As I do many times when my family and friends come in from out of town, I took my uncle and his family over to the good folks at Three Chimney's Farm as part of our July 4th weekend. Being from Philly, they were very anxious to meet Smarty Jones.
Although it was a Sunday on a holiday weekend, Three Chimney's stallion manager Sandy Hatfield was nice enough to give us a guided tour. Nice gestures like that are a major reason why Three Chimney's has been my favorite farm since I arrived in Lexington.
Because of the particular time that we arrived, most of the stallions were being turned out when we got there. Sandy was nice enough to hold two for us back at the stallion barn - Smarty and Big Brown. So basically, it was just us, Smarty and Big Brown for a long while. And after some time, my family went with Sandy for the rest of the farm tour, leaving me with solo access to Smarty and Big Brown.
As you may recall from my personal conversation with Big Brown last year, I have this uncanny ability to communicate with horses. They feel so comfortable around me that they will even start to talk sometimes. I wish I could explain it, but it's so amazing that you wouldn't believe me if I could. Anyway, while I was alone with them, I had a very interesting conversation with Smarty and Big Brown. Being the crack reporter that I am, I even had a pen and pad with me to record it. I thought I would share it with all of you. Enjoy.
Smarty: Yo Brown. What's up?
Big Brown: Not much. I wish we were out running around, but they kept us back here so these bozos could stare at us.
Me: Yo Brown! I thought we patched things up last year? Why the name-calling?
Big Brown: Sorry dude. I didn't mean anything by it. I'm just a little grouchy this morning. I had another nightmare last night. It's the same one I always have, you know, the Belmont.
Me: No problem. Yeah, I guess that would make me upset too.
Big Brown: I can't shake it dude. It's been more than a year since that damn race and I still feel like it was yesterday.
Smarty: It doesn't get any better Brown. It's been five years for me and I still wake up in cold sweats sometimes.
Me: I guess it must be worse for you Smarty. I mean, Brown was never really in contention. You were only yards away from immortality.
Smarty: You have no idea what it's like to live with that kind of torment. I replay the race in my head a hundred times per day.
Me: It can't be all that bad. Look at the life you guys have. You get to be with hundreds of girls every year, you have admirers visiting from all over the world, and you are treated like kings.
Big Brown: Yeah. We don't mean to complain, but we still have to stare at that friggin' Seattle Slew statue every second of the day - even when we're in the breeding shed. It can give a man pretty bad inferiority complex after a while.
Me: I guess I know what you mean. Hey, speaking of women, how about that Rachel Alexandra? She is something, huh?
Smarty: Dude, she is a beast. I would do anything to be with her.
Me: It probably won't happen though. I hear she has a boyfriend. Curlin.
Big Brown: He's a chump! I wish these darn feet would have held up a few more months. I would have smoked him in the Breeders' Cup. I can't believe he is dating Rachel. He doesn't deserve her.
Me: You guys get hundreds of women a year and you're still complaining?
Smarty: You're right Jay. If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.
Me: That's more like it Smarty. Hey, not to start an argument here, but who was better between you two?
Smarty: I'm usually pretty modest, but I think Brown would even agree that I was better. I mean, look at the races. I just ran horses into the ground.
Big Brown: What?! YOU ran horses into the ground? I broke my maiden by 11 on the turf, won the Florida Derby by five from post 12 and annihilated those fools in the Derby from post 20! You were a glorified miler Smarty.
Smarty: Are you kidding me? Go back and watch the 2004 Preakness dude. Let me know what you think. And by the way, could you have faced a weaker crop of 3-year-olds?
Big Brown: At least I ran a couple of races after the Derby!
Me: Ok, Ok. That's enough. Stop yelling at each other. I didn't mean to start an argument. You guys were both great racehorses...hold on, my cell phone is ringing.
Hello? (Long Pause). Ok, I will. Take care.
Me: That was Point Given. He's calling from outside in quarantine. He's being shipped over to Brazil in a few weeks. He told me to tell both of you to keep all the noise down. He's trying to get some sleep before his long flight. And he said, for the record, he would have crushed you both.
Smarty: (Rolls his eyes). Whatever. I'm not gonna argue with him though. You ever see the size of that dude?
Me: Alright boys. I'm outta here. Thanks for everything.
Smarty: Go Phillies!
By the way, this is the final Triple Crown Talk post of the year. This blog will switch over to Breeders' Cup Chat until the end of the year. Look for my first post at the end of week. Thanks to everyone for an enjoyable first half of the season.
Oh, and by the way...he's baaaaack. The Draynay ban is officially over. Hope everyone enjoyed the respite.