10/29/2004 11:00PM

Spotlight already on 'Rockport'


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The pressure is already on John Servis, the trainer of the undefeated Rockport Harbor, who will make his stakes debut in Tuesday's $100,000-added Nashua Stakes for 2-year-olds at Aqueduct.

Servis trained this year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, Smarty Jones, who is now retired. At this time last year, Smarty Jones was an unknown, but Rockport Harbor is already getting some press in his hometown of Philadelphia because of his connections.

"Unfortunately, they have already started to write some articles about him down here," said Servis, who is based at Philadelphia Park. "He has some big shoes to fill. With Smarty, we got to fly under the radar until March."

A son of Unbridled's Song, Rockport Harbor has won his first two starts by a combined margin of 16 1/4 lengths at Philadelphia Park. He controlled the pace in both of those sprints, but Servis said he doesn't anticipate a problem with harnessing Rockport Harbor's speed as he stretches out in distance.

"He'll rate with no problem," said Servis, who trains Rockport Harbor for Fox Hill Farms. "The most impressive thing about him is his attitude and his ability to do things easily. He's not a high-level-energy horse. He is very laid back. He's the complete opposite of Smarty Jones."

Rockport Harbor drew post 3 in the seven-horse field and will be ridden by Smarty Jones's regular pilot, Stewart Elliott.

Better Than Bonds, the runner-up in the ungraded Cowdin Stakes on Oct. 14, stretches out to a mile for the first time in the Grade 3 Nashua. Trainer Bobby Reinacher said Better Than Bonds's pedigree suggests he will handle the stretch-out.

"The added distance should suit him," Reinacher said. "There is plenty of stamina in the pedigree. His sire is by Saint Ballado, and he is out of a Vanlandingham mare. When he broke his maiden, I thought he was too keyed up. But in the Cowdin he relaxed the first part and finished with good energy."

Richard Migliore rides Better Than Bonds from post 2.

Doctor Voodoo, already a winner at a mile, is the most seasoned runner in the field. In his last start, Doctor Voodoo finished third in the Comet Stakes at The Meadowlands in the mud. The Comet winner, Favalora, is also in the Nashua.

* The $100,000-added Tempted at a mile drew a field of five 2-year-old fillies and could feature a future star.

Salute, the likely favorite, won her second start by 8 1/4 lengths in a mile race at Belmont on Oct. 8. Salute is bred to be a special horse. Her sire, Unbridled, and dam, Personal Ensign, are both champions.

Shug McGaughey, who has won the Tempted three times since 1991, trains Salute. John Velazquez rides Salute from post 5.

Summer Raven's Beyer Speed Figures took a nosedive after she finished second to Sense of Style in a Saratoga maiden race and earned a Beyer of 86. In Summer Raven's next start, she won her maiden by a nose and earned a 69.