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Kentucky Derby Museum Announces Memorial Service for Eight Belles

| Churchill Downs Communications | 08/13/2008 #
  • Eight Belles in training at Churchill Downs on April 27, 2008.

Eight Belles, the runner-up in Kentucky Derby 134 who was euthanized after suffering a catastrophic injury moments after the race, will be memorialized at the Kentucky Derby Museum on Sunday, Sept. 7. The service will be open to the public and is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. ET in the Museum's outdoor garden.

"We hope our memorial service will serve as a lasting tribute to this great filly, and remind every visitor who walks through our doors of the incredible passion and ability she showed here in the Kentucky Derby," said Lynn Ashton, executive director of the Kentucky Derby Museum.

Eight Belles' owner, Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farm, will be present and will unveil a plaque honoring the champion filly during the ceremony. The plaque, contributed by Churchill Downs, will be mounted under a magnolia tree where the filly's remains will be interred.

"Eight Belles seemed to give me a look at the Keeneland sales that begged me to be her owner," said Porter. "She blossomed as a racehorse just when Hard Spun retired. We will never forget her kind disposition. Now, she will rest in a place of honor and her story will be shared with visitors from around the world at the Kentucky Derby Museum. She was a magnificent steel-gray filly who will live in our hearts forever."

Additional remarks will be made during the ceremony by Porter and by Larry Jones, the trainer of Eight Belles. Media interviews with Porter and Jones will be granted following the service.

The ceremony will close with a performance of "Candle in the Wind," chosen by the Porter family and performed by a local bell choir.

No museum admission will be required for the ceremony. In the event of inclement weather, the event will take place in the Museum's Great Hall.

For more information about the Kentucky Derby Museum, visit www.derbymuseum.org.