Favorite Wins Kentucky Derby in Tragedy

suzecat

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Eight Belles Euthanized on Track After Second-Place Finish

By RICHARD ROSENBLATT,AP
Posted: 2008-05-03 19:29:30

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 3) - Big Brown backed up his trainer's boasts with an explosive finishing kick and won the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, a commanding victory turned somber by the fatal breakdown of the filly Eight Belles on horse racing's biggest day.

The cheers for the winner's 4 3/4-length victory were cut short when Eight Belles, the runner-up, collapsed while galloping out near the second turn. She broke her two front ankles and was euthanized on the track minutes later.

"When we passed the wire I stood up. She started galloping funny. I tried to pull her up. That's when she went down," said her distraught jockey, Gabriel Saez.

Eight Belles was attempting to become the fourth filly to win the Derby.

The unbeaten Big Brown's start from the outside post did little to hamper his charge when the 20-horse field turned for home at Churchill Downs. Under the urging of jockey Kent Desormeaux, the 2-1 favorite cruised to an easy victory to become the seventh unbeaten Derby winner with his fourth consecutive win. The last one was Barbaro in 2006.

The breakdown brought back memories of the 2006 Preakness, where Barbaro shattered his right rear leg just after the start. The colt was euthanized months later, after developing laminitis from the catastrophic injuries.

The tragedy undoubtedly drained some of the joy from Big Brown's victory, which sends him to the Preakness in two weeks as the only 3-year-old with a chance to become the first Triple Crown champion since Affirmed in 1978.

"We're ready to roll," Big Brown's confident trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. said.

All week, Dutrow told the world he had the best horse in the field - and the big bay colt justified every accolade tossed his way.

"I can't describe the feeling that all of us have right now," he said.

The colt became the first Derby winner since Regret in 1915 to have raced only three times previously. He is only the third in 60 years to win after racing in just two Derby preps - Sunny's Halo in 1983 and Street Sense last year were the others.

In addition, Big Brown became the second winner to start from the No. 20 post. The gelding Clyde Van Dusen did it in 1929.

Big Brown covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.82 in front of the second-largest crowd in Derby history at 157,770. He paid $6.80, $5 and $4.80.

Eight Belles paid $10.60 and $6.40, and Denis of Cork, at odds of 27-1, returned $11.60.

Dr. Larry Bramlage, the Derby's on-call veterinarian, said the filly's injuries were too severe to even attempt to move her off the track.

"She didn't have a front leg to stand on to be splinted and hauled off in the ambulance, so she was euthanized," Bramlage said.
 

lojo

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What a comfort it is to know that THIS is the type of thing the US government wants people to gamble on.

Not to be a bleedin heart ALFer by any means.. but your point is well taken.
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(granted it ain't quite that bad in the States... close though)

As opposed to:Expired Image
 

winbig

Keep winning this amount.
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Pennsylvania
I can't believe this shit....put down a friggin horse just because they break their front ankles? Why? Because the horse couldn't live a fulfilling life afterwards?

And yet they still put Kevorkian in jail for doing similar work with terminally ill patients? :what:
 

just play

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I can't believe this shit....put down a friggin horse just because they break their front ankles? Why? Because the horse couldn't live a fulfilling life afterwards?

And yet they still put Kevorkian in jail for doing similar work with terminally ill patients? :what:

I said nearly the same thing in The Attic and Nash and Mousy wrote great posts to explain to me why they did that.
 

anniemac

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I am sure that what I am going to say is going to draw a lot of fire but here it is anyway.

Eight Belles was euthanized because there was nothing they could do for her. Not to upset anyone's sensitive side, but a condylar fracture is when the bones come through the skin. In a human, yes you can pin them back together, cast a limb and wait. But a horse can't be done that way. If there is compromised blood flow to the limbs, be it the injured ones or the sound ones, you will lose the animal. Example was Barbaro. They did everything possible to save him but in the end all efforts were futile. To euthanize her was the kindest thing they could do for her.

Now, do I think that the training of horses should be changed. You betcha! Race horses today are started too young, are bred solely for speed not soundness and are subject to medications that should never be given to an animal. I have raced horses and I base my comments on first hand knowledge. A few trainers/owners must win at whatever cost but the majority of them are good people who truly care about their animals.

As far as the US gov. and horse racing, look at the majority owners of racetrack/casinos and the owners of the large racing operations in the US and you will figure out real quick why it is OK to bet on horses and not gamble on line. Millions of dollars were passed around to get this to happen.

All of this is just my opinion but based on facts.
 

lojo

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All of this is just my opinion but based on facts.

And good facts they were.
(I could go straight up herbweb/alf but this is about gambling :))
Horse people are very sensitive to criticism... I know, I've been around horse all my life off and on - working animals, but I've shoveled at the racetracks too and have seen the realities that owners may never see. But enough of that!
Slot made an excellent point, and though I'm not a vindictive person, I'd love to rub Jon Kyl's face in a pile of fresh steaming horseshit for every time I've had to inconvenience myself to gamble.
 

anniemac

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I agree with you, Lojo. Well, money talks and BS walks. Money talked and our online gambling walked. There are 4 online betting sites (that I know of) based in the US that are perfectly legit. Of course, you do have to pay taxes on your winnings, 1099's are sent. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why you can bet online or by phone on the horses and not play slots.

We, the online community, got caught with our pants down and lost.
 

lojo

Banned User - repetitive violations of <a href="ht
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Location
USA
I agree with you, Lojo. Well, money talks and BS walks. Money talked and our online gambling walked. There are 4 online betting sites (that I know of) based in the US that are perfectly legit. Of course, you do have to pay taxes on your winnings, 1099's are sent. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why you can bet online or by phone on the horses and not play slots.

We, the online community, got caught with our pants down and lost.

It's even freakier than that! Other than the Frank/Paul bill that simply makes it more difficult for treasury to enact uigea... every Frank bill before that would actually make online gambling a federal crime, one version had a gambling czar... putz. we are in the glory days right now, believe it or not. Soon Harrah's will control it all. Then I quit.
 

anniemac

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Here's some more interesting tidbits. The largest racing stables in the US, stud farms etc are owned by the ruler of Dubai, who also owns operations in the UK and Australia. His brothers/nephews etc. also own large operations in the US. The owner of 7(I believe) of the racetracks in the US plus an online betting site (legit) is Magna Entertainment. The owner, Frank Stronach is Canadian. He also has a large breeding operation in Florida.

Just a few little tidbits for thought.
 

heatherad

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May 12, 2007
Location
Canada
Here's some more interesting tidbits. The largest racing stables in the US, stud farms etc are owned by the ruler of Dubai, who also owns operations in the UK and Australia. His brothers/nephews etc. also own large operations in the US. The owner of 7(I believe) of the racetracks in the US plus an online betting site (legit) is Magna Entertainment. The owner, Frank Stronach is Canadian. He also has a large breeding operation in Florida.

Just a few little tidbits for thought.

Good ole Frank has his hands in everything. He has a very reputable auto parts plant here which is doing extremely well.
 

anniemac

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Correct. I don't think his racetrack idea is working all that well though. I think he was betting on slot machines and didn't happen. He bought Lone Star Park here in Texas with the idea of getting slots and it isn't going to happen. I'm not knocking him or the Sheik but that's where the money it.
 

lojo

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USA
I'll knock 'em :D

But, yippers, follow the money.
 
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