01/01/2004 12:00AM

Smarty Jones tries a route


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Veteran jockey Stewart Elliott said could be the fastest horse he has ever ridden. Elliott is eager to see how far the 3-year-old colt can carry that speed.

After winning two sprints in dominant fashion at Philadelphia Park in November, Smarty Jones will make his two-turn debut in Saturday's $75,000 Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct.

Smarty Jones, a son of Elusive Quality, won his first two starts by a combined 22 3/4 lengths. In the Pennsylvania Nursery, a seven-furlong race restricted to Pennsylvania-breds, Smarty Jones carved out fractions of 21.88 seconds, 44.20, and ran seven furlongs in 1:21.88. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 104.

"He had the inside post and he broke bad," Elliott said. "He recovered all on his own and it was just phenomenal the way he picked up his horses. I thought I was going too fast. I thought there was no way this horse was going to keep this up.''

Elliott said he's hopeful, though not certain, that Smarty Jones will handle two turns.

"As easy as he's done it, I don't see why he wouldn't,'' he said. "I just think we're going to have to run him and find out.''

John Servis, the trainer of Smarty Jones, has applied for stalls at Oaklawn Park this winter, in part thinking that Smarty Jones could do well in that track's series of races for 3-year-olds. Servis said Smarty Jones's second race caught him by surprise.

"We hadn't asked him enough to think we were getting a race like that out of him,'' Servis said. "He acts like he'll stretch out with no problem.''

Of the seven horses entered in the Count Fleet, only Distressed Debt is proven around two turns. A New York-bred son of Smoke Glacken, Distressed Debut won a 1 1/16-mile entry-level allowance race by 6 3/4 lengths on Dec. 17. Prior to that, he was well beaten in the Grade 2 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland.

"I don't know what happened in Kentucky,'' trainer Rick Violette said. "Maybe he was rushed too early. It wasn't a typical performance for him.''

Rb's Glitters, another New York-bred, won the six-furlong Aspirant Stakes at Finger Lakes in August. In his try around two turns, he was beaten 12 3/4 lengths in the Damon Runyon Stakes.

Mr. Spock, One Tough Dude, Sinister G, and Risky Trick all come off maiden wins. One Tough Dude, who adds blinkers, won a mile maiden race Nov. 28 and the third-place finisher from that race, Peso Por Beso, came back to win last week.