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The 134th running of the Kentucky Derby
Eight Belles, with jockey Gabriel Saez up, races for the finish line during the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby May 3, 2008 in Louisville, Kentucky. Philly Eight Belles, who finished second, was euthanized on the track due to two broken ankles, a fatal injury. (UPI Photo/Frank Polich)
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Gabriel Saez News
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Gabriel Saez (born February 1, 1988 in Port Darien, Panama) is a Panamanian horse racing jockey. He began his riding career in his native country in 2004, becoming the leading apprentice jockey in 2005. Saez moved to the United States in February, 2006, and almost instantly became Delaware Park Racetrack's leading jockey that same year. He won his first race as an apprentice in the U.S., and then his first race as a journeyman.

Gabriel rode Eight Belles in the 2008 Kentucky Derby and came under sharp criticism when Eight Belles was euthanized after she'd crossed the finish line, a very game second to Big Brown. In cool-down, she collapsed due to fractures in both front ankles. In a letter to the Kentucky Racing Authority, PETA claimed that the horse was "doubtlessly" injured during the race, and therefore Saez bore some responsibility for the injury and euthanization.

Eight Belles' trainer, Larry Jones, has vigorously defended Saez, saying "We have photographs 50 to 70 yards from where this happened and the horse had her ears up . . . If this horse had anything going on with her at the time, she didn't know it. If the horse never had a clue, there's no way the jockey could have had a clue."

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gabriel Saez."