Born: 28 February 2001
Birthplace: New Hope, Pennsylvania
Best known as: Winner of the 2004 Kentucky Derby
Smarty Jones won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, the first two legs of horse racing's Triple Crown, in 2004. The chestnut colt won the Kentucky Derby on 1 May in 2:04:06, and the Preakness on 15 May in 1:55:59. Smarty Jones has an unusual background for a top thoroughbred: he comes from Someday Farm, a small Pennsylvania operation owned by Roy and Pat Chapman, and is based at Philadelphia Park, considered a second-tier racecourse. Roy Chapman suffers from severe emphysema, and neither trainer John Servis nor jockey Stewart Elliot had ever competed in a Kentucky Derby before the 2004 race. Still, Smarty Jones was undefeated in six races leading up to the Derby, and with his win there he collected a $5 million prize offered to any horse who could win the Rebel Stakes, the Arkansas Derby and the Kentucky Derby. Despite being an overwhelming favorite in the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, Smarty Jones was defeated there by Birdstone on 5 June 2004. It was the first loss of his career.
Extra credit: Smarty Jones is named for the mother of Pat Chapman, Mildrid McNair, whose childhood nickname was Smarty Jones. McNair died in 1989 and the horse was born on her birthday in 2001... Jones was sired by Elusive Quality out of I'll Get Along, and is a great-great-grandson of Secretariat... The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed, in 1978.
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