Smarty Jones

Smarty Jones

Skip Dickstein

Saturday Morning Report: Calm Before the Storm

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.

As trainer John Servis' stable help went about their duties at Barn 5, where Someday Farm's undefeated Smarty Jones awaited his date with destiny, stable foreman Bill Foster said the 3-year-old colt and everyone associated with him were ready to see if he could become the first Triple Crown winner in 26 years.

"It could have been yesterday as far as I am concerned," Foster said of his readiness for the race to be history. "He's ready, that's for sure."

Pointing to the horse path at the rear of the barn, where Smarty Jones will exit this afternoon and go the nearby track, Foster said, "We're just going to follow the yellow brick road to the pot of gold."

And if Smarty wins the Belmont, he will take home a pot of gold in the form of a $5-million bonus awarded to the winner of the Visa Triple Crown Challenge.

The Elusive Quality  colt who won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) could become racing's all-time leading earner with a bankroll of more than $13-million if he wins the Belmont.