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Support Eight Belles' connections   Horse Racing

Started by Russo (Railbird87); 15691 views.

From: tstockam


I respect everyones opinion here ...but I have to agree with you 100% about this. She belonged in that race as much as the 18 colts that were behind her or the one in front of her. I've followed this horse since way way back and she was my Derby pick. Thank you for standing up about this. I love racing but this about did my in. But turning our backs on the problems ...track surfaces, breeding, etc. will not help the next horse down the road. We must stay involved to try and push positive changes in the industry.

I have second guessed myself about wanting her in the Derby and I have even gone back and worried over things that happened in her last race. I was up in the middle of the night doing just that....But she more than showed she belonged there on the first Sat in May. I've watched this filly run in person and she loved what she did. And yes she died doing it. A freak accident. is indeed a wake up call for the HR industry and we need to be on the other end of the line to push for any and all things to reduce and/or eliminate unnecessary risk. Change the tracks....more thorough testing of horses before they race to be aware of weakness waiting to happen...drugs need to be sharply decreased or done away with...breeding ...and television networks/tracks need to be taught how to be respectful and allow us a moment to show respect when a horse breaksdown or doesn't finish a race. NBC screwed up big time with their did the Gov and Yum folks. No excuses there.

I'm not crazy about Mr.Porter but I do know that Larry Jones cared greatly for this filly and I met a woman at one race whose husband worked for Jones taking care of EB...all her connections were SO proud of her. I'll never forget this...this woman heard me tell my husband how much I adored EB and she gave me her upclose spot in the paddock saying..."I get to see her need to see her...isn't she great? Just look at her. You have to get closer here and see her..." So I will send condolences to these and all the connections having seen upclose how crazy they were about this girl....


Msg 24 of 79 to GuestGuest 
In reply toRe: msg 17

From: jock4hire


Hi Maria,

I've been as honest as I can be and this is what I believe. My own opinion formed by studying the PP's and looking at some history. And yeah I know fillies have been running with the boys for years,  centuries even but guess what?  At what cost to them? Answer me that?

Rags to Riches is a great example and Paul put that beautifully in his article too!! How long did she last after that Belmont race with Curlin? She never raced the same afterwards.

Reform hell yes!! I'm for it!! I'd not meant to bash anybody! I have a horses and have  had many over the years. And I know just how fragile they are. Yes they get hurt out in the field etc. I know what's your point?  That Larry Jones makes sense to you fine! He isn't a dumb guy! He didn't get the good horses because he's a dummy! He does know how to talk, and many trainers do, and don't know what they're doing. I won't say that about Larry, because he does know horses, and I think in this case he also knew that Eight Belles shouldn't have been in this particular race! You have your opinion, and you're certainly entitled to it. I did not form my opinion by reading the article, but it's a beautifully written article that speaks to the core of what I felt after I'd studied the PP's. He is a sports writer that's been covering horse racing for 30 some years. I think he's qualified to make many of the calls he made! And he predicted them pre-Derby! He called it as he saw it and it came to be so!!

I've been fighting for drug reform in this industry for years! Breeding? Go on and fight these thousands of people and back yard breeders. Start with the AQHA!  Do what you like. I'm stating an opinion and it's based on facts. I'd not exactly call it bashing but if you saw it that way, . . . I guess it is! I'm sorry and apologize for it. Yes racing has lost a bright star,  it was wholly unnecessary!!

That filly didn't finish strong in that race by the way!! She was running her legs off at the finish and well, . . . . She ran her legs off!


Msg 25 of 79 to GuestGuest 
In reply toRe: msg 17

From: melody1963


thank you for stating the obvious.

From: Dawnstar4


A couple of points, if I may:

-Although it is honorable and "caring" that it was debated for weeks whether to enter Eight Belles into the KD...they DID debate, as many do before entering a horse in a race, but it seems there was quite a bit of "debate" going on. They also called on other owners/trainers of fillys that had raced. This was, yes, "caring." But! And it is obvious from watching and listening to trainer, Jones, before the race, that he was very nervous, i.e., had his doubts.

-"...they did not want to push her," re what post she got...eventually #5, so that was ok? Was it not "pushing" as this was the longest race she had done...and with the seasoned TB guys?

-Porter wanted "success." Was this not "ego," as all owners want to win?

-Comparing Eight Belles to Rags in the Belmont. Was there not some questioning if the Belmont did-her-in? And now, thankfully, she is secure, alive, retired and in foal.

-*Much comment was made that Eight Belles collapsed AFTER the race, and not at a full gallop.

You say, "She was moving at a slow gallop when the accident occured. It's not something that the stress of racing caused." Is there not something called "adrenaline" that keeps animal and human going. Fight or flight? She was trained to run and was being "encouraged" by the whip and running with the horses. And horses naturally do that, try to keep up with the herd?

Adrenaline. Have you ever seen an athlete collapse AFTER a marathon? The adrenaline stops. All horses wind down after a race. But just maybe, she had pushed to the brink before the finish line? And ran literally, with all her small heart. (TB"s do have small hearts for their size.)

-*"But her finish proved that she belonged, and that they spotted her well."
I don't think so! Yes, she came in 2nd place, by whatever means. But her finish was a horrible, painful death 7 minutes after she crossed over the finish line. HER FINISH PROVED SHE DID NOT BELONG.

- Lastly, a dirt track and lack of syrthetic surface does not seem to be what brough Eight Belle down.

The debate continues, how and why. Thank you for your input, too.

Now, where is the autopsy report?

Very Respectfully Submitted


From: LCsquall


Thanks for your comments Railbird--I couldn't agree more!  I have sent my condolences to the Eight Belles team-I can't imagine what despair and sadness they must be feeling to lose their pride & joy of the barn.

She DID belong in the Derby-she put 18 colts to shame exhibiting her talent!  Just looking at her made me smile...she will be missed, but never forgotten.


From: Guest


Amen, I am questioning everything right now, should she have been there since she has never been with the boys, should she not have tried so hard which she is trained to do, is the the owners, trainers, jockey, who?  The owners put her there, the trainer helped her get there, and the jockey rode her there, who is to blame here, god, right now I feel like all of them are to blame, I just don't know, I am so confused and have all kinds of mixed emotions about this.
Msg 29 of 79 to GuestGuest 
In reply toRe: msg 28

From: Dawnstar4



I so understand. So many comments, questions, as there should be. But all are civil, thankfuly. We do agee to disagree.

It is all also a part of the Barbaro Effect...Barbaro's Legacy. Thankfully. Now maybe, with Eight Belles, not all will be "swept under the rug," after some time passes. This was/is big. There are now thousands of articles about her.

Here is another:

I think it is a good synopsis of the whole picture.

USA Today:

Msg 30 of 79 to GuestGuest 
In reply toRe: msg 14

From: Guest


enjoyed your soap box speech and your example was a good one.

Other factors were she had never trained or run with the boys, had never run that far, was not a GR1 and many other reasons.

It is obvious by what happened that she was not up to the rigors of such a race and should not have been entered.  Someone said that she must have been up to it since she came in second, NOT, it cost her, her life to come in second which is not exceptable in my books. The first 3 place winners are not expected to die for the honor of winning in the "Great Kentucky Derby" and the good ole boys club.

Karen Macmanus


From: Guest


Thanks for the article, I feel this way because of a lot of things, I was taking a nap during the races before the Oaks and the news person woke me up with those words of Matz's horse being injured, that was heart breaking, thinking about Barbaro all over again which obviously I am still not recovered from.  I didn't cry as much as I did with Eight Belles, maybe it is because I saw her laying there, I knew that if she was laying there that is not good.  I have never seen a race where a horse actually got euthanized on the track before; this is the first time, I cried for hours just like I did with Barbaro, with him there was a chance after the race ended, with her she was gone.  This is probably why I am confused, upset and mad all at the same time.

From: Guest



A horse is never in the right place when it costs it, it's life.  In my opinion.  You don't think she broke down do to the many stress factors that the race brought on???  How could you not??  The actual stress of running the race is what caused her eventual death( her legs to break causing her to be put down.  Why do you think they have the Kentucky Oaks ? That is a worthy race for filly's and the horses do not know one race from the other, all they know is that they were trained to run against other horses ( and of course some of this comes natually) but it is the owners and trainers who want the ultimate ego satisfaction when they do what they did to Eight Belles.   She had never run a race that long, she was not a G-1 horse and she had never raced against boys. 

Her legs did not break going into the shoots, they broke after the tremendous stress put on them by the race.  She was born to run, but not to go beyond her limits and that is where her humans come in.  And her trainer had already made some noise about not being completely happy about her Kentucky Derby entry.  If she had a different starting gate (like Big Brown) they would have pulled her, they left her in because of the good position.  How is that for a reason to have your horse run in the Derby?  Not good enough for me!!!!!  

My heart goes out to Eight Belles, she was a beautiful, talented filly and deserved much better than this.  I will not feel sorry for her conections.  They retired Rags to Riches because she was not the same after her race, I read she had a hair line fracture.

Karen Macmanus