Easter brings new stable of gifts in remembrance of Barbaro

Horse racing notebook

Horse racing

April 06, 2007|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Reporter

Gretchen Jackson was just about to go out and help trim the hooves on some of her cows at Lael Farm yesterday afternoon when the telephone rang. It was the Kennett Square Florist saying it was about to deliver 178 Easter baskets to the New Bolton Center, where her late Kentucky Derby winner, Barbaro, had lived the last eight months of his life.

"All those gifts are from Barbaro fans," said Jackson, who owned Barbaro with her husband, Roy. "The florist wanted me to come over, but I just can't. There is too much to do here. But it's amazing. The love of Barbaro's fans just continues on."

Barbaro is never very far from Jackson's mind, either, because the telephone keeps ringing with questions about the horse, who was euthanized Jan. 29, finally succumbing to complications from the shattered leg suffered in the Preakness. Most of the questions revolve around his ashes. Where will they be placed? Some, however, ask about Barbaro's sibling, a full brother, now a yearling, who was born March 15, 2006.

The Jacksons named him Nicanor this week, and Jackson said she and her husband will visit him at Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington, Ky., next week before going to the Grade II Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland, where their other 2006 Kentucky Derby horse, Showing Up, will run.

"He's named after the next foxhound in the same picture from where we got Barbaro's name," Jackson said of the son of Dynaformer and the Jacksons' mare La Ville Rouge. "I love one-word names when you can come up with them."

Jackson said Nicanor will eventually go to trainer Michael Matz's stables at Fair Hill.

"We usually keep family lines with the same trainer," she said. "They know the mare and are familiar with the offspring. Sometimes that can be a head start for them in training."

As for Barbaro's ashes, Jackson said a decision still has not been made for a final resting place. She said Matz's suggestion of putting him under the trees surrounding a pond on Lael Farm, near West Grove, Pa., remains on a list of possibilities.

"Michael has lost some favorite horses and has ... experience with horses' ashes," she said. "He likes to keep them in his favorite spots, and he knows that is an area we especially love on our farm. It's a consideration, but we also have to consider that other people would like to visit him, too. We haven't decided yet. It might never happen - but no, we are still searching."

The Jacksons plan to attend the Kentucky Derby on May 5 , but Jackson said there is no plan to have a decision or an announcement by then.

Ah Day entered in Carter

Trainer King Leatherbury's star 4-year-old, Ah Day, is entered in tomorrow's Grade I, $300,000 Carter Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at Aqueduct in New York.

"The reason I'm running is it's a seven-furlong race, which I think is his best distance," Leatherbury said. "The timing is also right. It's been a while since his last race, and I have nowhere else to put him. The horse that beat us last time out [Silver Wagon] will probably be the favorite, and I think we have a chance to beat him. I know it's a Grade I race, but we belong."

Silver Wagon beat Ah Day, the seven-time stakes winner, in the Grade II General George Breeders' Cup Handicap by 1 1/4 lengths Feb. 19. Silver Wagon and Latent Heat will likely be viewed as the horses to beat.

sandra.mckee@baltsun.com

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