Tragically, he became even more famous for these photos...
On May 20th, 2006, Barbaro suffered a terrible injury at the start of the Preakness Stakes (the second race of the Triple Crown). After Barbaro broke through the gate with a false start and a stumble, he again stumbled shortly out of the starting gates. His jockey stopped him and dismounted quickly, knowing all to well that something horrid had happened. Barbaro suffered a fracture both above and below his ankle which required a major surgery on his leg along with months upon months of recovery.
The surgery was successful and he was well on his way to making a remarkable comeback.
However, as typical with leg injuries, he developed laminitis, a very painful hoof disease in his other rear leg. His case was very serious, but seemed to be healing up decently along with the fractures in his leg. After eight months of recuperation he took a drastic turn for the worse and his future looked bleak. Sadly, there was little left to be done and the owners were forced to put down their beloved friend and partner.
Although he is lost, this horse will not be forgotten by the public and especially by the racing world. This is proving all too true as the excitement builds as Barbaro's two full brothers are in training and getting closer to creating a legacy of their own.
The two brothers have been watched and studied closely ever since Barbaro was injured and now it is their turn to carry on with their big brother's legacy.
Nicanor (3 years old) and his younger brother Lentenor (2 years old) are said to be doing well and developing in such a manner that provides those involved with high hope.
(Lentenor is the strapping young lad on the bottom and Nicanor is the handsome devil on the top.)
Nicanor ran his first race this past Saturday, January 30th. After viewing the race I must admit I was thoroughly unimpressed. He started well but faded quickly and, even after a bit of a comeback on the final corner, he seemed to just stop running. I at first blamed this loss on the race being his debut, but after reading some of the follow up articles on his blog site (see Nicanor and Lentenor links above) Nicanor actually hurt himself out of the gate. It is nothing major. He basically kicked himself coming out of the gate which caused the him to stumble and the get jostled around by the other horses. Edgar Prado, his jockey, didn't want to push the horse to further harm him.
Although his trainers and owners are not happy with the performance, they are also not worried. He has his first actual race in and that is what matters. Now he looks forward to a brief recovery and then going back to work as he tries to walk down the Kentucky Derby Trail.
I am personally very eager to follow these two colts as they make their steps into the racing world. I hope they perform well and eventually create their own greatness, but even when that day comes they will still be Barbaro's little brothers.
Rest in Peace Barbaro, your Legacy in good hands.