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Romans opens barn to Smith, Done Talking

Hamilton Smith and Done Talking will be afforded some good old-fashioned Southern hospitality when they arrive at Churchill Downs. Dale Romans, trainer of Donegal Racing’s Dullahan, has offered Smith a stall in his barn next week. “My brother (Goree) broke their colt, so they just thought it would be a good deal to do that. Dale actually called me and asked me to come into the barn. He called right after he found out I was eligible and said he would be highly disappointed if I didn’t. I told him ‘Well thank you sir, I’ll talk it over with my owners and see if they’ll consent to that.’ I mentioned it to them, and they said they’d be more than happy to go into Dale’s barn. We might even have the two colts side by side there.”

The Romans/Smith affiliation is a long-standing one, with Romans’ father, the late trainer Jerry Romans, a client of Goree Smith’s since the 1960s.

As for which stall his colt will be in come post time next Saturday, Smith is hoping to be somewhere right in the middle.

“I don’t want the inside or the auxiliary gate,” Smith said. “I’d like anywhere from 7 to 15, somewhere in there. His two best races have been inside when he’s come up in between horses.”

The unflappable Done Talking has given his trainer no reason to think he won’t handle the Derby’s chaotic atmosphere.

“So far he’s done everything in stride. I’ve been to New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania with him,” Smith said. “The paddock in Illinois is indoors, under the grandstand. They had 14 horses in the Illinois Derby and only had stalls for 13, so one had to saddle out in the middle. You had to walk around it while they were getting it saddled. It was awfully congested, but he never turned a hair; nothing’s bothered him yet. Everything’s lookin’ good.”

/Maggie Kimmitt

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