Sunday, May 16, 2004


The Philly Flyer

The one-eyed terminator from Philadelphia ices the competition at Pimlico.

HORSE TIME. Philadelphia claims him, but so does Salem County, New Jersey. He lived here before he began his racing career. Now it looks as if the whole country is ready to claim him. The Associated Press says:

His victory in the Kentucky Derby was merely impressive. But his triumph in the Preakness Stakes was the horse racing equivalent of a one-punch knockout.

A small colt of humble origins, unbeaten Smarty Jones cast himself as a possible great when he blew away his rivals in yesterday's 1900m Preakness to win by a race-record 11 1/2 lengths over Rock Hard Ten before a record crowd of 112,668.

Next stop the Belmont Stakes on June 6, when he will be poised to become only the 12th Triple Crown winner and first since Affirmed pulled off a sweep in 1978. Not bad for a horse who knocked himself unconscious, and nearly lost his life, when he bashed his head into the starting gate before running in his first race.

Now he's eight-for-eight and on the cusp of joining racing's legends.

There's also this eerie quote in the Chicago Sun Times:
Said Servis: ''You know, I saw an interview where Billy Turner [the trainer of Seattle Slew] said that as the Triple Crown [sequence] went on, he noticed an incredible transformation in his horse as he approached the paddock before these races. It was almost as if the horse was transforming himself into something incredible, something fantastic. I looked at Smarty today and that's what I sensed. For the first time, I really felt I was witnessing what Billy was talking about.''
All of this makes Smarty Jones the equine equivalent of a South Street Punk. Shammadamma.

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