Keeping Up with the Jones

The Triple Crown thunders to the finish line

SAT 6/5

"Almost invincible" is how Sam Houston Race Park's Martha Claussen describes Smarty Jones, the three-year-old colt that has created more stir than a mint julep swizzle stick on Kentucky Derby day. Having won the first and second legs of the Triple Crown (the Derby and then the Preakness Stakes), Smarty Jones exhibits dominance not seen in decades. He is undefeated in his career and won the Preakness by 11 and one-half lengths. This success has earned him hero status in the racing world: More than 8,000 people watched him train one Saturday in May. So how rare is a Triple Crown? Only 11 horses have won it in more than 129 years, so the feat is more special than pitching a perfect game in baseball. Knowing this, Sam Houston Race Park is offering every patron a $2 "win" wager on Smarty Jones. At post time, all 1,500 televisions will show the Belmont. Advice: Go. The winning ticket may pay just pennies, but you will have yourself a piece of history. Of course, there's always a chance…Nah, let's not think about that. Post time: 5:38 p.m. Saturday, June 5. 7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West. For information, call 281-807-7223 or visit www.shrp.com. $1 to $3. -- Eric Norvell

Atari Riot

Forget the naysayers -- you know video gaming is a sport. Remember the bike ride to play Frogger at the 7-Eleven? Or the intense thumb training it took for your high score on the Charlie's Angels pinball machine? Or, hell, the back work needed for an all-night Xbox fest? Whether you kill strangers online via Halo or still carry quarters to the quickie mart, you gotta compete at the Houston Area Arcade Group Expo. Prep your joystick hand to fire off on more than 60 classic video games and pinball machines. You can win cash prizes or even the chance to nab the game starring the first sex symbol of the Game Geek Age: Ms. Pac-Man. 6 p.m. Friday, June 4; and 10 a.m. Saturday, June 5. Holiday Inn, 14996 Northwest Freeway. For information, call 713-939-9955 or visit www.arcadecenter.com. $12 to $20. -- Steven Devadanam

 
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