Friday, July 9, 2004
Updated: July 10, 7:29 PM ET
Derby winner's next race set for Pennsylvania Derby
By Richard Rosenblatt
Smarty Jones will return to the races in front of a hometown
crowd at Philadelphia Park.
Trainer John Servis made it official Friday: The Kentucky Derby
and Preakness winner has begun serious training for the
Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 6 -- the 3-year-old colt's first start
since his Triple Crown bid fell short in the Belmont Stakes on June
"We're not in a hurry to make any race," Servis said, "but
he's showing me he's ready to work so we'll start cranking him up.
He's right on target for the Pennsylvania Derby."
Servis said Smarty Jones' next workout will probably come in a
week to 10 days. "He's been doing great; it's time to start
bearing down," he said.
The decision eliminates the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on
Aug. 8 from consideration, and sets the stage for the biggest day
in Pennsylvania racing.
A record crowd of 30,000 is possible, says Philadelphia Park
vice president of operations Joe Wilson. The current mark is the
28,692 who showed up for the 1983 Pennsylvania Derby.
In May, a crowd of nearly 10,000 showed up at the track just to
watch Smarty gallop. The Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby is the state's
showcase event and the purse may be raised to $1 million from
Servis said his goal is to get Smarty Jones ready for the $4
million Breeders' Cup Classic at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie,
Texas, on Oct. 30.
The trainer said Smarty would make one more start before the
Classic, most likely in the Pegasus Stakes at the Meadowlands
sometime in September. The date of the race has yet to be set, so
Servis nominated Smarty to the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on
Sept. 25, "in case the Pegasus doesn't fall into place."
Smarty Jones, a Pennsylvania bred owned by Pat and Roy Chapman,
is based at Philadelphia Park. His first two starts were at the
track, with his last race there a 15-length romp in the Nursery
Stakes last Nov. 20.
Servis said the little red chestnut colt has simply been walking
and jogging the past month "to take some time off, and as the old
adage goes, 'sharpen your ax."'
Birdstone ran down Smarty Jones with a furlong to go in the
Belmont, spoiling the colt's bid to become the first Triple Crown
winner since Affirmed in 1978.
Despite the one-length loss, Smarty's popularity remains strong.
He was recently syndicated in a deal totaling about $48 million,
and will stand at stud at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky.