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Birdstone – 2004 Belmont Stakes – jj
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Birdstone – 2004 Belmont Stakes



The largest crowd in the history of Belmont Park assembled to see if Smarty Jones could become a Triple Crown winner. At 3-10 he was one Smarty Jones was one of the shortest-priced favorites the “Test of the Champion,” has seen. A very New York team of Marylou Whitney, Nick Zito, and Edgar Prado spoiled the party as longshot Birdstone rallied late to deny him.

Final time: 2:27 2/5
Owner: Marylou Whitney Stables
Trainer: Nicholas Zito
Jockey: Edgar Prado

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33 Comments

  1. Believe or Not, I really dont care. This was the biggest score I ever made of a single race. I had $100.00 to win on the "4" Birdstone. Boxed a $20.00 Exacta, Birdstone and Smarty Jones. Keyed Birdstone with Smarty Jones/ with All in Tri.. Thank you Jerry Bailey, with Eddington. Bailey softened Smarty Jones. Stewart Elliot took the bait. Payout: $2.00 Win Bet "4" Birdstone $74.00- $2.00 Exacta Box " 4/9" Birdstone, Smarty Jones Payed $139.00
    $2.00 Trifecta Birdstone/with/Smarty Jones/ with ALL Payed $1,589.00. Edgar Prado could ride then and he is still riding at Laurel…Good Luck to all of the Horse Players

  2. I hit the fat exacta box on that one. Watched it at work in the simulcast studio at River Downs. All the needledick punks I worked with, my mgr Tom and co worker Charles lost tons of money and were trash talking me before the race. I gave it right back to them and they were ready to fight me . I said suck it wuss boys , jump like a frog whenever you're ready. All talk. I was sorta bummed smarty didn't win, but hey like Bobby Frankel said:"I like money"

  3. I was in attendance. The air coming out of the balloon was amazing silence and utter shock with those last final strides. The good part for me was also being in attendance in 2105…American Pharaoh.

  4. I was at Belmont on this day and I so vididly remembered the complete and total silence of.the 120,000+ after Birdstone crossed the finished line ahead of Smarty Jones. People were schocked, in disbelief, speechless. To this day, I still wished Smarty Jones won this race.

  5. I was working at river downs that day in the Charlson broadcasting simulcast studio and had the exacta box. My coworkers were yellin at me bec I was happy. Told them to hug it. like bobby frankel said after empire maker won , "hey I like money ". They finally tore down that hole of race track River Downs. Mice everywhere, co-workers passing out from Vicodin od's and the fire alarms don't work.

  6. That was so disappointing when Smarty lost. But he tried so hard, and it was a good race…a SUPER close one. Poor Smarty Jones just got tired after being pushed, and couldn't handle it (and as others have already said, he wasn't bred for distance, but still did excellent).

  7. Track was fast; pace was reasonable considering the speed of the track; Stewart Elliott had a good hold on Smarty Jones and only asked him from a furlong out. Maybe Birdstone ran a huge one and won it?

    John Servis took the blame for having the horse too keyed up. Probably wasn't his fault either – Birdstone was bred for distance and Smarty Jones was not.

  8. At that point in time smarty Jones had buried this entire field all winter/spring elliot rode him correctly he had thee best horse and he knew it….just got tired at the end ..what a great race the crowd was loud!! Like to see triple crown this year (2015)

  9. Nothing really wrong with the ride. Was actually a good ride. Splits were good. If he stalked he would have got tired sooner. Smarty ran 4 races in less than 2 months, plus his pedigree is more of a 1 1/8m let alone the Classic distance. Top and bottom he wasn't built for 1 1/2m. l'll Have Another would have been a Triple Crown winner, want a shame…

  10. would someone explain…Why did the Jockey of Smarty Jones not hold him back from leading the race so soon?  Why is it believed that it was a deliberate attempt to cost Smarty Jones the Triple Crown when clearly the jockey on SJ allowed him to lead the race too early?  Had he held him back a little longer maybe SJ would have had a bit more left?  I am asking a genuine question.  I don't know enough about horse racing strategy to understand.  What I see is SJ going out too early in front when it is such a long race.  Is it a genuine concern to try to stay in the lead so that your horse doesn't get boxed in by the horses that pass you???  Thank you in advance for answering my question.

  11. At this 2004 Belmont in New York, Elmont there was no way the powers that be up there were going to let a philly horse win the T Crown ,horse racing most prestigious event , that is why they buried those horses just so that Smarty would not win that triple. That is why people say that they Hate New York!!!  It will be that way forever, sadly but I hope not true, but sadly.

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