Favored Round Pond pounced on the leaders inside the final furlong and pulled away for her fourth straight win in the $250,000 Acorn (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park Saturday.
Round Pond, who has been out of action since winning the April 15 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, highlights a solid field of six 3-year-old fillies entered in Saturday's $250,000 Acorn (gr. I), going one mile at Belmont Park.
Rockport Harbor, who finished sixth in Saturday's Lexington Stakes (gr. II) as the 3-5 favorite, emerged from the race in "great physical condition" but will no longer be pointed toward the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) or other two legs of the Triple Crown, according to owner Rick Porter.
A field of eight 3-year-olds will go to the post Saturday in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II), the last chance to pick up significant graded earnings before the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). The standout in the field, 6-5 morning-line favorite Rockport Harbor, doesn't need the earnings, but definitely needs the race to make it to Churchill Downs for the first Saturday in May.
Fox Hill Farm's Rockport Harbor, trained by John Servis, looms as the likely favorite for Saturday's $325,000 Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) at Keeneland Race Course.
Fox Hill Farm's Rockport Harbor arrived at Keeneland Sunday night to begin preparations for his next scheduled start in Saturday's $325,000 Coolmore Lexington (gr. II), the final prep for the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Rapidly developing Round Pond accelerated away from the leaders in upper stretch to record an impressive victory in Friday's $250,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park for trainer John Servis and jockey Stewart Elliott.
Fox Hill Farm's Rockport Harbor, who is still on target for the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), worked seven furlongs in 1:25 3/5 at Oaklawn Park Sunday, after which, trainer John Servis said the colt would pass the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and point instead to the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) a week later.
Rick Porter, owner of Rockport Harbor, said that although the colt is doing much better after suffering his third setback of the year, he is 50-50 at best to make the April 16 Arkansas Derby (gr. II), and that the April 23 Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland appears to be the more likely spot at this time."
Trainer John Servis made a phone call Monday morning, a phone call he didn't really want to make. Servis called the Keeneland racing office to nominate Rockport Harbor to the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) scheduled for April 23 at the Lexington, Ky. track.
Murphy's Law continues to plague Fox Hill Farm's Rockport Harbor, who now has come down with an undetermined ailment, forcing trainer John Servis to cancel his scheduled work Saturday and putting his status for the April 16 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) in question.
Ghostzapper, the powerful winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), led the list of 2004 award winners announced by the New York Turf Writers' Association March 23.
The picture above the month of November in the 2005 New York Racing Association wall calendar shows the stretch run of last year's Remsen Stakes (gr. II) in which Rockport Harbor held off Galloping Grocer to complete his 2-year old season undefeated. Notable about the photo is the wide smile on the face of Rockport Harbor's jockey, Stewart Elliott.
It was an eventful Friday morning for Rebel Stakes (gr. III) contender Rockport Harbor, who managed to dodge a loose horse while out for his morning jog.
The March 19 Rebel Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park promises to deliver some major fireworks when Afleet Alex, Rockport Harbor, and Greater Good lock horns in the 1 1/16-mile race, which drew a field of six.
Saturday's $250,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. III) from Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., will be televised on ESPNEWS at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Fox Hill Farm's Rockport Harbor, who has been battling foot bruises this winter, apparently has recovered from his latest setback, and all systems are go for Saturday's Rebel Stakes (gr. III), where he'll meet Afleet Alex and Greater Good.
Just when it looked as if Rockport Harbor's luck had run out and he'd be unable to make the March 19 Rebel Stakes (gr. III), trainer John Servis, while still cautious, said the foot looked much better Sunday.
Rockport Harbor's rocky road to Louisville continued Saturday when trainer John Servis announced that the undefeated colt has re-aggravated the foot bruise he suffered on Feb. 20. Although he still is on schedule for the March 19 Rebel Stakes (gr. III), Servis won't know for sure until Sunday morning.
Fox Hill Farm's undefeated Rockport Harbor, who suffered a foot bruise on Feb. 20, has shown dramatic improvement and is already back jogging, the colt's owner, Rick Porter, said Tuesday.
Rockport Harbor, unbeaten in four starts and the future book favorite for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), is being treated for a bruised left front foot, leaving his planned start in the $250,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. III) March 19 on hold.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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' vacation ends soon as the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner will begin serious workouts early next week in preparation for the Sept. 6 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park.
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.
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.
Ending weeks of speculation, Roy and Pat Chapman announced Friday afternoon that their 3-year-old superstar Smarty Jones will stand at Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky. at the end of his racing career.
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.
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).
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.
This year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in the end was not about two jockeys ganging up on Smarty Jones. It wasn't about the ride by Stewart Elliott. It was all about class, as was the entire Triple Crown.
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.
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.
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."
Trainer John Servis was the guest speaker and the theme was "Achieving in Spite of Adversity" as Faust Elementary School in Bensalem, Pa., located across the street from Philadelphia Park, celebrated "Smarty Jones Day" in high style.
Smarty Jones and just about anyone or anything connected to him have proven hot commodities in anticipation of a Visa Triple Crown Challenge bid June 5 at Belmont Park.
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.
If Smarty Jones wins the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and the Visa Triple Crown Challenge, it may be because he has had a little extra help from the "Man upstairs."
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.
Undefeated Visa Triple Crown Challenge hopeful Smarty Jones galloped at Philadelphia Park the morning of May 25 and was pronounced by trainer John Servis as ready for his May 28 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.
You had to see it to believe it. Smarty Jones' open-house gallop at Philadelphia Park Saturday morning drew between 8,500 and 10,000 fans, some of whom showed up as early as 5 a.m. Once the doors opened just before 8, it was a mad dash to secure choice spots along the rail.
The more trainer John Servis has thought about it the more he's leaning toward shipping Smarty Jones to Belmont Park as close to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) as possible. It had been reported that the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner would van up next Wednesday, but those plans have changed.
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.
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.
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