11/11/2010 5:30PM

Trainer Larry Jones to come out of retirement at Oaklawn Park

Barbara D. Livingston
Larry Jones trained such top horses as Hard Spun, Proud Spell, and Eight Belles before retiring from training last November.

Larry Jones, who retired from training last November after reaching the pinnacle of the sport with Grade 1 winners Proud Spell, Hard Spun, Island Sand, and Kodiak Kowboy, plans to resume his training career when the Oaklawn Park meet opens in January.

“I’ve got to get off my butt and get back to work,” Jones, 54, said Thursday. “My wife said I’ve had enough rest!”

Cindy Jones took over her husband’s stable when he retired, and will continue to train the 28 horses currently in her care at Delaware Park through the end of the year. Larry Jones said he will have a 40-horse stable at Oaklawn, with a handful of horses for the Fox Hill Farm operation of Rick Porter.

Jones trained Hard Spun, Kodiak Kowboy, Old Fashioned, and Eight Belles for Porter, and it was not long after the death of Eight Belles, who sustained a catastrophic injury following her second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby in 2008, that Jones announced his retirement. It took Jones most of 2009 to reduce the size of his stable, and after he stopped training in the fall he galloped and shipped horses for Cindy, and tended to the couple’s breeding stock. Jones also took time to address some minor health issues.

“I got a lot of phone time off,” he said. “And I got to do a lot of stuff on my health. I feel better than I have in 10 to 15 years, as far as my energy levels.”

Jones said he learned he had high levels of aluminum in his system, and correcting the situation has enhanced his quality of life. The Jones family will be racing on the East Coast over the next several weeks before bringing the stable into Hot Springs, Ark.

No Such Word, whom Cindy developed into a multiple stakes winner for client Brereton Jones, is to make her next start in the Grade 1, $250,000 Gazelle at Aqueduct on Nov. 27.

“Hopefully, she’ll get a Grade 1 win before she throws in the towel,” Jones said of his wife, who is expected to again be his assistant at Oaklawn.

Larry Jones began training at Ellis Park in 1983, and has stable earnings of more than $27 million.