134th Running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs … Remembering Barbaro


Why we love sporting events like The Kentucky Derby. Win, place or show … there is always a greater story told than just the outcome of the race. The race is secondary to life’s lessons learned along the way. Thank you Barbaro for reminding us what it means to fight the good fight. Barbaro … A true sports HERO!

I am not a horse big racing fan or claim to be any type of expert on the Sport Kentucky-derby_churchill downsof Kings; however, I am a fan of all sports. The Kentucky Derby is a spectacle beyond horse racing no different than the Indy 500 and Daytona 500 are not just car races. The events have far exceeded their sports. The sights, the sounds of the Kentucky Derby make it a must attend event at least once for any sports fanatic. The playing of “My Old Kentucky Home” just makes it a true piece of Americana.

Today is the 134th running of The Kentucky Derby … The Run for the Roses and the most exciting two minutes in sports. All eyes are on Big Brown out of the 20 horse field. However, keep your eyes on Colonel John, Eight Belles and Pyro. Did I just say 20 horses? Wow, that is going to be one hard task to get 20 horses in the starting gates and get them off cleanly.

Big Brown favored at Kentucky Derby despite post


God works in mysterious ways … some times its through one of his beautiful creatures to remind us that caring, compassion and humanity is what is truly important in life.

However, that being said their is an affection that people have with animals that also transcends other sports. There is nothing more beautiful and majestic than a thoroughbred race horse. To see one of these horses up close is to see just what beautiful animals they truly are. When we think of the Kentucky Derby, we think of SecretariatMint Juleps, women in hats, and last years sad and inspiring story of Barbaro. Barbaro won the 2006 Kentucky Derby and became news as it looked like we would finally have another Triple Crown winner. However, that was not meant to be as after Barbaro won the Kentucky Derby, he was hurt the Preakness and was permanently injured.



How we face adversity, whether if we win or lose is how we are remembered.Barbaro, the horse who reminded us what it meant to be human

It was at that point a horse named Barbaro went from a race horse to a national icon and became a part of all of us. In the daily struggles of our lives, Barbaro brought out the best in all of us and reminded us what it means to be human.  Barbaro will always be remembered in Derby and horse racing lore. However, he touched so many others lives. Not so much for his winning, but the fight to survive. Then in the end after his long battle, his humane death. Certain stories transcend sports. They capture the imagination and consume the public consciousness. It is not if you win or lose, it is truly how you play the game and how one faces adversity. That will be remembered a life time.

Barbaro will always be remembered. What do we think of you Barbaro, We will always think of you and admire you. You are a Triple Crown winner of life … caring, compassion and humanity.

Thank you Barbaro for reminding us again that important lesson in life. Run free and unbridled forever into eternity watching over the Derby and all of us.

UPDATE I: Big Brown Wins the Kentucky Derby Going Away

Big Brown thundered down the stretch to win the 134th Kentucky Derby in impressive fashion. Tragedy also struck the Derby as the second place finisher, Filly Eight Belles collapsed after finishing the race. Eight Belles unfortunately had to be immediately euthenized as the horse broke bones in both front legs.

Filly Eight Belles breaks down after 2nd-place Derby finish

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Filly Eight Belles finished second behind favorite Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, then collapsed with two broken front ankles and was euthanized after crossing the wire.

UPDATE II: Hillary’s Horse

Hillary Clinton had picked filly Eight Belles to win the Kentucky Derby. Try as she might, the filly came in second; however, sadly had to be euthenized following the Derby after breaking both front ankles.

Tragedy struck the first filly in the Kentucky Derby since 1999, as Eight Belles went down on the track after her second-place finish today, broke two ankles, and was euthanized.

Showing a sisterhood with the female horse, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., during a trip to Louisville this week had said she was going to bet on Eight Belles to win, place, and show.

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports that Clinton told supporters in Jeffersonville, Ind., earlier this week, “I hope that everybody will go to the derby on Saturday and place just a little money on the filly for me. I won’t be able to be there this year — my daughter is going to be there and so she has strict instructions to bet on Eight Belles.”

If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • Dead Man’s Body Found at Churchill Downs’ Barn #8, One Day After I’ll Have Another Wins Kentucky Derby (Update: Death Investigated as Homicide)
  • Preakness Stakes: Black Eye for Horse Racing … Death of Two Race Horses (Homeboykris & Pramedya) … Oh Yeah, Exaggerator Won
  • PETA Calls for Eight Belles Jockey, Gabriel Saez, Suspension after Fillies Death at Kentucky Derby
  • Kentucky Derby, The Run for the Roses is this Weekend. (May 6th, 2006)
  • Tribute to Barbaro, Kentucky Derby Winner Euthanized … A Horses Struggle Showed Our Humanity, Rest in Peace

  • Comments

    23 Responses to “134th Running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs … Remembering Barbaro”

    1. horse lover on May 3rd, 2008 2:10 pm

      Barbaro – Thank you.

      Run for the Roses in Heaven forever.

    2. LilPuma on May 3rd, 2008 3:15 pm

      Barbaro had heart. Something too many of our human athletes don’t have. Afleet Alex had it too, after he was almost knocked down and came back to win. What’s so interesting is how the world can become so embroiled in the life of animals like Barbaro. What’s the connection we have with animals? And why don’t we extend that compassion to them all?

      Monkeys, if you haven’t yet seen an episode of Escape to Chimp Eden on Animal Planet, check it out. It airs on Friday nights, but is replayed throughout the week.

    3. LilPuma on May 3rd, 2008 3:28 pm

      I have never seen a thoroughbred up close, but the site of horses running free is magnificent. I think of a line in one of Elton John’s songs “like freedom feels when wild horses run”. Beautiful site, these natural athletes.

      How we respond to adversity reminds me of the Kipling poem, a part of it engraved on the clubhouse at Wimbledon:

      “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
      And treat those two impostors just the same;”

      Here’s the whole poem. Hopefully some will take something meaningful from it.

      If you can keep your head when all about you
      Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
      If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
      But make allowance for their doubting too,
      If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
      Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
      Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
      And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
      If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
      If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
      If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
      And treat those two impostors just the same;
      If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
      Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
      Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
      And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

      If you can make one heap of all your winnings
      And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
      And lose, and start again at your beginnings
      And never breath a word about your loss;
      If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
      To serve your turn long after they are gone,
      And so hold on when there is nothing in you
      Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

      If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
      Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
      If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
      If all men count with you, but none too much,
      If you can fill the unforgiving minute
      With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
      Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
      And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

      –Rudyard Kipling

    4. LilPuma on May 3rd, 2008 4:46 pm

      RIP, 8 Belles. You are a winner. Hope you’re romping and running with Barbaro.

    5. brie. on May 3rd, 2008 5:20 pm

      Barbaro….you were a great loss…a beautiful animal…do we really need horse racing…do we really need dog racing…it’s all about gambling..go to a casino but don’t jeopardize the life of an animal…trying hard to please his owner and trainer…but that is not what he was meant to do….it just just breaks my heart when he couldn’t of lived out his life….

    6. brie. on May 3rd, 2008 5:34 pm

      What has society done to me…can’t I just be a horse….!!!!!

    7. Scared Monkeys on May 3rd, 2008 5:36 pm

      Eight Belles is running free in a beautiful green pasture with Barbaro, Secretariat, Ruffian et all.

      The are running as God had intended in Heaven without jockeys.

    8. A New Girl on May 3rd, 2008 8:08 pm

      @#3- Lil Puma…

      What a lovely poem. Very inspiring.

      Thanks for Sharing =)


      *** McCain ’08 ****

    9. A New Girl on May 3rd, 2008 8:18 pm

      @#6- Brie–

      I understand your comment about “what society has done to you”…..

      If we take life too seriously sometimes and all that is wrong in our society—-maybe we WILL end up like Obama was quoted as saying—bitter and reaching for our guns…LOL

      No, seriously–it is difficult at best to find love in our hearts for all mankind when every day we live amongst and exposed to many evils and wrong-doings.

      In my soul- just knowing that I am compassionate and caring in this life brings me peace. We all need to rant and rave at what we are not content with in this world and continue to get involved in our communities and do what we can for others who are less fortunate then ourselves. I know for me, I always feel better when I somehow manage to “give back”.

      The challenge I find often is just balancing my anger and outrage at the unfair and corrupt issues in our society. When I go to a Woman’s shelter which houses battered women, for example to drop off my old career clothing so women with NOTHING can use them to interview for a job…I walk away that day knowing the tiny bit I did may help some lost soul take her first step to a better life. Also, it helps me check my anger at the door so to speak and turn all that passion into positive as opposed to negative energy.

      If I don’t do my part as a caring person to help support causes I believe in, then I fear that some of the disdain and all the anger each of us feels intermittently in this life will be transferred to the wrong things at the wrong time…i.e., One day I finally do get out of my car and punch that idiot in the face who just cut me off in traffic and almost killed me…lol

      So, I will get off my soapbox and simply say- I appreciate where you are coming from about what society has done to us !! Sometimes when you post on here- I can feel your anger popping right out over the screen (especially when it comes to the Little Sporter from Aruba!!! Grrrrrrrr!) I feel you, Girl–in my heart- I swear to God I wish that bastard would meet his maker and soon.

      Just hang in there and stay a positive and focused Monkey—there is much good on this planet we all can do and we truly only are here for such a short journey.



      ****McCain ’08***

      A New Girl from Boston

    10. LouiseVargas on May 3rd, 2008 8:49 pm


    11. LilPuma on May 3rd, 2008 11:49 pm

      Eight Belles came in second running against the big boys with two broken ankles. She’s the real winner. And she’s free now.

      Congrats Brownie.

    12. LilPuma on May 3rd, 2008 11:50 pm

      New Girl, you’ve got some inspiring words there too. So true.

    13. Joanne Hodges on May 4th, 2008 5:35 am

      The 134th running of the Kentucky Derby is the last one I will ever watch. The horses are too young, which is why they break bones when they race. The KD is a race for 2 year olds, which means they’ve been in training for at least six months! And, because all Jockey Club thoroughbreds turn a year older on Jan. 1, these horses may not really even be 2!

      I am not an opponent of racing, but I believe that someone should stop the racing of horses before they’re at least 4. A two-year-old old hasn’t stopped growing; his bones aren’t fully developed.

      It is sad that we give money and time to stopping the slaughter of sea life, the inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills, and the destruction of a forest that a small owl calls home, but we pay money to watch our horses being broken down every year for no good reason.

      Barbaro was indeed a spectacular horse, but no more so than the little mare who was laid to rest after running her heart out for a mile and half so we could parade around in big hats.

    14. dakine on May 4th, 2008 7:36 am

      The Derby is no longer ready for prime time.
      It should be rated PG-13.
      We have been up all night with kids having nightmares about dead horses.
      Something is really wrong here.
      At least when I watch a NASCAR race with the kids I know the cars have been through a thorought tech inspection and the wheels are not going to fall off.
      My wife will not let the kids watch another Derby because of this fiasco.
      SM: I would add to your point that horse racing in general is just poorly marketed. Its all about the gambling and handicapping. What’s the daily double, the exacta …

      The Derby as an event is an experience; however, horse racing has really gone down the tube.

      Its actually one of the reasons why I cannot stand fantasy football or baseball. It has nothing to do with the sport, the history or the every down nuances. Its about stats and things that have made the sport selfish.

      Mrs Red shakes her head when I watch classic ESPN of old games and taped ones that I have. My explanation is … I want sports in their pure form, not the overly commercialized version of today. JMO.


    15. Stop The ACLU on May 4th, 2008 10:01 am

      Sunday Links…

      Takin it easy today, but others are bloggin away.
      MacRanger talks about Club Gitmo!
      Jon Ham, and Michelle Malkin talks about the absurity of the screams of asparagus.
      Dan Collins wonders if mineral rights are far behind.
      Don Surber discusses Obama……

    16. katablog.com on May 4th, 2008 10:53 am

      Watching the horses race is exciting and they are beautiful, but I’m with those that think something is very wrong. I know little about horses or racing, but a healthy horse doesn’t just break both front ankles for no reason – 8 belles had to have been over stressed, something her body couldn’t take. It’s a shame.

    17. LilPuma on May 4th, 2008 12:22 pm

      While not an area of animal rights that I know much about, the non-Derby level horses are supposedly not treated well often times. Sure the Barbaro’s and Big Browns get treated like the magnificent animals they are, but the run-of-the-mill racers are not. Like greyhound racing, where abuse is rampant, I suspect the horse racing industry as a whole is ripe with animal abuse. Like dog fighting, those who don’t do well are left to starve, beaten, or otherwise harmed.

    18. Maggie on May 4th, 2008 12:28 pm

      We were in Louisville this weekend, it’s just 3 hours from us. It’s a great city. We have friends who we go visit from time to time there. Didn’t go to the race, but some of our friends family did. We watched the race on tv. Churchill Downs has a long history back to Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. grandson of explorer William Clark. Churchills leased 80 acres of land to their nephew, Meriwether, and Meriwether’s father in law was a horse breeder and trainer.

      I am not a horse racing fan. What happened to Eight Belles ruined the entire race for all of us. She was a beautiful horse. The entire sport seems senseless to me. It’s all about the money. At least with human sports, they make the choice to participate, animals have no say. RIP Eight Belles.

    19. brie. on May 4th, 2008 4:51 pm

      Things to be remembered…..when I moved to Texas I bought a horse…I only had him for a couple of days and then shortly after that I went out to the stables to feed him and I noticed a lot of drainage coming out of his nose and his ankles were cracking when he walked…I called the vet he came and said he had shipping fever which is the same thing as pneumonia…he injected Hayboy with huge needles of antibiotic’s into the veins of his neck and told me not to let him lay down that night because his lungs would fill up with fluid….OK so what am I going to do, well he’s not to die that’s for sure….being 15 hands high and weighting 1200 lbs…alright we’ve got a mountain to climb here….the folks that owned the stables were kind enough to stay with them while I went home and gathered the things I needed. I did not have any horse blankets…so what is the next best thing…I gathered all my bed blankets, apples, carrots, a huge flashlight and a thermos of coffee….I stayed up with him all night…a few times I thought he was going to lie down….how would I get him up…so if even he looked he was getting weak I would raise up a carrot or an apple slice as high as I could….me made it, Hayboy completely recovered, everyday after that when I went out to take of him, he would greet me with stroking his foot on the ground….I loved him and I think the feeling was mutual….yes caring, compassion and humanity is what is truly important in life..

    20. brie. on May 4th, 2008 7:22 pm

      Hayboy only got sick because he was a roping horse in Oklahoma and he was never rubbed down like he should of been…I recall once when he was not ill anymore riding him in the pasture…a nice gentle walk and all of a sudden we turned into a race for life, I grabbed onto anything I could get a hold of….there was a horse being ridden way behind me that was running his horse full strudel, Hayboy felt the vibration and took off….scared me sh~~it less, I saw the fence coming…are we going over or through….I pulled back and he reared up several times but he kept me in the saddle..Whew!!!

    21. PETA Calls for Eight Belles Jockey, Gabriel Saez, Suspension after Fillies Death at Kentucky Derby | Scared Monkeys on May 5th, 2008 6:35 am

      [...] This years Kentucky Derby was a clear example of the triumph and tragedy of the sport of horse racing. Big Brown thundered to an impressive and overwhelming win, while the only horse to put up any challenge was second place filly, Eight Belles. However, Eight Belles race day would end in tragedy. As fate would have it, we posted about this years Kentucky Derby and honored Barbaro who captured our hearts in 2006 with his tremendous struggle to overcome his injuries only to be euthenized in 2007. [...]

    22. After 37 Years Horse Racing Finally Has a Triple Crown Winner … American Pharoah Wins Belmont and a Place in History (VIDEO) | Scared Monkeys on June 7th, 2015 11:05 am

      [...] on fact, but part is also based on the fact that it is tough to following horse racing after the death of Barbaro in 2007. Heck, I wasn’t sure if I would ever watch another race after Ruffian had to be put [...]

    23. Preakness Stakes: Black Eye for Horse Racing … Death of Two Race Horses (Homeboykris & Pramedya) … Oh Yeah, Exaggerator Won | Scared Monkeys on May 22nd, 2016 10:12 am

      [...] Derby-winning horse Barbaro who shattered bones in his leg at the start of the Preakness in 2006. We all sadly remember Barbaro, and Barbaro’s struggle to survive only to be euthanized in [...]

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