Eight Belles, the filly in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, had to be euthanized after finishing second in the race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
Astonishingly, Eight Belles didn't break down until after the race was over, as the horses galloped down into the first turn.
In my TV-Radio column last Friday, NBC's Mike Battaglia -- the official handicapper at Churchill Downs -- agreed with trainer Larry Jones' decision to run Eight Belles in the Kentucky Derby instead of the Kentucky Oaks, the fillies' race on Friday.
"Everybody's looking at this race with the exception of Big Brown as being a weak Derby field," said Battaglia. "I think that had a lot to do with Larry Jones' decision to put Eight Belles in this race."
That was all I used of what Battaglia said about Eight Belles. He went on briefly after that and it's a little eerie to hear it now:
"She would've been the favorite in the Oaks," Battaglia said, "but he elected to go in the Derby. And if she wins, it's probably going to be at a big price, but I can't blame him at all for taking this shot."
The "big price" Battaglia was talking about, of course, was the difference in prize money between winning the Kentucky Oaks and whatever Eight Belles would have won for the Derby.
But it turned out that the price was far greater than anyone imagined.