Oaklawn Park is planning a full-blown 'Smarty Party' for June 5 when the track's adopted son, Smarty Jones, goes for the Visa Triple Crown and second $5-million bonus in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Smarty Jones became a fan favorite at Oaklawn this spring when sweeping the track's three major 3-year-old stakes. His win in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) earned Smarty Jones a $5 million bonus from Oaklawn owner Charles Cella, who offered the bonus in recognition of the track's 100th anniversary.
A JumboTron will be placed in the infield at Oaklawn Belmont Stakes day to allow fans to watch the race from the grandstand and apron. Triple Crown buttons will be given to fans as well as Smarty Jones trading cards, which will be provided by the city of Hot Springs.
A crowd of 7,500 were at Oaklawn to watch the Kentucky Derby and the number grew to over 8,000 for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Oaklawn officials are estimating a crowd of over 10,000 on Belmont day.
"If all goes well, this could very well be one of the most memorable days in Oaklawn history," said general manager Eric Jackson. "We've had many great horses run at Oaklawn over the years but none of them have developed such a loyal fan base as this horse has. We wish him the best."