Win or lose, Smarty Jones' racing days won't end at the Belmont.
With a victory at Saturday's Belmont Stakes, the colt would become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 and drive up the price to send
him to the breeding farm. Owners Pat and Roy Chapman could add to the millions already earned from Smarty Jones by selling his breeding rights.
The undefeated Smarty Jones will run past the Belmont Stakes.
But trainer John Servis said Tuesday the Chapmans are leaning toward letting the colt run at least the rest of this year and delaying his possible
entry into retirement.
"I think the chances of him being run are very good as long as he remains healthy and there are no problems," Servis said. "Mr. and Mrs. Chapman love
the business and they want to race, so I don't think it will be a problem."
Servis said he would take a break after the Belmont, then decide the best path for the Breeder's Cup in October. Servis has talked about having Smarty
Jones run in the Pennsylvania Derby on Labor Day on the colt's home turf, Philadelphia Park. It would be a record handle for the park, which has seen
nearly 15,000 fans turn out for two public workouts.
"As long as it's financially feasible for them to race the horse, they're going to do it," Servis said. "The feedback I'm getting from them is, I
think that's the way they're going to go."
Money hardly seems to be an issue for Team Smarty. By winning the Belmont, Smarty Jones would become North America's richest horse with more than $13
million in earnings. If Smarty Jones wins the $1 million Belmont Stakes, the Chapmans will receive another $5 million bonus from Visa for winning the
Smarty Jones had another strong 1 1/2 -mile gallop Tuesday morning under exercise rider Pete Van Trump. The colt will have another light gallop
Wednesday before shipping out around 9:30 a.m. with a police escort. Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York officers will assist in the escort, and
Smarty's ride most likely will be followed by television helicopters, as has become the norm.
"It takes any kind of risk out of it," Servis said.