02/10/2010 1:00AM

Travel a burden for Jones, but earnings record helps


Training a stable of nearly 200 Quarter Horses keeps Paul Jones on the road more than he would like.

It also puts Jones in some odd situations, such as Wednesday morning when he worked 50 2-year-olds 220 yards at his ranch in Tularosa, N.M. Many of those 2-year-olds will race at the Ruidoso Downs meeting that begins in May.

At Los Alamitos, Jones has 100 horses in training, a number he says will be steady through the year. In addition to a massive team in Ruidoso, at least 25 Jones-trained horses will be based at Remington Park in Oklahoma City for that track's lucrative winter-spring Quarter Horse meeting that begins next month. There also is a 10-horse division at Sunland Park.

Last year, a similar setup gave Jones, 44, a single-season earnings record of $7,425,512, the first time the stable has cracked the $7 million mark. Those financial results justify the personal toll, he says.

"I'm getting tired of the travel," he said Wednesday morning. "It's nice we were able to branch out."

Jones will have reasons to stay near his home base at Los Alamitos later this month. He has qualified Bring the Bling to the $201,750 Los Alamitos Winter Derby on Feb. 19 and will start Masters Call, Royal Proclamation, and Separate Bet in the Los Alamitos Winter Championship the following night.

The $228,450 Winter Championship is led by the 2009 World Champion Freaky, trained by Adan Farias. Freaky set the fastest qualifying time in trials earlier this month. The Winter Championship winner receives an automatic berth to the Champion of Champions in December.

On Feb. 27, Jones will have two finalists in the $134,000 Maiden Stakes, which is restricted to horses that were maidens as of Dec. 1. He starts Stelly Savalas and AB Another Runner. They are worth following later in the year, he said.

"The two I qualified will be nice 3-year-olds later in the year," Jones said. "It's going to be tough in the final."

The Winter Derby, Winter Championship, and Maiden Stakes are three of the most lucrative stakes run at Los Alamitos in the early months of the year.

One Jones-trained runner who is sidelined is Good Reason SA, the winner of the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity in December. Good Reason SA underwent surgery earlier this month to have a bone chip removed from a knee but will race later this year, the trainer said.