Millionaire and longtime Arkansas stallion Jonesboro dies at 21

Millionaire and longtime Arkansas stallion Jonesboro dies at 21
Photo: Mary Greene / Old Friends

Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement farm in Georgetown, Ky., announced that graded-stakes winner Jonesboro died at the farm on Thursday.

The 21-year old stallion was found deceased in his paddock during morning rounds. Necropsy results are pending.

Jonesboro was bred by Jayeff "B" Stables and foaled in Kentucky on March 15, 2002.

The chestnut stallion was the son of Sefapiano out of Mom's Command, by Top Command. Jonesboro's dam, Mom's Command, was owned and campaigned by Peter Fuller, and she had an outstanding race career. Among her accomplishments she won the 1985 New York filly Triple Crown with Fuller’s daughter, Abby, riding her. Mom’s Command went on to earn the 1985 Eclipse for champion 3-year-old filly. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.

Jonesboro was purchased at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale by Michael Langford for $27,000, and was placed in the care of Randy Morse, who would train the horse his entire career for Langford.

Jonesboro was winless his 2-year old season in 2004, but then won three races in a row. Running at Oaklawn, he broke his maiden as a 3-year old in 2005 with a win in a maiden special weight race. He followed that with a win in the Northern Spur Breeders' Cup Stakes for his first stakes victory.

In 2006, the now 4-year old won an allowance optional claiming race at Louisiana Downs to complete his three-race win streak. Later that year he won the Sam's Town at Delta Downs.

In 2007, as a 5-year old, he won the Essex Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn, his first graded-stakes win. He also repeated in the Sam's Town.

In his 6-year old campaign in 2008, he had his best season. He won the Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn, the Governor's Handicap at Ellis Park, the Tiznow Handicap at Louisiana Downs, and the Remington Park Sprint Championship Stakes at Remington Park.

He came back in 2009 as a 7-year old and scored the biggest win of his career when he captured the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G2). That year he also won the Texas Mile (G3) at Lone Star.

In 2010 as an 8-year old, he raced seven times. His best finish was a third-place finish in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2). Following a last-place finish in the Premier Cup Handicap at Zia Park he was retired.

In his seven-year career he amassed a 50: 14-11-4 record and $1,550,685 in earnings.

He began his stud career in 2011 and finished it at Lake Hamilton Equine in Royal, Ark. His top progeny included stakes winners Racer, Brooke’s a Bookin’, and Hoonani Road.

When Jonesboro was pensioned in 2022, Old Friends became aware that he might be available for retirement. Contact was made with the farm, arrangements were made, and Jonesboro arrived at Old Friends on Sept. 11.

Upon his arrival, Michael Blowen, president and founder of Old Friends, said, “Like most of us, Jonesboro owes a lot to his mother. Mom’s Command was owned by Peter Fuller, who also campaigned Dancer’s Image. Peter contributed $500 to Old Friends when we first started. And his daughter, Abby, who rode Mom, is a lifelong friend.”

When she heard about his death, Abby Fuller, who along with her father had followed Jonesboro’s career, said: “He was absolutely gorgeous. He looked just like his mom. I think he had a great life, his whole life. He was very well treated, and I’m glad he ended up at Old Friends. He’s definitely in horse heaven with his mama, Mom’s Command, and hopefully, my dad’s up there watching them romp around.”

Added Blowen, “Jonesboro was proof that nepotism matters at Old Friends. His mother, Mom's Command, was one of my all-time favorite race horses, and Peter Fuller and his daughter, Abby, were very early supporters of ours. And his Oaklawn Park connections took great care of him. Like so many others, he will be missed.”


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