BALTIMORE, May 15 (UPI) -- Smarty Jones moved a step closer to horse racing's ultimate prize Saturday, roaring to a record 11 1/2-length victory in the 129th Preakness Stakes.
With Stewart Elliott aboard, Smarty Jones covered the 1 3/16 miles in 1:55 2/5 to become the first unbeaten horse to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown since Seattle Slew won all three in 1977.
Smarty Jones has won all eight of his races. A tepid 4-1 favorite in the Kentucky Derby, he answered questions as to his level of competition with an impressive 2 3/4-length victory.
Smarty Jones was installed as the 8-5 morning-line favorite for the Preakness and was bet down to 3-5 by Saturday afternoon. He became the first favorite to win the Derby and Preakness since Spectacular Bid in 1979, paying $3.40, $3 and $2.60
Rock Hard Ten was second while Eddington was third.
Smarty Jones took the lead from Lion Heart as the horses came off the far turn and widened his lead to post the biggest win in Preakness history, topping the 10-length win by Survivor in the first race in 1873.