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Will He Get In Teh Clube?

Gedunker

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No, not me (although I did). I'm talking about Smarty Jones!

Saturday, at Belmont Raceway in New York, at about 6:38 pm, Smarty Jones will try to outrun 8 other 3-year old thoroughbreds to become the first Triple Crown (aka Teh Clube ;-) ) winner in 26 years and only the 12th ever (in 130 runnings). In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that Mrs. G bet him in the Derby and I, um, had the fourth place horse B-)

Smarty Jones is a neat story. His owners nearly quit the business after their trainer and his wife were murdered, but decided to keep Smarty and one other horse. They put Smarty in race training and as he was being "schooled" in the starting gate he crashed his head into an uncovered iron rod, causing a skull fracture and dislocating his eyeball from its socket. He very nearly killed himself -- you can still see the depressions in his skull from the accident. 8-! Smarty is a Pennsylvania-bred supposedly without the pedigree to run the *classic* distances. His owner is battling emphysema and his jockey is a recovering alcoholic. Can anybody say Seabiscuit?

So he's 8 for 8 against all comers in all track conditions, (fast, good, sloppy, muddy). Now he has to run 1-1/2 miles to win a $5 million bonus from Visa (he's already won one $5 million bonus) and go down in the history books.

So, fellow Cyburbians: does anybody care? Is horse racing only for fat old men in rumpled clothes smoking cheap cigars and Saudi princes, or does this story resonate a little bit?
 
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I've never been a racing fan (yes - blashphemy for one living so close to Saratoga), but I really enjoyed the book Seabiscuit. They had a snippet on the Smarty Jones story on ESPN this morning that was interesting, but would I watch the race? No. But I'll be very happy if he wins.

Go Smarty.
 
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Interesting story. It would be nice to see how things turn out for Smarty. I'm no fan of horse racing, never really had the desire to watch it, but I love sports stories where the athlete, or animal in this case, beats the odds. :)
 

JNA

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Downtown said:
I've never been a racing fan (yes - blashphemy for one living so close to _________).
Kentucky

Downtown said:
but would I watch the race?.
Maybe, more likely watch it on evening news sport highlights.

If Smarty Jones wins that would be pretty cool.
 

cololi

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This is a long distance for Smarty Jones, but considering at the preakness (the shortest of the triple crown races) his lead got larger as the race went on, there is no doubt that he can go a mile and a half. I think he will get out of the gate early, built a big lead towards the mile and a quarter mark and then see the gap close near the finish. Depending on how big of a lead he builds will determine if he wins or not. I think he will need at least a 4 lengths lead coming out of the final turn to win it.
 

NHPlanner

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While I'm not nearly the Horse Racing Fan my younger brother is (who lives near Saratoga, and actually bought a share of a horse that ran at Philadelphia Park a couple of years ago, the same track Smarty Jones is from)...I will be watching with great interest. I bet now and then on racing, and have always loved spending an afternoon at the track (though Rockingham Park in Salem, NH no longer runs Thoroughbred races....I make at least one trip a year to Saratoga).
 

kms

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If I can get to a tv, I'll watch. It shouldn't be difficult - I'll be a a party with Louisville relatives.

My dad's uncle was a jockey in the 1930's. He may have raced at Churchill Downs. He travelled a lot to race.
 

Gedunker

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The Answer is NO

This is my Exhibit A as to why the Triple Crown is the toughest test in sports.
Three different tracks in three different states at three different distances are the reason why it has only been done 11 times in 130 tries (and not in the last 26 years).

But I'm still in teh clube ;-)
 

cololi

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cololi said:
Depending on how big of a lead he builds will determine if he wins or not. I think he will need at least a 4 lengths lead coming out of the final turn to win it.
Maybe I should bet on horse races more often ;-)
 
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