I’m tempted to take an unpopular stand here, and tell you all the media attention being given to Barbaro’s death is a little excessive, a little over the top. Does Barbaro’s four years on this Earth merit the kind of news coverage it’s getting? I mean, I didn’t get “Breaking News” alerts from all the local TV stations and the C-J when President Ford died.
The headline I chose here, by the way, may be morbid but is most appropriate.
There was this children’s book author, Shelley Fraser Mickle, whose commentary on NPR compared the horse with Mozart, Babe Ruth, Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali. She talked of meeting the horse in Pennsylvania and knowing what the horse was thinking. “Those who rode him thought there was no bottom to the well of his speed,” she said. I wonder if she spoke to Edgar Prado, his jockey, or an exercise rider.
He raced just six times, winning five (including the spectacular 2006 Derby) but his horrible breakdown in the Preakness Stakes was a public tragedy. So his ill-fated recovery was chronicled everywhere, but especially in Louisville, the genesis for stories of miraculous medicine, the cruelty of the sport and the human emotions of regular folk.