"Between Aug. 16 when he first arrived at the farm and Dec. 31, we counted 5,000 people had been here to visit him," she said. "I would estimate he'll see anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 people by the end of the year. Smarty's gotten really good at posing for photos."
One year removed from capturing the hearts of a nation following wins in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Smarty Jones remains as popular as ever. It's because of his popularity that the Smarty Jones Foundation was established.Robert and Blythe Clay's Three Chimneys Farm, where Smarty Jones stands at stud, established The Smarty Jones Foundation, so that money generated by Smarty-related marketing endeavors can be directed to equine related charities. A board that will include Pat Chapman, co-owner and co-breeder of Smarty Jones, Dan Rosenberg, president of Three Chimneys, and Blythe Clay will decide the specific charities to benefit from the proceeds.In an effort to kick-start the foundation, the farm is selling three different prints by equine artist Andre Pater. Prints are $425, or $1,000 for the series.One of the paintings, "Run, Smarty, Run" is being used to illustrate the most recent Three Chimneys advertising. It depicts Smarty Jones at the finish of the Preakness Stakes, which he won by a record setting 11 1/2 lengths."Few horses have captured the public imagination like Smarty Jones, and the photos just didn't seem to communicate that magnetism, so last October we turned to Andre Pater to convey Smarty's essence in our marketing campaign," said Clay.Along with the foundation and Smarty-related marketing, the son of Elusive Quality still draws a crowd. Three Chimneys stallion manager Sandy Hatfield estimated 600-to-800 people visited the dual classic winner during a May 4 public open house."He's one of the smartest horses I have ever been around," Hatfield said. "He loves the attention he receives."Margaret Layton, marketing director at Three Chimneys, said with the exception of Christmas Day, Smarty sees one group of visitors, about 25-to-30 people per group, per day.