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Barbaro – the ‘forgotten one’…
by Franco Raimondi / Globeform
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Barbaro, the son of Dynaformer. Has he been forgotten by too many too quickly, as recent focus has been on prep races at Santa Anita, Oaklawn Park, Hawthorne and Keeneland?

Well, he seems to be, although this horse has ticks in so many boxes there has not been too much attention this past week. Make no mistake, this is a proper contender for the Kentucky Derby (G1).

Not many Derby winners opened their season by winning on turf but Derby winners coming off prep runs at Gulfstream Park is not exactly unheard of, is it? The winner of the Florida Derby (G1) could well be the one they all have to beat also at Churchill Downs.

BARBARO (Dynaformer) GF 113+ 106++ (turf) 110+ 113+ / E Prado

Barbaro remained undefeated when winning the 9-furlong Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park on April Fool’s day. He is now trying to overcome a ‘stat’, as he will be going into the Derby off a layoff. Don’t be fooled… he has a lot going for him and the son of Dynaformer is certainly among our favorites. He came with a determined run to collar the game Swale winner Sharp Humor at Gulfstream. When that rival fought back and – for a few strides – looked like getting back up, Barbaro had the answer. He found some more and drew off again to win the race by half a length. He lookd like he had a bit to spare too, as he passed the wire. More importantly, he looked very much like a horse who will be even better when running over 1 ¼ miles.

He was coming off a solid win in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) over the same course and distance – but run over quite a different track. After having won the Tropical Park Derby at Calder, he made the switch from turf to dirt, even a sloppy dirt track, without turning a hair. He raced in second, as Doctor Decherd set the pace, and he made a smooth move to take the lead at the ¾-pole. Naturally, the front in the best place to be on a wet day – and when you have the best horse then better still. Edgar Prado sat on the best by far here and he guided Barbaro home for a game win over Great Point - who was staying on well from way back but also carrying 6lbs less than the winner.

Barbabro is still underestimated in many quarters – does that mean they will call it an ‘upset’ if he win the big one? These are the plus points on your ticket if you make him your Derby bet:

- Unbeaten and progressive horse
- Versatile, winning on turf, fast dirt, sloppy dirt
- Experienced fighter, won tough battle Fla Derby
- Strong on stamina, promises to stay the trip well
- Well balanced, uncomplicated ride

Now those factors should persuade more people towards backing this colt on Derby day. Surely they overrule that theory saying that ‘no horse can win after a five-week layoff’. It probably depends quite a bit on the class of the horse.

Published: 2006-04-30 08:30:56

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