Trusting luck of `Smarty,' Servis goes with No. 7 post

Lion Heart's rail position, picking order also figure in choice for starting gate

Preakness Stakes

May 13, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Smarty Jones' connections wanted to be outside of fellow speedster Lion Heart coming out of the gate.

Lion Heart's connections wanted to be inside of everybody.

Both wishes were granted yesterday at the post position draw for the 129th Preakness Stakes at the ESPN Zone.

Their preferences were practically guaranteed earlier in the day when Smarty Jones was second in the lineup to pick, followed immediately by Lion Heart.

John Servis, trainer of the undefeated Kentucky Derby winner, picked post 7, the horse's lucky number, after long-shot Little Matth Man - first in the selection order - landed in the No. 3 gate.

FOR THE RECORD - A photo caption incorrectly stated yesterday that Imperialism's finish in the Kentucky Derby was second. The horse finished third. The Sun regrets the error.

"This is nowhere near as big a field as in Kentucky," said Servis. "And we've had a lot of luck in the 7 hole. The Kentucky Derby was his seventh win in a row. With that post open, there was no reason to change."

Smarty Jones won both the Southwest Stakes and the Rebel Stakes from No. 7 and to get outside of him, Lion Heart would have had to go to at least 8.

That was not the intention of trainer Patrick Biancone, who was insistent on grabbing the rail for Lion Heart.

"There wasn't much mystery," Biancone said. "If he goes outside, I go inside. We're happy with the draw. The shortest point from A to B is closest to the fence."

The one element that could change Smarty Jones' position would be the scratch of The Cliff's Edge, currently in the No. 4 slot.

If trainer Nick Zito decides to withdraw the Derby's fifth-place finisher because of a foot problem, Smarty Jones would break from the No. 6 gate.

"We'll still be wearing No. 7," Servis reminded.

Biancone also will continue to run Lion Heart without Lasix, the anti-bleeding medication. Smarty Jones performed on Lasix for the first time in the Derby.

"I did not consider Lasix," Biancone said. "If I have a headache, I take aspirin. If I don't have a headache, I don't take aspirin."

The Derby's third-place finisher, Imperialism, will break from No. 8.

Trainer Kristin Mulhall said she selected the post "because he's very bad standing in the gate for a long time. I would have done it differently with the double load [when two horses are loaded simultaneously]."

She said her first choice would have been No. 7.

Smarty Jones was made the 8-to-5 favorite in the overnight line by track oddsmaker Frank Carulli, with Lion Heart at 3-to-1 and Imperialism at 5-to-1.

All drama had been removed by the time new entries Eddington and Rock Hard Ten and local hope Water Cannon landed in the three outside spots.

At a glance

What: 129th Preakness Stakes, second leg of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown

Where: Pimlico Race Course

When: Saturday, post time 6:04 p.m.

TV: Chs. 11, 4. Coverage begins at 5 p.m.

Field for 129th Preakness

PP Horse Jockey Trainer Record Odds

1 Lion Heart Mike Smith Patrick Biancone 6-3-3-0 3-1

2 Borrego Victor Espinoza Beau Greely 8-2-3-0 15-1

3 Little Matth Man Richard Migliore Martin Ciresa 12-3-1-2 50-1

4 The Cliff's Edge Shane Sellers Nick Zito 9-4-2-1 8-1

5 Song of the Sword Jorge Chavez Jennifer Pederson 6-3-1-1 30-1

6 Sir Shackleton Rafael Bejarano Nick Zito 4-3-1-0 30-1

7 Smarty Jones Stewart Elliott John Servis 7-7-0-0 8-5

8 Imperialism Kent Desormeaux Kristin Mulhall 16-5-4-2 5-1

9 Eddington Jerry Bailey Mark Hennig 6-2-2-2 8-1

10 Rock Hard Ten Gary Stevens Jason Orman 3-2-0-1 6-1

11 Water Cannon Ryan Fogelsonger Linda Albert 11-5-2-1 30-1

*-Starts-1st place-2nd place-3rd place

Winners(Since 1900)

1900: Hindus

1901: The Parader

1902: Old England

1903: Flocarline

1904: Bryn Mawr

1905: Cairngorm

1906: Whimsical

1907: Don Enrique

1908: Royal Tourist

1909: Effendi

1910: Layminster

1911: Watervale

1912: Colonel Holloway

1913: Buskin

1914: Holiday

1915: Rhine Maiden

1916: Damrosch

1917: Kalitan

1918: War Cloud and Jack Hare Jr.

1919: Sir Barton

1920: Man o' War

1921: Broomspun

1922: Pillory

1923: Vigil

1924: Nellie Morse

1925: Coventry

1926: Display

1927: Bostonian

1928: Victorian

1929: Dr. Freeland

1930: Gallant Fox

1931: Mate

1932: Burgoo King

1933: Head Play

1934: High Quest

1935: Omaha

1936: Bold Venture

1937: War Admiral

1938: Dauber

1939: Challedon

1940: Bimelech

1941: Whirlaway

1942: Alsab

1943: Count Fleet

1944: Pensive

1945: Polynesian

1946: Assault

1947: Faultless

1948: Citation

1949: Capot

1950: Hill Prince

1951: Bold

1952: Blue Man

1953: Native Dancer

1954: Hasty Road

1955: Nashua

1956: Fabius

1957: Bold Ruler

1958: Tim Tam

1959: Royal Orbit

1960: Bally Ache

1961: Carry Back

1962: Greek Money

1963: Candy Spots

1964: Northern Dancer

1965: Tom Rolfe

1966: Kauai King

1967: Damascus

1968: Forward Pass

1969: Majestic Prince

1970: Personality

1971: Canonero II

1972: Bee Bee Bee

1973: Secretariat

1974: Little Current

1975: Master Derby

1976: Elocutionist

1977: Seattle Slew

1978: Affirmed

1979: Spectacular Bid

1980: Codex

1981: Pleasant Colony

1982: Aloma's Ruler

1983: Deputed Testamony

1984: Gate Dancer

1985: Tank's Prospect

1986: Snow Chief

1987: Alysheba

1988: Risen Star

1989: Sunday Silence

1990: Summer Squall

1991: Hansel

1992: Pine Bluff

1993: Prairie Bayou

1994: Tabasco Cat

1995: Timber Country

1996: Louis Quatorze

1997: Silver Charm

1998: Real Quiet

1999: Charismatic

2000: Red Bullet

2001: Point Given

2002: War Emblem

2003: Funny Cide

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