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Big Brown Wins Kentucky Derby

Big Brown, the favorite, won the Kentucky Derby. That's the good news. The tragic news is that Eight Belles, a filly who came in second behind Big Brown, was injured and had to euthanized right there on the track. She broke both front ankles, a terrible and painful injury that she couldn't recover from.

Here's the story the Louisville Courier Journal:

Eight Belles crossed the finish line second in the Kentucky Derby today and then jockey Gabriel Saez heard the worst sound possible - a pop.

Saez said the filly did not take a bad step, but he heard the pop and tried to pull her up.

"I tried to get her to stop," he said. "I tried to get her to stop, but she wouldn't stop."

Dr. Larry Bramlege the on-call veterinarian from the American Association of Equine Practitioners said on NBC that the the horse broke both front ankles. She was euthanized on the track.


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Comments (6)

Apparently both ankles frac... (Below threshold)

Apparently both ankles fractured.

Not only a mortal injury, but very unusual. Reminds me of another tragedy involing a filly, the Foolish Pleasure and Ruffian match race at Belmont years ago.

That happened when I was 11... (Below threshold)

That happened when I was 11 or 12 but I still remember it clearly. It was heart breaking just like the one today.

I watched the Derby today a... (Below threshold)

I watched the Derby today and heard the news. How terribly sad. Life is so fragile, even for a horse.

We owned several race horse... (Below threshold)

We owned several race horses, only one was
thoroughbred (Cantiques Flirt).
In the 90's we ran several arabians successfully.
This is one:
1990 Grey stallion (TQ Warlord x Eldans Gypsy by Essquire) Stakes winner and stakes placed. 26(3-7-1-4)1-1. 2 sons, unraced. (UPDATE SEPT 2006 BY M WHITTON Eldans Warlock was owned by M. M. Whitton at the time of his death, 9.9.01)

He was such a gentleman, I could ride him in
mixed company. He had such a high tolerance
to pain, he was raced on a broken
leg, and when taken to hospital for surgery
unloaded from the trailer without a limp.
What an incredible horse.

I read an interesting story... (Below threshold)

I read an interesting story in the WSJ this morning, talking about how a great number of racehorses are descended from Native Dancer (all of the horses running the Derby this year were descended from Native Dancer), and one of the results of this overbreeding is weakness in the feet/ankles.

It's also mentioned in this Denver Post article (which borrows from the WSJ article):

That's really interesting, ... (Below threshold)

That's really interesting, meep. And sad, too. I wonder if Eight Belles' breakdown and death will bring more scrutiny of thoroughbred breeding practices.






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