Smarty Jones leaving Kentucky to stand stud in York, Pa.

BILL DENVER/Equi-Photo
BILL DENVER/Equi-Photo
Posted: October 27, 2010

Smarty Jones has been a major attraction in Kentucky horse country since he arrived at Three Chimneys Farm in August 2004. But the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, who was born in Chester County and stabled at what was then known as Philadelphia Park, will be coming back to Pennsylvania in the next few weeks. The now 9-year-old horse will stand stud at Ghost Ridge Farm in York in 2011.

Pat Chapman and her late husband Roy owned Smarty. After he was retired, they sold 50 percent of the horse to a syndicate of breeders. Smarty has had three foal crops make the races. He has been a decent stallion, but not good enough to maintain his original $100,000 stud fee. This year, he stood for $10,000. The breeding business has really been hard hit by the recession, and trying to create interest in any stallion these days is difficult.

"[Smarty] has a huge base of support from breeders, owners and fans on the East Coast, especially in Pennsylvania, and his progeny have proven quite profitable in that region," said Three Chimneys owner Robert Clay in a news release. "The goal in relocating him was to bring him closer to his primary base of mare support, giving him the best chance for greater success at stud."

Bringing the horse back to Pennsylvania was something Pat Chapman wanted to happen. Now, it is happening.

"I am really thrilled to bring Smarty back home," she said last night from her home in Florida.

"When Roy and I made the decision to stand Smarty at Three Chimneys, it was because of their dedication to doing whatever is in the best interest of each horse and their attention to the fans and general public," Pat Chapman said in the same Three Chimneys news release. "They have gone above and beyond in making Smarty accessible to the public and have been trusted advisers to my family and me throughout his career at stud. We've had many discussions over the past year about what is in Smarty's best interest and I am thankful for Clay's support in my decision to bring Smarty Jones back to his home state of Pennsylvania to stand at Ghost Ridge."

Interestingly, Smarty has been on a good roll over the last few weeks, with many of his offspring running well and winning races. Overall, Smarty has 84 winners from 134 starters.

Smarty Jones, trained by John Servis and ridden by Stewart Elliott, won his first eight races and became a national obsession. The colt finished a length back of Birdstone in the Belmont Stakes and, suffering from various leg issues, never raced again. Smarty earned $7,613,144 and is still so popular around here that the Smarty Jones Stakes is run on Labor Day at Parx Racing, the track where he made his first two starts and announced that he was good enough to run against, and beat, the best.

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