Smarty Jones, to return in Pennsylvania Derby.

Smarty Jones, to return in Pennsylvania Derby.

Barbara D. Livingston

Smarty Jones Update: 'He's Doing Super'

Despite published reports that Smarty Jones had suffered a low-grade fever and a slightly elevated white-blood count, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner is doing fine and is scheduled to work at the end of next week as he prepares for the Sept. 6 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II).

"He's doing super," said Bill Foster, stable foreman for trainer John Servis, who is attending the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky yearling sale. "We jogged him this (Sunday) morning and fully intend to work him most likely next Friday or Saturday. And that will be his first work in preparation for the Pennsylvania Derby."

As for the published reports about the colt's infection, Foster said, "No, we had some real bad weather and the track washed out, and we have so much time in between races that we can really afford the luxury of giving him a little extra time. There was no sense hurrying him. We've still got over 50 days until the Pennslyvania Derby, so there's plenty of time. He never really lost any conditioning. While he's been off, he's gained 100 to 150 pounds, which is good. He's filled out nice, and that's what we were looking for. He'll be ready for the Pennsylvania Derby, then the Pegasus (gr. II), and we'll be ready for the Breeders' Cup.

"Somebody started a rumor that he had a quarter crack. Some woman called and said it's all over the track. But he's got no more of a quarter crack than I do. You know how it goes."

A son of Elusive Quality, Smarty Jones has not worked since his second-place finish to Birdstone in the Belmont, his first career defeat following eight consecutive victories.