Eight Belles

Big Brown wins; Eight Belles breaks down in 134th Kentucky Derby

By Maryjean Wall

LOUISVILLE -- Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby by 4 3/4 lengths, a race marred with tragedy after the only filly in the race, Eight Belles, lost her life.

The filly was euthanized on the track after breaking both front ankles. It was not known immediately whether the filly, who finished second to Big Brown, broke her ankles in the race or while pulling up.

Denis of Cork was third in the field of 20 that raced before the second-largest Derby crowd ever, 157,770.

Final time was 2:01.82 for Big Brown, the favorite of the crowd that widely cheered him before and after the race. He returned mutuels of $6.80, $5 and $4.80.

His victory marked the first time in more than 90 years that a colt has won the Derby after only three lifetime starts. Big Brown thus remains undefeated, a feat that was considered outstanding since he had to come from post No. 20 to win Derby 134.

Published in Lexington Herald-Leader from May 3 to May 8, 2008