01/31/2009 12:00AM

Jones, Oaklawn call truce


NEW ORLEANS - A day after wavering, Larry Jones on Saturday recommitted his Triple Crown hopeful Old Fashioned for the Feb. 16 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

After contemplating a change in plans for Old Fashioned's 3-year-old debut to protest the scratch of one of his horses at Oaklawn, Jones appeared satisfied with his ongoing discussions with track officials, and was planning personally to van Old Fashioned to Oaklawn on Monday.

"It seems like we are going to be able to work through it," Jones said.

Ms Good Cat, trained by Jones, was scratched from a maiden race by the Oaklawn stewards Thursday after a backstretch monitor came upon the horse being given chiropractic treatment on race day, said Gary Wilfert, the state steward at the track. Arkansas treatment policy allows only Lasix and magnetic-therapy blankets to be used on race day, said Wilfert.

Oaklawn also requires that any chiropractic work be done under a veterinarian's supervision. William Schmidt, who was treating Ms Good Cat, was not under veterinary supervision, according to the stewards.

Jones felt that the regulation prohibiting chiropractic work on race day ran counter to common sense, and that the restriction had not been well communicated by the track.

"We've done chiropractic work on race day wherever we have gone. It's a part of us trying to use less medication." said Jones. "We want to play by the rules, but we need to know what the rules are."

The scratch of Ms Good Cat was discussed Saturday at an Arkansas Racing Commission meeting, and officials said language clarifying what is and what is not allowed on race day will be proposed for adoption at the commission's next meeting on Feb. 14, two days before Old Fashioned is scheduled to run in the Southwest.

Jones was optimistic about the conversations he had with Oaklawn officials.

"Everybody has agreed to look into it, and see about getting it clarified," Jones said.

Eric Jackson, general manager of Oaklawn, said the track has had discussions with both Jones and Rick Porter, the owner of Old Fashioned. He would not reveal the specifics of those discussions but had the following comment: "It was good, wholesome positive discussion that I think will serve everybody well going forward," Jackson said.

- additional reporting by Mary Rampellini