“We would like to get Havre de Grace’s first race right here,” Jones said, speaking from the Fair Grounds barn area during training hours Saturday morning. “That way we wouldn’t have to ship her or anything like that.”
Havre de Grace was officially clocked for the first time this winter going three furlongs in 37.80 Friday morning with exercise rider Jen Brasser in the saddle, so Jones was asked if the mare could be ready to race as soon as March 17.
“It won’t take her long from here, trust me,” said Jones, who has been galloping her almost daily since the mare’s arrival at Fair Grounds on Jan. 5. “She gets ready pretty quick. I found that out last year. This time last year we didn’t have her up to anything like a half-mile and the first time we tried to work her at a half-mile she went 53 and four (fifths). She galloped out in 51 and change yesterday. We’re already ahead of last year.
“She’ll probably get on an every-five-or-six-days work schedule and she’ll get ready pretty quick,” Jones said. “Probably on a five-day schedule unless it rains. She’ll be steady now.
“That cool weather or something has got her really bouncing around here this morning,” Jones concluded as the Horse of the Year walked the shed row Saturday. “She’s been going around here on two legs.”