John Servis

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Paths Plotted for Top Runners

Hangovers weren't the only thing to come out of the Eclipse Awards dinner in Beverly Hills, Calif., Jan. 24. Various connections gave voice to their private plans as to where they hope to run prominent horses in the coming months

2004 Eclipse 3YO Male: Smarty Jones

It took a while for it to sink in, but the magnitude of Smarty Jones' accomplishments in 2004 finally hit trainer John Servis like a ton of bricks. "Gosh, I won the Kentucky Derby!" he said to himself while driving recently with jockey Stewart Elliott.

Servis Receives TPA's Big Sport Award

Trainer John Servis, who had the ride of a lifetime last spring with Smarty Jones, received the Big Sport of Turfdom award from the Turf Publicists of America Monday afternoon in Beverly Hills, Calif.

ESPN Wins Eclipse Award for 'Smarty' Documentary

  • News

ESPN has won the Eclipse Award for National Television – Features for its documentary "Smarty Jones: America's Horse," which aired on Oct. 31, 2004, on ESPN and ESPN HD, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 4.

Big Sport of Turfdom Awarded to John Servis

John Servis, the Philadelphia Park-based trainer who nearly guided Smarty Jones to the Triple Crown while at the same time accommodating a throng of media following them, has been named the winner of the 2004 Big Sport of Turdom Award presented by the Turf Publicists of America.

Unbeaten Rockport Bags 'Grocer in Remsen

The clash of undefeated 2-year olds in Saturday's Remsen (gr. II) lived up to billing when Rockport Harbor dug in to earn a neck victory over Galloping Grocer in a stretch battle that drew a rare shout of applause from the Aqueduct grandstand.

Haskin Earns Red Smith Writing Award

  • News

Three repeat winners, including The Blood-Horse senior correspondent Steve Haskin, and one newcomer collected divisional honors in Churchill Downs' 22nd annual 2004 Red Smith Kentucky Derby Writing Contest, a competition that honors the finest print media coverage of this year's famed "Run for the Roses."

Smarty Jones Targets Pa. Derby; Purse Hike Possible

With the Aug. 8 Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) eliminated from his plans, Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones now sets his sights on the Sept. 6 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), the purse for which could be raised from $750,000 to $1 million.

Be Like Smarty

  • News

Move over Michael Jordan, it seem everyone now wants to be like Smarty Jones. Several Thoroughbred owners and breeders in recent weeks have used 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, both grade I, winner Smarty Jones as inspiration for naming their own fillies and colts, perhaps hoping his name had something to do with his ability and worldwide popularity.

Smarty Returns to the Track; Final Days With Butterscotch

It's been 20 days since the Belmont Stakes (gr. I); 20 quiet days for Smarty Jones, who has only been walking the shed since his valiant, but unsuccessful quest to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner. On Friday, Smarty paid his first visit back to the track, stretching his legs in a one-mile jog.

Smarty Jones May Return in Haskell; Pa. Derby On Tap

After talking to owner Roy Chapman Monday morning, trainer John Servis has mapped out a tentative plan for Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones that includes the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), Pegasus Handicap (gr. III), and finally the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).

Shopping Smarty: Chapmans in Kentucky

Even though Smarty Jones fell just a length shy of winning the Visa Triple Crown last Saturday, the hunt for the breeding rights for the son of Elusive Quality continues. Smarty's breeder/owners, Roy and Patricia Chapman are currently visiting with Kentucky breeding operations today (Thursday) and Friday.

Smarty Jones Crew Returns to Churchill Saturday

Six weeks after the thrilling victory by Smarty Jones in the 130th running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), owners Pat and Roy Chapman and trainer John Servis make a triumphant return to Churchill Downs on Saturday to be honored for their Derby win and their exciting run at the Visa Triple Crown.

Team Smarty to Party at Churchill Downs for TRF

Smarty Jones' breeder/owners Roy and Patricia Chapman and trainer John Servis will not only celebrate their Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victory at Churchill Downs on Saturday, they'll also be supporting a good cause as they attend the third annual "Out to Pasture" Party.

Servis to Press: It's Time to Dance

At the daily press conference outside Barn 5 at Belmont Park Friday morning, trainer John Servis' opening remarks were "I feel real good." He acknowledged that Smarty Jones was ready for his bid for the Triple Crown on Saturday and said the undefeated runner "knows it's time to dance."

Smarty Ready For Friday's Big Work

Smarty Jones, who stands on the threshold of Triple Crown immortality, will have his one and only all-important work for the mile and a half Belmont Stakes (gr. I) Friday morning at 5:30. Trainer John Servis said he's not looking for anything quick, and is anticipating the colt will go between 1:28 and 1:29.

Servis: Foot Bruise Didn't Hinder 'Smarty'

Trainer John Servis revealed at a press conference at Philadelphia Park Wednesday that Someday Farm's undefeated Smarty Jones suffered a foot bruise before the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but it quickly cleared up and the colt was able to maintain a normal training schedule.

With the Flyers Gone, It's All Smarty; Eddington Sharp in Work

John Servis is a longtime Philadelphia Flyers fan, and he "wasn't happy" to see his hockey team eliminated in the Stanley Cup playoffs Saturday night. Although he now has Philly's number one sports franchise in Smarty Jones, and the almost-fanatical support of the city and all of Pennsylvania, Servis said he's still not feeling any added pressure.

In Quest of a Crown: What Works Best?

As trainer John Servis points Smarty Jones toward his Visa Triple Crown quest in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), here's a glance back on the workout schedules for the Derby/Preakness winners, starting with the most recent ones, since 1969. That year seemed a good time to start because it marked the first year that a Derby/Preakness winner went into the Belmont unbeaten.

See Servis' Smarty Comments Live on HRTV

HorseRacing TV (HRTV) will give Thoroughbred racing fans a front row seat on the Smarty Jones bandwagon with special live coverage of trainer John Servis' news conferences on Friday May 21, Saturday May 22, and Monday, May 24.

Servis Likes What He Sees

Trainer John Servis said that he's seeing a side of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones this week that he hasn't seen since before the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and he likes it. "He's getting a little bit of an attitude and I like him that," Servis said Friday morning on the backside of Pimlico Race Course.

Smarty Wows 'Em at Philly

From tots in strollers to old men in wheel chairs, Smarty Jones fans showed up at Philadelphia Park in full force Saturday morning to watch their hero gallop and receive accolades by local and state dignitaries.

Smarty Strong in First Solo Gallop

Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones had his first solo gallop at Philadelphia Park Friday morning, and from all indications, the colt has bounced out of the Derby in great shape and is ready for another big effort in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).

Smarty Expected at Pimlico in a Week; Imperialism May Go

Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones is expected to ship to Baltimore either next Wednesday or Thursday for the 129th Preakness Stakes. The undefeated colt paid his first visit to the racetrack since his victory when he jogged at Philadelphia Park Wednesday morning.

Philly Faithful

By Tom LaMarra -- "The Chapmans are people with great hearts, the kind of people that really make the business go. If we didn't have people like them, we wouldn't have a Derby."

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Along Came Jones

The moment of truth is at hand, as several Kentucky Derby (gr. I) scenarios are played out over the next couple of days. At Churchill Downs, the biggest activity Friday morning was trying to dodge the rain. But the miserable weather was brightened momentarily by the presence of the unbeaten Smarty Jones.

'Smarty Jones Day' Set for May 1 in Keystone State

It's not everyday a horse based in the Keystone state earns national recognition. So given the accomplishments of Smarty Jones, the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission has taken steps to honor the undefeated 3-year-old colt who is pointing to the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Spring Blossoms

By Ray Paulick -- This year's Derby promises to be especially interesting because with all but a couple of the major preps in the books, there is no clear-cut favorite.

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