Trainer J. Larry Jones reached a career milestone on Saturday, winning his 1,000th race when 3-year-old He'll Pay captured the listed Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park for for co-breeder and owner Brereton C. Jones. The Haynesfield colt drew away from the field to win by open lengths at odds of 12-1.
The multiple graded stakes-winning trainer reached the milestone with 5,091 starts and over $44 million in earnings. Jones, whose career began in 1981, has been a part of Equibase's Top 100 trainers, either by earnings or by wins, for all but one year since 2005. His career highlights including running second in the Kentucky Derby twice, with Hard Spun and then the ill-fated Eight Belles. He also finished second in the Breeders' Cup Classic with Hard Spun as a 3-year-old. Jones also trained 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, Kentucky Oaks winners Proud Spell, Lovely Maria and Eclipse Award finalist I'm A Chatterbox. Many of his biggest victories have come with horses bred and owned by Brereton Jones (no relation to the trainer), the former Kentucky governor and owner of Airdrie Stud in Midway, Ky.
“It's been a long 32 years,” said Jones. “It's been an overnight 32-year success.”
A trainer who gallops his horses himself, Jones suffered a life-threatening accident in 2014 when he was thrown from a 2-year-old, causing a brain hemorrhage. He has recovered well and returned to galloping his own horses, and his 1,000th victory preceded the race of his 2016 Kentucky Derby hopeful Jensen in Saturday's Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park.
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