J. Larry Jones
|Larry Jones image =|
|Birthplace||Hopkinsville, Kentucky, United States|
|Birth date||September 2, 1956|
|Career wins||Not found|
|Major racing wins, honours & awards|
|Major racing wins|
Fantasy Stakes (2003, 2008)|
Acorn Stakes (2004)
Delaware Handicap (2005)
Nassau County Breeders' Cup Stakes (2006)
Prioress Breeders' Cup Stakes (2006)
Kentucky Cup Classic Stakes (2007)
King's Bishop Stakes (2007)
Lane's End Stakes (2007)
Alabama Stakes (2008)
Allaire duPont Distaff Stakes (2008)
Fair Grounds Oaks (2008)Kentucky Oaks (2008)
Remsen Stakes (2008)
Lecomte Stakes (2009)
Risen Star Stakes (2009)
Louisiana Derby (2009)
Southwest Stakes (2009) Carter Handicap (2009) Monmouth Oaks (2008, 2009)Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (2009)
|Big Sport of Turfdom Award (2008) Red Smith Award (2007, 2008)|
|Larry Jones Day at Delaware Park (2009)|
|Hard Spun, Eight Belles, Friesan Fire, Old Fashioned, Wildcat Bettie B, Island Sand, Ruby's Reception, Josh's Madelyn, Just Jenda, Honest Man, Solar Flare, Proud Spell|
J. Larry Jones (born September 2, 1956 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky) is an American Thoroughbred horse racing trainer. A former commercial farmer, he embarked on a career as a professional trainer in 1982.
Jones had trained at principally at Ellis Park Racecourse in Henderson, Kentucky and at Oaklawn Park Race Track in Hot Springs, Arkansas before comiing into national prominence in 2007 with the front-running bay colt, Hard Spun. Hard Spun brought Larry into the spotlight with his runner-up finishes in the Kentucky Derby (presented by Yum! Brands)and Breeder's Cup Classic, as well as impressive victories in the Lane's End, King's Bishop, and Kentucky Cup Classic Stakes.
In 2008, Larry was again in the nation's spotlight, this time with the talented fillies Proud Spell and Eight Belles. Larry saddled Proud Spell to run to a decisive win over a sloppy track in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). (Proud Spell went on to win the Eclipse Award as top three-year-old filly that year, becoming Larry's first Eclipse Award winner.)
The day after the Kentucky Oaks, Larry saddled his other top filly, Eight Belles, to run in the Kentucky Derby. Eight Belles had won a lot of hearts during the weeks and months leading up to the Derby. Her sweet disposition was enough to make anyone and everyone love her. The nation got a glimpse of the love Larry felt for his special filly, too, when, with ESPN capturing the moment on camera, and the world watching, Larry galloped Eight Belles a few days before the Derby, in preparation for her up-coming big day. When the filly was reluctant to stop galloping, Larry called, "Hello? Larry to Eight Belles! Pull up!" When she obeyed, he rewarded her by saying "there you go, baby; that's it, sweetheart," and made everyone watching smile.
It was the last time Larry really had the chance to show the world how special his filly really was, how much he loved her, and how ready she was to run in the Derby. Following a gallant second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (presented by Yum! Brands), Eight Belles, the first filly to run second in the Derby in over one hundred years, broke both front legs, and left the veterinarians with no choice but to humanely euthanize her on the track.
After Eight Belles' devastating breakdown, Larry was accused of drugging the filly or running an unsound horse, and was abused with floods of hate mail, from people who (wrongly) felt that he was somehow to blame for the tragedy, and false accusations from anaimal rights groups. Tests done on Eight Belles proved she had run clean and sound, but the persecution continued for Larry, lasting well into summer, when he announced that, after one more year of training, he would be retiring - not just because of Eight Belles, a horse he'll never forget and will always miss, but because he wanted to spend more time with his family.
In 2009, Larry Jones was back again, for one last year of training racehorses. He had two top Kentucky Derby hopefuls in Old Fashioned and Friesan Fire. Old Fashioned won the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct in a romp and became the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby. He also won the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park by open lengths before he was upset by Win Willy in the Rebel Stakes. In the Arkansas Derby, Old Fashioned finished second to Papa Clem, and was retired after it was discovered the son of Unbridled's Song had slab-fractured his knee. It was up to Friesan Fire to keep the Derby dreams alive for the Jones team. Friesan Fire impressed on his way to the Derby, sweeping the Lecomte, Risen Star, and the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds in Louisiana.
The road to the 2009 Kentucky Derby was a strange one, with the deflections of two of the race's favorites (Quality Road was the favorite before he was withdrawn due to a quarter crack. Then, the morning-line favorite, I Want Revenge, was scratched the morning of the Kentucky Derby due to heat in his knee) before the race was run. When I Want Revenge was scratched and the track came up sloppy (Friesan had won the Louisiana Derby by nine lengths over a sloppy track), Larry Jones' Friesan Fire became the favorite. Unfortunately, Friesan Fire broke badly, was stepped on and bumped at the start of the race, suffered a bad trip around the track, and faded to second-to-last place.
The defeat in the Derby wasn't the end of the year for Larry. Friesan Fire went on to run in the Preakness Stakes, and Jones-trained Just Jenda (a stakes-winning filly owned by Larry's wife, Cindy), Solar Flare, Maren's Meadow, Payton D'Oro, Kodiak Kowboy, and It Happened Again, among others, continued to make noise in the racing world, winning big in their respective races.
On November 7, 2009, Larry, true to his word the year before, retired, and his wife, Cindy, took over training duties at the barn. Larry is currently an assistant to Cindy, and he continues to gallop horses in the mornings for her as well as work with the babies, some of the things Larry has always loved best. Larry is, as always, known for his trademark white cowboy hat, warm smile, easy-going disposition, and love for his horses, his faith, and his family.
Larry and Cindy are based at Delaware Park in Wilmington, Delaware, in the summer, and at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in the winter. Their current barn stars include Just Jenda (2009 Monmouth Oaks winner), Payton D'Oro (2009 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes winner), and No Such Word (2010 Honeybee Stakes winner).
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=trainer+larry+jones&FORM=IGRE2#focal=16e2794aaf0c5910e8ac1c060c2a1f50&furl=http%3A%2F%2Fa.espncdn.com%2Fwinnercomm%2Fhorseracing%2FLJones_175x250_091023.jpg (Miscellaneous articles that chronicle Larry's career as trainer)