Today’s Derby winner of the day, and the last of this series, is Barbaro. Barbaro is probably the most beloved Derby winner in recent history. Let’s look at his story.

Barbaro was born April 29, 2003, bred by Lael Stables, owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson, and trained by Michael R. Matz.

He entered the Kentucky Derby in 2006 undefeated, and went on to win that Derby in an impressive style.

Two weeks later Barbaro entered the Preakness Stakes as the favorite, but almost immediately after the race began he shattered his right hind leg. The cause of the injury is unconfirmed, although there are many theories. A broken leg in a horse is almost always fatal, but valiant attempts were made to save the life of the champion. After over eight months of treatments, complications and surgeries, Barbaro was euthanized on January 29, 2007 after his owners came to believe that the pain was no longer manageable. He was cremated, and his remains are buried in front of an entrance at Churchill Downs. A life sized statue is to be erected on the site of his burial so that fans can pay their respects without having to pay an admission to either Churchill Downs or the Kentucky Derby museum.

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