J. Larry Jones gearing up for Delaware Park
The name J. Larry Jones will be back in the official track program at Delaware Park when the Stanton oval opens for the 74th season of live racing on Saturday, April 30. First race post time is 1:15 p.m.
At the conclusion of the 2009 Delaware Park meet, Jones announced his retirement from training, and his wife, Cindy, took over as the trainer. Jones assumed the role of her assistant. At the end of the 2010 Delaware Park meeting, Jones announced he would be coming out of retirement for the 2011 Oaklawn Park season, and his wife would once again assume the role as his assistant. At Oaklawn Park, Jones posted a record of 18 wins, 14 seconds and 11 thirds from 80 starters with earnings of $1,172,253, including victories in the Grade II Fantasy Stakes with Joyful Victory and the Grade I Apple Blossom Handicap with Havre de Grace, who are locally owned by Richard Porter’s Fox Hill Farm.
“They are doing well,” said Jones. “Before Joyful Victory gets to Delaware, she is going to go Churchill for the Kentucky Oaks. Havre De Grace will be headed to Delaware at the end of the week. We are going to give her a quick little breather off the Apple Blossom. The next major goal after that is the Delaware Handicap. I am sure we will get a race into her before that, but more than likely it will be the Obeah.”
Other Jones horses have started to arrive at Delaware Park.
“We got 38 stalls, and the horses have started arriving,” Jones said. “We should have about 16 in the first bunch arriving midweek. Obviously, we are taking some horses to Churchill for Derby week, but we are looking forward to another Delaware meet.”
In 2005, the 54-year-old native of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, won the Grade II Delaware Handicap with Island Sand. The following year, he moved his entire spring, summer and fall operation to Delaware Park, and they have been coming back every year since. In 2008, he won the Grade II Delaware Oaks with Proud Spell.
Other top conditioners returning to the Stanton oval include defending champion Juan Vasquez, Scott Lake, Randy Nunley, Michael Matz, Ron Moquett, Todd Pletcher, Tim Ritchey, Anthony Dutrow, Steve Hobby, Michael Gorham, Mac Robertson, and Steve Klesaris.