Sports fans who don’t follow horse racing closely rarely start learning the names of the top 3-year-olds until the first Saturday in May. After he won the Kentucky Derby by the widest margin in 60 years, even the most casual fans tuning in Saturday to the Preakness Stakes knew Barbaro. Now the dark bay colt with the brightest of futures is fighting for his life instead of the Triple Crown and is even more famous for all the wrong reasons.

Anyone watching the race could not help but gasp as Barbaro faltered just a few hundred yards out of the starting gate, his right rear leg awkwardly sticking out. ... Now we marvel over the five-hour surgery to repair three broken bones and the X-rays that show 23 screws implanted in the leg. Barbaro’s doctors provide regular updates, and Web sites devoted to horse racing are seeing a sharp spike in hits. The horse’s survival has generated more interest than Barry Bonds tying Babe Ruth with his 714th home run. ...

St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times

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