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May 12, 2006

Barbaro captures 132nd Kentucky Derby


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Barbaro, ridden by Edgar Prado, won the 132nd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. The three-year-old colt posted a 6 1/2 length victory over Bluegrass Cat with Steppenwolfer finishing third in the 20 horse field.

Barbaro becomes the second horse from the Philadelphia area to win the Run for the Roses, Smarty Jones claimed the race two years ago.

The win was the first for veteran jockey Prado in the Kentucky Derby. Prado won the Belmont Stakes in 2004 on Birdstone to deny Smarty Jones the Triple Crown.

Also gaining his first Kentucky Derby win in his initial visit was trainer Michael Matz. Barbaro gives Lael Stables its first Triple Crown victory.

The running of the race went off pretty much as the experts expected. Sinister Minister and Sharp Humor both quickly moved to the lead. Entering the first turn the two horses were joined by Keyed Entry with Barbaro racing on the outside near the leaders.

Barbaro did not have the best of starts, as he stumbled to his knees when the gate opened. Running near Barbaro was his stablemate Showing Up.

"He stumbled a little bit coming out of the gate but he recovered right away," said Prado. "You see what he did when I turned him loose, he took off like a rocket. I never had a doubt in this horse. Mr. Matz did a super job. Hopefully we can get the Triple Crown."

Up the backstretch the field was led by Keyed Entry, Sinister Minister and Showing Up. Barbaro continued to run on the outside never far off the pace.

Around the turn for home, Barbaro began to move up to join the leaders and drew even with Sinister Minister at the top of the stretch. Straightening away on the homestretch, Barbaro drew away from the field.

Barbaro hit the wire first, stopping the timer at 2:01.36 for the 1 1/4 miles. The colt was followed by Bluegrass Cat, Steppenwolfer, Jazil, morning line favorite Brother Derek, Showing Up, Sweetnorthernsaint, Deputy Glitters, Point Determined, Seaside Retreat, Storm Treasure, Lawyer Ron, Cause to Believe, Flashy Bull, Private Vow, Sinister Minister, Bob and John, A.P. Warrior, Sharp Humor and Keyed Entry.

Barbaro was the co-second choice in the morning line at 4-1 along with Lawyer Ron. The new Kentucky Derby winner went off the as the 6-1 second pick behind post-time favorite Sweetnorthernsaint.

"It's a dream come true," said Matz. "Good horses make good riders and good horses make good trainers."

Barbaro remains undefeated with six wins in six lifetime starts. The 2006 Kentucky Derby was worth $2.2 million and the winner's share of more than $1.4 million brings Barbaro's earnings to $2.3 million.

The three-year-old becomes the first thoroughbred to win the Run for the Roses off a five week rest since Needles in 1956. Barbaro won the Florida Derby on April 1 after capturing the Holy Bull Stakes and the Tropical Park Derby to began 2006. The colt began his career with three starts on the turf.

Barbaro returned $14.20, $8.00 and $6.00. Bluegrass Cat, ridden by Ramon Dominguez, paid $28.40 and $15.40, and Steppenwolfer paid $7.80 for show.

Barbaro can become the 12th three-year-old to win racing's Triple Crown. The Preakness Stakes will be run on Saturday, May 20 at Pimlico Race Course. On June 10 at Belmont Park the 1 1/2 mile Belmont Stakes will be contested.

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