Charles J. Cella, owner of Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., flew to the Bensalem oval with his sons and key members of his management team to give the money to the Chapmans, who live part-time in New Hope.
It was earned by Smarty Jones for sweeping the Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby and Kentucky Derby.
Cella had offered the $5 million bonus to any horse that could win all three, in honor of Oaklawn Park's 100th anniversary.
Smarty Jones's single-race earnings in the Derby more than doubled the previous record involving a bonus of $2.6 million given to Spend a Buck in the Jersey Derby at Garden State Park on May 27, 1985.
After Spend a Buck won the Derby, owner Dennis Diaz skipped the Preakness to try and earn the $2 million bonus offered by Robert Brennan, then-president of Garden State, for a sweep of the Kentucky Derby and three races at the New Jersey track.
Somewhat coincidentally, Smarty Jones and Spend a Buck share the same exercise rider: Roberto Velez, who also is a licensed trainer at Philadelphia Park.
"We don't have a plan for the money," said Pat Chapman. "We want to talk to our family and decide what's best. We want to do the most good with it."
The $5 million bonus helped push the son of Elusive Quality's career earnings to $6,763,155 and earned him sixth position on the all-time North American earnings list.
In front of a large gathering of national media and racing dignitaries, Cella first presented Pat Chapman and Sherry Servis, wife of Smarty's trainer John Servis, gold pendants with a raised "100" created from diamonds on the front.
Then the big moment came.
"It's my highest honor, on behalf of the people of Oaklawn Park and everyone in Arkansas, to present you with..." Cella stopped, then fumbled in his jacket pocket, and finally pulled out an envelope while the crowd snickered.
"It is a very great day both for me and my family to give you this check for $5 million, which, combined with the purse money from the Kentucky Derby, brings the amount to $5,854,800, the biggest payday in thoroughbred history," he said, while handing Pat Chapman the check.
Cella compared the appeal of Smarty Jones to that of another equine hero, Secretariat.
Chapman, loving every minute of it, pretended to stuff the check down her shirt. Soon afterwards a huge cardboard facsimile of the check was produced, which Roy Chapman proudly held while the cameras clicked.
"When John (Servis) laid the map out for Smarty Jones this winter, the last place I wanted to go was Arkansas," said Chapman, founder of the Chapman Auto Group in the Philadelphia area. "I'm a Philly boy, but I was never treated any better than I was in Arkansas.
"This is very meaningful for me to be at Philadelphia Park to accept this check," said Pat Chapman. "We have had so much fun at Philly Park, especially my husband. I am so glad we ended up with John Servis and 'Stew Who (jockey Stewart Elliott).' This is important for horse racing and for Philadelphia Park."
Pat Chapman said her husband's poor health will preclude them from attending tomorrow's post position draw for the Preakness Stakes (G1) in Baltimore, Md., but that they plan to be at the race on Saturday.
DO THE MATTH ... Trainer Marty Ciresa drilled Vincent Papandrea's Little Matth Man four furlongs Monday morning in preparation for the his start in the Preakness, which will make him the second Philly Park-based horse to compete in the Maryland classic.
"We're going to run, we just don't know who the jockey is," said Ciresa, who indicated Monday he was having second thoughts about running the colt due to an expected field of at least 10.
Ciresa timed the son of Matty G in :47 flat for four panels, accomplished over a fast track with jockey Catalino Martinez in the irons.
"He did it all on his own," said Ciresa, a native of Englewood, N. J. "It was fantastic."
Ciresa was waiting to hear whether he could get Pat Day to ride Little Matth Man. He said he would ship to Pimlico Friday afternoon.