Big Brown victorious in Kentucky Derby, runner-up Eight Belles breaks down

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

In a dominating performance, Big Brown triumphed in the 2008 Kentucky Derby. Jockey Kent Desormeaux gave Big Brown a stalking ride, even as he was 4-wide along the backstretch. Once they reached the top of the stretch, Big Brown grabbed the lead and won going away, 4 3/4 lengths away from filly Eight Belles. Desormeaux wins his third Kentucky Derby, while trainer Richard Dutrow savored his victory after having bragged about how well his horse is for the Derby.

Cquote1.svg There was no possible way Eight Belles could be saved... that's an injury that's very painful. Cquote2.svg

—Dr. Larry Bramlage, veterinarian

Shortly after the race finished, Eight Belles collapsed on the backstretch, shattering her two front ankles. She was euthanized minutes later. Veterinarian Larry Bramlage conceded that "there was no possible way Eight Belles could be saved... that's an injury that's very painful." The moment was bittersweet for trainer Larry Jones, who sent Eight Belle's stablemate Proud Spell to victory in the Kentucky Oaks.

Sent off 2-1 as the post-time favorite, Big Brown paid $6.80 to win. The $2 exacta (20-5) paid $141.60. The $1 trifecta (20-5-16) paid a healthy $1,722.80 with 13-1 shot Denis of Cork, and the $1 superfecta (20-5-16-2) paid a very respectable $29,368.90 with 37-1 shot Tale of Ekati.

Big Brown is being pointed to run in the Preakness Stakes on May 17. However, few horses from this year's Kentucky Derby are looking to follow, opting instead to run in the Belmont Stakes on June 7.