Michael Matz, a three-time Olympian and four-time Pan American Games veteran has won the 2006 Kentucky Derby with Barbaro. Matz turned his horsemanship to thoroughbreds in recent years, and has continued his success in the latest endeavor, with the Kentucky Derby favorite, the undefeated Barbaro.
Michael Matz – Olympian Turned Race Horse Trainer Wins 2006 Kentucky Derby
Matz has won the U. S. Equestrian Team (USET) Show Jumping Championship a record six times. He earned a Team Silver medal in the Atlanta Games. Matz is also a hero, having rescued 2 young children from a burning plane crash in 1989. While he has always been reluctant to talk about it, it is a story which has become part of the legend, which honored him in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, when his fellow American Olympians elected Matz to carry the American Flag in the closing ceremonies. He was also the all time leading money winning rider and member of the Show Jumping Millionaire's Club with over $1,700,000 earned in prize money.
Barbaro was Matz's first Derby starter, who won the Florida Derby earlier this year.
Visit a great website kentuckyderby.com for all the news and info on the Kentucky Derby history. Check out the section called “The Kentucky Derby Experience”. Can’t be there? You can still shop for Kentucky Derby clothing, souvenirs, and memorabilia.