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Eight Belles had no diseases

May 16, 2008|From the Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Eight Belles had no diseases or pre-existing bone abnormalities that caused the filly to break down after finishing second in the Kentucky Derby.

Autopsy results reviewed by the Associated Press on Thursday confirm compound fractures of both front legs at the fetlock joints. They also describe lacerated skin on both legs, an absence of joint fluid in the damaged areas and congested lungs.

The filly also experienced a bruised head and hemorrhaging in the left thyroid gland, which the report blamed on her fall after the initial injuries.

Kentucky chief veterinarian Lafe Nichols performed the tests.

There will be routine post-race drug-testing and further medication tests requested by Eight Belles trainer, Larry Jones. Jones has said he wants the extra scrutiny to prove the large, muscular filly wasn't on steroids at the time.

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