Smith salvages lost weekend

ELMONT, N.Y. — ELMONT, N.Y. -- Mike Smith described the events of the past weekend this way:

"Horse racing is a sport of ups and downs. Well, I've just experienced two of the worst downs in my career."


On Friday, the 27-year-old jockey looked ready to launch himself as the front-runner for an Eclipse Award, emblematic of being tops in his profession.

He had an excellent chance to achieve a riding first and win two $1 million bonuses on horses that were heavy favorites to win each of their races -- Prairie Bayou, the 8-5 program pick and 2.70-1 betting choice in the Belmont Stakes, and Lure, the 3-5 actual betting favorite in yesterday's Early Times Manhattan Stakes.


But the races didn't go Smith's way.

Prairie Bayou broke his left foreleg in four places after running just five furlongs in the 12-furlong Belmont Stakes, and later was humanely destroyed.

Lure went down to defeat in the Manhattan, losing by three-quarters of a length to Star of Cozzene.

"I would rather have won the race, and they [Early Times] could have kept the bonus," Smith said.

Sky Beauty later salvaged a total weekend wipeout for Smith by winning the Mother Goose Stakes.

Lure won a $147,000 bonus by winning twice and placing second in the three Early Times races. Star of Cozzene earned a $100,000 bonus by winning the Manhattan Stakes and finishing second in the other two races.

Prairie Bayou's burial

John Ed Anthony, owner of Prairie Bayou, said he thought about staying away from Belmont Park yesterday, but he still came out to see his filly, Aztec Hill, run fourth (and last) in the Mother Goose Stakes.


Anthony said the body of Prairie Bayou had been shipped to Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., where an autopsy will be performed.

"Even though we know what happened to him [two broken sesamoids, a compound fracture of his cannon bone and a broken long pastern bone in his left foreleg], it's customary practice in New York to perform an autopsy," Anthony said.

Then parts of Prairie Bayou -- his head, heart and hoofs -- will be sent to Kentucky, where they will be buried at Longfield Farm in Goshen where the horse was born.

It is standard procedure at other farms such as Claiborne and Calumet to bury parts of a horse rather than his whole body.

Krone keeps it low-key

Julie Krone was still in a state of euphoria yesterday after becoming the first woman to ride a winner of a Triple Crown race, but she didn't stay up all night celebrating.


"After I did my interviews, I went out to dinner with my agent," she said. "We went to an Italian restaurant where they made me a special pasta dish. I had broccoli and spinach, one glass of red wine and one glass of champagne. Then I was home in bed by 10:30 p.m."

Krone won with one of six mounts at Belmont Park yesterday, finishing fourth in the Early Times Manhattan Stakes with Spectacular Tide.

Krone seemed to take the Belmont Stakes victory pretty level-headed. "You're only as good as your last race," she said.