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Jacksons to honor Barbaro at Churchill Downs

January 28, 2008 6:17:18 PM PST
Barbaro's owners will return to Churchill Downs on Tuesday to honor the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner on the first anniversary of his death.

Neither Roy and Gretchen Jackson nor Churchill Downs would elaborate on plans. The Kentucky Derby Museum, a few hundred feet from the finish line, has offered to set up a memorial for the colt in whatever manner the Jacksons deem appropriate.

Barbaro was euthanized Jan. 29, 2007 following an eight-month fight for survival after his breakdown in the 2006 Preakness.

Barbaro won the Derby by 6½ lengths, dominating the field like no other Derby winner in 60 years. Roy Jackson said the colt remains a symbol of hope and courage.

"We're still amazed at all the good wishes and the positive things that have come out of this whole thing," he said. "I can't say we're real sad or anything. We're more happy that things continued in such a positive way."

After the colt's breakdown, fans flooded the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., with gifts and cards. Fan sites sprouted on the Internet, and giant get-well cards were sent from tracks across the country.

The Jacksons have spent much of the last year considering options on how to memorialize the colt.

"I think we just had to step back from the whole emotion of the time when he was put down and weigh all the various possibilities," Roy Jackson said. "I think all those things have a way of working out for the best."


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