BARBARO | 4
FEW SPORTS figures—equine or otherwise—have engendered as much goodwill as Barbaro, who broke down in the 2006 Preakness two weeks after winning the Kentucky Derby by 6 1/2 lengths. Derby champs routinely inspire Triple Crown buzz, but Barbaro, with his speed and stamina, looked like the real deal. After his accident in the Preakness, fans—some of them hard-core horseplayers, some casual observers affected by the plight of a beautiful animal struggling to survive—rallied around the bay colt. As Barbaro struggled with complications from surgery on his broken right hind leg, they held vigils and left cards, carrots, apples and at least one container of holy water at the University of Pennsylvania's veterinary hospital. But he didn't respond to treatment, and when it became apparent that he was in pain, he was euthanized nine months after his win at Churchill Downs.