There will be a filly in the 134th Kentucky Derby. Twenty horses have qualified and officially entered for the race and filly Eight Belles is among them. Read her biography and see pictures and a video of her below.
When the Kentucky Derby runs on Saturday there will be a filly in the field. There has been a lot of debate over the past week or two about whether or not Eight Belles would compete against the colts in the Derby. She was finally officially entered into the Kentucky Derby on Wednesday ending the speculation. A filly hasn’t run in the Kentucky Derby since 1999 and only three have ever won the race. The last filly to win the Derby was Winning Colors in 1988.
The decision to enter Eight Belles in the Derby was not taken lightly by her owner and trainer. They have stated that the decision was made after considering her size and strength which make her more able to compete with the colts. They also said that in spite of the talented field of colts they felt that none of them looked to be unbeatable.
She will leave from the No. 5 post and is getting opening odds at 15-1.
Eight Belles is a three-year-old filly sired by multiple Grade-1 winning millionaire Unbridled’s Song. He was the hero of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Florida Derby and Wood Memorial S. Her pedigree is impressive. She hails from the line of the elite broodmare La Troienne who is the ancestress of numerous top-class performers. Her family tree is full of notable top-performers, multiple Grade 1s and millionaires.
Eight Belles has inherited speed from the speedy female sprinters in her line. She has also shown signs of inheriting sufficient stamina from her sire and broodmare sire to complete the 1 1/8-mile trip of the Kentucky Oaks.
Eight Belles is owned by Fox Hill Farms, Inc. Her trainer is J. Larry Jones and her Jockey is Gabriel Saez.
According to her owner, she was named for a home in Port Clyde, Maine, where famed painter Andrew Wyeth lives in the summer residence built by his father.
UPDATE – 5/3/2008: Eight Belles fell to the ground in the first turn of the track after coming in Second Place in the Kentucky Derby. She ran a MAGNIFICENT RACE!
“When we passed the wire I stood up,” said Saez, a first-time Derby rider. “She started galloping funny. I tried to pull her up. That’s when she went down.”
As she fell to the ground her jockey, Gabriel Saez, jumped off. An equine ambulance came to the track. It was determined that she had broken both front ankles. Sadly, the on-call veterinarian Dr. Larry Bramlage, reports that Eight Belles’ injuries were severe and she could not be saved. She was immediately euthanized while still on the track.
Photos of Eight Belles on the track after the race included below.
Final photos of Eight Belles …..