(Edited Fair Grounds report)
Cindy Jones, wife and assistant to trainer Larry Jones, said all three of the stable’s horses who who ran at Fair Grounds March 14 – including Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Friesan Fire – came out of their races well.
All three horses are doing just fine today,” Cindy Jones said March 15. “They are all a little tired, but that to be expected. They’re all in good shape. I just checked on Friesan Fire a little while ago, and he’s so relaxed he looked like he was about to fall asleep standing on his feet.”
In addition to Friesan Fire, who won the $600,000 Derby by 7 1/4-lengths – the largest margin of victory in Fair Grounds’ richest race since 1963 – Cindy Jones saddled Kodiak Kowboy to run second in Saturday’s $125,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes and Honest Man to run eighth in the grade II $500,000 New Orleans Handicap in her husband’s absence.
“The only reason Honest Man didn’t run his best race is because he didn’t like the mud,” Cindy Jones said. “He was just spinning is wheels out there. I could see he was beat shortly after he started running and he came back with his bandages absolutely shredded.
“But Friesan Fire just loved it (the sloppy going) out there. Now we don’t have to worry about what the weather is like on (Kentucky) Derby Day.”
Ruben Munoz, agent for Friesan Fire’s rider Gabriel Saez, was among those in the Jones barn’s happy group Sunday morning.
“Gabe was a little down when we first got here to Fair Grounds this winter because he wasn’t getting many mounts,” Munoz said. “But I remember telling him, ‘I guarantee you that by the time we leave New Orleans this spring you’ll have a smile on your face. You trust Larry, don’t you? Larry will take care of us'.”