12/08/2005 1:00AM

Elliott said seeking pardon


Jockey Stewart Elliott, facing possible expulsion from the country because of a long-standing issue with the United States Department of Immigration, has approached the acting governor of New Jersey, seeking a pardon, according to a report in The Record of Bergen County, N.J.

Elliott, reached by telephone Thursday, declined comment.

"My attorney said it would be better if I didn't talk about it," Elliott said. "It was supposed to be a quiet thing, and now people are wanting to write about it."

Neither the attorney representing Elliott nor a spokeswoman for Richard Codey, the acting governor of New Jersey, returned calls seeking comment.

Elliott pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault charge in 2001 after attacking a friend at the time with a pool cue and wooden stool.

Elliott, according to The Record, is scheduled to have a hearing before an immigration judge on Dec. 20 in Newark, N.J. Elliott, a Canadian citizen, was detained by immigration officials one year ago, when he returned from riding in Hong Kong. Aliens with past felony convictions can be deported.

Elliott, 40, won the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with 3-year-old champion Smarty Jones.