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

Apr 27, 2009 by John Asher

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.

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