With the Aug. 8 Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) eliminated from his plans, Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones now sets his sights on the Sept. 6 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), the purse for which could be raised from $750,000 to $1 million.
By Ray Paulick -- A story in the July 3 issue of The Blood-Horse on the resignation of William S. Farish as the U.S. ambassador to the Court of St. James took an unfair and undeserving shot at the master of Lane's End Farm, a longtime friend of the Bush family whose three-year tenure as ambassador came at one of the most trying times for America since World War II.
By Earl Ola -- Thirty years ago, there were 220 racetracks in America; today there are just over 100. Belmont's stands where filled for races like the two-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup, the 2 1/4-mile Gallant Fox, etc. Today the same races are run at 1 1/4 miles and Belmont's stands are mostly empty for those races.
Move over Michael Jordan, it seem everyone now wants to be like Smarty Jones. Several Thoroughbred owners and breeders in recent weeks have used 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, both grade I, winner Smarty Jones as inspiration for naming their own fillies and colts, perhaps hoping his name had something to do with his ability and worldwide popularity.
Ending weeks of speculation, Roy and Pat Chapman announced Friday afternoon that their 3-year-old superstar Smarty Jones will stand at Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky. at the end of his racing career.
It's been 20 days since the Belmont Stakes (gr. I); 20 quiet days for Smarty Jones, who has only been walking the shed since his valiant, but unsuccessful quest to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner. On Friday, Smarty paid his first visit back to the track, stretching his legs in a one-mile jog.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Currently playing across America's racing landscape are two stories that reflect the difficult decision owners of championship-level racehorses face concerning when to have their stars "call it a career."
After talking to owner Roy Chapman Monday morning, trainer John Servis has mapped out a tentative plan for Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones that includes the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), Pegasus Handicap (gr. III), and finally the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
By Lenny Shulman -- As the Thoroughbred tribe dispersed from its heady gathering at Belmont Park June 5, still flush with more media coverage than it could have dreamed, the question in everyone's head became, "How do we keep this tidal wave of interest going?"
Even though Smarty Jones fell just a length shy of winning the Visa Triple Crown last Saturday, the hunt for the breeding rights for the son of Elusive Quality continues. Smarty's breeder/owners, Roy and Patricia Chapman are currently visiting with Kentucky breeding operations today (Thursday) and Friday.
This year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in the end was not about two jockeys ganging up on Smarty Jones. It wasn't about the ride by Stewart Elliott. It was all about class, as was the entire Triple Crown.
Six weeks after the thrilling victory by Smarty Jones in the 130th running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), owners Pat and Roy Chapman and trainer John Servis make a triumphant return to Churchill Downs on Saturday to be honored for their Derby win and their exciting run at the Visa Triple Crown.
Smarty Jones' breeder/owners Roy and Patricia Chapman and trainer John Servis will not only celebrate their Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victory at Churchill Downs on Saturday, they'll also be supporting a good cause as they attend the third annual "Out to Pasture" Party.
NBC Sports' coverage of last Saturday's 136th Belmont Stakes was the week's No. 1 rated show on network television while generating the event's highest national rating since 1981.
By Steve Haskin -- Birdstone wins the Belmont, denies Smarty Jones the Triple Crown.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Haven't we been here before? A horse, one that by the first Saturday in June is carrying too heavy an impost--an entire industry--for any Thoroughbred, is caught and passed in the cruel stretch of New York's Belmont Park.
By William Nack -- Of the many images that kept resurfacing in the mind's eye in the wake of Saturday's Belmont Stakes, none was more vividly or repeatedly recalled than the two scenes played out in and around Penny Chenery's set of box seats near the finish line.
Records in attendance and handle for Belmont Park and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) were set Saturday as Birdstone upset heavily-favored Smarty Jones in the 136th running of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) before a crowd of 120,139. The previous attendance record was 103,222 during the Belmont Stakes two years ago.
Trainer John Servis said he was "disappointed" for owners Roy and Patricia Chapman that Smarty Jones' bid for the Visa Triple Crown Challenge came up short when he finished a gutsy second to Birdstone in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) but that he was proud of the effort given by the colt Saturday.
A record crowd of more than 120,000 went from a roar to silence today at Belmont Park as Birdstone upset Smarty Jones in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and denied racing its 12th Triple Crown winner.
Even though Smarty Jones just failed to win the Visa Triple Crown Challenge June 5 at Belmont Park, the Philly faithful were down, but not out. In fact, many of them said the colt based at Philly Park remains a champion even in defeat.
The early money wagered on the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) has made Smarty Jones an overwhelming 1-5 choice over his eight rivals as he attempts to become racing's first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
An early morning meeting between Smarty Jones' trainer John Servis and Secretariat's jockey Ron Turcotte provided a touch of history as Belmont Stakes (gr. I) day dawned Saturday.
Moderate rain didn't dampen the enthusiasm of fans at Philadelphia Park, the home of Smarty Jones, the morning of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). People began gathering at the gates to the picnic area at the Bensalem, Pa., racetrack at 5:30 a.m. EDT -- and remember, they can only watch the third leg of the Visa Triple Crown Challenge on television.
Two former jockeys who traveled to Belmont Park for the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) are fast becoming the talk of Philadelphia Park and quite popular with some members of the general public in the Delaware Valley, thanks to "The Legend of Smarty Jones."
Despite the strong likelihood of rain for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the skies over Long Island, New York were cloudy early Saturday morning as preparations continued for the classic race later in the day.
Yes, it is blasphemous to even think that Smarty Jones will be beaten in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). But it is still a horse race, and a mile and a half one to boot. And there will be some people who will try to win money and beat the favorite. Although I hate to even suggest that will happen, this column is for them. To all Smarty Jones fans who think this is a lock, read on at your own risk.
Jason Orman, trainer of Preakness (gr. I) runner-up Rock Hard Ten, is taking aim once again at Smarty Jones in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), saying "If we were running for second, we wouldn't be here."
Forecasters upgraded the chance of showers to 60% at Belmont Park Saturday as Smarty Jones goes for the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
At the daily press conference outside Barn 5 at Belmont Park Friday morning, trainer John Servis' opening remarks were "I feel real good." He acknowledged that Smarty Jones was ready for his bid for the Triple Crown on Saturday and said the undefeated runner "knows it's time to dance."
As Smarty Jones got his bath after gate-schooling and galloping around the Belmont Park oval Friday afternoon, Barn 5 got a little devine intervention: a surprise visit from the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Trainer John Servis is not worried about Smarty Jones getting the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) distance of 1 1/2 miles. But just a few months ago he was worried about the colt going 1 1/4 miles.
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).
Weather forecasters are predicting a very good day for Belmont Park on Saturday as Smarty Jones tackles the Triple Crown, although there could be scattered showers to go with a high of 58 degrees.
Smarty Jones, not only has captured the imagination of the public, but the hearts of children all over America. Over the past several weeks, letters and drawings have come pouring in to trainer John Servis, who said he plans on answering all of them. Following is a sample of those letters.
With the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and Smarty Jones' attempt to sweep the Visa Triple Crown Challenge only two days away, trainer John Servis said he, his family and staff, and owners Roy and Patricia Chapman are getting anxious about the event.
According to Bob Baffert, the toll of the Triple Crown Trail usually manifests itself about a week after the Preakness. There is no sign that the Trail has taken a toll on Smarty Jones.
With a classic-oriented pedigree, Purge can pose a dangerous threat to Smarty Jones in the Belmont Stakes.
Premiere Radio Networks will deliver the exclusive radio call of Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) from Belmont Park. The one-hour and fifteen-minute broadcast will begin at 6 p.m. EDT with post time scheduled for 6:40.
With a positive forecast and unprecedented interest in Smarty Jones' Visa Triple Crown Challenge bid in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), officials at the New York Racing Association are bracing for the biggest day in track history.
Shortly before he arrived at Belmont Park after a 2 1/2-hour van ride, Someday Farms' Smarty Jones was installed as the 2-5 morning line favorite when he breaks from the outside nine post position in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
It's not easy playing the role of villain in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). They're the guys wearing the black hats, the party poopers, the evil-doers of the Triple Crown. In the last 35 years, there have been three Triple Crown winners, and 11 horses that fell short in the 1 1/2-mile "Test of a Champion."
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Triple Crown winners Seattle Slew and Affirmed both raced at four, enhancing their reputations...
By Susan Baldrige -- It was a simple farm, nothing fancy, with a quaint farmhouse and an old, stone barn with irregularly shaped box stalls. The farm had one tiny sign with a black horse painted on it that quietly announced you were there. That was exactly three years ago.
The numbers, including fractional times, all show Smarty Jones is the best three year old in the country.
The decision on where Smarty Jones will stand at stud should be made within the month, according to George Isaacs, who is acting as the liaison between Roy and Patricia Chapman and stud farm operators in Kentucky bidding for Smarty Jones' services.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said Tuesday morning that Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) winner Purge will attempt to disrupt Smarty Jones' Visa Triple Crown Challenge bid in Saturday's $1-million Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Hollywood Park will issue the first 10,000 patrons a free $2 win ticket on Smarty Jones on Saturday as he bids to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
Mark Hennig was surprised when Eddington worked a blistering half-mile last week, so for his final Belmont Stakes (gr. I) prep, he equipped the colt with blinkers, put Jerry Bailey up, and worked him in company to see how aggressive he'd be off that last work. He found out when Eddington blazed five furlongs in :59 flat.
Trainer John Servis was the guest speaker and the theme was "Achieving in Spite of Adversity" as Faust Elementary School in Bensalem, Pa., located across the street from Philadelphia Park, celebrated "Smarty Jones Day" in high style.
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