Mourners packed the Kentucky Derby Museum’s garden Sunday to remember Eight Belles. The filly crossed this year’s Derby finish line as runner up, but moments later broke both front ankles and was immediately euthanized. Marlene Petowski traveled seven hours from Pennsylvania for the memorial.
“This was just such a special thing. I’m so glad my husband brought me here. It was the best day of my life. It was very sad, but it was really an honor to just be here,” Petowski said.
Speakers promised mourners like Petowski that Eight Belles’ death would not be in vain. It has already prompted a congressional hearing on the well-being of thoroughbreds. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has recommended banning horse shoes that have toe grabs, as well as the use of riding crops. And on Friday Governor Steve Beshear signed an order banning the use of steroids in race horses.