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By Aaron Dodson and The Baltimore Sun | May 15, 2014
Mounted next to Stall 40 in the Preakness Stakes barn at Pimlico Race Course is a three-foot plaque emblazoned by black-eyed susan flowers. Each year, Stall 40 houses the Kentucky Derby winning thoroughbred, and the adjacent wooden sign commemorates the horses that ended their stay at Pimlico with a Preakness victory. If trainers were immortalized on the plague, John Servis would find his name near the bottom, next to one of the latest celebrated horses. Ten years ago, Servis trained Smarty Jones to wins in the 2004 Derby and Preakness before just falling short of claiming the Triple Crown with a second-place finish at the Belmont Stakes.
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By Aaron Dodson and The Baltimore Sun | May 15, 2014
Mounted next to Stall 40 in the Preakness Stakes barn at Pimlico Race Course is a three-foot plaque emblazoned by black-eyed susan flowers. Each year, Stall 40 houses the Kentucky Derby winning thoroughbred, and the adjacent wooden sign commemorates the horses that ended their stay at Pimlico with a Preakness victory. If trainers were immortalized on the plague, John Servis would find his name near the bottom, next to one of the latest celebrated horses. Ten years ago, Servis trained Smarty Jones to wins in the 2004 Derby and Preakness before just falling short of claiming the Triple Crown with a second-place finish at the Belmont Stakes.
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SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | May 31, 2004
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- When Joe Servis was 16 and embarking upon a life in racing, his father, Fred, a Philadelphia milkman, put his arm around him and said: "There's a lot I haven't been able to give you. But I've given you my name. Don't do anything to disgrace it." Servis, 72, recalls the moment haltingly, choking back emotion. Even though Servis was going to the racetrack instead of back to his junior year in high school, his father supported him. Servis never forgot. Years later, when Joe Servis' son John was 14 and stubbornly committed to becoming a horse trainer, the senior Servis never wavered.
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By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun | May 14, 2010
Funny Cide's owners swear they were never especially superstitious. At least not until the former high school buddies opted to save on transportation money by renting a school bus to take them from their hotel to Churchill Downs in May 2003. After their long shot gelding won the Kentucky Derby that day, they rented exactly the same sort of iconic yellow buses to transport them to the Preakness (which they won) and the Belmont (they lost). "We were going to ride those school buses as long as they would take us," co-owner Jack Knowlton said this week.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | May 15, 2004
The first words out of John Servis' mouth on national television after the Kentucky Derby were: "Absolutely masterful ride. Unbelievable ride by Stewart." Stewart Elliott had ridden the Servis-trained Smarty Jones to a 2 3/4 -length victory in the country's biggest race. Friends for more than two decades, Servis and Elliott became the first trainer-jockey combination to win the Derby in their first try since Marylanders Bud Delp and Ron Franklin with Spectacular Bid in 1979. "For two friends in the same business to come up with a horse and be able to go and win the Kentucky Derby, that's pretty amazing," said Elliott, who will ride Smarty Jones today in the Preakness.
SPORTS
By Peter Schmuck and Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF | May 16, 2004
Jockey Stewart Elliott looked over his shoulder as Smarty Jones ran away from the Preakness field yesterday, hoping to see Rock Hard Ten and Eddington drop away as he charged to a record victory in the second leg of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown. "There was nobody in front of me," Elliott said. "I was concerned if anybody was coming from behind. Once I asked him, we straightened up and I asked him, I just exploded. Then I looked back and saw nobody was even coming, so it was going to be pretty easy."
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | May 7, 2004
John Servis, trainer of Smarty Jones, said yesterday that "all systems are go" for the Preakness after the Kentucky Derby winner trained in the morning at Philadelphia Park. Smarty Jones trained in the company of his pony, as he did the previous morning. Today, Servis said, "I'm going to turn him loose and let him gallop without the pony." Once Smarty Jones begins galloping, Servis said he'll have a better feel for how the undefeated colt emerged from the Derby. Servis said that Smarty Jones is "dead fit" and that he doesn't plan to breeze him before the Preakness.
SPORTS
June 8, 2008
John Servis, trainer of Smarty Jones, the thoroughbred who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but lost the Belmont Stakes in 2004, made some thought-provoking comments about his horse ("Not left in dust," June 3). Servis said his horse didn't settle down, and when jockey Stewart Elliott tried to pull him back, the horse "grabbed that bit and went some more." A similar incident, not quite like Smarty Jones' but ending in the same disappointment, took place in 1979 when 19-year-old Ron Franklin missed the Triple Crown aboard Spectacular Bid. When I interviewed Franklin for an article in The Valley Times in October 2004, he was forthright in his response to my question about what went wrong.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | May 8, 2004
The Preakness could showcase the top three finishers in the Kentucky Derby, as well as the Derby's morning-line favorite. Kristin Mulhall, trainer of Imperialism, a closing third in the Derby, said the 16-race veteran will likely run in the Preakness after returning to the track at Hollywood Park and training aggressively. Imperialism would join Derby winner Smarty Jones, Derby runner-up Lion Heart and the Derby's morning-line favorite, The Cliff's Edge, who finished fifth after losing both of his front shoes, in the Preakness starting gate.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | May 6, 2004
BENSALEM, Pa. - Smarty Jones has returned to Philadelphia Park to a hero's welcome, with his next mission clearly defined: the Preakness in nine days at Pimlico. With news helicopters flying overhead and a police escort for his oversized van, the Kentucky Derby winner arrived late Tuesday at his home track north of Philadelphia, and yesterday he returned to the track for the first time since his smashing victory in Kentucky. As hundreds of media members and track workers lined the outside rail, Smarty Jones walked a half mile and jogged a half mile for the start of what will be a crucial week and a half of Preakness preparation.
SPORTS
June 8, 2008
John Servis, trainer of Smarty Jones, the thoroughbred who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but lost the Belmont Stakes in 2004, made some thought-provoking comments about his horse ("Not left in dust," June 3). Servis said his horse didn't settle down, and when jockey Stewart Elliott tried to pull him back, the horse "grabbed that bit and went some more." A similar incident, not quite like Smarty Jones' but ending in the same disappointment, took place in 1979 when 19-year-old Ron Franklin missed the Triple Crown aboard Spectacular Bid. When I interviewed Franklin for an article in The Valley Times in October 2004, he was forthright in his response to my question about what went wrong.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | May 31, 2004
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- When Joe Servis was 16 and embarking upon a life in racing, his father, Fred, a Philadelphia milkman, put his arm around him and said: "There's a lot I haven't been able to give you. But I've given you my name. Don't do anything to disgrace it." Servis, 72, recalls the moment haltingly, choking back emotion. Even though Servis was going to the racetrack instead of back to his junior year in high school, his father supported him. Servis never forgot. Years later, when Joe Servis' son John was 14 and stubbornly committed to becoming a horse trainer, the senior Servis never wavered.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | May 17, 2004
John Servis was feeling the pressure. It was the week of the Arkansas Derby, and this was the race that would tell whether Smarty Jones, his trainee, was good enough for the Kentucky Derby. Then the phone rang. It was a friend from Philadelphia Park, a jockey's agent. The friend said he'd had a dream the night before, and he'd been cheering for Smarty Jones in a race. In the dream, a man next to him kept bumping him, cheering for Smarty Jones, too. He finally looked at the man, and it was Jack Servis, John Servis' late uncle.
SPORTS
By Peter Schmuck and Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF | May 16, 2004
Jockey Stewart Elliott looked over his shoulder as Smarty Jones ran away from the Preakness field yesterday, hoping to see Rock Hard Ten and Eddington drop away as he charged to a record victory in the second leg of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown. "There was nobody in front of me," Elliott said. "I was concerned if anybody was coming from behind. Once I asked him, we straightened up and I asked him, I just exploded. Then I looked back and saw nobody was even coming, so it was going to be pretty easy."
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | May 15, 2004
The first words out of John Servis' mouth on national television after the Kentucky Derby were: "Absolutely masterful ride. Unbelievable ride by Stewart." Stewart Elliott had ridden the Servis-trained Smarty Jones to a 2 3/4 -length victory in the country's biggest race. Friends for more than two decades, Servis and Elliott became the first trainer-jockey combination to win the Derby in their first try since Marylanders Bud Delp and Ron Franklin with Spectacular Bid in 1979. "For two friends in the same business to come up with a horse and be able to go and win the Kentucky Derby, that's pretty amazing," said Elliott, who will ride Smarty Jones today in the Preakness.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | May 8, 2004
The Preakness could showcase the top three finishers in the Kentucky Derby, as well as the Derby's morning-line favorite. Kristin Mulhall, trainer of Imperialism, a closing third in the Derby, said the 16-race veteran will likely run in the Preakness after returning to the track at Hollywood Park and training aggressively. Imperialism would join Derby winner Smarty Jones, Derby runner-up Lion Heart and the Derby's morning-line favorite, The Cliff's Edge, who finished fifth after losing both of his front shoes, in the Preakness starting gate.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | May 17, 2004
John Servis was feeling the pressure. It was the week of the Arkansas Derby, and this was the race that would tell whether Smarty Jones, his trainee, was good enough for the Kentucky Derby. Then the phone rang. It was a friend from Philadelphia Park, a jockey's agent. The friend said he'd had a dream the night before, and he'd been cheering for Smarty Jones in a race. In the dream, a man next to him kept bumping him, cheering for Smarty Jones, too. He finally looked at the man, and it was Jack Servis, John Servis' late uncle.
SPORTS
By Baltimoresun.com Staff | May 4, 2004
Tom Keyser has been covering horse racing for The Sun for the past eight years. R. Plociennik, Pasadena: During the prelude to this year's Derby, seems I took favorite to the underdogs: Smarty Jones and Pollard's Vision. I'm thrilled for Smarty, but what's the scoop on Pollard...and do you think he'll be in the Preakness or Belmont? Keyser: Todd Pletcher, trainer of Pollard's Vision, says the colt won't run in either the Preakness or Belmont. He says he'll try to find easier spots for Pollard's Vision.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | May 7, 2004
John Servis, trainer of Smarty Jones, said yesterday that "all systems are go" for the Preakness after the Kentucky Derby winner trained in the morning at Philadelphia Park. Smarty Jones trained in the company of his pony, as he did the previous morning. Today, Servis said, "I'm going to turn him loose and let him gallop without the pony." Once Smarty Jones begins galloping, Servis said he'll have a better feel for how the undefeated colt emerged from the Derby. Servis said that Smarty Jones is "dead fit" and that he doesn't plan to breeze him before the Preakness.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | May 6, 2004
BENSALEM, Pa. - Smarty Jones has returned to Philadelphia Park to a hero's welcome, with his next mission clearly defined: the Preakness in nine days at Pimlico. With news helicopters flying overhead and a police escort for his oversized van, the Kentucky Derby winner arrived late Tuesday at his home track north of Philadelphia, and yesterday he returned to the track for the first time since his smashing victory in Kentucky. As hundreds of media members and track workers lined the outside rail, Smarty Jones walked a half mile and jogged a half mile for the start of what will be a crucial week and a half of Preakness preparation.
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