LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AFP) — Big Brown defied history to win the 134th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, but the race finished under a pall as runner-up Eight Belles was euthanized.
Big Brown, trained by Rick Dutrow and ridden by Kent Desormeaux, remained unbeaten in four career starts with his triumph in the 1 1/4-mile, two million-dollar race, the first jewel in US flat racing’s Triple Crown.
Although he started as the favorite, the colt had to overcome his inexperience and the unfavorable outside 20th post.
Big Brown became the first Derby winner from post 20 since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929, taking the lead at the top of the stretch and roaring home.
He was also the first Derby winner since filly Regret in 1915 with just three prior career starts.
Eight Belles, trained by Larry Jones and ridden by Gabriel Saez, was trying to become just the fourth filly to win the Derby.
She collapsed just after the finish and after veterinarians found she had broken both front legs and she was immediately euthanized.
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