Kentucky Derby Spectacular

After months of speculation and predictions, the big day finally arrived and over a hundred and fifty-seven thousand members of the public walked through the gates at Churchill Downs to watch the hundred and thirty-fourth running of the Kentucky Derby. Wagers of more than a $114 million were recorded and as the starting gates swung open on Saturday, 3 May 2008, the stage was set for tragedy and triumph.

Big Brown took the lead in the Kentucky Derby under the gentle guidance of jockey Kent Desormeaux, and hardly looked backed. His victory has become a moment in Kentucky Derby history, as he is only the second horse to win this big race from the number twenty post position and the first horse since 1915 to win the Kentucky Derby on a mere three starts in his racing career. Trainer, Nick Zito, has said the Big Brown will be heading towards the Preakness Stakes on the 17th of May, where his competitors and fans will be waiting to see how he will perform against horses that have rested well in anticipation of the Preakness.

Second place went to Eight Belles, a filly that came up against colts for the first time in her career. Even though her placing in this major horse racing event was nothing short of extraordinary, her victory was short lived, as she broke both her front ankles just after crossing the finishing line. She tragically had to be euthanized after the race, and Churchill Downs has offered trainer Larry Jones and owner Rick Porter a place on the track to inter her remains.

The rest of the field saw Denis of Cork coming in third place, followed by Tale of Ekati, Recapturetheglory, Colonel John, Anak Nakal, Pyro, Cowboy Cal, Z Fortune, Smooth Air, Visionaire, Court Vision, Z Humor, Cool Coal Man, Bob Black Jack, Gayego, Big Truck, Adriano and Monba.

Results for the 2008 Kentucky Derby once again proved that predictions are mere guesses as to the outcome of a horse racing event. Sometimes horses have good days and perform beyond expectation and in other racing events it seems as though they have lost the will to run. And while many racing enthusiasts had their money on Big Brown, Eight Belles put up a fight to the very end. Many will remember this surprise performance, and in coming years she should be committed to memory for her courageous efforts and honored for her fiery spirit.