By John Servis, the trainer of Smarty Jones, that he was joking when he said that the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness champ would come out of retirement for a match race against Afleet Alex, winner of this year's Preakness and Belmont Stakes. During a June 15 appearance on a Philadelphia radio station, Servis said Smarty, who was retired to stud last August because of an ankle injury, was ready to go back into training and that promoters should "get the money together." The challenge set the racing world a-buzz. But Servis was only horsing around, pranking a sports talk host who has criticized the decision to retire the horse. Smarty (left), who commands a $100,000 stud fee hasn't even been ridden since last August. He also seems quite taken with the breeding life: 92 of his 111 mares are in foal, an excellent fertility rate. Says Margaret Layton, spokesperson for Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky., "A year ago he had no idea female horses could be so interesting."
By the Yankees and the Mets, that they will build privately funded stadiums that will be ready for the 2009 season. A plan for a 45,000-seat ballpark adjacent to Shea Stadium was hastily put together to salvage New York's bid for the 2012 Games after a proposed Olympic stadium in Manhattan fell through. (The park would be expanded to 80,000 seats for the Games.) The Yankees' $800 million home will be built next to their current home in the Bronx. The team will be able to deduct construction costs and stadium-debt maintenance from their local revenue, significantly reducing the amount they must contribute to baseball's revenue sharing pool. Last year they contributed $60 million. "Clearly, the revenue-sharing rules were a factor in making the stadium affordable," said team president Randy Levine. "[Other teams] may be the ones who are most unhappy about this."