Little Red meet Big Red. When Smarty Jones ships to Belmont Park next week, he will be stabled in Barn 5, which was the home of Triple Crown winner Secretariat. The barn is right next door to Barclay Tagg's barn, making Smarty Jones and last year's hero, Funny Cide, temporary neighbors.
"We're going to use it as a shipping barn," said NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes. "There will be other horses in there, basically the horses who are running in the other stakes on Belmont Stakes day. We'll be using Barn 3 and Barn 5. There is still a possibility that Smarty is going to come in late, maybe as late as Friday, but no one here has spoken to John (Servis), so we don't know what his latest plans are. We basically have to go through his brother Jason (who is stabled at Belmont) to find out what's going on.
"Barn 5 is a nicer barn and can accommodate the press. As far as the other runners, we're still waiting to hear from Nick (Zito). It looks like he'll definitely have two in there. Dickinson (Tapit) will be going in either Barn 3 and 5, and like everyone else, he has to be on the grounds by Friday."
Last year, Barn 5 was given a complete overhaul, with a new paint job and fencing, fresh grass planted for grazing, and a photographer's stand overlooking the grazing area. Ten Most Wanted, who would finish in the Belmont to Empire Maker, was the barn's first occupant prior to last year.