As a huge racing fan myself, I think it's awesome having a horse with a history that is easy to research and track down. Of course, as I already followed all of Smarty Jones' foals at the time Mad for Smarty was running, I was able to experience his career as it was going on. For all of you that weren't quite as in-tune to what my horse has been doing for the past few years of his life, here is a bit of insight into his first career.
Mad for Smarty enjoyed a decent career as a racehorse before retiring from the track and sent to Bel Canto. His racing career spanned 19 months and covered six different tracks in his 19 lifetime starts. Mad for Smarty was trained by racing legend and Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkins and raced for Robert Clay of Three Chimneys Farm as a homebred. He retired with a record of 19 starts, 3 wins, a second and 4 thirds with lifetime earnings of $115,619 (anything over $100k in earnings is considered pretty good for a horse).
|Mad for Smarty chillin' at Allen Jerkins barn in Florida. Photo by Kevin Kraynak (Racing Heart Photography)|
The colt debuted as a three year old in 2009, making his first start at Gulfstream Park in February in a Maiden Special Weight. Coincidentally, he was up against another Smarty Jones foal making his debut, Farmer Jones. Mad for Smarty finished eight after running well off the pace and making up some ground in the stretch. According to Jerkins, the colt came out of the race with “a shin bothering him.” He was given several months off before making his second start in June at Belmont Park, with much more favorable results. He sat just off the pace before taking the lead on the turn and fought hard to the wire to get the win by a neck in the 6 furlong race over a muddy track.
The horse came back after exactly one month, making an appearance in an allowance at Belmont. He was a distant third in his first start against winners. Just a few weeks later, Mad for Smarty ran at the prestigious Saratoga Race Course in New York, again placing third in an allowance. He followed this effort with two consecutive races at the same level at Saratoga, finishing out of the money both times.
Back to Belmont Park in September for his seventh start, Mad for Smarty was again victorious. Over a track labeled “heavy,” the colt was kept under a firm hold before angling out for the stretch run and taking the lead with an eighth of a mile to go, gradually edging away to a length-and-a-quarter win. This race, which had been taken off of the turf due to the wet conditions, was an Allowance Optional Claiming race, in which some of the horses are available for purchase prior to the race for a set price. Mad for Smarty was not available for purchase; he was not in for a tag.
After three dull efforts in New York (two at Belmont in AOCs and another in an Aqueduct stakes race) Mad for Smarty was again shipped south to winter in Florida. In his first start at Calder Race Course on December 30, 2010, he was a winner in the best race of his career, on paper at least. Breaking from the rail, Mad for Smarty sat in third off a slow pace, conceding two lengths to the leader. He received a perfect trip in the AOC, and angled out three wide coming for home to make his bid. The colt passed the leader with little effort and went on to draw away in deep stretch to win by 6 ½ lengths under jockey Jose Lezcano. He earned a 91 Beyer speed figure for the race, the best of his career.
Smarty’s form tailed off after this race and he did not win again. The colt raced next in the Gulfstream Park Sprint Challege – a grade 2 – and finished fifth behind the likes of Tackleberry and Soaring Empire. He then faced another stakes field in the Challenger Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in March of 2011 and actually butted heads against eventual Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Drosselmeyer. Mad for Smarty was shipped back up to New York for the remainder of his racing career and ran in two AOCs, in for tag in both races, where he earned a fourth and third before finishing off the board in a claiming race at Belmont. In August, Smarty finished second in a race at Saratoga before making a two closing appearances at Belmont. In the final race of his career in September of 2011, Mad for Smarty was third in a high-price claiming race… and that’s where I come into the picture. Y’all know the story from there!
Mad for Smarty's past performances:
Mad for Smarty's past performances: