Routine Day for Smarty Jones Includes Schooling in the Gate

Routine Day for Smarty Jones Includes Schooling in the Gate
Photo: AP/Amy Sancetta
Belmont Stakes favorite Smarty Jones practices standing in the starting gate at Belmont Race Track.
On the eve of his date with destiny, Someday Farm's Smarty Jones was schooled in the gate and galloped at Belmont Park in preparation for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

With regular exercise rider Peter Van Trump aboard, the Elusive Quality   colt was accompanied by a large contingent of media and family and friends of Roy and Patrician Chapman, who own the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner.

Once at the track, John Servis, aboard stable pony Butterscotch, accompanied Smarty Jones to the starting gate situated near the path to the training track. After getting a few pats on the rump from Belmont starter Robert Duncan, Smarty Jones went into the gate and stood there for three or four minutes before being backed out.

As the Smarty Jones team made its way along the horse path back to Barn 5, Roy Chapman, who accompanies the horse while seated in a motorized wheelchair, stopped to talk to someone, prompting Patricia Chapman to say, –Donêt stop, he might get stuck." The break in the wheelchairês forward progress resulted in it becoming briefly stuck before some assistants got it back on its way.

But it was the only slight blemish in an otherwise flawless morning for Smarty Jones and his crew.

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