May 5, 2014 |
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.
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.
October 27, 2010 |
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.
April 30, 2010 |
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.
June 17, 2008 |
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.
October 18, 2006 |
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.
February 18, 2006 |
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.
June 16, 2005 |
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.
June 12, 2005 |
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.
May 21, 2005 |
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.