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Smarty Jones Is On The Road Tonight


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It‘s not certain when Smarty Jones will ship to Baltimore for the 129th running of the PreaknessStakes®, but the truth is, he’ll be here tonight! The flight from Louisville carrying the Kentucky Derby winner will land at Baltimore-Washington Airport at approximately 6:00 p.m. and then the colt will be transported by van to his base at Philadelphia Park.


Smarty’s first visit to Baltimore will be brief, as his only stop will be at the Harbor Tunnel Toll Plaza, which is south of the downtown skyline. His motorcade will skirt the eastern edge of the city and continue north to Pennsylvania via Interstate 95.


The first undefeated Derby winner since Seattle Slew in 1977 has caught the nation’s attention and will grace the cover of this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated.


“This is bigger than I ever imagined,” said trainer John Servis from Louisville this morning. “It has been crazy, but I’m having the best time of my life.”


Servis said the plan is for Smarty Jones to get back on the track at Philadelphia Park on Thursday morning.


“He’s doing great,” added the trainer. “I see no reason why we wouldn’t be heading to the Preakness. This story is great for our industry.”


The field for the middle jewel of the Visa Triple Crown continues to change as Kristin Mulhall has indicated that Cheiron will not run in the Preakness, reducing the number of probables to seven: Smarty Jones, Lion Heart, The Cliff’s Edge, Borrego, Rock Hard Ten, Eddington and Water Cannon.


Derby runner-up Lion Heart continued his preparation for the Preakness with a light jog at Keeneland.


“So far, so good,” trainer Patrick Biancone told the Keeneland media relations office. “We are right on schedule.”


Rock Hard Ten returned to the track for the first time since April 26 as Jason Orman’s charge went seven-furlongs at Churchill Downs in 1:25.80.


“He worked well and came out of it good,” said Orman. “We are hoping that having a fresh horse will be an advantage.”


Water Cannon will make his final work for the Preakness at Bowie Training Center on Saturday morning with regular rider Ryan Fogelsonger. Since adding blinkers the Linda Albert trainee has won five straight, including the Tesio Stakes at Pimlico on April 17.


“He’s doing really well,” said Albert. “We are all excited and going to have a good time. This is a once in a lifetime experience.”

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