This may be the first and last horse racing post you'll ever see on this site. But there's something about the fascinating world of horse breeding that I can't resist.
As you know, when big-time race horses are finished their careers, they are put out to stud. It turns out their DNA is worth more than they are.
A few years ago, Smarty Jones was sent to Kentucky to frolic in the bluegrass fields… and have sex- not unlike the male protagonist in Nicholas Sparks books. This week, however, the stud (literally) returned to the Philly area, where he will continue to – you guessed it – screw.
In his final year in Kentucky, Smarty Jones was bred to less than 50 mares. By the time he is finished in 2011, he will have been bred to 200 mares.
"Smarty is a very, very fertile horse and a very good breeding horse," McEntee said. "You're in and out in 5 minutes. He loves his job. He's the type of horse that has to be bred every week during the offseason to keep everything flowing."
Stallion manager Danny Suttle, a very experienced 23-year-old, gave two visitors a tour of the stallion barn, showing off the holding area where the mares are readied, the huge breeding shed where the mares get jumped by the teaser stallions before the real stallion is led in to do his work.
Smarty shares a barn with Jump Start, E Dubai and Grand Reward.
"Smarty's a rock star," Suttle said. "If he ran the Belmont as fast as he breeds, we'd have a Triple Crown winner."
I sort of envision Pat Burrell's life being something like this.
There's more: Not only will Smarty breed – does math – 150 more times in 2011, but that total will also include 100 horses from Uruguay, where our stud will head to in July for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season (winter there). I'm going to go ahead and guess this has something to do with dark, cold nights and romantic fireside escapades, but I could be wrong.
The purpose of the trip is to match Smarty with more willing partners and double his output.
"His fertility is unbelievable," McEntee said. "I think we had one or two horses come back not in foal first go. The national average is 60 percent."
After breeding, they know within 15 days if a mare is in foal. The gestation period is 11 months.
If the demand is there, a Ghost Ridge stallion breeds three times a day – 9 a.m., 1 p.m. 7 p.m.
"A stallion needs 4 hours to recuperate," Suttle said.
Smarty is efficient, but not much for foreplay.
"It's 6 seconds from start to finish," Suttle said. "Smarty will just walk away – it's all about me. Other horses will half fall asleep."
Good God, he's got the seed strength of Schwarzenegger and the stamina of a Jason Biggs. A selfish stud, he is.
Smarty Jones: Better than you.