Son of Smarty Jones Thriving in New Home

Like some Thoroughbreds, Smarty’s Gold, a 4-year-old son of Smarty Jones, just wasn’t cut out to be a racehorse. Trained by Michael Gorham, he failed to win in eight starts on the northeast circuit, and was shelved this spring with a minor injury after campaigning for just two seasons.

Smarty’s Gold’s connections decided the chestnut colt may be better suited for a different career, however, and so they placed him on CANTER Mid-Atlantic's site, a free web service that helps trainers find new homes for retiring Thoroughbreds, in hopes that someone would give the colt a second chance.

Luckily, a racing enthusiast named Alison Meadows, who watched Smarty Jones win the 2004 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and was a fan of his offspring, happened to be browsing for a new riding horse at just the right time on CANTER.

“I immediately loved (Smarty’s Gold’s) look and was familiar with his breeding,” she said. “This, combined with the fact that I am originally from a small town near where Smarty Jones was bred in Pennsylvania made me want Smarty's Gold all the more. To me, adopting a retired Thoroughbred means owning a piece of history. And if restarted properly, I learned a retired Thoroughbred can be the best athlete, competitor, and friend any owner could wish for.”

Meadows, who keeps Smarty's Gold near her home in Middletown, Del., is currently helping the colt transition from racehorse to all-around sport horse/eventer.

Alison Meadows adjusting Smarty's Gold to a new career as a sport horse 

“Smarty's training has been slow and correct, beginning in August. He came off the track with a slight suspensory tear, so I am being extra careful and it seems to be paying off," she said. "Smarty absolutely loves being turned out; he goes out of his way be as dirty as possible--finding every puddle/mud or dusty corner of the pasture to roll in! I noticed he is not the least bit stressed during this transition period. He takes everything in stride and is truly a happy horse. 
“From day one, I have ridden Smarty out cross country alone and never worried for a second how he will handle things. He just tries so hard all the time to do everything right--even in the ring when we work on the flat. Now don't get me wrong, Smarty has a pulse!  He is a blast to canter (surprisingly balanced for a recently retired racer), but considering his suspensory, I am not pushing things right now.”  
Meadows, who noted that Smarty Gold’s ground manners were “impeccable,” said she plans to teach her new horse to jump later this winter at her indoor arena. In the meantime, she will continue to ride Smarty Gold cross country combined with some flat work to strengthen and condition him.
“Smarty continues to improve with his training, which is slow and correct so as not to over-face him,” said Meadows. “His mind is true to his breeding from what I understand--very cool, calm, and collected. Smarty's physique has filled out and is quite muscular in a very different way from his racing days. I'm looking forward to eventing Smarty next year, but my priority is to develop him into an all around sport horse that is healthy and strong.”

Smarty's Gold during his racing days at Philadelphia Park

To donate to CANTER Mid Atlantic, which is seeking carrot money this holiday season, visit the organization's website.


Here is a note from Shannon at Double L Stable Equine Rescue. Consider donating even just $1 this holiday season to another worthy horse adoption facility, which also makes finding new homes for horses like Smarty's Gold possible: 

Double L Stable Equine Rescue and Sanctuary is again holding our Holiday Cards for Rescue Horses fundraiser. We are asking everyone who can to send a holiday card to our rescue horses here and enclose a single $1 bill. (We are only suggesting $1 but if you wish to include more we won't turn it down!) This fund drive dictates our entire budget set for next year. It will determine how many horses we can help save. Each card will be hung in the barn for visitors to see and make the barn festive for our resident horses. Please pass this on to everyone you can. It works because it is much easier for several people to each do a little then for a few to do a lot. Cross post it to all your chat groups and message boards, print it off and hang it in your favorite tack shop. Any way you can help spread the word it wonderful.

Cards can be sent to:
The Horses
Double L Stable Equine Rescue and Sanctuary
9 Tilford Rd.
Argyle, NY 12809



Leave a Comment:

Blue Blue Sea

CANTER Mid-Atlantic is another good place to donate and mentioned in your article. I volunteer for them and we are looking for carrot donation money for lots of deserving OTTBs. Nice story!

02 Dec 2010 11:56 AM
needler in Virginia

Perfectly lovely story, especially for this time of year. Too many horses, too little time.........but even one dollar works wonders! Get the Girl Scout troop together, the Boy Scouts, the Bluebirds, the glee club, the band, the choir, the Kiwanis, the Elks, the Moose, the whatever else you can think of and raise $50...with pennies if you must, but ANYTHING helps, ESPECIALLY since this winter looks like it's going to be a real stinker! The amounts add up and when everyone sends a little bit, it becomes a BIG bit for the horses. Don't even ask for bills.....ask for pocket change, and for that you get a peppermint exactly like those favored by the biggest and most famous horses of all time...BE CREATIVE. Go online and find other organizations (but make sure they are REGISTERED 501(c) organizations), see what they need and aim for a portion of that. THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE ABOUT MILLIONS OF has to be about getting one more horse into a run-in shed, or in a good home, or a stall. Our humanity is ultimately judged by the way we treat animals.......... so give yourself the warm fuzzies and help a horse!!


Cheers and safe trips to all.

02 Dec 2010 12:53 PM
Karen in Indiana

Thank you for the articles you do that bring repurposing thoroughbreds to people's attention. As for Smarty's Gold loving the mud, every time I went to Three Chimneys, Smarty Jones was muddy. They said if there was even the hint of mud in his pasture, he'd find it and roll in it.

02 Dec 2010 12:59 PM

So glad to hear Smarty's Gold has found a good home and is thriving!  It's such good news and I'm happy that he's happy.  He looks so much like Daddy I had to take a second look!  

Best of luck to you both!

02 Dec 2010 3:27 PM

Wow, he looks so much like his daddy! Awesome story :)

02 Dec 2010 3:55 PM
robin from michigan

Oh coolest. I should surely send a card over to you guys with only $1 in it. And I am so glad that Smarty's Gold is able to go someplace where he can actually suicide in something other than being at the breeding shed. And he certainly does look like his daddy, Smarty Jones. Hope he continues his new career, and become an excellent hunter/eventer.

02 Dec 2010 5:36 PM
Mary P

I have nothing but good things to say about re-homing the ottb's.  I've ahd a few go on to stellar careers in the show hunter world.  One is right now doing the Jr's with his young lady and I believe is number one in the zones.  They are so smart, they are such great athletes and get so emotionally attached to their person, there is no other breed like the good 'ole American Thoroughbred.

02 Dec 2010 6:50 PM

I am so pleased to read about the good fortune of Smarty's Gold.  It sounds as if he has found a wonderful home.  I wish Alison and Smarty the best of luck.  This is a great story about the success that CANTER (and other similar organizations) has had.  Keep up the good work!

                       Pat C.

02 Dec 2010 10:15 PM
Mike Relva


Thanks again for a touching,well written story. Bravo!

02 Dec 2010 10:37 PM

Awesome! It is people like you that truly give me hope. He is a beautiful animal and I am so happy for you and happy that he is enjoying his new life--and it is all about love. Happy holidays to you and your family! I volunteer and donate at a different facility in Harvard, Illinois called Brave Hearts which is an equine therapy facility. Miracles every day--autistic child that never spoke attempted to speak to "his" horse--it's all about love.

03 Dec 2010 7:57 AM

This was a great story!!! I think Michael Gorham should be commended for his effort in finding a good home for Smarty's Gold...he did exactly what ALL trainers should do....THANK YOU, MICHAEL! Also, MUCHO THANKS TO ALISON! What a WONDERFUL person you are..easing Smarty's Gold into training for his new career and obviously showing upmost patience and concern for his well-being.  God Bless you and Michael.  And best wishes to Smarty's Gold (who, yes does like a great deal like Daddy..bless his heart!)..may you suceed in your new career and always remain a best friend to Alison.

Also....let's all come through on the donations...we will never miss $1.00 and our hearts will feel alittle lighter as a result...may even sleep better tonite!  Maybe some would like to try this..make a habit throughout the year to empty pockets and purses of our spare change...the little will go a long way and won't be missed.  Next year during the holiday season give a gift to the horses and forward your accumulated change to a rescue facility.  Believe me...this works.  We, ourselves, contribute to Toys for Tots by purchasing on-sale toys starting the day after Christmas and throughout the year..this year we have 25 really nice toys to donate and we haven't even missed the money because it was gradual.  Seems the same would work with the gift to the horses!  We have now started our "horse jar".  

Thanks for the article and may all have a wonderful holiday and new year!

03 Dec 2010 8:16 AM

Having just seen Smarty Jones in person, I thought he'd make a great sporthorse sire with his conformation and good mind. Glad to see I was right and hope to get my hands on a Smarty baby one of these days!

03 Dec 2010 8:17 AM
Cindy Davidson/Davidson's Tracks-N-Time, LLC

Cheers instead of Tears!  What a wonderful story.  In a time when

racing is taking its hits, many horses are in need new homes and facilities to keep them well until that special individual comes along. Being made aware of what each of us can do to help by a small donation is so important.

Thanks for a wonderful story, and love the Marque: "Beyond the Blinkers", will look forward to reading more inspiring stories.

03 Dec 2010 8:48 AM
Little Kitty

Just saw Smarty Jones at Three Chimneys before he left for PA and Smarty's Gold is a duplicate of his daddy in his face and color.

03 Dec 2010 9:45 AM

Love this story - - I have wanted one by Smarty Jones that I can re-train ever since Smarty was running...hopefully someday I will!

03 Dec 2010 12:10 PM

Sure looks like his daddy.  I am happy to know he has such a wonderful home.

03 Dec 2010 12:12 PM
Three Chimneys Farm

Best of luck to Alison and Smarty's Gold from all of us at Three Chimneys Farm and thanks to his connections and CANTER for putting his best interests first from day 1!!!

Keep us updated on his progress!

03 Dec 2010 4:43 PM

Smarty's Gold is as beautiful as his daddy!  Smarty was responsible for the rennaisance of racing in PA, and I love that horse as much as ever.  I am so thankful that there are people like Alison who care about former racehorses in general and Smarty's babies in particular.

Smarty is the king as far as I'm concerned, and Smarty's Gold is  one among many of his beautiful princes.

03 Dec 2010 5:20 PM
Carol in Minnesota

I linked into  your blog from the Club Three Chimneys site. After reading your comments about Smarty's Gold, I must tell you about meeting Smarty in 2008. We took a tour of Three Chimneys because I HAD to see Smarty Jones. As I approached him he had just rolled in the mud! He was a mess! I took a picture which I keep in my family room. I would say that Smarty's Gold definitely has his father's genes....and he's a picture of his dad. Good luck to both of you!

03 Dec 2010 6:39 PM

A handsome & lucky horse.  A good thoroughbred can be so responsive, my first one would think about his training session overnight and the next day he was ready to do his best.  Spirit, beauty, ability all waiting for another chance!

03 Dec 2010 6:41 PM
Carol in Minnesota

I love reading about Smarty's progeny!

03 Dec 2010 6:42 PM
Barbaro Girl

What a beautiful story and he looks so happy now!  Love the fund raising idea, too!  Will be sending my card!

04 Dec 2010 12:37 AM
duke of boston

his father was smarty jones, but what about his mother, mandy's gold. she was a grade 1 winning millionaire. not bad breeding for a show horse.

08 Dec 2010 1:10 PM

Lovely horse, just like his daddy.  Hope that suspensory doesn't become problematic.  He should do well in any discipline if he stays sound.  Hoping my OTTB looks that good when I start retraining in the spring.  

09 Jan 2011 1:36 PM

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