Barbaro

Churchill Downs, Jacksons Unveil Sculpture of 2006 Kentucky Derby Winner Barbaro

With owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson looking on, a life-sized sculpture of ill-fated 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was unvieled on Sunday, April 26 at Churchill Downs.

The Jacksons were joined by trainer Michael Matz and Dr. Dean Richardson, the equine surgeon from the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania who worked so valiantly to save Barbaro's life, and hundreds of well-wishers as the work by sculptor Alexa King was formally unveiled.  King also participated in the ceremonies.  The sculpture is the dominant portion of a memorial to Barbaro, who was seriously injured in the early stages of the Preakness, the second jewel of racing's Triple Crown, just two weeks after the then-unbeaten colt had scored the most lopsided victory in the Kentucky Derby in 60 years.

Richardson and his team had managed to save Barbaro despite massive damage to a rear leg, but the colt succumbed to the hoof disease laminitis in early 2007.  His eight-month battle for life garnered world-wide attention from media, racing fans and horse lovers around the globe.

Barbaro was cremated and his remains are interred at the memorial site at Churchill Downs' Gate 1.  The site is located a short distance from the one-mile track at Churchill Downs where Barbaro, ridden by Edgar Prado, scored the greatest victory of his brief career.  

The Barbaro Memorial is located in an open area outside of the admission gates at Churchill Downs.  There is no charge to visit the memorial site.

Barbaro Memorial Unveiling Scheduled for Sunday, April 26

The public unveiling of a larger-than-life bronze statue to celebrate the life of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro will take place at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on the morning of Sunday, April 26. The announcement comes on the second anniversary of Barbaro’s passing on Jan. 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 made aware of the ceremony’s date,” said Churchill Downs General Manager Jim Gates. “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 become the focal point of Barbaro’s official memorial and burial site at Churchill Downs. It will be placed outside Churchill Downs’ Gate 1 and near the entrance to the Kentucky Derby Museum along with Barbaro’s ashes, which will be interred beneath the bronze. Currently, a bronze marker, featuring Barbaro’s likeness, marks the location of the future memorial site beneath a large magnolia tree.

The April 26 ceremony will take place at the memorial site before live racing begins that day. Churchill Downs’ 2009 Spring Meet opens Saturday, April 25, and the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands is scheduled for Saturday, May 2.

“Gretchen and I are very much looking forward to the public ceremony this April,” said Roy Jackson, who bred, raised and raced Barbaro with his wife Gretchen. “We’re absolutely thrilled that Barbaro will be honored at Churchill Downs with a magnificent statue at the site of his greatest race.”

Production of the bronze statue is nearing its final stages with renowned equine sculptor Alexa King. Her design will showcase Barbaro and jockey Edgar Prado in mid-flight between strides nearing the finish line in the 2006 Kentucky Derby. The statue will be attached to a horizontal bronze rail that will support the 1,500-pound artwork, creating the impression that Barbaro and his rider are suspended in air. It is the first time that an equine statue of this size and scope has been presented in this manner, with all four of the horse’s feet off the ground.

Earlier this year, Gretchen Jackson said of the statue: “Roy and I want to portray Barbaro as we remember him best – a beautiful racehorse and an athlete.”

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2009. The track’s 2009 Spring Meet will take place from April 25 through July 5. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

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Barbaro's Owners Select Equine Sculptor Alexa King to Create Barbaro Memorial at Churchill Downs

Roy and Gretchen Jackson, the owners of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, today announced that they have selected renowned equine sculptor Alexa King to portray Barbaro in bronze. The statue will become the focal point of Barbaro's official memorial and burial site at Churchill Downs. The Jacksons introduced King and unveiled a clay model of the bronze statue this afternoon during a news conference at the Kentucky Derby Museum.

King’s design features Barbaro and jockey Edgar Prado in mid-flight between strides nearing the finish line in the 2006 “Run for the Roses.” The larger-than-life-sized statue will be attached to a horizontal bronze rail that will support the 1500-pound artwork, creating the impression that Barbaro and his rider are suspended in air. It is the first time that an equine statue of this size and scope has been presented in this manner, with all four of the horse’s feet off the ground.

“Roy and I want to portray Barbaro as we remember him best - a beautiful racehorse and an athlete,” said Gretchen Jackson. “Part of our direction to the artists who submitted designs for consideration was to depict Barbaro’s unique racing action. We envisioned him in motion as he began to distance himself from the field at the close of the Kentucky Derby.”

“Nearly 100 artists initially inquired about the project,” said Leonard Lusky, project manager for the Jacksons. “The selection process lasted four months, and the search was narrowed to only 10 who were then asked to submit a one-third-scale model, featuring the Jacksons’ requirement that all four feet be off the ground – quite an engineering feat given the potential size and weight of the finished sculpture.”

Roy Jackson continued, "It was a difficult decision. Each of the artists submitted such beautiful work. The models represented an amazing array of talent, but it was Alexa’s interpretation of Barbaro that immediately stood out and evoked the memories and emotion that we hoped to capture in bronze.”

“It is an honor to have been chosen to create such a special work of art that I know will have great meaning, not only for the Jacksons, but for fans of Barbaro and the Kentucky Derby around the world,” said King. “This commission is one of the most challenging and fulfilling that I have ever undertaken, and I look forward to capturing the moment that Barbaro became part of Kentucky Derby history and won the hearts of racing fans everywhere.”

King has distinguished herself as an equine sculptor winning praise and recognition around the world for capturing the essence and dynamics of her equine subject in three-dimensional bronze artworks. A sculptor with 26 years of experience, King is known for her ability to convey a sense of depth and emotion in the horses she recreates as living forms in motion. King’s interest in art began as a child with her mother serving as her first tutor. King studied oil painting and portraiture under the noted portrait painter, William Ashby, and credits her early experience as a painter for her ability to understand how color and light play into the patterns she casts into her sculptural forms.

King’s sculpture of Barbaro will be placed outside Churchill Downs’ Gate 1 along with Barbaro’s ashes, which will be interred beneath the bronze, sometime next year. As part of the media briefing, the Jacksons, King and officials from Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum also unveiled a bronze marker, featuring Barbaro’s likeness, which will mark the spot where the memorial will be constructed in a garden area outside Gate 1. The garden area is currently home to a large magnolia tree and other plantings that will be relocated to another part of the racetrack grounds prior to the memorial’s installation.

“The Churchill Downs team is delighted with Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s choice of artists, and we look forward to working with Alexa King on transforming her vision from a clay model into a lasting tribute to Barbaro’s indomitable spirit and his greatest triumph under our Twin Spires,” said Churchill Downs President Steve Sexton. “We believe Barbaro’s memorial will become a gathering place for horse lovers of all ages, and Churchill Downs is proud to serve as Barbaro’s final resting place.”

Barbaro’s heroic struggle created a swell of national attention and support, especially in the hearts of children. To honor this connection to children around the world, the Kentucky Derby Museum will host a student exhibition of sculpture called Barbaro: Expressions of Love. These works of art should celebrate Barbaro’s courage in the face of a long struggle.

“Barbaro brought the passion for racing beyond the industry, igniting emotion in children and inspiring those who had never seen a race,” said Lynn Ashton, executive director of the Kentucky Derby Museum. “A large part of the Museum’s mission is education, and Barbaro’s story spread knowledge about racing and Thoroughbreds worldwide in a way that we could never have achieved through other means. We hope to honor this legendary horse with the exhibit and student sculptures.”

The Kentucky Derby Museum is accepting submissions for the exhibition beginning immediately, and continuing through March 15, 2009. Visit www.derbymuseum.org for details on how to submit. All pieces meeting the requirements will be displayed within the Museum.

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2008. The track’s 2008 Spring Meet is set for April 26 through July 6. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record six times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

The Kentucky Derby Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding public awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the evolution and meaning of the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby Museum is located at Gate 1 of Churchill Downs.

Churchill Downs and Barbaro Owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson Introduce Artist Selected to Create Barbaro Memorial

Roy and Gretchen Jackson, the owners of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, will join Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby Museum representatives for a news conference on Thursday, May 1, to introduce the artist that has been selected to create a permanent memorial honoring Barbaro.  The Kentucky Derby 132 winner died in January 2007 after a lengthy battle with laminitis. 

The memorial, a bronze sculpture, will be placed outside Churchill Downs’ Gate 1 along with Barbaro’s ashes sometime next year. The Jacksons, the artist and representatives of Churchill Downs will be available for comment, and a clay model of the sculpture will be available for photo and video opportunities. Additionally, the Jacksons and Museum officials will announce a national student art exhibition related to Barbaro’s memorial that will be hosted by the Museum.

The news conference will take place on Thursday, May 1, at 1:30 p.m. EDT in the Great Hall of the Kentucky Derby Museum. Following the news conference, the Jacksons will join Churchill Downs and Museum officials in unveiling a bronze marker that will identify the spot where Barbaro’s memorial will be installed in front of Gate 1.

        Churchill Downs will be open for racing on May 1, and media representatives coming to the track to cover the news conference should park in the Longfield Lot, enter Churchill Downs through Gate 10, and cross through the paddock area to Gate 1 and the main entrance to the Kentucky Derby Museum. Parking in Churchill Downs’ Lot 1 is also available to media with Lot 1 parking passes. Media representatives should wear their Kentucky Derby credentials in order to access Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum on May 1.

       <strong> NOTE:  This news conference is for credentialed media members ONLY and is not open to the general public.</strong>

        Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track.  Churchill Downs will conduct the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2008.  The track’s 2008 Spring Meet is set for April 26 through July 6.  Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record six times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

Louisville Premiere of Kentucky Derby Documentary The First Saturday in May Set for Sunday, April 13

Directors John and Brad Hennegan and other special guests will be in attendance at the Louisville premiere of the riveting Kentucky Derby documentary, The First Saturday in May, on Sunday, April 13.

The Louisville premiere of the critically-acclaimed film will take place at The Palace Theatre starting at 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 13. General admission tickets are on sale at the theatre and www.ticketmaster.com for $10. A limited VIP package with premium seating and a post-screening reception is also available for $40.

The Hennegan brothers and select stars of the documentary, including trainers Dale Romans and Kiaran McLaughlin, will take part in a special question and answer session after the film with host John Asher, Churchill Downs’ vice president of racing communications.

The First Saturday in May chronicles the journey of a diverse cast of six hard-working trainers as they jockey for position along the 2006 Kentucky Derby trail. In addition to providing and inside look at the amazing people who dedicate their lives to the sport of horse racing, the 97-minute film also features never-before-seen footage of a young Barbaro – the horse who captured the fascination of the world, first as he made history on the racetrack with his 6 ½-length Kentucky Derby triumph, and then as he bravely battled complications from a catastrophic leg injury and laminitis.

Over a 16-month period, the Hennegan brothers, who also co-wrote and produced the film, shot more than 500 hours of footage and traveled more than 150,000 miles from Hot Springs, Ark., to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to document every major horse race on the road to Kentucky Derby 132.

Following the Louisville premiere, The First Saturday in May will be released nationwide in major markets including New York and Los Angeles on April 18, with expansion on April 25. Distribution was made possible through a partnership between Churchill Downs Incorporated and Truly Indie. A trailer of the movie can be viewed and downloaded from the movie’s website, www.thefirstsaturdayinmay.com.

Churchill Downs Incorporated (“Churchill Downs”), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., owns and operates world-renowned horse racing venues throughout the United States. Churchill Downs’ four racetracks in Florida, Illinois, Kentucky and Louisiana host many of North America’s most prestigious races, including the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, Arlington Million, Princess Rooney Handicap and Louisiana Derby. Churchill Downs racetracks have hosted seven Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Churchill Downs also owns off-track betting facilities and has interests in various advance-deposit wagering, television production, telecommunications and racing services companies, including a 50-percent interest in the national cable and satellite network HorseRacing TV™, that support the Company’s network of simulcasting and racing operations. Churchill Downs trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol CHDN and can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.

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Churchill Downs Selected as Burial and Official Memorial Site for 2006 Kentucky Derby Winner Barbaro

Churchill Downs has been selected as the final resting place for 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, who was euthanized one year ago after a lengthy battle with laminitis. The announcement was made Tuesday by Barbaro’s owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, at a Churchill Downs news conference.

Barbaro’s remains were cremated following his death on Jan. 29, 2007, and his ashes will be interred outside of Gate 1 at Churchill Downs, in a large elevated space enclosed by bricks that is currently used as a garden. The site, which will be open to the public, will include a larger-than-life-sized bronze statue of the Kentucky Derby 132 winner that will be commissioned by the Jacksons and loaned to Churchill Downs as part of Barbaro’s official memorial site.

“Churchill Downs is deeply honored to be selected as the final resting place for Barbaro, who first captured our hearts with his impressive win in the 132nd Kentucky Derby and who demonstrated strength and determination in his long battle to overcome both injury and illness,” said Steve Sexton, president of Churchill Downs and executive vice president of Churchill Downs Incorporated. “Barbaro took his place in history on the first Saturday in May 2006 with a brilliant Kentucky Derby victory, but his accomplishments as a racehorse are certainly rivaled by the courage and resolve he displayed after his injury. We are grateful to the Jacksons for entrusting their beloved Derby champion to us.”

“Gretchen and I are pleased to be collaborating with Churchill Downs in this wonderful project,” said Roy Jackson. “In the year that has just preceded, we have spent much time thinking about Barbaro’s memorial and where it would be best placed. Churchill Downs became the obvious site for us. It was here that he ran his best race. It was here where we spent our most memorable day as horse owners and breeders. It was here where his racing fans could visit daily, and it was here at Churchill Downs where he was cordially invited to rest. We look forward to working with Steve Sexton and his team.”

In the coming weeks, Churchill Downs will install a bronze marker in the garden outside Gate 1 to designate the area where Barbaro’s ashes and bronze statue will be located.

The Jacksons are currently considering a select group of artists for the project and plan to make a final decision on the artist and statue design in the next few months. The Jacksons and Churchill Downs anticipate the statue’s completion and the formal unveiling and dedication of the Barbaro memorial site sometime in 2009.

To date, Barbaro will become the only horse buried on the grounds of Churchill Downs. The adjacent Kentucky Derby Museum has the remains of four Kentucky Derby winners interred on its property -- Sunny’s Halo (1983), Carry Back (1961), Swaps (1955), and Broker’s Tip (1933).

Following today’s news conference, the Jacksons participated in an autograph signing session at the Kentucky Derby Museum, which was open to the public.

Leonard Lusky is managing the Barbaro memorial project and artist selection for the Jacksons. Lusky can be reached via e-mail at llusky@secretariat.com or via telephone at (502) 473-1036.

Roy and Gretchen Jackson will participate in a media teleconference from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST for media who cannot attend the morning news conference. Media representatives should dial 1-877-989-2155 and enter the pass code 4988703 at least five minutes prior to the start of the teleconference. Following brief remarks, the Jacksons will respond to questions from the media.

Churchill Downs will provide a satellite feed with b-roll and interviews from the Jan. 29 news conference from 2-2:15 p.m. EST. Feed coordinates are as follows:

AMC-1 Transponder 23A Horizontal KU
Downlink Frequency 12145
Data Rate 6.5
Symbol rate 4.232
FEC 5/6

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2008. The track’s 2008 Spring Meet is set for April 26 through July 6. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record six times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

Churchill Downs to Host Jan. 29 News Conference Featuring Roy and Gretchen Jackson, Owners of Barbaro

Roy and Gretchen Jackson, the owners of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, will participate in a news conference at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, Jan. 29, to make a special announcement.

The news conference will take place at 10 a.m. EST in the Triple Crown Room of the Jockey Club Suites. Media wishing to cover the event should park in Churchill Downs’ preferred lot off Central Avenue and enter the racetrack through Gate 1 (adjacent to the Kentucky Derby Museum).

Following the announcement, Barbaro fans will have an opportunity to meet the Jacksons during a charity autograph signing in the lobby of the Kentucky Derby Museum from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The Jacksons will sign Barbaro-related merchandise and mementos for a suggested donation to benefit The Fund for Laminitis Research at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. The Jacksons will also be available for individual media interviews at the Kentucky Derby Museum.

Churchill Downs will provide a satellite feed with b-roll and interviews from the Jan. 29 news conference. Satellite coordinates will be provided later today in follow-up Media Advisory.

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2008. The track’s 2008 Spring Meet is set for April 26 through July 6. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record six times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.