09/06/2006 12:00AM

Year away from Texas was enough for Jones


SELMA, Texas - Trainer James Jones is back at Retama Park after taking a one-year hiatus to work with young horses at Holly Hill Training Center in South Carolina. A former assistant to trainer Frank Brothers, he registered his first winner of the meet last Saturday night with the 2-year-old filly Prom.

Jones had launched his own public racing stable in the fall of 2001 after a 10-year association with Brothers. He has five horses in training at Retama, where he set up shop upon his return from South Carolina.

"I missed Texas," Jones said. "I had to get back here, so I'm just trying to rebuild a stable, trying to do the Texas circuit again. Most of my family are in this area. This is what I call home, San Antonio."

Jones, 41, is a native of Rockdale, Texas. Among the horses in his stable are Mucho Gato, a 3-year-old colt by Valid Expectations who will run in a turf allowance Friday night at Retama. Later in the meet, the 2-year-old Miteylikearose is scheduled to make his career debut for Jones.

"He's a homebred by Mighty, who Frankie trained, and actually I galloped when I worked for Frankie," said Jones.

Mighty was a Grade 2 winner of $705,432. Miteylikearose is out of Gustine, a mare Jones claimed on behalf of a client and won with at Retama in 2002. She is by Cayeli, another horse Jones galloped for Brothers. Miteylikearose was bred in Texas.

"I gave him to my mother as a gift to kind of get her in the game," Jones said. "He's a lovely horse. I broke him myself. It's a pleasure to get up and come out every morning just to be around him. He's really a neat little horse, so I've got a lot of high hopes for him."

Miteylikearose, a handsome black colt with personality, should be effective on either turf or dirt, said Jones.

Remington: Two perfect on local course

Dontbotherknocking and More Than Promised both remained perfect over the Remington turf with their stakes wins at the track on Monday. Dontbotherknocking became the first two-time winner of the DeBartolo Memorial Breeders' Cup, and overall has won three stakes over the local course. His other major objective this meet is the defense of his title in the $100,000 Remington Green Stakes on Oct. 20, said his trainer, Bernell Rhone.

More Than Promised picked up her second win over the local course in the $75,000 Ricks Memorial on Monday. She is headed next to Louisiana Downs for the $100,000 River Cities Breeders' Cup for fillies and mares on turf Sept. 30, according to her trainer, Scott Blasi. Last year, More Than Promised was an 8 1/4-length winner of the Remington Park Oaks in her only other start in Oklahoma City.

Blasi also won the $50,000 Clever Trevor for 2-year-olds at Remington on Monday and said next-race plans are still being decided for winner Sir Five Star.

The DeBartolo card was run with a special daytime post, and attendance was a meet-best 8,240.

Lone Star: Return of Championships

Lone Star Park will host the $1 million MBNA America Challenge Championships, a program of 12 major stakes for Quarter Horses, on Nov. 11. The card is part of a 36-race, $3.6 million stakes schedule for the track's Quarter Horse meet, which opens Oct. 6. The season will run for 32 nights, through Dec. 2.

The Challenge Championships is a program of divisional stakes, and it includes five Grade 1 races. The highlight is the $300,000 MBNA America Challenge Championship for 3-year-olds and upward at 440 yards. The traveling program is being held for the fourth time at Lone Star. It was last conducted here in 2002.

Other major stakes during the meet include the Grade 1, $1 million Texas Classic Futurity and the Grade 1, $400,000 Texas Classic Derby. In a change, the futurity and derby will share a card, on Dec. 2. Lone Star has also made a change to the $100,000 Refrigerator Handicap, another Grade 1. The track has moved the race from its traditional closing weekend spot to opening weekend, Oct. 7.

In all there will be 11 Grade 1 races for Quarter Horses this meet at Lone Star.