10/14/2009 12:00AM

One more call to the post for Jones

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Larry Jones is considering Payton d'Oro for the Chilukki at Churchill Downs.

Payton d'Oro, who last weekend won the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, might be the last horse trainer Larry Jones saddles before retiring. Jones said the filly is being considered for a start in the Grade 2, $150,000 Chilukki at Churchill Downs on Nov. 7. The next day, Jones plans to turn over the training duties of his 27-horse stable to his wife, Cindy Jones.

"I'm pleased with this," Larry Jones said Wednesday from Kentucky. "I bought some horses for us, and I'm going to stay involved with it through ownership."

Cindy Jones plans to be based at Oaklawn Park following the fall season in Kentucky. A lifelong horsewoman, she trained on her own in the late 1980s. In more recent times, Cindy Jones has been an assistant to her husband during a whirlwind run in which his stable, which grew to over 100 horses, racked up Grade 1 wins with champion Proud Spell, Hard Spun, Kodiak Kowboy, Wildcat Bettie B., and Island Sand.

During that same period, Larry Jones was dealt a disheartening blow when Eight Belles sustained a catastrophic injury following her second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby in 2008. It was not long after her death that Jones, in September 2008, announced he would be retiring by the end of 2009.

Larry Jones, 53, has since been gradually paring down his stable, helping to move horses from such major clients as Rick Porter, the co-owner of Kodiak Kowboy, to other trainers. Jones on Wednesday said he now has 27 horses in his care, a few of them ponies. Cindy Jones is expected to bring about 20 horses to Oaklawn. The stable will be made up of horses the couple owns, and a handful of runners for outside clients.

"We have so many of our own horses, and we felt some obligation to and desire to see some of the others to the end of their careers," said Cindy Jones.

The barn is led by the fillies Payton d'Oro, who in May won the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan; Just Jenda, a multiple Grade 3 winner of close to $500,000 owned by Cindy Jones; and On the Menu, a stakes winner last summer at Monmouth Park.

Larry Jones said he will accompany his wife to Oaklawn but does not plan to be part of the stable's day-to-day operations in Hot Springs, Ark.

"I won't be doing anything, as far as the everyday at the barn," he said. "I'll come out for the races. And I might gallop a horse or two for Cindy or maybe haul a horse for her if she needs me to."

Larry Jones said he also will be keeping an eye on the couple's other horse investments. Cindy Jones said they have seven yearlings coming up, and Larry Jones said there are also broodmares with which to make breeding decisions. He noted the couple has stallion seasons to such former Jones trainees as Hard Spun and Old Fashioned.

Larry Jones won his first race as a trainer on July 31, 1983, at Ellis Park. He has since compiled a career record of 736 wins from 3,893 starts for stable earnings of more than $27 million. To date, Jones has won 94 stakes, 36 of them graded races. Before turning to training, he was a commercial farmer in Kentucky.