BALTIMORE - When Pimlico Race Course officials decided in December to rename the Sir Barton Stakes for the 2006 Kentucky Derby champion, they hoped Barbaro would recover in time to help launch the inaugural Barbaro Stakes.
"We wanted the horse to parade in front of the fans," Maryland Jockey Club president and chief operating officer Lou Raffetto said yesterday.
But Barbaro never recovered from breaking his leg early in last year's Preakness. After a valiant fight to survive, he was euthanized on Jan. 29.
His name will live on, however, as the ninth race on Saturday's Preakness undercard.
Barbaro trainer Michael Matz is expected to enter Chelokee in the Barbaro Stakes. Matz considered placing Chelokee in the Preakness, but decided the competition was too stiff.
The Preakness field stands at eight horses, including the top three finishers in the Kentucky Derby: Street Sense, Hard Spun and Curlin. Trainer Nick Zito confirmed yesterday that he would enter C P West in the race.
C P West hasn't won since his maiden debut at Saratoga in August, but was runner-up twice in two races as a 3-year-old.
In addition, trainer Todd Pletcher said he was entering Circular Quay, who finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago.
Besides naming a race for Barbaro, Pimlico will honor his jockey, Edgar Prado, and surgeon, Dean Richardson, with the Special Award of Merit during the annual Alibi Breakfast. The award is given annually to someone who has made a positive impact on the racing industry.