Jacksons, Barbaro to be honored at Kentucky Derby

Fallen Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro will be honored on May 5 during a ceremony at the site of his greatest victory.

Churchill Downs is planning a tribute to Barbaro and his owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, between the sixth and seventh races just prior to this year’s Derby.

Barbaro won the 2006 Kentucky Derby by 6 1/2 lengths, but broke down a few hundred yards into the Preakness Stakes two weeks later. He spent eight months in rehabilitation at the New Bolton Care in Kennett Square, Pa., before dying from complications related to his injury.

The ceremony will include a video replay of Barbaro’s Derby win, a tribute to Barbaro from local school children and a $25,000 donation from Churchill Downs Inc. to the Barbaro Memorial Fund, which was established to raise awareness and money for equine health and safety research.

Blue rubber bracelets featuring the phrase “Riding with Barbaro” will be available for $2 apiece, with all proceeds benefiting the Barbaro Memorial Fund.

“While winning America’s greatest race is an amazing feat, the Jacksons and their brave horse proved themselves true champions in the way they handled their biggest setback following the Preakness Stakes,” said Churchill Downs president Steve Sexton. “Barbaro became ‘America’s horse’ because the Jacksons opened their hearts to racing fans around the nation who hoped and prayed that Barbaro would enjoy a full recovery.”