Sunday, May 4, 2008

Eight Belles

Eight Belles was euthanized on track. Eight Bells crossed the wire 4 3/4 lengths behind favorite Big Brown at the Kentucky Derby. Then, with the second-largest crowd in Derby history still whooping it up, Eight Belles collapsed with two broken front ankles. There was no way to save eight belles. She could not stand. And, with no other choice, she was euthanized by injection.

Trainer Larry Jones voice broke with tears in his eyes. "Losing animals like this isn't fun. It's not supposed to happen," he said. "We're heartbroke. We're going to miss her, no doubt."

"When we passed the wire I stood up," said a distraught Saez, a first-time Derby rider. "She started galloping funny. I tried to pull her up. That's when she went down." An equine ambulance reached her near the second turn.

Eight Belles appeared to be galloping out normally around the first turn and was headed into the start of the backstretch when she dropped without warning. The crowd was busy high-fiving and celebrating and the distance from the grandstand prevented many from realizing what had happened.

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