05/06/2004 11:00PM

Smarty Jones's Sunshine State connections


Smarty Jones is a Pennsylvania-bred with strong family ties to Florida. His great granddam, Stolen Base, by Herbager, joined the Francis A. Genter Stable broodmare band at Tartan Farms in Florida in the fall of 1978. She was in foal to Buckpasser. Stolen Base, a broodmare with the bluest of Phipps family bloodlines, subsequently produced four stakes winners for the Genters.

Go back a few more generations and you come to La Troienne, one of the most important ancestral influences on the modern American racehorse

Smarty Jones's Sunshine State connections are many. His dam, I'll Get Along, is a daughter of Smile, the Genter-bred Eclipse Award-winning sprinter of 1986, and the Genter-bred stakes winner Dont Worry Bout Me, by Foolish Pleasure. Both Smile and Dont Worry Bout Me were Florida-breds.

Smarty Jones was foaled at Roy and Pat Chapman's Someday Farm in Pennsylvania, but his dam is now a resident at John Sykes Cloverleaf Farm II in Ocala, Fla. According to Brent Fernung, the Cloverleaf general manager, the mare was purchased for $130,000 at the 2001 Keeneland November sales.

I'll Get Along was sold in foal to Doneraile Court at the time of purchase, Fernung said, but foal did not survive. In 2003 the mare foaled a colt by Hennessy and followed that foal with a colt by Orientate. I'll Get Along has been bred back to Elusive Quality, the sire of the Derby winner, and is believed in foal.

Special from the start

Bob Camac was training for the Chapmans when he and his wife, Maryann, were shot and killed by Camac's stepson in December 2001. Soon after, the Chapmans were ready to get out of racing.

"They had sold their farm and their breeding stock and had two yearlings left and were at wit's end," said George Isaacs, general manager of Bridlewood Farm, where the Chapmans had been sending their young horses to be broken. "They were contemplating getting out of the business. I talked the situation over with them. I suggested they send the two yearlings to the farm, we'll raise them and break them and see what's what. This is how Smarty Jones came to be on the farm. Both horses came to us and both were nice-looking yearlings, and I conveyed this impression to Mr. and Mrs. Chapman. We soon learned, after the yearlings were put in training, that the medium-sized, athletic colt was something special. We had 60 yearlings in that class and Smarty Jones was among the top two or three."

Lil E. Tee's Florida connections

Two Pennyslvania-breds have won the Kentucky Derby. Lil E. Tee was the first in 1992. This colt, too, was sent to Florida early on to prepare for the 2-year-old sales or racing. And it wasn't long before he came under the scrutiny of Fernung, who was impressed with the colt's potential.

"Brent bought Lil E. Tee's dam before he won the Kentucky Derby," said Fernung's wife, Crystal. "And Brent recommended Lil E. Tee to W.C. Partee, who won the Derby with him. We sold the mare but still have My Big Sis, a full sister to Lil E. Tee. She foaled a filly on May 3, by Yes It's True."

Kentucky bred, Florida roots

Farnsworth Farms' Mike Sherman did not go to the Kentucky Derby to watch Imperialism finish third in the race for the roses, even though he had bred the colt.

"Too much of a hullabaloo for me," said Sherman. "I am more comfortable in a smaller venue."

Although Farnsworth Farms is in Florida, Imperialism is a Kentucky-bred.

"For a while, I got involved in a dual state breeding and marketing program," said Sherman. "The business plan looked good on paper but it did not work out the way I thought it could."

Bodhavista, the dam of Imperialism, was sold privately in March of this year in foal to the Farnsworth Farms sire Robyn Dancer.