Larry Jones, who had been among America’s leading trainers the past decade, announced Nov. 11 that he will officially come out of self-imposed retirement and take over the reins of the barn which has been in the hands of his wife, Cindy, for the past year.
Jones will bring a string of horses to Oaklawn Park in November and begin readying his horses for the live season at Oaklawn, which begins Jan. 14.
Larry Jones will add to the stable a strong group representing Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm, the owner which provided him with Old Fashioned, a resident 3-year-old star at Oaklawn in 2009 when he won the Southwest Stakes (gr. III), the finished second in both the Rebel and Arkansas Derby (both gr. II).
Among the horses Jones is expected to have in his barn is Havre de Grace, third-place finisher in the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, and Winslow Homer, considered the top 3-year-old barn in the Fox Hill Stable this year.
One year earlier, Jones was the talk of the racing world when he saddled Eight Belles to a record win in the Martha Washington Stakes, followed by a score in the Honeybee (gr. III) and Fantasy Stakes (gr. II). He then opted to have her take on males, and she finished second to Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), only to suffer a fatal injury following the race.
Shortly thereafter, Jones began to prepare for retirement, but has been clearly present in the operations of Cindy Jones’ stable in recent months and many anticipated his return in the near future.
“Cindy said it is her turn to retire,” Jones said jokingly in a release. “But I presume she’ll be around the barn a lot.”
Cindy Jones was listed as the owner of Just Jenda, a multiple stakes winner, who won the Honeybee in 2009. Jones announced that Just Jenda has been retired and will be bred this spring to Proud Citizen. Jones trained Proud Spell, the 2008 three-year-old filly Eclipse Award winner and another daughter of Proud Citizen.
“Cindy would like to get her own Proud Spell,” Jones said in a statement. “We look forward to being at Oaklawn in the next two or three weeks and I’m ready to get back into action.”