Eight Belles' trainer squashes rumors

May 6, 2008 3:20:52 PM PDT
Horse racing fans are still in shock over the death of a Delaware trained filly named Eight Belles.Returning to Delaware Park, where Eight Belles called home, was not easy for her trainers after the deadly Church Hill Downs race.

"I thought I was coming back with three horses instead of two," Eight Belles' trainer, Larry Jones, said.

Eight Belles came in a strong second before the filly suddenly went down with two broken legs. She was put down before Jones or the horse's Delaware owner Rick Porter managed to make their way through the crowd.

"There was no need for this horse to suffer ten more seconds trying to find me or Mr. Porter. They made the only choice that there was to be made," Jones said.

Jones called for an immediate autopsy on Eight Belles to quell rumors about the horse's health

"I will tell you, I guarantee there were no steroids ever in this horse," Jones said.

Eight Belles' jockey raced again today at Delaware Park despite calls for his suspension from animal rights activists.

"He is heartbroken over this horse. He loved this horse just like we did. It's bad enough that he has to lose this horse and then everybody rip him for it," Jones said.

Race fans at Delaware Park had plenty to say on Tuesday.

"The jockey had nothing to do with that; it was an act of God," Pat Culbertson of West Chester said.

"I thought it was a freaky accident. I will say I was sorry to see her run against the boys," Kate Holman of Malvern said.

Among fans and those in the horse racing business, Larry Jones knows the pros and cons of this race will remain a hot topic.

There's no word on when the autopsy results will be made public.