affirmed in 1978). Severely injured during the 2006 Preakness Stakes, he struggled through a number of operations before being humanely euthanized; his struggle inspired many people with his courage, although it has raised the question as to whether modern thoroughbred horses are bred too delicate for the frequent racing schedule demanded by the sport. Born the son of sire Dynaformer and dam La Ville Rouge, both thoroughbred horses that had previously produced several notable racehorses, Barbaro was bred and owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson at their Lael Stables in West Grove, Pennsylvania. He was trained by Michael Matz at the Fair Hill Training Center. Barbaro raced in only 7 races during his short career, but won all except the last race (2006 Preakness). His first race, at Delaware Park, Wilmington, Delaware, was on October 4, 2005. He would win races in Maryland and Florida before proceeding to the Kentucky Derby at Louisville, Kentucky. In the Kentucky Derby on May 6, 2006, Barbaro was favored to come in second in a field of 20 horses, but won the race by seven lengths. This margin of victory had not been seen since the 1946 Kentucky Derby, and thus, going into the next race of the Triple Crown, the Preakness, Barbaro was now favored to win. The Preakness was held on May 20, 2006, just two weeks later. Taking the lead initially, but within moments of the start of the race, Barbaro clearly showed severe distress, and was quickly taken off the field. An initial exam indicated Barbaro had broken his right leg in three places and the fetlock joint was dislocated. Modern thoroughbreds are born for speed, not durability, and a single broken leg can cause severe complications since the other three legs can not support the horse's weight for very long. Barbaro was immediately taken to the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center at Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, for specialized treatment and surgery. By July, Barbaro had developed problems with both hind legs, developing a severe case of laminitis, a disease that developed from his having shifted his weight off his injured right leg onto his left leg. Surgery removed most of his left hoof in an attempt to save his life, and the horse was placed in a body lift sling, to remove body weight off the legs. Within two months, Barbaro had improved sufficiently to remove the lift sling, and by November, the two legs had sufficiently improved to have their casts removed. But in January, complications set in and the sling was brought back, and surgery was required to remove more of his left hoof. Shortly afterwards, Barbaro developed an abscess in his right rear hoof, and surgery was performed on that leg. Within days of this surgery, the front legs showed signs of laminitis, and Barbaro was having difficulty in standing at all. The decision was made by his owners to have Barbaro euthanized, since his treatment was no longer manageable.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Russ
  • Added: 29 Jan 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 17738583
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Barbaro (29 Apr 2003–29 Jan 2007), Find A Grave Memorial no. 17738583, citing Churchill Downs Derby Museum Garden, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated.