The eagerly awaited comeback of Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Smarty Jones is going to take a little longer. Out of action since his Triple Crown bid was foiled by Birdstone on June 5 in the Belmont Stakes, Smarty Jones will not run as planned in the $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 6, trainer John Servis told Philadelphia Park officials yesterday.
"He's got a bruised foot," Servis said. "We cut one bruise out right before the Derby, but this one is a little deeper, and we haven't been able to [work] him yet. As much as I want to run the horse in the Pennsylvania Derby, it's not our main objective."
Smarty Jones, who has won eight of nine career starts and earned $7,563,535, is being pointed toward the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 30 at Lone Star Park.
Servis said another contributing factor in deciding not to push toward the Pennsylvania Derby was the death Saturday of his godson, David Reid, 20, who drowned. Reid is the son of former Philadelphia-based trainer Mark Reid, a close friend of Servis.
Philadelphia Park had scheduled $500,000 worth of renovations in anticipation of the large crowds that would come out to see Smarty Jones, their hometown hero, in the Pennsylvania Derby.
"Fortunately, most of the contracts were to be signed this week," said racing secretary Sal Sinatra.
-- John Scheinman