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Rockport Harbor
Grey Colt by Unbridled’s Song-Regal Miss Copelan by Copelan
Owner: Fox Hill Farm (Rick Porter)
Trainer: John Servis

Last Race: Lexington S. (G3) April 23, 2005
Next Race: Essex H. Feb 11 2006
Horsehat.com FastFact: Since 1990, two Remsen winners have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby, Go For Gin and Thunder Gulch.

ROCKY will skip the Derby, fight again later this summer.

As soon as Stewart Elliott got off Rockport Harbor and walked to trainer John Servis, the jockey shook his head.

There will be no Smarty Jones sequel at this year's Kentucky Derby. Servis and Elliott and their latest 3-year-old won't be at Churchill Downs in two weeks. Servis confirmed that right away.

Before Saturday's Lexington Stakes ended, Servis stood in the stands on a bitter cold, rainy afternoon, grimacing, his arms folded in front of him, before Rockport Harbor crossed the finish line at Keeneland.

What he saw through his binoculars early in the race - "he wasn't on the bit at all" - told him enough. To move on to the Kentucky Derby, Servis wanted a big race from Rockport Harbor. A sixth-place finish in a seven-horse field in a last-chance race on a sloppy track didn't quite qualify.

"We'll regroup and see if we can stir something up a little farther down the line. I'll get him home (to Philadelphia Park), and he'll tell me. ... I don't want to be going to the Derby just to be going to the Derby," said Servis, who also said owner Rick Porter of Wilmington immediately agreed when they talked after the race.

Servis didn't rule the later Triple Crown races in or out - the Preakness is May 21, the Belmont Stakes is June 11 - but he said Rockport Harbor's return could be as late as the Travers on Aug. 27 at Saratoga.

"Before I went (to the Derby) last year, I said I would never go unless I went with a horse that I thought had a shot. This horse - he's that horse. Unfortunately, the way the circumstances have fallen into place, for whatever reason, he's not supposed to be there."

Rockport Harbor usually eats up ground with his huge strides, but he never was better than fourth around the backstretch.

"He warmed up good, he was acting good, he broke good. Around the first turn, I knew," Elliott said, hurrying to the jockey's quarters. "I said, `He's struggling already.' He just never took to the track."

According to Servis, Elliott told him: "He was just spinning his wheels, switching leads back and forth. He couldn't get comfortable."

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