by Ed Meyer

posted on September 18, 2008 in General Discussion, News | 2 Comments >>

Larry Jones is one of the good guys in racing. He even wears a white Stetson. This was the mark of the good guys in the movies.

Stewards at Delaware Park have suspended trainer Larry Jones for seven days, fined him $500 and ordered a purse redistribution.  This was following a hearing on Tuesday concerning the discovery of a higher than permitted level of Clenbuterol in a post-race test for Two Bucks Stable’s Stones River, who won a June 8 allowance race at Delaware Park.

Jones trains for Jim Squires and Two Bucks Stables. They have been very outspoken about drug usage and the use of anabolic steroids. Following the death of Eight Belles, Larry Jones has soul searched. He has many super runners in his care, and it is hard to believe that he would allow a horse in his name to compete with the added help of modern chemistry.

Far be it from me to argue that he is 100% innocent. But I do believe there could be an incident of tampering.  The ruling against Jones was the first of any kind during the trainer’s 25-year career, according to the database at the Association of Racing Commissioners International. The jury has spoken. The fines and punishment have been levied. But has the sport done the right thing?

We live in a society where we bring to light public sport figures. We make them answer before commissions, and the media runs them through dirty laundry. Larry Jones is one of the good guys. I sure hope the media remembers that, and the fans have not lost any faith in this trainer.