Empty10 p.m. Wednesday, June 6
Flicka, Seabiscuit, Velvet, Trigger, Silver, Ruffian, Dan Patch, Secretariat, Scout, Citation, Man o' War, Pegasus ... and you could go on a few weeks. And now Barbaro, the recently and dearly departed, joins the long, honored list of superstar horses that have captured our hearts and souls.
To mark the occasion, HBO Sports has a documentary of Barbaro's stunning victory in the Kentucky Derby and then his shattering leg injury in the Preakness. The public marveled over the medical procedures that appeared to have saved Barbaro's life. But it wasn't to be, and he had to be euthanized in January.
The hour by executive producers Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein and producer Margaret Grossi is a straightforward, dutiful recitation of the Barbaro story, with touching commentaries from the owners, the trainer, horse historians, etc. You get another chance to witness the power and grandeur -- but there's no happy ending.
To cap off the week, the Belmont Stakes -- the final leg of the Triple Crown that Barbaro never got to -- will run at 5 p.m. Saturday on ABC. The network will run a docudrama,"Ruffian," with Sam Shepard playing trainer Frank Whiteley, at 9 p.m. It's a restaging of the historic match race against Derby winner Foolish Pleasure. This also is not a happy ending.