Riding Off In The Sunset

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 11, 2009 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

We have seen trainers come and go. We have seen talent and effort team up to win more races than countable. One thing is for sure. For Larry Jones, the harder he worked the luckier he got.

In the $167,550 Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs, Larry Jones had a horse in the race. No big deal, we have seen this plenty of times. But this one had a special note. It would be his last before he hands over his stable.

Payton d’ Oro finished fifth for the cowboy in the white Stetson. The native of Hopkinsville, Kentucky was going to be handing over his stable to his best hand, best friend, and wife of many years, Cindy.

Jones is 53, and that is a young man. Hard to think of him not being at the track. Hard to think that you will not see his smiling face in the morning. Jones is class personified.  He started small, and worked all day long. His goal was never to have a giant stable. But, his stable turned out to be a money machine. He had a way with runners.

I remember that he and Cindy had a small to medium string at Turfway Park. They batted in the high percentages, and did it all on hard work and putting their horses first. This is the mark of any successful stable.

I am sure that he will have some role with her. But, I think the limelight was never the place he wanted to be. He was more comfortable with his jeans and trademark Stetson. It was blazing white, and it happened to be the same color hat of every good guy in the movies.

He watched his last race, and was comfortable. He doesn’t know what the next milestone will be, but this man of faith and hard work won’t be far from the game. We will miss Larry Jones. He is a good guy, and his actions never wavered from doing the right thing. It is rare to find a person who works so hard and doesn’t seek the main stage. His ways were from another time, a time when the good guys won.  And at the end of the day, you could see them riding off into the sunset to come back in the morning. But, this was his last. At least for now…….