09/22/2009 11:00PM

Jones keeping up with his own record pace


Trainer Paul Jones is well on his way to an eighth consecutive title as the nation's leading Quarter Horse trainer. How close he gets to his seasonal earnings record of $6,939,617 set last year will be determined in the next three months at Los Alamitos.

Through Tuesday, Jones-trained runners had earned $4,519,197. With two seven-figure futurities at Los Alamitos in November and December, the AQHA Challenge program on Oct. 31, the $1 million Super Derby on Nov. 7 and the $750,000 Champion of Champions on Dec. 12, there is ample time for Jones to challenge the existing record.

"After Labor Day, all the big-money stakes are at Los Al," he said.

As expected, Jones has amassed a formidable stable for the major stakes this fall. His all-star team includes the All American Derby winner, Inseperable, who has an automatic berth to the Champion of Champions; the 3-year-olds Foose, Fantastic Corona Jr., and Royal Proclamation, candidates for the Super Derby; the 4-year-old filly Stylish Jess BR, who may start in the Los Alamitos Championship on Oct. 10; and the 2-year-olds Brooks Midnight and Favorite Cartel.

Favorite Cartel, who was fourth in the All American Futurity, and Brooks Midnight, a late scratch from that race, may be kept out of the Golden State Million on Oct. 30 in favor of the Los Alamitos Two Million on Dec. 11, Jones said. Time trials for the Two Million will be held on Nov. 21.

One of the few omissions on the stable's Los Alamitos team is Runnning Brook Gal, the winner of the All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs on Sept. 7. She is based with Jones's team at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M., and is entered in a division of the $300,000 Hobbs America Futurity time trials there on Saturday.

Inseperable is currently at Jones's ranch in Tularosa, N.M., not far from Ruidoso, and will be sent to California in coming days. The main goal for Inseperable this fall is the Champion of Champions, and Jones said "that might be it" for a fall campaign.

Jones thinks that Inseperable has an insurmountable advantage for the 3-year-old championship, having also won the Rainbow Derby at Ruidoso Downs in July.

Inseperable's win in the All American Derby gave him an automatic berth to the Champion of Champions, a race that annually plays an enormous role in determining the World Champion Quarter Horse.

Half of the 10-horse field for the Champion of Champions has been determined, and Jones trains two, including Separate Bet, the winner of the Remington Park Championship in May. The other horses assured of a berth are Freaky, who won the Vessels Maturity in June; defending champion Jess You and I; and Terrific Energy, who won the Mildred Vessels Handicap last Saturday.

The winner of four upcoming stakes - the Los Alamitos Championship, Super Derby, Bank of American Challenge Championship and Refrigerator Handicap (at Lone Star Park) - along with the fastest qualifier for time trials on Nov. 20, will earn berths to the Champion of Champions.