When: Sunday, April 26 at 10:30 a.m. ET (Churchill Downs’ grandstand gates open at 11 a.m. and the first live race is 12:45 p.m.)
Who: Barbaro’s owners and breeders Roy and Gretchen Jackson; Barbaro’s trainer Michael Matz; Barbaro’s surgeon Dr. Dean Richardson; sculptor Alexa King; Churchill Downs Incorporated chief executive officer Bill Carstanjen; Churchill Downs vice president, racing communications John Asher; Churchill Downs bugler Steve Buttleman.
Background: The statue, which showcases Barbaro and jockey Edgar Prado in mid-flight between strides nearing the finish line in the 2006 Kentucky Derby, will become the focal point of Barbaro’s official memorial and burial site at Churchill Downs (his ashes are interred beneath the bronze’s base). The statue is attached to a horizontal bronze rail that supports the 1,500-pound artwork and creates an 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. Churchill Downs General Manager Jim Gates said: “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.”
Background: The 135th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands will be run in eight days on Saturday, May. 2. Opening Day of the 52-day Spring Meet at Churchill Downs is Saturday, April 25.