Eight Belles is the horse who took second place in the Kentucky Derby yesterday, but broke both front ankles in the process, and was therefore immediately euthanized. She was the only filly in a field of twenty horses. A story about this in today’s NYT starts out: “Boy, did Eight Belles hang with the boys.” The author later observed:
Eight Belles could have easily been the wagering favorite in Friday’s Kentucky Oaks, an all-girl showcase. But Jones and Porter decided to run her against the boys despite the fact that she had never done so before. She had, after all, solid credentials with a four-race winning streak.
She was reportedly the first filly to run in the Derby since 1999. She ran with “the boys” in a race overwhelming dominated by males, in a sport designed by and for men. She excelled, but she paid for her success with her life.
Peace to you, Eight Belles.