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.
Eight Belles was euthanized on the turn heading into the backstretch about seven minutes after the race.
Saez was unhurt.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
RIP: Eight Belles
Eight Belles, after finishing second in the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby, was put down minutes after the end of the race after breaking two ankles in her front legs.