As I predicted yesterday (see Sat's blog post) Big Brown did win the Kentucky Derby! It was a gorgeous day for the races and Billy Bush did a pre-race hour of "Access at the Derby" that was so much fun. Big Brown started in the WORST post position at 20 waaay on the outside and he was one of the few horses ever to win from that position. He didn't dominate the field from the beginning, but took his time getting to the front and won by 5 lengths.
The other favorites, Pryo and Colonel John, just didn't fire yesterday. Pyro got blocked within seconds of being out of the gate and never overcame it.
But the race did end in tragedy. The only filly, Eight Belles, came in second and I was screaming that she did so well. She was galloping out after the race when she fell to the ground and never got up. She broke both ankles and was euthanized on the spot. That's an incredibly painful break and there was no chance she'd ever have a pain-free or normal life after that sort of injury. I couldn't imagine how her owners, trainers and the rest of the Fox Hill Farms family felt. She rallied to second and then had that happen. Sigh.
Aside from that, though, the stories of Derby owners and trainers were especially inspiring this year. The two co-owners for Gayego were Cuban immigrants who had been jailed under Castro and fought their way to the US. Another trainer was 70 years old and it was his first shot at a Derby win. One Derby contender was bought for only $4500.
Today, is my other favorite horse event--the Rolex Kentucky. It starts at 5pm EST on NBC and I tape it every year to watch the dressage, cross-country and stadium jumping when I need inspiration.
It's definitely a weekend filled with horses!
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