PHILADELPHIA, May 17 (UPI) -- The most popular athlete in sports-crazy Philadelphia is taking a couple of days off this week in his hometown, KYW-AM Radio reported Monday.
Smarty Jones, the smallish thoroughbred who already has won two jewels in this horse racing season's coveted Triple Crown returned to his Philadelphia Park Racetrack home Sunday afternoon after winning the Preakness in Baltimore the day before.
Other than the sound of news choppers overhead, park officials and trainer John Servis got what they wanted -- a quiet home return for Smarty Jones.
Racetrack spokesman Keith Jones says Servis and Smarty will now get some needed rest before they begin preparing the third jewel in the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes on June 5 in New York.
"Obviously the Triple Crown grind is really a great strain on the horses, and the preparation between the Derby and the Preakness is a two-week break. Now he gets a three-week window," said Jones.
Smarty and Servis were not expected to make a public appearance until, at the earliest, Wednesday of this week.
Before winning the Preakness, Smarty Jones won the Kentucky Derby.