11/02/2004 12:00AM

Rockport Harbor wins like Smarty

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Did the crowd of 2,778 at Aqueduct on Election Day see the next Smarty Jones? That question will have to wait until next year, but the comparisons between Smarty Jones, this year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, and Rockport Harbor, the 6 1/4-length winner of Tuesday's Nashua, are already being made.

Rockport Harbor, who is trained by Smarty Jones's trainer, John Servis, was the easiest of winners in the $109,500 Nashua Stakes for 2-year-olds. Rockport Harbor, who was ridden by Smarty Jones's jockey, Stewart Elliott, covered the mile distance in 1:36.67 over a fast track.

"He is definitely a good horse," said Elliott, who didn't use the whip. "Whether he will be a Smarty Jones, we'll have to wait and find out. He won those two races at Philadelphia very easily, but really didn't beat very much. Today was a little tougher and he went on and won the same way, so things look good."

The Grade 3 Nashua was Rockport Harbor's third win in as many starts. He paid $3.80 as the favorite.

Servis said Rockport Harbor, who is owned by Fox Hill Farm, would not race again this year and would be pointed to Oaklawn Park's Kentucky Derby preps - the Southwest, Rebel, and Arkansas Derby - the same races won by Smarty Jones.

"He needs to put some weight on and he has a lot of growing up to do," Servis said.

Summer Raven gets hustled, wins

Trainer Todd Pletcher gave credit for Summer Raven's stakes win in the $104,600 Tempted to New York Racing Association stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes.

Summer Raven, with Elliott aboard, won the mile race by two lengths over K. D.'s Shady Lady. Salute, the 1-2 favorite, finished third in the five-horse field of 2-year-old fillies.

Last Saturday, when entries were drawn for the Grade 3 Tempted, Byrnes called Pletcher, who was in Texas for the Breeders' Cup, to hustle him into the stakes because it was a short field.

"We were going to go into an allowance race on Thursday," Pletcher said.

Summer Raven ($15.20) controlled the pace and covered the mile in 1:36.09, a faster time than Rockport Harbor's 1:36.67.

Elliott picked up the mount from the injured Richard Migliore.

Pletcher, who won the Tempted for the third time, trains Summer Raven for Edgewood Farm.

Salute, ridden by John Velazquez, gave a lackluster performance and was beaten 4 1/4 lengths by Summer Raven.

"She ran kind of even," Velazquez said.