Thursday, June 18, 2009


Delaware Park to Honor Retiring Trainer J. Larry Jones on June 20


Wilmington, Del., June 17, 2009 — Delaware Park will honor trainer J. Larry Jones for his accomplishments and dedication to racing with a special tribute at the Wilmington racetrack on Saturday, June 20.

Fans will have the opportunity to meet the nationally renowned trainer of Hard Spun and Eight Belles at 11 a.m. in the track’s family-friendly paddock and grove area. Later in the day, the fourth race (with an approximate post time of 2:36 p.m.) has been named in his honor as the J. Larry Jones Tribute. A presentation of a trophy will occur immediately after the race in the winner's circle.


Jones, who is based at Delaware Park, became a licensed trainer in 1982. The Hopkinsville, Kentucky, native is best known for conditioning Hard Spun to a brilliant campaign in 2007 that included victories in the Grade I King’s Bishop Stakes at Saratoga, the Grade II Lane’s End Stakes at Turfway Park and second place finishes in the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic. He was also the trainer of Eight Belles, who ran to a second place finish in the 2008 Kentucky Derby; and Proud Spell, who won the Grade I Kentucky Oaks and Grade II Delaware Oaks in 2008 and won the Eclipse Award as the 3-year-old filly of the year.

Jones first raced at Delaware Park in 2005 and won the Grade II Delaware Handicap with Island Sand. The following year, he relocated his entire operation to Delaware Park and finished sixth in the trainer standings for the 2006 meet. In 2007, he finished sixth in the Delaware Park trainer standings and last year, he finished second.

"It is a privilege for any racetrack to have a trainer of the stature of Mr. Larry Jones with his base of operation at their facility," said Executive Director of Racing John Mooney. "Mr. Jones brings high caliber and quality horses to Delaware for several prominent owners and breeders such as Mr. Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm, Vinery Stable, Brereton C. Jones and many others including his wife Cindy. He has been very supportive of Delaware Park racing providing not only stakes caliber horses, but also competitive horses in all levels of our program. We wish him the very best and truly hope he will continue to race and train his horses even beyond this year especially at Delaware Park."

DELAWARE PARK RACING NOTES: In addition to the J. Larry Jones tribute, June 20 will be a great day of racing at Delaware Park, featuring the $125,000 Susan’s Girl Stakes (including $50,000 Breeders’ Cup Fund), the local prep for the Grade II Delaware Oaks, and the $125,000 Grade III Obeah, the local prep for the Grade II Delaware Handicap. The Delaware Oaks and the Delaware Handicap will be held on July 18 and July 19, respectively, and are the premier race events of the Delaware Handicap Race Weekend, one of the most exciting weekends of thoroughbred racing on the East Coast.


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