Triple Crown hopeful Smarty Jones may race next year.

Triple Crown hopeful Smarty Jones may race next year.

Jeff Coady

Report: Owners Want Smarty to Run Next Year

If he stays healthy, Triple Crown hopeful Smarty Jones is likely to run as a 4-year-old, a Florida horseman who is handling stallion negotiations for the colt's owner says.

Owners Roy and Patricia Chapman have made it clear they want the son of Elusive Quality to race next year, George Isaacs told The Star-Banner of Ocala.

"If Smarty Jones wins the Triple Crown, and continues to remain sound, they feel compelled to race him as a 4-year-old and then retire him," Isaacs told the paper. "I sense that they have a strong appreciation for what they have been blessed with."

The undefeated Smarty Jones is bidding to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 in the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

He is expected to command about $30 million in breeding fees once he retires.

Only three of the past eight Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winners raced at 4, discounting the gelding Funny Cide.