Jun. 5, 2004, 03:56 PM
NOOOOOOO. NOOOOOOOO. nooooooo! Now, I ssay this *every single* belmont- STOP PUSHING HIM!, slow down- just, because, ya know, I'm anxious and want them to have power. Do you think Elliot pushed him too fast? Do you think if he had held him back just a bit, he could have done it? I don't know enough, who has an expert opinion?

Jun. 5, 2004, 03:56 PM
NOOOOOOO. NOOOOOOOO. nooooooo! Now, I ssay this *every single* belmont- STOP PUSHING HIM!, slow down- just, because, ya know, I'm anxious and want them to have power. Do you think Elliot pushed him too fast? Do you think if he had held him back just a bit, he could have done it? I don't know enough, who has an expert opinion?

KC Passion
Jun. 5, 2004, 04:02 PM
Well, Elliot said to a reporter lady right after the race that Smarty had been dragging him a lot, so it sounds like he probably couldn't have been able to hold him back any more than he had tried to.

Jun. 5, 2004, 04:03 PM
I dont' have an expert opinion, but I watched both other races of the 3Crown and it seemed to me that Smarty broke way earlier and seemed to be going much faster earlier than in the other 2 races. I DO think if he'd been held back a little longer, and hadn't been the lead horse for quite so long, he just may have done it. He BARELY lost!!!

Jun. 5, 2004, 04:08 PM
All of you, just hold up one dang second. The fractions were well slow, this wasn't a huge rider push like Kent on Real Quiet. Stewart rode the race he had underneath him. He stayed calm, tried to quiet Smarty, and did. He was pressured many times during the race and didn't give in to temptation. He waited for the far turn to make a move, he asked his horse appropriately and didn't beat the snot out of him when it was obvious he was beat.

If this was a bad ride, then by all means send him my way. I will buy a string of racehorses for him to give rides of this caliber to.


Future Breeder
Jun. 5, 2004, 04:09 PM
My comments in the middle of the race --

"Too fast, too soon."

I knew right into it that Smarty wasn't going to win it.. sad, sad truth. I felt so bad for his owner (the older man) as you could just see the disappointment in his face.

Jun. 5, 2004, 04:11 PM
I'll agree with Xcntrygirl. He just plain didn't have it in him to do 1 1/2 miles. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

But Smarty's trainer and jockey were extremely gracious in defeat. Class all the way! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Jun. 5, 2004, 04:16 PM
Ladies and gentlemen,

Elliot stated that SJ just tired at the head of the stretch.............that is honesty........the slow fractions did not do in SJ, it is the extra 3/16 of a mile that is not apparently being trained for..........I remember hearing Noble Threewit say something to the effect that if you want to race a certain distance you train for a farther distance............well must not be the way today cause that extra 3/16 is really messing with the TC.

Kellsboro Jack
Jun. 5, 2004, 04:16 PM
Look at his lineage - he is an excellent sprint horse by his breeding ... while he bucked the trend with a 1 1/4 solid win in the Derby, his win at Belmont was going to be a stretch. I'm shocked by Purge and his dead last effort.

Jun. 5, 2004, 04:16 PM
Up until the last turn, it looked to me that he was holding him back, not pushing.

1 1/2 miles is just a damn long race. It is SOOO difficult to do it. A long distance specialist that can't win anything else can always sneak up and get you.

I'm so impressed that Smarty Jones (who I didn't start the season rooting for at all) not only won the first two races, but almost pulled this most difficult one off as well.

I just hope this doesn't mean that its almost impossible to win the Triple Crown in this era of specialized breeding....

Jun. 5, 2004, 04:21 PM
I think Stewart HAd an awful lot of horse from the start, and as Trainer John servis said he was concerned cause he would not settle in this race.. Stewart rode a beautiful race, it was heartbreakinghttp://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Jun. 5, 2004, 04:24 PM
I severely doubt Elliott was in any way, shape, or form at fault.

The sickening truth seems to be Smarty just got beat. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Jun. 5, 2004, 04:40 PM
you talk about cussing like a sailor! Man was I disapponinted... I agree with Xcountry on this one as well. the fractions were slow to say the least....yes there was plenty of pressure from Rock Hard Ten Eddington and Birdstone was coming hard. The track looked to me as being very deep and it showed in the fractions since they had been saying the track was fast....I didn't see the earlier races to see what their fractions went in. I will say this...I only counted the stick being used 3 times on the stretch. Now either the rider felt the horse was spent and the whip would not have been of any use. But this was not the same ride he got in the Preakness where the rider hit him left handed for the first time and the horse was walking away from the field.Also...Birdestone was charging on the outsdide where Smarty couldn't se him. Maybe this would have been a little different had Birdstone been on the rail. We will never really know for sure. How disappointing. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif I still feel the little horse from Philly Park put on one hell of the show and its been a great ride...thanks Smarty. I'm glad to hear they will consider him for the Breeders Cup and the PA Derby. Sounds like we haven't seen the last of Smarty Jones just yet!

Not a bad ride for a little horse bred for speed. If the rest of the field was bred for the distance then why weren't the rest of them in front of Smarty! I give him a lot of credit!

Congrats to Zito for breaking his Belmont bubble.

Carol Ames
Jun. 5, 2004, 04:46 PM
Msj, I would disagree, He did do the mile, and, a half, just couldn't do it wire to wire., but, then , that would have taken another secretariat, and, although many of us thoughthe was "the real thing", he did not have the physique. The fractions were not that fast., I think he just got beat! He did not lose, another horse was better on this day, and that's why we have horse races.; I am thankful that he seems to havecome out sound, and , will continue to draw crowds, and, the medias'attenton to horse racing.

Jun. 5, 2004, 04:46 PM
You know, as lovely a horse as that Rock Hard Ten horse is, I'm glad Smarty beat the pants off him. Let's hear it for the little guy with a great big heart! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Jun. 5, 2004, 04:49 PM
That was a heart-breaker, yet again.

Go Smarty Jones, thanks for hope, thanks for the excitement, job very well-done... what a game, game horse...

And, gosh, wiping away the tears we all have... what a valiant little red horse...

But how elusive remains the Triple Crown...

Jun. 5, 2004, 04:53 PM
It wasn't Elliott's fault... http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/no.gif

To run all three races of the Triple Crown is very grueling--many of the horses only race in two out of the three races! Smarty looked really good, but if you'll take notice he didn't have all his gears. Usually at the end when Elliott shakes the reins at Smarty, Smarty has another gear left. Although he raced well Smarty just didn't have his jet assisted take off this time! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sigh.gif

Birdstone was the fresher horse...

Lord Helpus
Jun. 5, 2004, 05:12 PM
When Zito was asked why he had entered Birdstone in the Belmont [because it obviously wasn't due to his race record this year], he said, "The horse was bred for a mile and a half." Plus: Birdstones only big win had been at Belmont last fall, so Zito knew he loved the track. He also was a fresh horse.

On the other side of the coin, we have SJ, who had never raced at Belmont, and more importantly with a sire who was a SPRINTER! Smarty had already outrun his pedigree, and had 3 hard prep races, the KD, the Preakness and now the Belmont.

I don't get the reference to Birdstone being on the outside and so Smarty couldn't see him. Smarty has two good eyes and can see a horse on the outside just as well as on the inside. Birdstone was not out in the middle of the track, but was coming up close, so Smarty could see him.

Smarty just plain is not a 1 1/2 mile horse and got tired. Servis knew that his horse was giving him everything he had, but it was obvious that his stride was shortening and Birdstone was flying. There was no point in whipping a tired horse.

I hope they give him a really good rest and bring him back in August for the 1 1/8 mile races where he can blow the competition out of the water.

Go Smarty. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sadsmile.gif

Jun. 5, 2004, 05:18 PM
I just love how everyone is saying he wasn't trained for that extra distance and isn't capable of the distance when he got beat by a LENGTH by a horse who was just fresher!

Next time I have a rail down in a Jumper class I will just jump off and retire that horse pronto!


Jun. 5, 2004, 06:15 PM
I thought Elliot rode a great race. He just had a horse that couldn't get the distance, in a race that came at the end of a very grueling five weeks. And still, he just missed.

I hope he gets a long rest and comes back fresh in Saratoga. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Jun. 5, 2004, 06:26 PM
I still thought it was a great race and Smarty was indeed only beaten by a meer length. Considering he ran all three races I think he put in a good effort. But as Servis said... Smarty just didn't settle like the previous two races. I noticed that as well this time around. Birdstone just had that extra gear today.

The Fjord Jockey
Jun. 5, 2004, 06:39 PM
Naturally, those with less knowledge will point finger at the easiest target: the jockey. That was a clean race, ridden well, no question.

Now maybe people will understand why there are so few Triple Crown winners. Let's take something else into consideration: That's THREE MAJOR RACES, top of the line horses, in five weeks. That's going to take it's toll.

Jun. 5, 2004, 07:41 PM
Yes, the race was ridden well - as far as the 'Stop pushing him! Slow him down!', it's often VERY counter productive to get into a pulling contest (just like with 'regular' horses); sometimes it's better to let the horse pick his pace & try to get him to settle, as opposed to 'forcing' him to slow down & getting into a battle of strength - which the horse WILL win - and which will most likely just tire the horse further. Hell, I had a few BABIES that when they started yanking on me during our morning gallops, I would just put a loop in my reins & settle in for the ride - and they usually settled, too. Trying to *muscle* them into slowing down usually led to a 2 year old having a hissy fit that was STILL dragging on me. Anyone who was watching could see that Elliot wasn't urging the horse forward - I think that he's ridden beautifully throughout the TC, and yes, that includes today. No, his horse didn't win - but came in a not-too-far-off second. Not bad considering Smarty had run 3 BIG races in a short span of time & was up against fresh horses. No shame in that - if the TC was easy to win, it wouldn't be a big deal, would it?

The Smarty camp doesn't have anything to be ashamed of - they won 2 of the 3 races & have a hell of a nice horse on their hands. I, for one, will probably always remember this year's Preakness - it was pretty cool to watch Smarty just pull away from the gigantic RHT and just ... go.

I hope we see great things from Smarty in the future!

mommy peanut
Jun. 5, 2004, 08:17 PM
Well I certainly fell SJ was/is the best horse. The facts are that Birdstone failed terribly in the KD, opted out of the Preakness & then ran in the Belmont. Had he run int all 3 races he wouldn't have won, IMHO. Am I the only one who feels that horses should be required to run in the KD, to get into the preakenss & bothe to get into the Belmont? It seems like a terrible trend for those who really have no shot(in the first 2) opt to hold off till the Belmont. Which of course they have a better odds on to win running against tired horses. Of course this is only IMO. If you look years back, horses that ran, ran all 3 races. While recently they run the 1st & 3rd or even only the 3rd. Poor sporstmanship if you ask me!!

Jun. 5, 2004, 09:00 PM
HtH-my husband feels the exact same way you do. he is far from a horse racing fan, but he thinks it is just not right that the same horses do not run in all 3 races, and i have to agree with him and you.

Jun. 5, 2004, 09:04 PM
HtH--My non-horsey friend brought up the same point last year when Funny Cide lost. In any other sport, every team or player has to play every game; you can't go from regionals, skip semi-finals and go straight to finals! I wish there was some way to make it more fair; it seems like 20 years ago you had most of the same horses in every race.
Still, you can't take anything away from Smarty Jones. There is no shame in finishing second in a Grade I! Look at Native Dancer; his only defeat was in the Derby and he still went down as a great horse in the history books! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

J. Turner
Jun. 5, 2004, 09:13 PM
Is it relatively possible that Smarty and Funny (hmmm - that sounds weird together) Cide could meet in a handicap race together? I mean, I know it's possible, but are they slated for a race? Is the Breeder's Cup Classic a handicap? Might they both run there?

Jun. 5, 2004, 09:39 PM
Losing by only one length after racing three major races in such a short span of time doesn't prove to me that he isn't capable of going the distance.

Also he may not have 'settled' because he just didn't like the track surface as well. I have heard that some horses just won't run their best on certain track surfaces.

I was proud of what the winning jockey had to say when he was interviewed while still on his horse...what class!

Jun. 5, 2004, 09:51 PM
I don't mean to be suspicious here, but did anybody see the up close pictures of Smarty and Birdstone coming down the backstretch. In both the pictures I saw it almost looked like the jockey of Smarty was pulling slightly on the bit (compared to Birdstone's jockey which pretty much had barely any contact with his mouth). Did anybody else see this?

Madame Butterfly
Jun. 5, 2004, 10:06 PM
I am not a racing afficienado...but it looked to me like SJ was held in and let go 3/4 into the race. Maybe if he had been let go sooner to create great distance...maybe the others would have had a harder time catching up....

Kellsboro Jack
Jun. 5, 2004, 10:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by J. Turner:
Is it relatively possible that Smarty and Funny (hmmm - that sounds weird together) Cide could meet in a handicap race together? ... Is the Breeder's Cup Classic a handicap? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's possible, but remote. I'd take Smarty over Funny Cide, easily right now. Funny Cide is simply not doing well against a solid G1 field. His last performance (5th) in the Grade I Met Mile a week ago just illustrated that.

Also, Funny Cide is loathe to race in hot weather. The Breeder's Cup this year is in Texas which might not work for Tagg.

Jun. 6, 2004, 04:51 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lauruffian:
I severely doubt Elliott was in any way, shape, or form at fault.

The sickening truth seems to be Smarty just got beat. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree. Eddington, Purge and RHX were pushing that pace and Smarty was there right with them. I don't think Elliot rode a bad race at all. Part of me wishes he had sat back off that pace just a wee bit but only he knows what kind of horse he had under him at that time.

Of course, there will be a lot of "what ifs". Smarty ran a valiant race but Birdstone bested him late in the stretch. Am I sad? You bet I am!

Jun. 6, 2004, 05:36 AM
HDH - i have to agree with you too, birdstone was a fresh horse because he didn't have those grueling previous races. i think that smarty was trained and ridden with class all the way. he's a little horse with a huge heart, bred to sprint, and had already outrun his breeding. a magnificent horse...he just didn't have enough gas to win. what a heartbreak! i had tears in my eyes during those last seconds.....

Jun. 6, 2004, 09:38 AM
Yes, Smarty wasn't "used up" by any stretch of the imagination, but when Elliott shook the reins at him the horse just didn't kick into overdrive!!! He must have inadvertently left his jet pack back at the barn... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I still love ya Smarty!!! You can come visit at my barn any ole time!!! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif You're the bomb, kid!!!!

I agree about the horses having to run all three races! If they can't make it through the first two then to me they aren't Triple Crown caliber... Process of elimination!

Jun. 6, 2004, 09:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I don't mean to be suspicious here, but did anybody see the up close pictures of Smarty and Birdstone coming down the backstretch. In both the pictures I saw it almost looked like the jockey of Smarty was pulling slightly on the bit (compared to Birdstone's jockey which pretty much had barely any contact with his mouth). Did anybody else see this? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Is this a joke? Racehorses can be pulling on you & going like a bat out of hell - having contact (even STRONG contact) with the horse's mouth does NOT mean 'slow down'. Had Elliot stood up on the horse & eased up for no reason, I'd be suspicious. Telling a racehorse to slow down isn't like telling your sporthorse to slow down - it's a LOT more than pulling on the reins! I have *very* limited galloping experience, but the only time in my experience that pulling on a horse meant 'slow down' on the track was when riding babies that were just starting out & didn't know any better! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif Different horses (and riders) have different styles - doesn't mean anyone was trying to throw the race, it means that the two horses were ridden differently. Not a crime, and definitely not reason to be 'suspicious. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

A good friend of mine used to gallop the steeplechaser 'Romantic' - and she SWORE he pulled tricks with new exercise riders. He would put his nose waaaaaaay down to the ground & stretch, and if you picked up the reins, she said you could literally see him go, 'Oh! Oh! You picked up the reins! Time to go!' with a gleam in his eye & off the newbie and Romantic would go!

This race was nobody's fault. Trying to place blame on a jockey who has ridden beautifully throughout is ridiculous. Smarty came in second. He didn't have the pants beaten off of him (ie, he didn't come in last, or even close to it), and he was beaten by a fresh horse. He has already won two BIG races & gave us a great story. His whole crew ought to be proud, and while I'm sure they're very dissapointed, I'm sure they ARE proud of what they & their horse have done. They've done everything right & it was not their day, unfortunately. I hope Smarty lays the smack down later this year & that we have the opportunity to watch him for a while longer before he gets hustled off to the breeding shed.

Jun. 6, 2004, 10:37 AM
Elliot made a mistake. The middle fractions were fatally fast. Affirmed went 1:14 for the first 6f of the Belmont with Alydar at his throat. Slew went 1:14. Smarty tried to win the Belmont with a 1:11 2/5!!!!! Two and 3/5 is 13 lengths faster than Affirmed or Slew.
Smarty was rating well but Elliot though he needed to put away RHT and was also worried about a middle move from Eddington on the outside. He asked Smarty to move and because he's a good horse, Smarty responded. If he had gone 1:13 he would have won.

Pity, I had a great day otherwise and I really thought it might be an historic event. I was 5 feet from MaryLou Whitney and Zito and honestly can attest to her look of horror as her horse took the lead.

Part-Time Angel
Jun. 6, 2004, 10:49 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by imaequiholic:
I don't mean to be suspicious here, but did anybody see the up close pictures of Smarty and Birdstone coming down the backstretch. In both the pictures I saw it almost looked like the jockey of Smarty was pulling slightly on the bit (compared to Birdstone's jockey which pretty much had barely any contact with his mouth). Did anybody else see this? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh come on, what are you trying to imply here? I gallop at the track and can tell you that many of the horses work better with a hold. I personally lengthen my hold when slowing down. Stopping after a work or race has very little to do with pulling on the reins. Its about the riders position and balance, and possibley even a lengthening/softening of the hold.

Part-Time Angel
Jun. 6, 2004, 10:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Linny:
If he had gone 1:13 he would have won.

And what qualifies you to assume this? I see wht you are saying. Yes, he lost by one length, and yes he was up by lengths compared to past winners, but that doesn't mean anything.

If he hadn't moved on, how do you know he wouldn't have been caught earlier and got in a battle that tired him and put him FURTHER off of the win. If he hadn't moved on, he could have had a million other things happen.

You can't just declare that the loss of the race was caused by that single move. Without that move, he could have ended up better OR worse. Its not a science so don't treat it like the race was lost in that single move. Theres way too many factors to try to sum it up like that.

J. Turner
Jun. 6, 2004, 11:34 AM
Linny - how neat you were able to be so close to people in racing history. Wish they had just not run Birdsong, though ... Wonder why none of the analysts I saw picked up on those fractions. I'm not a racing buff so I wouldn't have.

Jun. 6, 2004, 12:04 PM
Part Time Angel, I am a Racing Analyst for a living. I watch hundreds of races a week as part of my job (tough life, I know http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif)and have done so for many years.
Smarty is a generous horse. When Stew let out a notch, he gave. I dont think Smarty needed to accelerate. Had he continued to "gallop along" at a more moderate pace, he'd have had more in the tank. He lost by 1/5 of a second. I think the world of Smarty but even he could not be expected to go 12 by running 1:11.2 for the first 6f.
Rarely does one of the many "factors" cause defeat. Servis stated that HE was to blame for having Smarty "too sharp" for the race. Smarty was astoundly calm through the tunnel with hundreds of people screamig at him. The pounding, roaring noise of Belmont Park yesterday was deafening. I thought that the calmness was a good thing, assuming that it meant he was not "too sharp." There could be many other factors but I hold that the fast 6f split was the primary undoing.

J Turner, it was a stroke of luck that I was in the place at that time. I had a "media badge" and was held up in the mob near the paddock. I was trying to get back to my friends for the race and was standing just outside the Whitney box as they began to load the gate. There was no way to rejoin my friends in time, so there I stayed.

Jun. 6, 2004, 12:51 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Linny:
I was 5 feet from MaryLou Whitney and Zito and honestly can attest to her look of horror as her horse took the lead. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was rooting for Smarty Jones as hard as everyone else. But when he didn't win, it seemed like a real shame to me that MaryLou Whitney and Nick Zito didn't get to really enjoy what would have been, under any other circumstances, a tremendously thrilling win.

Jun. 6, 2004, 01:01 PM
I thought the rest of the field, as a group, did him in.
Smarty has run his best races by cruising behind the front runner and then making his move when the front runner does.
In the Belmont I thought several horses were going to go backwards - everybody was trying NOT to jump out in front and be the front runner. Smarty was way outside and had to go to the front to get closer to the rail.
Then I thought his speed looked a little erratic and that matches his trainer saying that he was concerned that the horse did not settle early.
From the far turn on most of the pack took a shot at him, not taking the lead, just challenging him. I think that took a lot out of him.
The longer the race, the more it becomes a strategy race. I think the horse, the rider and the trainer all did the best that they could.
By the time a horse gets this far toward the Triple Crown, everybody knows his strengths and weaknesses and every rider out there is going to try to be the spoiler if not the victor.
What makes a Triple Crown winner special is the ability to overcome all of this and defeat some great horses while doing it.

I cried too.

On the Farm
Jun. 6, 2004, 01:10 PM
My answer to the original question: Smarty Jones' loss was not Elliot's fault. Smarty ran his race, the same race that he's always run. While an issue has been made of the 6 furlong time, that's the way the race unfolded. Smarty has never been a length or two off of the lead ever and he more or less made his move at the approximate point that he always makes his move. One thing that was a little different in this race as opposed to the other TC races, Smarty had horses make runs at him (Eddington and Rock Hard Ten) that probably put him on the bit a little more than necessary. I can only imagine the outrage if Elliot had put a hammerlock on Smarty and buried him back in the pack (something he has never done) just for the sake of running a 1:14 3/4's. He would have gotten beat the length of the stretch.

He ran his race and got beat running his race. Other than Smarty not winning, I don't have any problem with the way the race was run by anyone involved.

Jun. 6, 2004, 01:38 PM
I will try for the third time to post, stupid computer is acting up.

I think Smarty did a great job, even if he did loose. He was running against fresh horses, after a hard campain. I was impressed with the fact that he beat all the other horses, and lost by such a small margin. I think he is practically unbeatable at a mile and a quarter. Wouldn't it be ironic if this is the only race he loses?

Barbara L.
Jun. 6, 2004, 02:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Linny:
Elliot made a mistake. The middle fractions were fatally fast. Affirmed went 1:14 for the first 6f of the Belmont with Alydar at his throat. Slew went 1:14. Smarty tried to win the Belmont with a 1:11 2/5!!!!! Two and 3/5 is 13 lengths faster than Affirmed or Slew.
Smarty was rating well but Elliot though he needed to put away RHT and was also worried about a middle move from Eddington on the outside. He asked Smarty to move and because he's a good horse, Smarty responded. If he had gone 1:13 he would have won.

Pity, I had a great day otherwise and I really thought it might be an historic event. I was 5 feet from MaryLou Whitney and Zito and honestly can attest to her look of horror as her horse took the lead. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And Linny, I usually have much respect for what you post! And an armchair jockey I did not believe you were!

Do you actually think that Elliott did not understand that fast fractions would be to the detriment of his horse? Did you pay attention to ANYTHING that Team Servis has been saying about this horse? He is a serious athlete that is headstrong and even Servis said right after the race that Smarty just wasn't relaxing as he had been doing of late.
Please don't blame Stewart Elliott for anything but a great long streak of impressive victories, and a horse who never lost his heart, even in defeat!

Jun. 6, 2004, 02:44 PM
To Hell with all of the Armchair and Monday Morning Quarterbacks. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif Smarty still ran a heck of a race. I will continue to follow his career both on the track and in the breeding shed. I will continue to wear my Smarty cap. I will not second guess a trainer and jockey who know far more than I. Go Smarty, John, and Stewart!! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

Jun. 6, 2004, 04:12 PM
Oh come on..the horse, SJ, ran a good race. Servis said he was worried when Elliott had him "about bent in half trying to settle".

No falling on the nose at the gate. No missing a horse 10 yards outside and failing to rally.
Just an honest effort by a very good horse that never got to relax and got beat by a fresh, and very fast horse that lived at Belmont and was used to the wide turns and hard base that makes it such a fast track.

No better class act then Mary Lou Whitney and Nick Zito...and if you think he was in there for second...sucker-Birdstone is a good and fast horse and earned that win.

Why would anyone think 9 starts with 8 firsts and 1 second was NOT a good record?? And, even without the bonuses SJ is at about 3 million in purses won..add 5 million for that bonus.

And I thought Stewart Elliott, in his first appearance at the Classics...was a Classic rider in all three races, don't blame him.

No, SJ was and still is a good hearted and fast horse who will win again.
No shame in his Belmont effort.

SJ is a champion in every sense of the word and he will write his own record book, as all the really greats do. I'd breed to him in a heartbeat for that level headedness and awareness of what was expected..plus those good Breyer figures.

I was more satisfied by his losing effort then any other of the two leggers who bagged the Belmont..this is a GOOD horse.

Maybe one who can carry over to our sport horses due to that great "what do you want" attitude...as opposed to the "I don't want to and you can't make me" exhibited by certain others.

Jun. 6, 2004, 04:25 PM
Linny...please forgive my stupidity, but what exactly does a Race Analyst do and what type of business employs them? How does one school for it? It sounds fascinating, but complicated. Thank you.

Jun. 6, 2004, 04:27 PM
I think Stew's mental clock was off. Maybe it was the pressure, maybe the shape of Belmont's 12f oval. I know he didn't intend to go so fast but Smarty was rating before Bailey moved with Eddington. I think he moved early, as Desormeaux did with Real Quiet.
I've been a huge fan and supporter of Elliott. I was pleased that the Chapmans chose to stick with him. His rides in the Derby and Preakness were pure genius. Belmont is a tough track for those who don't ride it alot. The sweeping turns and its sheer size make it easy to make misjudgements.
As I said, I think that it was a combination of factors but that this was a less than ideal ride.
I am still a fan of the whole Smarty Team. Considering his pace, he ran a HUGE race. The fact is that if you send them over there often enough they will get beat. Smarty was beaten but he remains the best 3yo in training.
As a fan, there may be an upside to the loss. We may see more of Smarty now. I am not placing blame. IMO, he went too fast. It certainly looked like there was some "piling on" going on. Once the horses leave the gate only the jocks have any control over what happens. If he went too fast, Stew as to assume at least a part of the responsibility.

I am still a huge fan and hope that Stew keeps the mount. I live near Saratoga and yet would consider going to Monmouth if he ran in the Haskell.

As an analyst, one of my jobs is to look at the Belmont Stakes as if it was the 4th at River Downs, objectively. I might report on some anonymous $5k claimer that the jock made a pace error. If the same happens in a major race, what do I say?

Honestly, the analyst in me says he went too fast and Elliott is at least partly responsible. OTOH, when it happened I had tears in my eyes and was so deflated by the moment that I was speechless.

Jun. 6, 2004, 04:41 PM
As I recall from the record books Native Dancer was a great horse who won every race but one. He came in second in the Kentucky Derby and first at The Preakness and The Belmont. I think Smarty Jones is destined for greatness. Second by 3/4 lenghten at The Belmont after firsts at the Derby and Preakness is greatness!!

Ridge Runner
Jun. 6, 2004, 05:55 PM
You know, I just have to say this, even Man O War got beaten once. It was not his fault but bad luck and bad riding. Who's to say if he had been ridden differently whether he would have won or not? Birdstone was fresh, he was not. I was just so impressed to see him way out in front of the field and was screaming NO NO when I saw Birdstone coming up. I knew he could not hold on.

I still think Smarty is the best. Coming in second in a race like the Belmont is NOTHING to be ashamed of. We all know Birdstone was a spoiler and that Smarty beat him bad at a mile and quarter in the Derby.

Jun. 6, 2004, 06:12 PM
You know, it seems to me that the Belmont was a little too long for Smarty. If it was a little shorter, he would have won for sure. Birdstone got in front of him only towards the end.

Jun. 6, 2004, 06:33 PM
It was more the pace than the distance that got to Smarty. Any human distance runner will confirm the importance of pacing yourself. Smarty went to fast early. He would have been 13 lengths ahead of Affirmed and Slew after 6f.
Had he moderated his speed he's have had more left for late in the game.
I'd hardly call finishing 1/5 second behind the winner a "failure" to get the distance. Long races are won with moderation of effort, not bursts of speed.

mommy peanut
Jun. 6, 2004, 07:39 PM
Linny~ Not to take away from what your opinion on the outcome of the race is, but give the blame game a rest. Shame on you for trying to pin blame on Stew(or anyone). He rode the only race he could & SJ ran the type of race he ALWAYS does. He is NOT a come from behind horse. If Stew had forced him to rate any more than he did it would have been similar to Funnycide. Everyone knows SJ likes to be just off the leaders. I couldn't see any better turn out if he had held him back. SJ would have just tired himself out by fighting the hold. He had a huge lead on every other horse. I seriously believe that if SJ had been as rested as Birdstone, or if Birdstone had run the Preakness, SJ would have run. I've yet to see anything that would prove to me SJ is NOT the better horse.

On the Farm
Jun. 7, 2004, 02:43 AM
If Elliot's mental clock is to blame, then I guess the same criticism should be leveled at Bailey and Solis. Their pace tactics cost their horses their best possible placing. Ed Fountaine, one of the only two decent turf writers in New York (my opinion,) had a comment from Elliot in today's New York Post that more or less said that with all the pressure the others horses were putting on Smarty, he (Elliot) just wanted to get him clear in hopes that he would relax on the lead.

Again, there was nothing wrong with the way Elliot rode his horse.

Jun. 7, 2004, 07:43 AM
As a trainer, I have great admiration for Elliot. Arm chair jockeys need to cease and desist blaming Elliot for the loss. Until you have galloped, much less raced a TB with HEART, you cannot even comprehend how hard it is to rate such a horse. The great Secretariat's jockey stated on several occassions, that he could not rate Big Red, it was Red who ran the race. This is the way of a competitive horse no matte what the venue. Smarty Jones is a great horse, however, the distance did him in, and that is all there is to that. Watch closely and you can see him hit the wall when he has a 4 length lead on RHT at the begining of the stretch.........he ran out of energy and nothing more.

Jun. 7, 2004, 07:55 AM
Some comments from Nick Zito in the post race interview (http://belmontstakes.nyra.com/belstakes2004/full_notes.aspx?id=128) on Birdstone, aka "Little Man" (who wasn't even 2 yrs old in his Derby start! foaled 5/16):

Q: How much does he weight about?

Zito: “I wouldn’t know, but I would certainly say he’s under 1,000 pounds. He would probably be-I don’t even want to weigh him to be honest with you. I don’t even want to get into that. We get into the 800s or something like that-nah, I don’t know.”

Q: Bobby Frankel said if your horse ran against Smarty Jones in two months, it would be no contest.

Zito: “Oh, I don’t want to hear what Frankel said. What Frankel said-what are you kidding me? What Frankel said-Jesus God, that’s the quote of the year. That’d be no contest. Where was he yesterday? Hello. Get out of here, please. Could you imagine that. Frankel: ‘It would be no contest.’ He needed Allen Jerkens to train his horse yesterday. Come on, please. No contest. I don’t know how people could say that. He ain’t spoiling my victory, I can tell you that. He’s got the wrong person. Get lost. Next question.”

I loved the well-deserving slam on Bobby F. who I don't care for one bit http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Jun. 7, 2004, 08:04 AM
Smarty just did not relax and rate like he usually does. He was pressured by RHX and Eddington, and was never able to get a breather. The announcer even mentioned "No breather for Smarty Jones" during the race. Birdstone got a perfect trip (under the brilliant Edgar Prado) and ran the race of his life to win.

drifting cloud
Jun. 7, 2004, 08:11 AM
Ditto the feelings about Bobby Frankel. He seems to enjoy saying nasty things about others. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif I was surprised when I read some positive comments from him about Smarty Jones.

Anyone know how tall Birdstone is? I'm a little surprised he is so small, since he is a grandson of Unbridled and I think Unbridleds are usually big (but I just looked up Grindstone and he's only 15.3 1/2).

Jun. 7, 2004, 08:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by drifting cloud:
Anyone know how tall Birdstone is? I'm a little surprised he is so small ... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've seen 15.3, same as Smarty Jones which doesn't seem right as side by side Birdstone looks shorter not just smaller. My guess would be 15 - 15.2 hands.

The 'Little Man' ran the race of his life giving it his all. He came off being scratched with the Bluegrass G1 prep race for the Derby due to a low white blood cell count. Then he lost his left front shoe just a few strides out of the gate in the Derby. Try running 1 1/4 mi race being off the whole time!

So while he was "fresher" for the Belmont then Smarty Jones he by no means came to that race a likely giant killer. Considering he blew by Rock Hard Ten as well as SJ after racing by then 1 1/8 mi I have to say the little guy under Prado deserved the win http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Jun. 7, 2004, 08:36 AM
I do not believe S. Elliott is at fault for Smarty's loss nor do I believe the 1 1/2 miles was what beat him.
I do aggree with Linny in that the 1.11 & change for the 6f was too fast. When watching the race I felt the moment Eddington came up along side Smarty Elliotts chances of getting Smarty to relax where pretty much nill. I don't know if Elliott had kept Smarty where he was & waited longer it would have made that much difference considering how on the muscle Smarty was inbetween horses. He might have expended as much energy running a slower time for the 6f. as he did (I am speculating here) trying to shake loose of those horses for just a bit hoping to get a moment to take a breath so to speak. Hind sight is 20/20 but my feeling is what got Smarty beat was not relaxing in the beginning.
Still with the way the race unfolded I was very impressed with Smarty as Birdstone did not blow his doors off as he went by him. The way he did the rest of the field. Two very nice horses, unfortunately it was not Smarty's day. He showed his consistency & he will see the winners circle again. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Jun. 7, 2004, 09:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Glimmerglass:
Some comments from Nick Zito in the http://belmontstakes.nyra.com/belstakes2004/full_notes.aspx?id=128 on Birdstone, aka "Little Man" (who wasn't even 2 yrs old in his Derby start! foaled 5/16):

Do you mean he wasn't even 3? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Jun. 7, 2004, 09:28 AM
BLBGP - you are correct - he wasn't technically three yet at the Derby.

Jun. 7, 2004, 09:42 AM
As much as I would love to have a TC winner, Birdstone ran a terrific race. He is a son and a grandson of Kentucky Derby winners, half-brother to classic winners out of a Blue Hen mare. Bred to the hilt, I'd say.

I am really happy for Nick Zito, he is an outstanding trainer who really does love his horses. I started this TC wanting him to take it all the way with The Cliff's Edge, but that wasn't to be.

Hoping to see a rematch of the current outstanding horses in the Breeder's Cup this fall! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Jun. 7, 2004, 09:51 AM
Can someone answer a question posed to me by a non-horsey type (and I am not a knowledgeable racing type, although I love the sport:

some have mentioned that it doesn't seem fair to have horses competing against each other in the TC who don't run all three races. What IS the ordinary racing schedule of a top horse? I mean, how many races with how much average time off would a good horse do in a year? Is the TC schedule really different or is it the length of the races or? none of the above?

Jessica MW
Jun. 7, 2004, 10:59 AM
I have a question. And this may sound silly but this is coming from someone who really doesn't know much about racing at all. Can a horse race in the triple crown twice? I mean not just in Smarty's case but could any horse do it again? Is it not allowed rule-wise or is it just that a year later the horse may not be in his prime?

Barbara L.
Jun. 7, 2004, 11:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by free:
Linny...please forgive my stupidity, but what exactly does a Race Analyst do and what type of business employs them? How does one school for it? It sounds fascinating, but complicated. Thank you. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

In answer to that question (I am also employed as a Racing Analyst): In my job, I host two TV shows and all we show ALL DAY is live racing from North American tracks. I love Television production, and doing interviews, which is a bit of it, but in our shows, we introduce every race, give picks, analyze how we think the race will run, make commentary and give info on the horses, trainers, and race conditions--and then explain after the race is over what happened!
Racing analysts are also the "paddock personalities" at major tracks who handicap the races for the general public right at the track and for the simulcast shows--which I did for many years.
It is a really fun job (though I like the production end of it, too) and if you like racing, it makes it easy to keep up with everything that goes on.
I guess racing analysts also do daily columns in the sports sections of newspapers, too.

Jun. 7, 2004, 11:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jessica MW:
Can a horse race in the triple crown twice? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No. The Triple Crown eligibility requirements are (among others) that it is open only to three year old TB horses.

See http://www.visatriplecrown.com/ for more details with requirements, nomination procedure, etc.

Jessica MW
Jun. 7, 2004, 03:28 PM
Thanks Glimmerglass. I figured it had to be something along those lines or it wouldn't be all that fair. I'll check out the site.

Jun. 7, 2004, 04:16 PM
Does anyone know where I can find a replay of the race online?

Jun. 7, 2004, 06:38 PM
Barbara L, I think we have very similar jobs. Do you work for TVG or one of the imitators?

Jun. 7, 2004, 07:20 PM
I was sitting in a wedding during the race, and at post time something really weird happened. I was sitting there watching the bride and groom and all of the sudden my brain pirked up, and a really murky starting gate apreared, and the horses ran out. It played out, and Smarty lost by a length. I felt like I had been punched, and thought NO!!!!! Then when we got back, I found out that my uncle had taped it for me, and when I watched it, I was shocked to find that the race played out exactly how by brain had said. It was freaky.

Anyway, I think Smarty ran a GREAT race. He was tired, stressed, was running against fresh horses, and beat them all, and lost by a LENGTH to a horse he has soundly beaten before when they were on equal terms on account of how fresh they were. I don't blame the jockey. If one of us had been riding, we wouldn't have done any better.

I never understood what Joanna Campbell, the first authour of the THOROUGHBREDbooks said in one of the Pride books after Pride lost the Belmont "When you win, everybody loves you, when you lose they start picking things apart, and finding faults with the horse, the jockey, the trainer, whatever" (I don't remember the exact quote) Now I understand. People were proclaiming Smarty to the skies, saying he was a great horse, the next Seattle Slew, etc, etc. Now they say "Well, he isn't too bad a racehorse I suppose. Let's start looking at the two year olds now." Maybe it's BETTER that he lost. Maybe he will make people understand that a horse can be great without winning the Triple Crown. The more I read, the more I'm glad he lost. I saw potential in that race. He was tired. Rest him up, train him good, and he should be back as good as ever. He is going to run as a four year old if he shows that he is able to, if I remember correctly.

Maybe he is the next Spectacular Bid. I wouldn't give up on him yet. I'm still smarting from the bad mouthing that people did about Point Given after his Derby loss. Look what he did after that!

Jun. 7, 2004, 07:31 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by FatLilPony:
Does anyone know where I can find a replay of the race online? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

2004 Belmont replay (http://belmontstakes.nyra.com/belstakes2004/video.asp#)

Jun. 7, 2004, 07:49 PM
For the record when it comes to greatness, now that we've all seen the build up then deflation of Smarty Jones in the Triple Crown run just think of Citation and how much more amazing he was.


Well, Citation won the Triple Crown PLUS he raced 1 1/4 mile in the Jersey Derby in between the Preakness and Belmont! He won the Jersey Derby by 11 lengths no less too http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

That was Citation who (if you exclude his comeback at 5 after being injured the start of his 4th year) was at the end of his 3rd year bearing a record of 27 wins, 2 seconds in 29 starts.

There are racing gods and mere mortals we can't confuse the two ...

Jessica MW
Jun. 8, 2004, 05:52 AM
FatLilPony: ESPN has a replay of all of the races. I think it's under EPSN motion...ESPN (http://www.espn.com)

Kellsboro Jack
Jun. 8, 2004, 08:59 AM
The New York Post has Jerry Bailey's remarks as counterpoint to John Servis' own saying that both Rock Hard Ten and Eddington were "sacrificed" to push Smarty Along.

NYPost 6/8: "Bailey Denies he 'Sacrificed'" (http://www.nypost.com/sports/22539.htm)

"I said all week long that I was going to keep him [Eddington] closer to the pace," Bailey explained. "I'm not doing my job if I let a 1-5 shot get away with a :48 3/5 half-mile in the Belmont Stakes.

"In the end, it appeared to me that his horse got tired. If he's looking for an excuse as to why his horse got beat, that's fine. Just don't blame me."

Barbara L.
Jun. 9, 2004, 05:46 AM
I heard John Servis' comments during his appearance in front of the Pa. House of Representatives yesterday, and it did not sound at all like he was blaming Eddington or RHT for his horse's loss. What he said was that he still believes his horse is the best, and then he went on to compare fractions of this Belmont to Secretariat's races, then he said that Eddington and Rock Hard Ten sacrificed themselves by pushing Smarty Jones. If anything, it sounded like he was giving Eddington and Rock Hard Ten excuses for their losses--not the other way around. Jerry Bailey is a bit of a prima donna.
BTW, he got a rousing hand of applause from the politicians in the House when he said "I know I have the best horse." It was heart warming to hear the applause. He also said we haven't seen the last of Smarty!
To Linny:
Actually, I am not a big fan of TVG (that's not exactly corect--I haven't seen it in a very long time--I didn't like the "chat" on it when it first started, though I am a huge fan of Caton Bredar--no matter what she does!
BUT--I did work at the now defunct TRN when it began until it's "death," and still work at Philadelphia Park doing PhoneBet TV and At The Races (which goes only to Europe).
I have to say all 3 productions are substandard in their TV quality, but "racing, just racing ma'am," seems to be what the bettors want, and until the Pha or NJ racing produces a more polished show, well, here's where I am now!
(Actually, I shouldn't complain too much--who has a full time job that allows you time to either train horses at the track (which they did for me) or now, with no racehorses, I still am able to ride both of my ex-racehorses before showtime without having to get up at 4:00 in the a.m.! (and do freelance writing).

Jun. 9, 2004, 07:41 AM
In response to: Should horses be able to race in the TC if not in all the races.... I believe so. They may be together the "Triple Crown races" but they are nonetheless the Kentucky Derby (ya got your FL and your WV and your Lousiana, ect, then your KY), the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, on their own, and I don't believe any other races, while they have requirments, require a race in another race specifically. The point is that the horse should win "those three races" and THEREFORE the TC. But it takes, the greatness of it is, that is takes winning those three choosen races in their OWN rights, and not treating them as "the third jewel of the TC, the second jewel, the first jewel" but great races in their own rights.

Jun. 9, 2004, 10:18 AM
Besides which, hasn't it always been that way (that horses might get held out of the preakness and saved for the Belmont)?

I don't think it's a new development... and frankly, to designate a horse as "great" I would expect him to beat fresher horses anyway...

Jun. 9, 2004, 07:57 PM
Barbara L, my old boss has done some work for At The Races (handicapping) and was involved in getting the Dubai World Cup feed to the US through the PHA website. The Dubai co-ordinator is a very good friend, maybe one year he'll get me tickets to the big dance. I follow Philly pretty closely (and did in Pre-Smarty days too) for work. I have always thought that their simo product is very good. They were the first to realize that good TV/camera work is worth it in the era of simulcast. The analysis is good but I hate the tendency they have of showing ML odds with 10 minutes to post! What gives???

Barbara L.
Jun. 10, 2004, 10:51 AM
Philadelphia's simulcast show is not the same as the PhoneBet TV show. The simulcast show just has handicapping at the beginning by the track announcer (pick a favorite, anyone?)and no paddock host or anything. Just shows the races, paddock shots, post parade, etc. and yes, they do a good job of showing horses all the time.
The Phonebet show takes live feeds from all the racetracks: ie. today we have the feeds from Monmouth, Churchill, Belmont and Thistle/River Downs. We try to get in as much from every track as we can, including final odds, post parades, full live race, and quick results. Obviously not enough time to have a glitzy show full of handicapping segments, graphics and picks.
Who was your boss, and what TV show do you do?

Jun. 13, 2004, 07:46 PM

Nobody's fault. The horse lost.

No shame or excuses. Slow fractions and a wonderful homebred that Mary Lou Whitney believed in and lived at the track, and a fresh horse, got him.

Why look to place blame for a well run race when the favorite had every chance and just was outrun at the wire?

Like pitching a perfect game or hitting 500 home runs...not every participant will get that done.

Smarty Jones ran a sharp race, agitated at the break, Elliott did his best to settle and not start an energy draining fight..and he was ahead when they turned for home with those SLOW fractions on a very fast track...but he failed.

Still a very nice horse that has won a ton of money and he will be well reguarded in the breeding shed.

You know, you cannot always blame a human when a horse comes up short.

Smarty did OK. I'd breed to him.

Jun. 14, 2004, 08:00 PM
Ugh - just what I was hoping wasn't going to happen to sour this love-fest of good thoughts for all the players in this tale:

Courier-Journal 6/13/04: "Jockeys ganged up on Smarty, owner says" (http://www.courier-journal.com/cjsports/news2004/06/13/C1-ford0613-5479.html)

"I never saw two riders ride so hard to lose a race in my life," the 78-year-old Chapman growled. "They just were out for one thing: making sure Smarty didn't win."


Sorry I have to disagree - they rode hard to win (albeit with their own flawed strategy), if you take the bait and can't get your horse to settle then the outcome is as predictable as a three-card monty game: you'll lose.

I don't recall Bud Delp yelling at the jock of the 85-1 longshot, Gallant Best, in trying to coax the speed Bid exhibited when challenged in 1979.