05/24/2006 11:00PM

Servis, Porter part company


Fox Hill Farm's Rick Porter and trainer John Servis have ended a 12-year partnership, the trainer and owner said Thursday.

In separate interviews, Servis and Porter described the split as amicable, though Servis said that the loss of Porter's 27 horses, including the 2005 Acorn Stakes winner, Round Pond, would be a "pretty big blow" to his operation. Porter was Servis's biggest client, and Servis purchased yearlings and 2-year-olds at auction for Porter's operation.

"Mr. Porter wasn't happy and he wanted to make some changes," Servis said.

Porter said: "John's a professional trainer. He has his own way of doing things, and we had a couple of things we disagreed on. We thought it was best to take a break."

Servis said that he continues to train 38 other horses, and will seek additional clients.

Porter purchased his first horse in 1994 after being introduced to Servis by a friend. The pair's major stakes winners include 2000 Alabama Stakes winner Jostle and 2004 Remsen Stakes winner Rockport Harbor, who was retired earlier this year.

According to Porter, Round Pond will be sent to Michael Matz, who trained Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, who injured himself in last weekend's Preakness Stakes.

Other trainers who will receive some of Porter's horses include Graham Motion, Larry Jones, Steve Micks, and possibly Thomas Albertrani and Kiaran McLaughlin, Porter said.

Servis said that he had bought seven 2-year-olds this year for Porter. "I was really looking forward to getting them ready," Servis said. "But I guess that's going to be someone else's job."