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Jones Taking Missed Training in Stride

HDG before the Woodward, SPA paddock.
As of Thursday morning, with Brereton Jones’s sophomore duo of Albano and Divine Beauty just 24 days away from their next assignments on Louisiana Derby Preview Day Feb. 22, trainer Larry Jones was taking the three lost days of training at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in his typical easygoing style.

“We’re all good,” said Jones speaking outside his tack room as bright, sunny weather began to warm the three straight nights of hard freezes in New Orleans.  “Those big races (the Grade II Risen Star for Albano and the Grade III Rachel Alexandra for Divine Beauty) are still so far away that we’ll be all right with those two horses.

“In this business you have to learn to compensate,” Jones said.  “Everybody is in the same boat.  It’s the horses I have in this week that I’m a little worried about.  I don’t want them getting over there (to the starting gate) and acting all crazy.  Those are the kinds of horses I’ll have to keep an eye on.  But for those big races coming up we should be okay.”

Jones also has Brereton Jones’s Same Cross entered for Saturday’s $60,000 Happy Ticket Stakes as one of two stakes scheduled for the day, but Same Cross worked Monday morning before the hard freeze set in, accomplishing five furlongs in 1:01.20 in preparation for Saturday’s six-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares.

Also getting works in Monday morning were several horses from trainer Steve Asmussen’s barn, including Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Gold Hawk, who breezed a half-mile in 50.20 in advance of the $400,000 Risen Star.

Other Asmussen trainees on the Monday tab were Zayat Stables’ Prayer for Relief who went a half in 51.40 in preparation for the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap on Louisiana Derby Preview Day and Cathy and Bob Zollars’ Daddy Nose Best who got four furlongs in 51.60 in advance of a possible appearance in the Grade III Fair Grounds Handicap over the Stall-Wilson turf course on that same gala afternoon of racing.

The Asmussen-trained Tapiture, owned by Ron Winchell and winner of Churchill’s Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at last asking on Nov. 30, went six furlongs over the sloppy Fair Grounds main track in 1:13 flat Monday.



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