Triple Crown Watch

Eight Belles euthanized after runner-up finish in Kentucky Derby
By Staff Writer - Thoroughbred Times
May 4, 2008, 08:50


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Fox Hill Farm's Eight Belles, runner-up after a game come-from-behind finish in the 134th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), suffered catastrophic injuries after galloping out and had to be euthanized on the racetrack as the winner's celebration for Big Brown kicked off at Churchill Downs.

American Association of Equine Practitioners On-Call member Larry Bramlage, D.V.M., said the Unbridled's Song filly broke both front ankles as she galloped out nearing the backstretch. She fell and threw jockey Gabriel Saez, attempted to regain her composure, and partially collapsed again as she was attended to by outriders and emergency personnel.

"Unfortunately she had to be immediately euthanized, there was no possible way to save her," Bramlage said. "That's an injury that is just too painful. It's a bad injury to both front legs."

Eight Belles was the first filly to start in the Kentucky Derby since 1999. She came into the Derby off four consecutive victories this season, including the Honeybee Stakes (G3) and Fantasy Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park for trainer Larry Jones.

The death of Eight Belles came one day after Saez and Jones teamed to win the Kentucky Oaks (G1) with Proud Spell.

Bred in Kentucky by Robert Clay and Serengeti Stable, Eight Belles finished 4 ¾ lengths behind Big Brown, who won in 2:01.82.

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