Larry Jones, the sequel, might be better than the original.
A high-profile trainer, Jones is making his comeback during the Oaklawn
Park meet that opens on Friday. He had retired in November 2009, but
after clearing up a complex health issue that had dogged him for a
while, he has resumed training a 36-horse stable.
The barn's depth is enviable. Jones has graded winners Havre de Grace,
No Such Word, and Payton d'Oro in his care, while Winslow Homer is an
Oaklawn Handicap prospect. Toss in the promising 3-year-olds Joyful
Victory and Commander, and Jones would seem poised to return to the
national spotlight that followed him through the careers of such horses
as Eight Belles, Hard Spun, Proud Spell, Friesan Fire, Island Sand, and
Jones, 54, announced his retirement back in 2008, not long after Eight
Belles sustained a catastrophic injury following her second-place finish
in the Kentucky Derby. The stable was later turned over to his wife,
Cindy, and this past November she won the Grade 1 Gazelle with No Such
Word. Jones said he is glad to be back in the saddle, although he
literally spent the past year in it, working as an exercise rider for
"I was in the saddle, I was just off the telephone," quipped Jones.
"Cindy carried on and did well and kept everybody happy while I was
needing to take some time. I was able to get a lot of health issues
straightened up in the last year and I feel better."