You had to see it to believe it. Smarty Jones' open-house gallop at Philadelphia Park Saturday morning drew between 8,500 and 10,000 fans, some of whom showed up as early as 5 a.m. Once the doors opened just before 8, it was a mad dash to secure choice spots along the rail.
The more trainer John Servis has thought about it the more he's leaning toward shipping Smarty Jones to Belmont Park as close to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) as possible. It had been reported that the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner would van up next Wednesday, but those plans have changed.
Interactive horse racing network TVG plans extensive coverage of Smarty Jones' effort to become Thoroughbred racing's 12th Triple Crown winner, including live coverage of his first post-Preakness Stake s(gr. I) public gallop, Saturday at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) from Philadelphia Park in Bensalem, Pa.
Merchandise featuring the image of dual classic winner Smarty Jones, including t-shirts and caps, will be available at racetracks across the country on Belmont Stakes (gr. I) day under a deal reached between the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the undefeated colt's owners, Roy and Patricia Chapman.
A sampling of articles from other media about Smarty Jones' quest for the Triple Crown.
As trainer John Servis points Smarty Jones toward his Visa Triple Crown quest in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), here's a glance back on the workout schedules for the Derby/Preakness winners, starting with the most recent ones, since 1969. That year seemed a good time to start because it marked the first year that a Derby/Preakness winner went into the Belmont unbeaten.
The last time Salty Punch saw Smarty Jones it was a very brief visit, about as long as it took for Smarty to blow by him shortly after the start of the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes last November. Five defeats later, Salty finally has found the winner's circle again, winning the six-furlong Danzig Stakes at Penn National.
If Smarty Jones is victorious in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), say goodbye to Street Road, the major thoroughfare where Philadelphia Park is located, and say hello to Smarty Jones Boulevard.
Keith Jones believes he has called about 40,000 races in his career, but he clearly remembers the ninth race at Philadelphia Park on Nov. 22 of last year. Jones said it is among the most impressive performances he ever has seen on the track.
NBC Sports' broadcast of Smarty Jones' win in the 129th Preakness Stakes (gr. I) Saturday delivered a 6.1 national rating / 15 share for the full telecast, which is the best since 1990 and a 22% improvement over last year's 5.0/13, according to Nielsen Media Research. The 1990 Preakness, won by Summer Squall, generated a 7.2 rating/21 share.
HorseRacing TV (HRTV) will give Thoroughbred racing fans a front row seat on the Smarty Jones bandwagon with special live coverage of trainer John Servis' news conferences on Friday May 21, Saturday May 22, and Monday, May 24.
It has been said undefeated Smarty Jones has put Philadelphia Park on the map, but the racetrack adjacent to the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Bensalem Township actually has been home to some outstanding racehorses, including a few that were downright freakish.
A sampling of articles from other media about Smarty Jones' quest for the Triple Crown.
Trainer John Servis, having just returned from a couple of days of relaxation up in the Poconos with his wife, Sherry, told a gathering of reporters Wednesday morning that Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones has come out the second leg of the Triple Crown as strong as ever.
TVG will present live coverage of the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) from New York's Belmont Park on Saturday. The Peter Pan is the final major prep race for the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Scheduled post time is 4:45 p.m.
A random sampling of articles from other media about Smarty Jones' quest for a Triple Crown.
By Steve Haskin -- Get the golden coach ready; we're heading to the ball again. After so many failed attempts, maybe this time Smarty Jones can fit into that elusive glass slipper, and Thoroughbred racing and the Visa Triple Crown finally can live happily ever after.
Selected articles from other media on Smarty Jones and his quest for the Visa Triple Crown, compiled by Ron Mitchell.
By Ray Paulick -- Checking media coverage of the extended Jones family, Smarty's a clear winner.
Although trainer John Servis said Sunday morning he had not yet decided when Smarty Jones would ship to Belmont Park, barn foreman Bill Foster said they wanted to get the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner acclimated to the 1 /2-mile track and may van up as early as 10 days out.
Saturday's $200,000 Peter Pan (gr. II) at Belmont Park brings together a group of 3-year-olds taking their last shot to show they could possibly spoil Smarty Jones' quest to become racing's 12th Triple Crown champion.
On the morning following Smarty Jones' record performance in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), trainer John Servis appeared on national television and prepared to move his colt out of Pimlico. Meanwhile, the trainers of Rock Hard Ten and Eddington, the second- and third-place finishers, said they will attempt to upset a Triple Crown bid by going on to the June Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Although Smarty Jones is from a "speedy" family...he actually comes from a very classic-oriented family, on the top and bottom.
Looking at the handsome Smarty Jones today, it's hard to believe he once was so disfigured he was known as Quasimodo around the New Jersey Equine Clinic, where he had been brought after smashing up his head and face in a starting gate incident last spring.
In front of a record crowd of 112,668 at Pimlico Race Course May 15, Roy and Pat Chapman's Smarty Jones made a shambles of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and kept his record perfect with his eighth win, this one by more than 11 lengths.
A mixture of sunny skies and temperatures hovering in the mid to upper 80s has created a packed house at Pimlico Race Course for the 129th running of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
The early betting on Someday Farm's Smarty Jones is as hot as the temperatures in the Baltimore area.
Jockey Stewart Elliott is ready to stop answering questions about his past and is anxious to take the gate aboard 6-5 favorite Smarty Jones in Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course.
It's not easy to bet against Smarty Jones in Saturday's Preakness Stakes. You're trying to beat perfection, as well as forces that may very well be guiding the colt into a special place in history. Can anyone hope to derail one of the greatest feel-good stories ever? As sacrilegious as it may seem, let's at least give it a try.
Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Lion Heart walked the shedrow for an hour the morning of May 14 before he headed to the racetrack for a gallop, and then was schooled in the indoor paddock at Pimlico Race Course. Lion Heart is the second choice in the morning line for the May 15 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Trainer John Servis said that he's seeing a side of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones this week that he hasn't seen since before the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and he likes it. "He's getting a little bit of an attitude and I like him that," Servis said Friday morning on the backside of Pimlico Race Course.
The Preakness Stakes (gr. I) field remained intact as of the morning of May 13, but the status of The Cliff's Edge, who is suffering from an abscess in his right front foot, was up in the air.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up Lion Heart made his first appearance on the Pimlico track Thursday morning, and if looks mean anything, the colt is ready for a peak performance in Saturday's Preakness Stakes gr. I).
Trainer John Servis hopes that seven continues to be his lucky number as he selected that post position for Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones in Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Mark it down...12:48 p.m. That's when Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones stepped off the van at Pimlico following his two and a half-hour trip from Philadelphia Park, where has been treated like royalty for the past week. Oh, yes, 20 minutes earlier, Rock Hard Ten and Borrego arrived from Louisville.
Oaklawn Park owner Charles Cella traveled from Arkansas to Pennsylvania Monday to hand-deliver a $5 million check to Roy and Pat Chapman, owners of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones.
Until Elusive Quality struck gold in the 130th Kentucky Derby (gr. I) with Smarty Jones, Distorted Humor was the only sire of the Derby winner to have been rostered in Australia.
From tots in strollers to old men in wheel chairs, Smarty Jones fans showed up at Philadelphia Park in full force Saturday morning to watch their hero gallop and receive accolades by local and state dignitaries.
Oaklawn Park owner Charles Cella wanted to do something big to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the racetrack that had been a part of his family since 1904. So big, in fact, the sport of horse racing has never seen anything like it.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones had his first solo gallop at Philadelphia Park Friday morning, and from all indications, the colt has bounced out of the Derby in great shape and is ready for another big effort in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
John Servis, trainer of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victor Smarty Jones, said Thursday that "All systems are go right now" for a start in the Preakness May 15.
Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones is expected to ship to Baltimore either next Wednesday or Thursday for the 129th Preakness Stakes. The undefeated colt paid his first visit to the racetrack since his victory when he jogged at Philadelphia Park Wednesday morning.
The full moon had all but faded from the morning sky, and a salmon pink sunrise was now illuminating the tan sheet-metal barns on the Philadelphia Park backstretch. Inside Barn 11, peering out of his once-familiar stall 38, was Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones.
By Steve Haskin -- Get out the cheese steaks and pretzels. It's party time in Philly. Smarty Jones remains unbeaten with Kentucky Derby victory.
The one-hour race segment of NBC's Kentucky Derby coverage May 1, spanning 5:44-6:46 p.m. ET, tied for the highest-rated since 1992.
By Tom LaMarra -- "The Chapmans are people with great hearts, the kind of people that really make the business go. If we didn't have people like them, we wouldn't have a Derby."
While some trainers felt the off-track conditions played a role in the lack of competitiveness for some horses in Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), there was a general consensus that the best horse won.
Although rain continued to fall in Louisville, Ky. Sunday morning, trainer John Servis basked in the glow of a Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victory Saturday by Someday Farm's Smarty Jones.
Total wagering on the 130th Kentucky Derby and the Derby Day racing card at Churchill Downs smashed North American records for total betting on an individual event and a single day of races that had been established in the 2003 renewal of the famed "Run for the Roses."
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones will return to Philadelphia Park in the next few days, where he will prepare for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the second leg of the Triple Crown, assuming he came ouf of the Derby in top shape.
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