It’s been 10 years since Smarty Jones made his historic strides, winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes and placing second at the Belmont Stakes – coming within a length of winning the first Triple Crown since Affirmed did it in 1978. Today, at the age of 13 (roughly 43 in horse years), the Pennsylvania-born horse enjoys a cushy retirement at Northview Stallion Farm in Peach Bottom in southern Lancaster County. Aided by a horse interpreter, we caught up with the chestnut-colored stallion to hear about racing and retirement – straight from the horse’s mouth.
Fly Magazine: What is a day in the life of Smarty Jones like today?
Smarty Jones: Lots of oats, some trotting in the fields, resting in my stall, an occasional cigar and a steady stream of beautiful fillies for my choosing. It’s definitely not as exciting as race day, but, hey, at least I don’t have to clean my own stall.
FM: Who’s your favorite filly?
SJ: I’ve been with many fillies – more than I can count. But my favorite was probably Shootforthestars – daughter of the 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. She’s beautiful and perfect to mount, but I won’t go into the dirty details. Our stallion, Centralintelligence, made a run at the Breeder’s Cup last year. I’m one proud dad.
FM: In retirement, you’ve traveled the globe, siring a new generation of thoroughbreds. What’s the most exotic place you’ve been to?
SJ: I made a trip to Uruguay a few years ago. Beautiful country – lots of beaches and rolling hills. Although I wasn’t crazy about the cuisine – too much beef, which was difficult, being a vegetarian. But the mate [Uruguay’s national drink] was delicious.
FM: Any chance we’ll see you return to the track?
SJ: No [neighs]. My racing days are far behind me. I thought about taking up juggling or fishing, but these damn hooves aren’t as versatile as you’d think.
Want more horse action? Check out The Mildly Interested Fan’s Guide to The Triple Crown here.