01/06/2010 1:00AM

Stylish Jess Br keeps Jones cruising for now


Quarter Horse trainer Paul Jones had a record-breaking year in 2009, with stable earnings of $7,425,512. It was the first time the stable cracked the $7 million mark after earnings at least $6 million from 2005-08.

Jones, 44, celebrated by taking his wife and two young daughters on a Caribbean cruise this week. Even while he was away, Jones was trying to keep pace with his 2009 success. He won the year's first Grade 1 race last Saturday, the $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap at Los Alamitos with Stylish Jess Br.

Jones will need all the Grade 1 wins he can get in 2010 from his divisions at Los Alamitos, Remington Park and Ruidoso Downs to reach last year's figure.

"We've got some nice 2-year-olds and that's the key," he said. "It will be hard to top [2009], as well as we did."

In 2009, Jones won the All American Futurity with Running Brook Gal; the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity with Good Reason SA; swept the first three positions in the All American Derby with Inseperable, Fantastic Corona Jr. and Royal Proclamation; and won the Los Alamitos Super Derby with Foose.

While Foose and Inseperable have been retired, Running Brook Gal, Good Reason SA, and Fantastic Corona Jr. will be part of the 2010 stable.

Stylish Jess Br won her second major stakes in the last three months, and third Grade 1 race of her career, in the Charger Bar. Ridden by Cesar DeAlba, Stylish Jess Br ($3) ran 400 yards in 19.56 seconds, easily beating 17-1 Bills Glamour by 1 1/4 lengths.

Stylish Jess Br, 5, has won 9 of 22 starts and $690,384 for owner Benny Rosset. Stylish Jess Br's previous Grade 1 wins came in the 2008 Mildred Vessels Handicap and the Distaff Challenge at Los Alamitos last October.

The Charger Bar was her second start in the last month. In the $750,000 Champion of Champions on Dec. 12, Stylish Jess Br finished a half-length behind winner Freaky but was disqualified for causing interference near the finish.

"She pulled up really good out of the Champion of Champions," Jones said. He said that he and Rosset had been uncertain about running Stylish Jess Br in the Charger Bar, "but she was acting even better than before. I said, 'Let's go out ahead and run her.' "

Jones and Rosset have yet to decide whether Stylish Jess Br will stay in training and run in the Winter Championship on Feb. 20, or be turned out and bred via embryo transfer. Jones is leaning toward a start in the Winter Championship.

"She's definitely sharp right now," Jones said. "It makes it nice to start the year off with this win. Hopefully, we'll have another good year."

The trainer did not see the race in person. He watched it on a computer on the cruise ship. Typical of a trainer, his thoughts were both with his family and with the stable.

"It's different being away," he said.