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Original Painting of Barbaro Winning the Kentucky Derby Sells for $14,400; Proceeds To Benefit NTRA Charities–Barbaro Memorial Fund

June 2, 2007     E-mail this page to a friend!

Acclaimed artist Susan Sommer-Luarca's portrait "Barbaro," a 5' by 4' tonal acrylic on canvas that was painted at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby week this year, brought a final price of $14,400 at the conclusion of bidding yesterday on Ebay. The winning bidder was John E. Koenig of Franklin Square, New York. All proceeds from the winning bid will benefit the NTRA Charities–Barbaro Memorial Fund.

"We are deeply appreciative of Susan Sommer-Luarca's outstanding contribution in support of the NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund," said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop, "and we are grateful for the generous bid made by Mr. Koenig on Susan's beautiful work."

"I was convinced that Barbaro was going to win the Triple Crown and thought he was the greatest horse since Secretariat and Ruffian," said Koenig. "I've been buying Barbaro memorabilia for a year and a half now. I'm also crazy about animals, and the fact that the money was going to the NTRA Charities–Barbaro Memorial Fund and a cure for laminitis meant a great deal to me. I already have a special place in my house picked out for this beautiful painting."

Sommer-Luarca has recently completed an additional painting of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense that will be auctioned off later this year, again in support of NTRA Charities–Barbaro Memorial Fund.

The Barbaro Memorial Fund was created to raise awareness and money for equine health and safety research in the name of 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands winner Barbaro, whose gallant struggle to overcome a catastrophic injury captivated horse enthusiasts around the world. Monies raised by the Barbaro Memorial Fund will support equine research projects, including those that focus on laminitis, the painful and often fatal hoof disease that plagued Barbaro for so much of his recuperative period following his injury in the 2006 Preakness Stakes. Those wishing to make cash donations to the NTRA Charities–Barbaro Memorial Fund may do so at

The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horse racing interests consisting of leading thoroughbred racetracks, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity of horse racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Kentucky, and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA web site,