BENSALEM, Pa. - Smarty Jones keeps going strong heading into the Belmont Stakes.
The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner had a strong gallop Tuesday morning, with the undefeated colt going 17/8 miles on a closed track at Philadelphia Park.
"I got him the last mile in about 2 minutes, 4 seconds. He had his neck bowed and was into it big time," trainer John Servis said.
On Friday, Smarty has his final tuneup before the Belmont on June 5. Jockey Stewart Elliott said Smarty Jones shows no signs of fatigue.
"He's out to please, he'll give me whatever I ask him," Servis said. "I'm very confident. I'm really happy with where he is right now."
If he wins the Belmont, the colt becomes the 12th Triple Crown winner and first since Affirmed in 1978.
HALL OF FAME: Jockey Kent Desormeaux, who won the Kentucky Derby aboard Real Quiet in 1998 and Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000, was elected to horse racing's Hall of Fame. Trainer Claude " Shug" McGaughey and horses Skip Away and Flawlessly also were elected by 140 media members in balloting conducted by the National Museum of Racing in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. They will be inducted in a ceremony Aug. 8. Desormeaux was one of three riders to win Eclipse Awards as an apprentice and established jockey, and he has won 4,419 races and earned $169,217,481.
OBITUARY: Carl Allen, who bred, trained and raced harness-racing champions, died after a fall on his farm. He was 74. Mr. Allen was at home in Ocala recovering from a racing accident when he struck his head Monday. Allen raised and raced such world champions as CR Kay Suzie, CR Commando, CR Renegade and Royal Troubador. The CR stood for Carl and Rod, Carl's son and partner.
CYCLING: Cunego takes lead
Damiano Cunego won the 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia to regain the overall lead from Ukraine's Yaroslav Popovych in Falzes. Cunego beat Rinaldo Nocentini by 76 seconds after the first of four consecutive uphill stages in the Alps expected to decide the winner. Defending champion Gilberto Simoni finished 2:39 behind. Cunego completed the 135-mile leg in 6:11:23. Ukraine's Sergy Honchar was in second, 1:14 back.
SOCCER: Maradona is improving
Diego Maradona is in a rigorous rehabilitation program in Buenos Aires for drug abuse and is considering more treatment outside Argentina, his doctor said. The 43-year-old, who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title, has been at a psychiatric hospital near Buenos Aires since early May when he was rushed to a clinic for lung and heart problems. Dr. Alfredo Cahe, Maradona's physician, said the former player appeared to be taking rehab seriously "for the first time in his life."
STADIUM SWITCH: The stadium that was to host the final of this summer's Copa America was dropped after a co-owner - Alfredo Gonzalez, president of Monumental's home club, Universitario - threatened to deny its use unless officials lifted penalties against six of his players. Monumental Stadium in Lima, Peru, which holds 80,000, will be replaced by 45,000-seat National Stadium for the July 6 doubleheader opener and the July 25 final.
NHL: Mike Danton wants a venue change in his murder-for-hire trial in East St. Louis, Ill., questioning his chances of getting unbiased jurors in the area where he played for the Blues. ... Defenseman Ryan Stokes was signed by the Wild.
OLYMPICS: The United States provided Greek police and border officials with radiation detection equipment to help guard the Athens Games against a nuclear or "dirty" bomb. Recent terrorist attacks have demonstrated the use of such weapons, so Anita Nilsson, director of nuclear security for the International Atomic Energy Agency, said these weapons could not be ruled out.