Horseracing

Smarty's party: Unbeaten horse dominates Preakness Stakes

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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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