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May 21, 2004

Smarty's party: Unbeaten horse dominates Preakness Stakes

By: Sports Network


Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Smarty Jones remained undefeated in his

career and has a chance to become the 12th Triple Crown winner in

thoroughbred racing history after capturing the 129th Preakness Stakes on

Saturday at Pimlico Race Course.

Smarty Jones, with Stewart Elliott aboard, covered the 1 3/16 miles in a

time of 1.55.24 on a fast track and has now won all eight of his lifetime

starts.

The three-year-old colt, who won the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, became

the first horse since Seattle Slew to win all of its races through the

Preakness.

Smarty Jones, who is Pennsylvania bred, will now head to the Belmont Stakes

in three weeks with a chance to become the sport"s first Triple Crown

winner since Affirmed in 1978.

Rock Hard Ten finished second, 11 1/2 lengths behind, followed by Eddington.

"He"s just unbelievable," said Elliott. "He just keeps getting better, this

son of a gun. I mean, he just did it so easy."

The margin of victory topped the record of 10 lengths by Survivor in 1873,

in the first Preakness.

Smarty Jones, who is based at Philadelphia Park, is owned by Roy Chapman"s

Someday Farm and trained by John Servis. The horse captured $650,000 for

the victory and has now earned $7,363,535 in his brilliant career.

"I"m just so overwhelmed and I"m happy for everyone," said Servis.

It has been 26 years since Affirmed swept the Derby, Preakness and Belmont,

the longest drought without a Triple Crown champion since Sir Barton became

the first in 1919. However, there has been a chance for racing"s most

prestigious award in five of the past seven years, including the last two.

Funny Cide won both the Derby and Preakness before finishing third in the

Belmont over a muddy track in 2003 and two years ago War Emblem won the

first two legs, but stumbled at the start of the Belmont and finished eighth.

Other recent three-year-olds to capture the first two jewels were Silver

Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998 and Charismatic in 1999.

Smarty Jones already won a $5 million bonus for the Chapman family from

Oaklawn Park after the colt swept the Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby and the

Kentucky Derby.

The horse is now in line for another $5 million bonus if he wins the Triple

Crown and would become the richest racehorse in North American history.

The pace in the Preakness was set by frontrunning Lion Heart, while Smarty

Jones stalked the leader. Heading into the final turn, Lion Heart drifted

out wide and Smarty Jones turned on the jets along the rail and powered

his way to the overwhelming victory.

"He came through for America," said Servis. "I"m so impressed with his

effort today."

Rock Hard Ten, who had trouble loading into the starting gate, and Eddington

both passed a tired Lion Heart down the stretch to move up for the distant

place and show finishes.

Neither Rock Hard Ten or Eddington ran in the Run for the Roses.

Smarty Jones returned $3.40, $3.00 and $2.60. Rock Hard Ten paid $5.00 and

$4.00, and Eddington paid $5.20 for show.

Completing the order of finish in the Preakness Stakes were Lion Heart, who

ran second in the Kentucky Derby, Imperialism, Sir Shackleton, Borrego,

Little Matth Man, Song of the Sword and Water Cannon.

The Belmont Stakes will take place at Elmont, New York on Saturday, June 5.



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