11/27/2003 1:00AM

Servis isn't plotting classic path just yet for Smarty Jones


Philadelphia Park-based trainer John Servis is resisting the temptation to get overly excited or look too far ahead with his highly promising 2-year-old Smarty Jones.

Last Saturday, in just his second career start, Smarty Jones won the seven-furlong Pennsylvania Nursery by 15 lengths, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 103. The filly Forest Music (105) and Judiths Wild Rush (105) are the only 2-year-olds to run faster this year.

Servis plans to give Smarty Jones a brief freshening, then start looking in January for a race in New York. The early-season stakes possibilities beyond six furlongs include the mile and 70-yard Count Fleet on Jan. 4, the 1 1/16-mile Whirlaway on Feb. 8, and the one-mile Gotham on March 16.

As a son of Elusive Quality, whose two stakes wins were the seven-furlong Jaipur and the one-mile Poker, Smarty Jones doesn't appear to have the bloodlines to handle the longer distances of the Triple Crown series.

"His pedigree does not necessarily project to a mile and a quarter, but at this point we'll just have to wait and see," Servis said. "The classics are a long way off. He has so much speed and is learning now to relax so well - who knows?

"I'd like to try to see if we can make him more than just a one-dimensional horse, but again, with the ease with which he runs, there's no telling how far he can go."

Servis is grateful that Smarty Jones is able to race at all. His career nearly ended before it even began.

"He's actually lucky to alive," Servis said. "Back in late April, we were schooling him in the gate. He went in and was just kind of standing there like an old cow. All of a sudden he blew a cork, raised up, and smashed his head on the bar at the top of the gate.

"When he landed, he was down on his two front legs with his head buried in the ground. I thought he was dead. He stayed there for about two minutes, after which we finally got him up and moving. He had a tremendous gash around his eye, and we left a huge trail of blood all the way back to the barn.

"We worked on him all night."

Smarty Jones ended up at the New Jersey Equine Clinic.

Smarty Jones had broken four bones around his eye and fractured his entire sinus cavity. He eventually recovered, but remains, according to his jockey, Stewart Elliott, "a little nutty."

"John told me way back when he thought this horse could run," Elliott said. "He was just a little wacky . . . dropping riders in the morning and acting up in the gate. Maybe that whack in the head he took knocked some sense into him."