They call it the Sport of Kings. But sometimes the little guys have their moments, too. One of those little guys is James E. Jones. A farrier in Central Kentucky, he is the breeder of Whywhywhy, winner of the Sanford Stakes (gr. II).
"I don't know what to do with myself," said Jones, the day after Whywhywhy scored by 2 3/4 lengths at Saratoga. "I'm walking on sponge shoes. I'm walking easy. It's very exciting."
Jones said he shoes horses at "12 or 13" farms, including Spendthrift, Stonerside, and Doninga. He has a five-acre nursery of his own and usually raises three foals a year from a broodmare band of "five or six." Whywhywhy is his most successful horse so far.
Jones claimed Thorough Fair, the dam of Whywhywhy, for $5,000 at Turfway Park in February of 1997. His plan was to breed the daughter of Quiet American and sell her. But she lost her foal.
"I was very disappointed," Jones said.
Late the same year, Real Quiet, who is also by Quiet American, won the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I), so Jones decided to keep Thorough Fair. He bred her to Mystery Storm, and she produced a filly named Mystery's Essence. Then he sent her to Mr. Greeley--"a horse that I shoe"--because he liked the stallion's conformation.
From the time he was born, Whywhywhy was "an nice horse," Jones said. He consigned the colt, through Spendthrift Farm, agent, to the 2001 Keeneland September yearling sale. But Jones bought Whywhywhy back for $27,000 because "he didn't bring near enough money. A lot of people at the sale didn't like him because he held his head high," Jones said. He later sold the colt privately to Lexington bloodstock agent Mike Ryan.
Thorough Fair has a Tale of the Cat colt that is scheduled to be sold in this year's Keeneland September yearling sale. Earlier this year, she produced a full brother to Whywhywhy, and she is back in foal to Mr. Greeley.
Whywhywhy has captured two of his three career starts, including the Flash Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park. The colt races for a partnership that includes trainer Patrick Biancone.
Jones watched Whywhywhy's Sanford victory on TVG at Spendthrift Farm.