Safety First

By Alex Waldrop,

Like many of you, I watched Saturday’s Kentucky Derby and was in awe of the amazing performance of Big Brown and his talented jockey, Kent Desormeaux. Big Brown ran a race from the 20th post position that was remarkable. And Desormeaux rode a race that even I could appreciate as very skillful. Unfortunately for racing, events unfolded after the race that completely overshadowed Big Brown’s impressive performance.

Eight Belles, a beautiful gray filly trained by Larry Jones, was galloping out after her imposing second-place finish when something went terribly wrong and she collapsed on the track after fracturing bones in both front legs. Those of us in the stands at Churchill Downs were left wondering what had happened since she went down almost at the 7/8ths pole near the backstretch far away from the grandstand. Our only indication of trouble was the sight of one human ambulance and two horse ambulances making their way to the other side of the track. It clearly did not look good.


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