01/14/2009 12:00AM

Jones ships in pair for 3-year-old stakes


Trainer Larry Jones's stellar reputation with developing young fillies has a tendency to precede him these days, so it will be no surprise if the betting public falls in love with On the Menu in Friday night's $50,000 Genesis Stakes at Delta Downs. The Genesis is one of two seven-furlong, two-turn events for 3-year-olds slated for the evening, with colts and geldings getting their shot in the $50,000 Triple Sec.

On the Menu is not the first high-profile filly that Jones has brought into Delta from his Fair Grounds base in New Orleans. After he sent out Just Jenda to a fifth-place finish in the $500,000 Delta Princess last month, Jones was quoted as saying that Just Jenda did not take to the Delta surface. That would seem to have been the case considering Just Jenda bounced back and won the $75,000 Tiffany Lass last Saturday at Fair Grounds.

"There is nothing wrong with the track at Delta," Jones was quick to say Wednesday morning. "It is just that some horses handle different surfaces and some do not. It is the whole horse for course thing.

"We think On the Menu is a bit better equipped to handle the Delta surface. She seems to have the ability to accelerate quickly when you ask her, and that is what you need over that track."

On the Menu won at first asking at Delaware Park in late August. She was then shipped to Belmont Park for the Grade 2 Matron where she finished seventh after bucking shins, Jones said. The daughter of Canadian Frontier made an impressive return to the races Dec. 27 at Fair Grounds, winning an entry-level allowance by more than seven lengths and earning a 93 Beyer Speed Figure. Gabriel Saez, aboard for both of On the Menu's victories, will ride her on Friday.

Jones and Saez also will team up in the Triple Sec with It Happened Again. The son of Proud Citizen will try to rebound from an eighth-place finish as the favorite in the Sugar Bowl Stakes at Fair Grounds Dec. 20.

"We actually tried to get him in the Delta Jackpot here in early December," Jones said. "He didn't get in because he lacked the earnings, so we basically were forced to sprint him in the Sugar Bowl, which is not really his game."

"He also got behind a wall of horses when he was trying to get into the race," Jones added. "We have high hopes for him. People talk about Old Fashioned and Friesan Fire in the barn, but I think this colt belongs in that same group."