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A Sad Day at the Kentucky Derby

Big Brown won the 134th Kentucky Derby over the weekend, but overshadowing the win was the collapse and euthanization of second-place finisher Eight Belles. The horse's death has many calling for research, reform and investigations.

Sports Illustrated reports: "PETA faxed a letter Sunday to Kentucky's racing authority claiming the filly was 'doubtlessly injured before the finish' and asked that Saez be suspended while Eight Belles' death is investigated. 'What we really want to know, did he feel anything along the way?' PETA spokeswoman Kathy Guillermo said. 'If he didn't then we can probably blame the fact that they're allowed to whip the horses mercilessly.' Eight Belles trainer Larry Jones said the filly was clearly happy when she crossed the finish line. 'I don't know how in the heck they can even come close to saying that,' Jones told The Associated Press on Sunday. 'She has her ears up, clearly galloping out.'"

AFTER THE JUMP, Eight Belles' troubling final moments...

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  1. I have been a horse owner for over 30 years, and am NO fan of horse racing in particular. But to imply that Eight Belles could have had any type of serious injury and continued to run as she did I cannot think would be possible.

    The problem here is a mix of factors: forcing young, underdeveloped animals to run as hard as possible; breeding animals for speed and nothing else, like bone strength; the surface run on; and the proverbial dollar. Most racing owners are simply people with more money than they have any clue what to do with. They buy horses and push their trainers to race them simple so that they may have the glory of standing in the winner's circle having their picture taken.

    Posted by: ThomD | May 5, 2008 12:27:00 PM

  2. Humans die playing sports too.

    Posted by: anon | May 5, 2008 1:49:43 PM

  3. I did enjoy how the PETA spokeswoman was too ignorant to stop calling Eight Belles, a filly, "he".

    Posted by: Scott | May 5, 2008 2:09:22 PM

  4. On a lighter note...

    How I LOVE the moment as the camera pans over the woman's bouncing breasts just as the announcer yells out "IMPLANTS!" Classic.

    Posted by: soulbrotha | May 5, 2008 2:55:54 PM

  5. Humans may die playing sports, but they choose to engage in those activities. These horses don't have a choice.

    Posted by: peterparker | May 5, 2008 4:03:19 PM

  6. Ah, Peter, so logically we should not merely investigate the sport as PETA wants, but ban it completely, along with all other things animals are used for.

    I wouldn't mind getting rid of the Special Olympics, which does seem like an cruelly exploitive freak show.

    Posted by: anon | May 5, 2008 4:27:37 PM

  7. OK, it's sad and all, but...

    Can someone tell me how this is gay-related? I come here for gay news, not horse news.

    Was the horse gay? The jockey? Is the Derby a gay event? Is PETA gay? Do large numbers of gay people attend the Derby? Is the announcer gay?

    Sorry, I'm not getting the relevance here.

    Posted by: johnny | May 7, 2008 7:50:12 AM

  8. Hmm.. amazes me how this woman thinks she can justify what's right and what's wrong, when she's so oblivious to the fact that she was calling Eight Belles a "he", when SHE is clearly a filly.

    People are amazing.
    At least be thoroughly informed before you try to pass your own judgement, it usually just makes yourself look like an idiot in the end.

    Posted by: Celeste | Jun 11, 2008 2:19:24 PM

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