Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks-winning trainer John Servis celebrated his 2,000th career winner on Monday at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pa., when Dewey Doit won the first race on the card. Abner Adorno rode the winner in the 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight contest for Pennsylvania-bred 2-year-old fillies.

Best-known for Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones, the 64-year-old Servis grew up in a horse racing family near Charles Town Racetrack in West Virginia. After five years as an assistant trainer Mark Reid, Servis took out his trainer’s license in 1984. He trained his first winner that same year, and his first graded stakes win came with multiple Grade 1 winner Jostle in 1999.

It was in 2004 that Servis’ career reached national prominence. Under Servis’ direction, Smarty Jones won the Derby preps at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas and went on to win the Derby and the Preakness. The colt was on the lead in the stretch of the Belmont Stakes, but Birdstone caught and passed him as they approached the wire.

Servis introduced prominent owner Rick Porter to the sport and trained for him until 2006. The trainer saddled his 1,000th winner on May 1, 2007, at Philadelphia Park.

Servis found himself with another big horse in 2016, when Cathryn Sophia won the Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes and Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes by a combined margin of 12 1/2 lengths. After she finished a game third in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland Race Course, Cathryn Sophia powered to a dominant victory in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks to make her trainer only the seventh active trainer to win both the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks.

In 2018 Servis won his first career Breeders’ Cup race when 2-year-old filly Jaywalk was victorious in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Other top horses trained by Servis include Zonk, Rockport Harbor and Round Pond.

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Cover Photo Credit to Barbara Weidl/Equi-Photo

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