- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 6, 2006

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A hero and his horse won the Kentucky Derby today. Undefeated Barbaro stormed into the lead at the top of the stretch and won convincingly — by 6 1-2 lengths — to give trainer Michael Matz his first Derby victory and jockey Edgar Prado his first winning ride.

Matz’ joyous day came nearly 17 years after he led three children to safety following the crash of United flight 232 from Denver to Chicago into an Iowa cornfield.

The two brothers and their sister are now grown and joined Matz in the grandstand at Churchill Downs, where they cheered the strapping bay colt onto his sixth consecutive win.

Given a masterful ride by Prado, Barbaro beat a full field of 20 3-year-olds — considered one of the toughest in years.

With Sinister Minister and Keyed Entry setting the pace, Barbaro settled in right behind and made his move around the far turn, just as he had in winning his first five races.

The Florida Derby winner, making his first start in five weeks, had plenty left in the tank to hold off Bluegrass Cat.

Steppenwolfer was third, and there was a dead heat for fourth between Brother Derek and Jazil.

Barbaro becomes the sixth undefeated winner, following Smarty Jones in 2004.

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