Good Guys Ride Off In The Sunset

by Ed Meyer

posted on March 15, 2009 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

If you were watching on Saturday, it would have been tough not to hear the name of Larry Jones. A man who has been hands-on and routinely does all of the work in his barn. I guess everybody has a breaking point. Or, at least a timeout needs to be called.

He gets up early each day and gallops his runners. He weighs in at a tight 175 lbs, and he wants the heavy weight to get his horses fit. Who better than to know how they feel? No second hand opinion here…..

He really didn’t want to disappoint owners. Now that is something that is rare unto itself. Someone who really cares about business. It is hard to saddle at Saratoga, and another trainer wants you at Monmouth.

He went to post with his first runner in Louisville in 2007. Hard Spun did not disappoint overall, and the race was off and running.

From the bottom to the top, Larry Jones has seen it all. He is eternally optimistic and carries himself like a feather in the wind. Even when he won the Kentucky Oaks with Proud Spell, and the next day in the Kentucky Derby time would stand still when Eight Belles would run the race of her life behind Big Brown. The story headline would read that she was euthanized, and the questions began.

He immediately went to the press box and faced the folks who would question his efforts. This is something you usually don’t see; matter of fact, never. It took guts to face the hardest critics in the world, but they underestimated the honest integrity of a simple man who made it big.

He is worn out, and over done. A vacation is needed. No more traveling, and no more worries. For a while, men like Larry Jones were a rarity. It looks like in 90 days or so, he will hang up that White Stetson. I would wager that after gathering his breath, he will resurface. Some stable or trainer somewhere will have the expert advice of a man who has changed the game.