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

4.7 10
by Edgar Prado, John Eisenberg, John Eisenburg
 

A new superstar appeared on the American sports landscape in the spring of 2006: Barbaro, a three-year-old racehorse, won the Kentucky Derby by six and a half lengths, the largest margin of victory in sixty years. Barbaro's impressive performance immediately stirred talk of a possible Triple Crown. But in the opening yards of the Preakness Stakes two weeks

Overview

A new superstar appeared on the American sports landscape in the spring of 2006: Barbaro, a three-year-old racehorse, won the Kentucky Derby by six and a half lengths, the largest margin of victory in sixty years. Barbaro's impressive performance immediately stirred talk of a possible Triple Crown. But in the opening yards of the Preakness Stakes two weeks later, the horse suffered a catastrophic leg injury that ended his undefeated career and left him fighting for his life.

Edgar Prado, a native of Peru and one of the world's top jockeys, rode Barbaro to glory and then stood beside him for months as the horse valiantly struggled to survive and millions of fans held their breath. Having ridden in more than twenty-five thousand races over the previous two decades, Prado thought he had been around too long to fall for any one horse, but Barbaro—intelligent, charismatic, and resourceful in sickness as well as in health—stole his heart.

In My Guy Barbaro, Prado recounts his own story, a tale of grit and dreams that moves from his impoverished childhood in Lima, Peru, to the winner's circles of the greatest racetracks in the world, and memorably chronicles his emotional time with Barbaro before, during, and after the horse's breakdown. Their bond was special and immeasurable. With Prado still reeling from a wrenching personal loss, Barbaro lifted his spirits by giving him “the ride of a lifetime” in the Derby. When the tables turned and the horse needed support two weeks later, Prado was there, going out of his way to make a succession of visits to the New Bolton Center, the animal hospital in Pennsylvania where Barbaro underwent more than two dozen surgeries and was ultimately put down.

Barbaro made worldwide headlines for eight months, and now Prado's poignant, clear-eyed narrative takes us where no reader has gone before—onto Barbaro's back in the heat of a race and into the intensive care suite where Barbaro's life-and-death drama played itself out. My Guy Barbaro is a heartwarming, unforgettable story of a man and his love for a beautiful animal and an irreplaceable teammate.

Editorial Reviews

Susan Richards
“Edgar Prado’s unadorned prose beautifully captures the trajectory of two lives: his own and that of the horse he would come to describe as a ‘friend, teammate and hero.’ After reading this book, it is difficult to predict who you will love more: Prado or his beloved mount, Barbaro.”
Gary Stevens
“Told firsthand by Edgar Prado, the hardest-working jockey in the game, My Guy Barbaro takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride that will make you feel like you were there with Barbaro every step of the way. I couldn’t put this book down.”
Joe Drape
“This inside look at how a racehorse and jockey communicate and care for each other is at once heartbreaking and harrowing; it chronicles the relationship of two of the sport’s most compelling figures — Barbaro and Prado. Their tale is wonderfully told, and makes you understand why people love horses.”
New York Post
“Barbaro was one tough horse - winning the Kentucky Derby by 6 1/2 lengths. But it was his courageous, ultimately futile battle after a horrific leg injury in the Preakness that really captured the nation. Veteran jockey Prado touchingly takes readers inside racing and his bond with Barbaro.”
American Way
“A moving testament to the power a sport can have on both its fans and its participants.”
Michael Korda
My Guy Barbaro is good, fast reading because it's clear that Prado is not only a great jockey but also a real horseman, who can take in a horse's strengths and weaknesses at a glance, and figure out what makes it tick. He's even better at describing what makes a jockey tick, the strategy of riding a race, how to get the most out of a horse, and the ways a horse and jockey can bond as a racing team. Prado makes the reader realize how well he and Barbaro understood each other.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

In a straightforward narration, Prado (with journalist Eisenberg) relates the brief, poignant story of Barbaro's rise and fall. One of the most successful jockeys in history, Prado sensed Barbaro's special qualities during a race in Maryland. After going undefeated in their first three races together, Prado and Barbaro shared an easy 2006 Kentucky Derby victory that positioned Barbaro to win the Triple Crown. Disaster struck at the Preakness, however, when Barbaro shattered a leg into more than two dozen pieces just out of the gate. His struggle for survival was avidly covered by the media and made the horse a national hero. Sadly, after a prolonged struggle and multiple surgeries, Barbaro had to be put down. Prado's matter-of-fact presentation is most successful when he's describing the routines and rituals and his own intense work habits. His journey from a one-room house in Lima, Peru-which he shared with his parents and 10 brothers and sisters-to a place at the top of his profession is fascinating in its own right. Out of necessity, jockeys try not to get attached to particular horses, but the loss of his mother just before the Kentucky Derby made Prado particularly sensitive to Barbaro's plight. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061464188
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/2008
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.82(d)
Age Range:
15 - 18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Susan Richards
“Edgar Prado’s unadorned prose beautifully captures the trajectory of two lives: his own and that of the horse he would come to describe as a ‘friend, teammate and hero.’ After reading this book, it is difficult to predict who you will love more: Prado or his beloved mount, Barbaro.”
Joe Drape
“This inside look at how a racehorse and jockey communicate and care for each other is at once heartbreaking and harrowing; it chronicles the relationship of two of the sport’s most compelling figures — Barbaro and Prado. Their tale is wonderfully told, and makes you understand why people love horses.”
Gary Stevens
“Told firsthand by Edgar Prado, the hardest-working jockey in the game, My Guy Barbaro takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride that will make you feel like you were there with Barbaro every step of the way. I couldn’t put this book down.”

Meet the Author

Edgar Prado is one of the world's premier jockeys. In February 2008, he became the sixteenth North American jockey to win six thousand races. Later that year he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame. Born in Lima, Peru, Prado now splits his time between Hollywood, Florida, and Elmont, New York.

John Eisenberg is a former sports columnist for the Baltimore Sun and is the author of six books, including the acclaimed Native Dancer and The Great Match Race. He lives in Baltimore.

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My Guy Barbaro: A Jockey's Journey Through Love, Triumph, and Heartbreak With America's Favorite Horse 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Edgar Prado fell in love with Barbaro when he first layed eyes on him, and wanted to ride him badly. Barbaro was three years old when Edgar stated riding him, and had won so many races together throughout the years.For the past years Edgar and Barbro had built a strong relationship, and at the end it feel apart. Major messages that the boook gave was, follow your dream and never give up even though you may run into bad things. What I liked about the book is that Barbaro inspired so many people to fight and to never give up. What I didn't like about it was the begging, it just didn't seem to get my attention.Someone should read this because, it could inspire you to follow your dream. Overall the rating of the book is that it is really good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Edgar Prado's account of his time with the late champion Barbaro. He writes passioantely and in a touching manner and the reader is given a true look into the bond between racehose and jockey. A greta read for the racing fan!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much, and it let me know how much Barbaro meant to his jockey. It seemed as if I was right there with Barbaro especially when Edgar visited him at New Bolton. I would recommend this book to anyone who wanted to know more about this beautiful horse and his caring jockey.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Edgar Prado recounts his time spent with, in my opinion one of the greatest horses of all-time, Barbaro. Jockey Edgar Prado gives some insight on his own life and how he shot to stardom, but the main focus on the book is Barbaro. Barbaro captivated almost the entire country with his racing and struggles in 2006. Prado gives insight into his time spent with Barbaro and the effects the horse had on the country as a whole. The book is a great first person perspective on another side of horse racing, the love for horses and not just money. Prado tells an excellent story and gives Barbaro the exposure he still deserves. Also, if you don't feel like crying while reading the book, then I don't think you have a soul.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Edgar Prado's tale of love and loss is one that all people can identify with, not just racing fans. A phenomonally successful jockey in his own right, Prado shot to fame with his Kentucky Derby victory aboard the ill-fated Barbaro. He pens a story about falling in love with a horse and the heartbreak involved with letting him go. It's hard not to tear up at the honest account of Prado's days with the immensely talented and courageous Barbaro. This book also gives great insight into the world of jockeys. But grab a tissue!