Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farms has hired Jeff Barkley as his private trainer, beginning a transition resulting from trainer Larry Jones’ recent announcement that he will wind down his operation and retire.
Jones conditioned such talented runners for Porter as grade I winner Hard Spun , who was second in the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) and third in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in 2007, and grade II winner Eight Belles, who broke down after finishing second in this year’s Kentucky Derby and had to be euthanized.
Barkley has worked for Jones and has trained several horses for Porter. According to a posting by Porter on his Fox Hill Farm Web site (www.rockportharbor.com), Barkley, who lives in Indiana, is scheduled to join Fox Hill’s team Oct. 14. He will work with Jones until the end of November at the Fair Hill Training facility in Maryland, where Porter’s stable is based.
Jones, who will move to the Fair Grounds in Louisiana for the winter, will continue to train about a dozen of the Fox Hill 2-year-olds, along with Canadian champion and grade II winner Kodiak Kowboy, grade-I placed winner Solar Flare, and 2008 Philip H. Iselin Stakes (gr. III) winner Honest Man. Fox Hill owns Honest Man in partnership with WinStar Farm and races Kodiak Kowboy in partnership with Vinery Stables.
Barkley “has learned Larry’s ways of doing things and believes in his methods 100%,” Porter wrote. “Jeff is used to a small stable like Larry Jones had not many years ago. Jeff has been looking for a break like many young trainers. I am giving him that break because I strongly feel he has the horsemanship, work ethic, and character to be a big success.”