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Decision due on Barbaro's ashes

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Nearing the one-year anniversary of Barbaro's death, Gretchen Jackson -- who along with husband Roy owned the horse -- said yesterday they are close to announcing a decision about where the 2006 Kentucky Derby champion's ashes will be buried.

Barbaro was euthanized Jan. 29 after an eight-month battle to overcome a shattered right rear leg and the ensuing complication of laminitis in his rear left hoof. Almost miraculously, he recovered from the initial injury that occurred in the Preakness on May 20, 2006.

But he could not overcome the inflammation that eventually spread and left him with virtually no hoof to stand on. At that point, the decision was made to put him to rest.

At the time of his death, the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington and Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., were among the places that offered burial sites. The Jacksons proposed the idea that a museum in Pennsylvania to honor the region's contribution to horse racing also might be appropriate.

Yesterday, Jackson said the museum idea had been put aside, but every outside offer of a resting place has been considered and she and her husband are "very close" to making a decision.

"It's taken us long enough," she said. "The No. 1 thing we've been doing is trying to decide who will do a statue of Barbaro. We've spent time looking at various artists' work, and we're now waiting on maquettes [small preliminary models] to see how each artist represents him. That's what we're waiting for. Once we see those, and I don't know how much longer that will take, everything should come together.

"He will be in a significant place where there is access to everyone who is interested in visiting him," she said. "It's an appropriate place in terms of how we like to think of him."

sandra.mckee@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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