Rockport Harbor Sails to Victory in Nashua Stakes

Rockport Harbor Sails to Victory in Nashua Stakes
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese
Rockport Harbor sails to victory in the Nashua Stakes.
Edited from NYRA reports
After his victory earlier aboard Summer Raven in the Tempted Stakes (gr. III), jockey Stewart Elliott completed a sweep of the Election Day features at Aqueduct when led Rockport Harbor to a win in the Nashua Stakes (gr. III).

Rockport Harbor beat Defer by 6 1/4 lengths in the $107,200 Nashua 2-year-olds. Rockport Harbor covered one mile in 1:36 3/5 and paid $3.80.

Rockport Harbor, who used Lasix for the first time, set fractions of :22 4/5, :45 2/5. 1:10 and pulled away to win the mile race in 1:36 3/5. Rockport Harbor won by 6 1/4 lengths and paid $3.80, $2.50, and $2.30 as the favorite. Defer returned $3.40 and $2.80, and Better Than Bonds paid $2.60 to show.

Rockport Harbor, a gray Kentucky-bred colt by Unbridled's Song out of Regal Miss Copelan (Copelan), earned $65,700 for Fox Hill Farm. He is now 3-for-3 with earnings of $90,300. He was bred by Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and Taylor Made Farm Inc. and sold for $470,000 at the 2003 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

The colt has the same trainer-jockey combination that propelled Smarty Jones to victories in this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and the Preakness (gr. I) before finishing second in the Belmont Stakes (Gr. 1).

"There are not a lot of comparisons between him and Smarty Jones," Servis said. "Smarty is a good, high energy, fast horse. The way this horse was in the paddock today, that is how he is for everything that he does. His big asset is that he has such a huge stride and that he covers a lot of ground."

"It is always nice to have a good horse to ride," Elliott said. "So far he has done everything we have asked him."

Servis plans to allow Rockport Harbor time to mature before returning to the track for a 3-year-old campaign.

"I think now we will start looking for a long-term goal and getting him ready for next year," Servis said. "He needs to put some weight on and he has a lot of growing up to do."

Servis suggested that Rockport Harbor may follow Smarty Jones' 3-year-old route through Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., with a possible start in the Southwest Stakes.

"I was really impressed," Servis said. "This was a good test for him. There were some nice horses in here. The way he did it, to me, was very impressive."

(Chart, Equibase)

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