Although Smarty had been diagnosed with a slight fever earlier this month, Servis said that was a minor problem and that the colt was galloping strongly in preparation for his first start after the layoff.
Trainer John Servis has informed officials at Philadelphia Park that Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones will not start in the Sept. 6, $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II)."John has told us that his training since coming back off the Triple Crown break has not progressed significantly enough to keep him on track for a start in the Pennsylvania Derby," said Philadelphia Park CEO Hal Handel. "His future plans are obviously now under discussion, but he will not be here for the Derby. We're tremendously disappointed in the development, but are extremely appreciative that the Chapmans, John, and all of Team Smarty allowed us to be part of the excitement that permeated this plant all spring."The Pennsylvania Derby was to have been the first start for Smarty since Birdstone upset his Triple Crown bid in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). In returning to his stable's home base for his comeback race, Smarty was expected to attract a large crowd to the Philadelphia racetrack.