Sunday, May 04, 2008
RIP, Little Filly
I will never watch horse racing again after the tragic death of filly Eight Belles at the Kentucky Derby yesterday. I was pulling for that little girl running against the big boys -- not for money, just on general principle -- and she ran her heart out. She came in second to winner Big Brown, only to collapse with two broken front ankles and was subsequently ignominiously euthanized right there on the track.
Remember Barbaro who broke his leg during the 2006 Preakness? He wasn't immediately put down, but ended up losing his life several months later. What the hell are they doing to horses these days that their legs are so delicate? Sometimes their legs break right out of the starting gate. Others make it through the race only to shatter a limb as they approach the finish line. Apparently, some owners and trainers view this as just "part of the business." I don't. I never heard of Eight Belles in my life before last week, but her death made me cry. It seems so senseless.
"This horse showed you his heart," winning jockey Kent Desormeaux said, "and Eight Belles showed you her life for our enjoyment today. I'm deeply sympathetic to that team for their loss."
Showed you her life? No, she gave her life for the sake of someone's enjoyment and dreams of money. At least she'll no longer feel the sting of a crop urging her to run faster and win, win, win.