The Turf Publicists of America announced Nov. 12 that Larry Jones, trainer of the 3-year-old fillies Proud Spell and Eight Belles, has been chosen as the 2008 winner of the organization's Big Sport of Turfdom award.
The award is presented annually to a person or group of people who have enhanced coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with the media and Thoroughbred racing publicists.
"Larry has always been generous and gracious with publicists and reporters, but never was this clearer than in the aftermath of the tragic accident involving Eight Belles at the Kentucky Derby," said TPA president Eric Wing. "Larry met with reporters on Derby Day and numerous times thereafter under the most difficult of circumstances.
“With his heartfelt words, Larry was an embodiment of the love that horsemen have for their animals. The entire Thoroughbred industry owes Larry a great debt of thanks for his cooperation with the media this year, and the Turf Publicists of America is exceedingly proud to honor him as our 2008 Big Sport of Turfdom."
"This award is wonderful," Jones said. "I think it's my highest achievement in the sport. I've always felt that we, as trainers and horsemen, have an obligation to keep the fans well informed, and hopefully we've done that."
Jones will receive the 43rd annual Big Sport of Turfdom award Dec. 9 in Tucson, Ariz. during the keynote luncheon of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program Symposium on Racing & Gaming. The Symposium will be held at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson Dec. 8-11.