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My Guy Barbaro: A Jockey's Journey Through Love, Triumph, and Heartbreak with America's Favorite Horse Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (April 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 006146418X
  • ASIN: B001JJBP2I
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,731,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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.

From Booklist

This appealing memoir from the host of a popular television fishing show combines angling and World War II. Kreh begins with evocative reminiscences of a poor childhood in Depression-era Maryland and his service in WWII, including the Battle of the Bulge. After returning from the war, Kreh was able to indulge his love of fishing; his constant tinkering with gear and casting techniques, his passion for the outdoors, and plenty of luck combined to land him his dream job—covering the outdoors in national magazines and on television. His memoir covers those experiences but not without plenty of fish stories. Many fishing books focus on trout, but Kreh prefers pursuing bass, and his observations on striped bass are among the best in print. In addition, his advice on fly design and selection and on improving one’s casting is solid —and it's served well seasoned with angling stories about Castro, Hemingway, and Ted Williams. An amiable, slightly wandering account of a fishing life. --John Rowen --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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I'm nuts about animals, and stories about the death of one invariably makes me tear up.
Julie Neal
Edgar Prado tells his story on how he got the opportunity to be the jockey of Barbaro and how the champion emerged as something very special in his life.
Best Of All
I recommend this book for horse racing fans but also for anyone who likes a good human (and animal) interest story.
Watt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Best Of All on April 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful tribute to the life and death of a great champion from the jockey who guided him to tremendous victories and saved his life on that fateful day in May 2006.

Edgar Prado tells his story on how he got the opportunity to be the jockey of Barbaro and how the champion emerged as something very special in his life. Prado is especially candid on his personal feelings on the Preakness and covers every aspect of what was supposed to be another race on the track to immortality, but became - in a few seconds - a trek of life and death.

There are excerpts of letters sent to Prado from fans, which chronicle the outpouring of concern and grief for Barbaro. A powerful section is what was Prado's last visit with Barbaro at the The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's New Bolton Center and how he was notified that the Thoroughbred lost his battle to defeat the long odds caused by mounting health problems.

This is a powerful recollection and is an absolute must for anyone who was touched by any aspect of Barbaro's story.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By M on April 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought I knew the whole story of Barbaro's short life. I had read every book, watched every news story, and seen every posting online. I ordered this book in August. over 7 months before it was released, based on a letter I heard read from Edgar Prado at a Delaware Park function. It was extremely articulate and full of emotion. By the time the book arrived 2 days ago, I wasn't sure I wanted to read it - it was an emotional story and I knew how badly it ended - but after the first chapter I couldn't put it down. It's extremely well written. I learned a lot about racing in general, but most of all, it told a side of the story I don't think any of us knew. Yes, it opened up old wounds, but it also made me remember what a truly remarkable animal Barbaro was - and this is a truly remarkable book. Thank you, Mr. Prado, for sharing your story with us. If I could give it 100 stars, I would - it's that good!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Julie Neal TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was hard for me to read this book, knowing the sad ending. I'm nuts about animals, and stories about the death of one invariably makes me tear up. I read the ending of Good Dog. Stay., for example, with tears streaming down my face, although it was the story of an old dog that had lived a long and pampered life. Barbaro, on the other hand, dies in pain at the peak of his life.

Author Edgar Prado, Barbaro's jockey, tells this heartbreaking story with skill and compassion. From the moment Prado first sees Barbaro, he is impressed. "He wasn't a sleek and slender classic beauty. He was all jock."

Prado successfully petitions the owners to let him ride the big colt. After a thrilling win in the Kentucky Derby -- with the largest margin of victory since 1946 -- Barbaro is the favorite for the Preakness. But in this second leg of the Triple Crown, the horse sustains an injury, a terrible fracture. By quickly stopping Barbaro, Prado prevents the racehorse from damaging his leg further.

Although at first it seems to go well, the recovery effort does not work. At the end Barbaro is suffering and losing weight. The big horse is put down.

Prado includes 33 color photographs, most of them of Barbaro in his glory days, racing around a track. He seems to be flying, with his feet barely touching the ground. A shot of him the day before the Preakness shows Barbaro in his stall, reaching out his long neck and nuzzling the horse next door.

That one got to me. I cried.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Watt on April 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I just loved this book. It's incredibly moving without being overly sentimental. I read it for Barbaro's story, which didn't disappoint, but I was as fascinated by the details about a jockey's life. I recommend this book for horse racing fans but also for anyone who likes a good human (and animal) interest story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joseanna on April 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully written book. It must be very difficult for two people to collaborate on a book and come out with a single cohesive voice and style, but this book has that. Edgar Prado is a brilliant jockey and a fine man with a loving heart. This book conveys that and adds a unique new perspective to a remarkable story.

The first time he saw Barbaro, Edgar was riding another horse in the Laurel Futurity. As Barbaro broke away from the pack to win by eight lengths, Edgar says, "My horse had basically stopped running when he saw Barbaro pull away. I swore the sight had depressed him. But it had thrilled me. When you see a horse accelerate and finish like that,... you know you're seeing something special."

He describes his feelings after a phone call in which he and trainer Michael Matz agreed that Edgar would be Barbaro's new jockey: "I smiled as I hung up. I was being handed the keys to a Lamborghini."

Edgar talks about the significance of Barbaro starting out as a turf horse and switching later to dirt. Previously, Barbaro had been saddled on hard concrete floors in paddocks before racing on dirt tracks. However, preparations for the Preakness were different. "Now he was being saddled on grass, which excited him. He was a turf horse at heart,... He was never happier than when he was running on grass. The longer he stood on the grass, the more excited he became. He breathed harder. His muscles tensed. He was noticeably pumped up by the time I got on him." Barbaro was "agitated, impatient, a little too eager to get going" in the post parade. Edgar implies that this might have been a factor in the subsequent tragedy.

I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it, but I cannot give it a five-star rating.
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