Grey Colt by Unbridled’s Song-Regal
Miss Copelan by Copelan
Owner: Fox Hill Farm (Rick Porter)
Trainer: John Servis
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.
will skip the Derby, fight again later this summer.
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
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
"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."