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John Servis

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SPORTS
April 28, 2004 | By Mike Jensen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Early yesterday morning, John Servis was in a hurry to get to Churchill Downs. But the Philadelphia Park-based trainer of Derby darling Smarty Jones couldn't leave his rented Kentucky home until he found the only set of house keys. After an exhaustive search, his wife, Sherry, finally unearthed them . . . stuck in the front door, left there overnight. "The pressure must be building," Servis said. That would be the only sign so far. Even longtimers here are commenting on how one of the coolest guys on the grounds going into Saturday's race seems to be a first-time Derby trainer and Bensalem resident who yesterday wore a blue cap with the words Pennsylvania's Smarty Jones, The Real Philadelphia Flyer.
SPORTS
March 17, 2005 | By Craig Donnelly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
One year ago, everything John Servis planned at Oaklawn Park worked to perfection for his star pupil, Smarty Jones. The Philadelphia Park-based colt captured the Southwest, Rebel, and Arkansas Derby before heading to Louisville to win the Kentucky Derby and going to Baltimore to take the Preakness. His Arkansas victories in the Rebel and Arkansas Derby were combined with his Kentucky Derby triumph to gain a $5 million bonus offered by Oaklawn Park in its centennial year of racing.
SPORTS
April 25, 2004 | FROM INQUIRER WIRE SERVICES
Smarty Jones left no doubt he liked the Churchill Downs racing surface yesterday morning by working five furlongs in 58 seconds, the fastest of 34 workouts at the distance over a track labeled "good. " Smarty Jones finished six furlongs in 1 minute, 11.20 seconds. "I am tickled to death," Philadelphia Park-based trainer John Servis said. "I think he likes the track. I am really glad we decided to come in a day early and let him gallop over the track. He handled it so well. He was ready for a work.
SPORTS
December 7, 2012
Res Judicata, son of Smarty Jones, will attempt to become the first of Smarty's offspring to win the $75,000 Pennsylvania Nursery for juveniles on Saturday at Parx. Bred and owned by Patricia Chapman, Res Judicata wears the same Someday Farm colors made famous by Smarty Jones. He made his debut July 12 at Penn National and came from off the pace to win at five furlongs as the 4-5 betting favorite. After finishing fourth in his second race, Res Judicata pulled away impressively three weeks later to win the $75,000 Chris Elser Memorial.
SPORTS
May 31, 2004 | THE INQUIRER STAFF
Smarty Jones jogged a mile at Philadelphia Park yesterday during his workout in preparation for next weekend's Belmont Stakes in New York. "He's just doing great, back in the barn bucking and playing," said trainer John Servis, adding that the undefeated Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner would probably jog 1 1/2 miles - the Belmont distance - today. Servis said the colt could arrive in New York on Wednesday morning before the draw for Saturday's final leg of the Triple Crown.
SPORTS
May 25, 2004 | By Mike Jensen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A psychic wanted to come and lay her hands on the horse. "I kind of deleted that message," said Sherry Servis, whose husband, John, trains Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones. She has nothing against psychics, Sherry Servis said last week. But who predicted all this? Screening her husband's calls for a couple of weeks, she never knows what the next one will bring. There are many book and movie proposals. Their standard response: "Call us back after the Belmont.
NEWS
June 15, 2004
TOP 10 reasons why Smarty Jones didn't win the Triple Crown: 10. Spent a sleepless night thinkng about how he'd soon become a stud. 9. Depressed by his lack of Clydesdale background, he could never become the "King of Beers. " 8. The protective cup that jockey Stewart Elliott wore tickled Smarty more than in the past. 7. He was worried that he'd become another whiny arrogant Jeff Gordon. 6. He was experiencing "sympathy pains" for his owner and had trouble breathing.
SPORTS
May 23, 2004 | By Mike Jensen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In the winner's circle at the Kentucky Derby, Blase DeRosa saw something fall from Smarty Jones and assumed it was a rose, since the horse's saddle had just been taken off, replaced by the blanket of roses awarded to the Derby winner. But this was no flower. "I looked at it, wiped it off," said DeRosa, a good friend and neighbor of Smarty Jones' trainer, John Servis, in Bensalem. "I put it in my back pocket. I knew it had to come off the horse. " It was a Sacred Heart scapular medal.
SPORTS
May 5, 2004 | By Mike Jensen and Craig Donnelly INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Smarty Jones arrived back at Philadelphia Park, and a TV news helicopter hovered in the night sky. Three Baltimore television stations, preparing for his presumed appearance at the May 15 Preakness Stakes, filmed his van leaving Baltimore-Washington International Airport. One escorted the Kentucky Derby winner all the way to Bensalem. Just off the first plane flight of his life, a charter with a single equine passenger, Smarty Jones got back to his home racetrack last night a little before 9 o'clock.
SPORTS
May 1, 2005 | By Mike Jensen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Billy Valentine already had struck a deal with Smarty Jones' connections to write the authorized story of last year's Kentucky Derby winner. Valentine thought it was a pretty good idea when co-owner Pat Chapman suggested he read some of the letters written to Smarty. "I didn't know there were 1.2 million letters," he said. He started reading them, all of them, he said, boxes and boxes of them, in the Chapmans' house. They also filled up an entire room in John Servis' basement.
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SPORTS
May 5, 2014 | BY DICK JERARDI, Daily News Staff Writer jerardd@phillynews.com
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A decade ago, Churchill Downs was in the midst of a major renovation. A few hours before the 2004 Kentucky Derby, it really looked as if the world might end - lightning, thunder, a deluge. The area was quickly becoming a construction zone/flood zone. John Servis was waiting out the final hours in the barn, not far from the stall that housed the unbeaten Pennsylvania-bred Smarty Jones owned by Roy and Pat Chapman. The Philadelphia Park-based trainer had guided the Arkansas Derby to this moment flawlessly.
SPORTS
December 7, 2012
Res Judicata, son of Smarty Jones, will attempt to become the first of Smarty's offspring to win the $75,000 Pennsylvania Nursery for juveniles on Saturday at Parx. Bred and owned by Patricia Chapman, Res Judicata wears the same Someday Farm colors made famous by Smarty Jones. He made his debut July 12 at Penn National and came from off the pace to win at five furlongs as the 4-5 betting favorite. After finishing fourth in his second race, Res Judicata pulled away impressively three weeks later to win the $75,000 Chris Elser Memorial.
SPORTS
October 27, 2010 | By DICK JERARDI, jerardd@phillynews.com
Smarty Jones has been a major attraction in Kentucky horse country since he arrived at Three Chimneys Farm in August 2004. But the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, who was born in Chester County and stabled at what was then known as Philadelphia Park, will be coming back to Pennsylvania in the next few weeks. The now 9-year-old horse will stand stud at Ghost Ridge Farm in York in 2011. Pat Chapman and her late husband Roy owned Smarty. After he was retired, they sold 50 percent of the horse to a syndicate of breeders.
SPORTS
April 30, 2010 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - When trainer Tom Amoss found out last year he would be working with a colt sired by Smarty Jones, he couldn't wait for the van to arrive at his Churchill Downs barn. "Smarty was such a good-looking and refined horse and obviously very smart," Amoss said Thursday as he sorted out training schedules in a small stable office just a few yards from his horses. "I had worked as an analyst for the Derby the year he won and he was my pick. I visited [trainer] John Servis the day after the race just to meet Smarty.
SPORTS
June 17, 2008 | By Mike Jensen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In yesterday's sixth race at Hip?dromo Camarero, a racetrack just outside San Juan in Puerto Rico, a filly named La Equivocada finished sixth in a five-furlong race, seven lengths behind the winner. The result aside, La Equivocada was first at something - she is the first Smarty Jones baby to make it to the racetrack. According to Jockey Club records, there are 88 offspring in the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner's first crop. In the coming months, they will start racing all over the country.
SPORTS
October 18, 2006 | By Mike Jensen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In the last couple of years, John Servis has been approached by various horse-ownership groups, and he's usually been wary. "Some of them, I felt like they were just interested in using my name," Servis said yesterday. That's understandable, since among other top thoroughbreds, Servis trained Smarty Jones, the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner. Servis, working out of Philadelphia Park, became a public figure during that run. When Billy Koch approached him recently, Servis got a much better feeling.
SPORTS
February 18, 2006 | By Mike Jensen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Roy Chapman, 79, the owner of a group of Philadelphia car dealerships who became famous late in his life for owning a horse named Smarty Jones, died yesterday morning at his home in Doylestown of complications from emphysema. Mr. Chapman may be best remembered for scaring a national television audience watching the 2004 Kentucky Derby. Viewers saw this man in a wheelchair, tethered to a steady oxygen supply, grab at his heart and gasp for breath right after Smarty Jones won the race.
SPORTS
June 16, 2005 | By Mike Jensen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The world - or at least Philadelphia - wants a match race between Afleet Alex and Smarty Jones, so yesterday morning, John Servis gave us one, "announcing" that his horse would likely be coming out of retirement to take on the new hero. "Let me tell you right now," Servis, the trainer of Smarty Jones, said on WIP-AM (610). "I talked to the Chapmans twice in the last two days" - referring to Smarty Jones' owners Roy and Patricia Chapman. "We're going to do it. We're going to put him back in training in about two weeks.
NEWS
June 12, 2005 | By Mike Jensen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A year ago, the circus came to town, pitching its tent outside Barn 5 at Belmont Park. The day before the 2004 Belmont Stakes, a country singer - a friend of Willie Nelson's - hawked a Smarty Jones song. Smarty's trainer, John Servis, came out from the barn to meet five nuns from Little Sisters of the Poor, who brought healing relics from the tomb of their founder in France and a "God Speed Smarty Jones" sign. At 6:12 a.m., a row of sports photographers shot away as a squirrel climbed up on a table outside the barn and tried to push a carton of Dunkin' Donuts to the grass.
SPORTS
May 21, 2005 | By Mike Jensen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
When did the whole Smarty Jones phenomenon really start to steamroll? When did that horse start to transcend his sport? The way John Servis sees it, it wasn't when he won the Kentucky Derby. No question, a horse from Philadelphia Park winning the Derby got everybody's attention. But life really changed two weeks later - on this Saturday, last year - when the 3-year-old trained by Servis won the 129th Preakness Stakes by the largest margin ever, in his best race ever. "It was funny, after the Derby, he was the story, everybody was writing about him, and a lot of people were talking about him, a lot of people wanted him to be that horse," Servis said.
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