Filly Euthanized at Derby

By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2008 9:54 PM CDT
Filly Euthanized at Derby
Track personnel try to hold down Eight Belles as jockey Gabriel Saez walks past after the 134th Kentucky Derby Saturday, May 3, 2008, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Eight Belles was euthanized after breaking both front ankles following a second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.    (AP Photo/Brian Bohannon)

Eight Belles, the filly who crossed the wire 4 3/4 lengths behind winner Big Brown to take second in the Kentucky Derby today, collapsed with two broken front ankles and was euthanized on the track. The first filly since 1999 to run in the Derby appeared to be fine as she galloped out around the first turn. "When we passed the wire I stood up," said  distraught jockey Gabriel Saez. "She started galloping funny. I tried to pull her up. That's when she went down."

 "There was no way to save her. She couldn't stand," trainer Larry Jones said. "She ran an incredible race. She ran the race of her life." Added the veterinarian who treated her: "In my years in racing, I have never seen this happen at the end of the race or during the race."   (More Kentucky Derby stories.)

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