Death Looms Over Churhill Downs

The death of Eight Belles - the second place finisher in today's Kentucky Derby - makes it pretty difficult to get all that excited over Big Brown's dominating performance. The commentators love to speak of the beauty and humanity of these creatures, yet nobody seemed to mind celebrating before the filly's body could be removed from the track. Brian of Awful Announcing is one of many who profited off of the doomed horse's performance, and I bet they feel equally crappy inside. And I bet they'd feel a lot less crappy if they sent their winnings and betting slips to me, which is why I'm including my address at the end of this post. In real news, the Louisville Courier-Journal has the depressing details.

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 the filly had a condylar fractures of both front legs. That is the same type of break that was suffered by 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro in one leg. She was euthanized on the track.

Speaking to media this evening, trainer Larry Jones said, "There was no way to think about even trying to save her. She ran the race of her life."

And now I'm depressed again.

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