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My Guy Barbaro

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My Guy Barbaro

My Guy Barbaro by Edgar Prado with John Eisenberg

© Harper Collins Publishers

The Bottom Line

When Barbaro broke down in the Preakness and was pulled up in front of 116,000 stunned spectators and millions watching on TV, one of the greatest stories in racing history began. The story that gripped the nation, if not the world, had just begun, a roller-coaster ride of emotions that unfortunately did not result in a happy ending. Fans will always remember where they were when they saw the breakdown, and will also remember where they were when they heard the news that Barbaro had been euthanized. In his autobiography, jockey Edgar Prado talks about his own racing career, and how Barbaro affected him personally.
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  • A great tribute to Barbaro by the man most affected by his tragic death
  • Prado, although very successful, always sounds humbled by his fame and fortune
  • Fans who witnessed the Barbaro story as it happened will also feel their emotions return
  • Award-winning writer John Eisenberg clearly polished this story to near-perfection


  • Prado could have expanded the autobiography section further, detailing more major races won


  • No horse in recent memory has attracted the attention of the racing and non-racing public as 2006 Derby winner Barbaro
  • With fans and media predicting a Triple Crown sweep, the son of Dynaformer broke down soon after the start.
  • For eight months, Barbaro stayed at the New Bolton Center under the care of Dr. Dean Richardson
  • The man who rode Barbaro, Edgar Prado, talks about his experiences that year, starting with when he first met the horse.
  • When assigned the mount by trainer Michael Matz, Prado saw a turf great in the making, but his owners switched him to dirt
  • He didn't miss a step despite the change and went to Churchill Downs undefeated.
  • His time at the hospital was a roller-coaster ride of emotions for fans, but most of all, for Edgar Prado himself.
  • He and his family visited Barbaro frequently, feeding him carrots and taking him out to graze with Dr. Richardson.
  • Prado could tell from Barbaro's mannerisms if he was happy or suffering, and his own emotions followed suit.
  • He was away in Peru for a jockey competition when he learned that Barbaro had been euthanized, and regrets not being there.

Guide Review - My Guy Barbaro

My Guy Barbaro: A Jockey's Journey Through Love, Triumph, and Heartbreak with America's Favorite Horse

Edgar Prado grew up poor, the youngest of 11 children, the son of a racetrack laborer, in a small house lacking electricity or running water. His father Jose's career as a groom and exercise rider led him to life at the track, with aspirations of becoming a jockey. Starting off at Monterrico in Lima, Peru, he quickly mastered his home circuit, and was offered lucrative contracts to ride for top Peruvian owners. However, he dreamed of riding with the best in America, and, turning them all down, he moved to Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, and eventually New York, winning major races all over but still lacking that elusive Kentucky Derby.

After picking up the mount aboard Barbaro, the Lael Stables homebred son of Dynaformer, he knew he had a Derby winning ride. Unfortunately, as he prepared to ride him in the Holy Bull Stakes for his first dirt start, his mother Zenaida was fighting a losing battle with cancer. Prado tried desperately to get his mother's visa extended so she could come back to America for treatments, but the extension came a day too late.

Prado suffered two very painful losses in his life -- his mother and his Kentucky Derby winner -- in a matter of months and fans will appreciate this future Hall of Fame jockey even more by his story, told straight from the heart. He, like many fans, made sure Barbaro did not die in vain. He paid tribute to everybody who donated funds in Barbaro's name for various equine causes, and threw his Derby saddle into a charity auction, with the Jacksons bidding it up to $225,000. Prado hopes he can use his new saddle to win the 2009 Kentucky Derby aboard Barbaro's full brother Nicanor, who will also be trained by Michael Matz.

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