As Someday Farm's Smarty Jones prepares to make a run at history to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner in next Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the race for his future career as a stallion is rolling like a :21 and change opening quarter. One thing for certain is that in any syndication deal for Smarty Jones will include a stipulation that he will race on after the Triple Crown and may compete as a 4-year-old.
George Isaacs, the general manager of Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, Fla., is acting as liaison for Roy and Patricia Chapman and those courting the future services of Smarty Jones. Part of any deal, according to Isaacs, is that Smarty Jones may continue to stay in training.
"If he wins the Triple Crown, and can continue to race at the highest levels, he will continue to race as a 4-year-old," Isaacs said Friday morning.
"One thing that impresses me the most is the pride of the Chapmans," Isaacs said. "They really impress upon the fact that they appreciate this horse. They feel a responsibility to the racing public and realize that he has quickly become 'America's Horse.' They don't want to cheat the racing public."
Arthur I. Appleton's Bridlewood Farm is where Smarty Jones was sent for his early training, learning his lessons late in his yearling year and his early 2-year-old season. Isaacs had a long-standing relationship with the late Bob Camac, who trained for the Chapmans and was instrumental in the breeding of Smarty Jones. It was Camac that suggested the sire Elusive Quality
for the Chapman's mare I'll Get Along.
Isaacs said that the Chapmans approached him between his wins in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I).
"They asked if I would help in the process," Isaacs said. "My response was the obvious answer."
As to who is courting Smarty Jones as a stallion prospect, the low-key Isaacs wouldn't tip his hand. He refused to name names, but said, "basically it's a who's who of Kentucky farms that have expressed interest."
Isaacs wouldn't venture to suggest a price on Smarty Jones' worth as a stallion, either.
"I've seen some figures in print, and in my opinion they are incorrect and on the low side," Isaacs said. "If he wins the Triple Crown, because of the demand, it will be one of the more exciting syndication deals that has come along in a long time."