Sunday, May 4, 2008


We always try to watch the Kentucky Derby. I love the beautiful horses and the ladies in their outrageous hats and the little jockey guys. When I was growing up, on Derby day, we would plunk down a quarter, pick a horse(usually by the name) and watch with my Dad. Whoever had the horse who was the winner or closest to the winner got the quarters. It's a great old memory.
We did the same thing with our kids but not every year and since they are grown, my husband and I try to remember to watch. It is nostalgic for him as he attended a Derby once in his college days. I just think about my Dad.
This year we took our seats and watched the crowd sing MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME and watched the parade of horses to make our picks. I jokingly said I would pick the horse with the name closest too "I'm just a little bit fat." Don't ask me why. I was just feeling silly and tried to pick something outrageous to amuse my husband and myself.
Then I remembered there was one filly running so I picked her-Eight Belles. Then a couple of horses later came BIG TRUCK!! That in my mind was pretty close to"I'm just a little bit fat." So I picked him too. My husband liked Bob Black Jack(just back from Vegas, remember?) and Cowboy Cal( loves the South west) for his two.
Big Brown was the favorite and in the last position and he was a beauty but we stuck to our guns.
It was a thrilling race. Big Brown proved his mettle and won the race by five lengths. And to my delight, the filly, Eight Belles came in second. What a great showing for that little gal! I was so happy and proud of her. We only had a relationship of a couple of minutes but she was a fellow female and up against some tough odds so I bonded with her, ok?
On the cool down, Big Brown got spooked and his rider slipped off and in the ensuing confusion it was revealed that Eight Belles had suffered a fall after the race. Oh no, it is never good when a horse takes a fall. Everyone knows how delicate they are--Look at Barbero. Anyway the horse ambulances surrounded her and then the consulting vet gave the news. Eight Belles had broken both her front ankles and had to be euthanized immediately.
What a tragedy! That beautiful animal ran her heart out and that was her end. She did go out doing something I presume she loved. I hope she felt beautiful and free and didn't suffer too much pain. I hope her spirit is soaring in the great beyond and she knows what pleasure and excitement she brought to us in her final moments. Thanks, Eight Belles.

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