07/05/2007 11:00PM

You Will Love Me breeder's ace in the hole


Bill Jones got into the Thoroughbred racing business in an unorthodox way. Just over 20 years ago he had a farm in Mansfield, Ontario, bulging with Black Angus cattle, and a company in the oil business in Toronto.

"I won this horse - I think it was in a card game - and I didn't know what to do with it," said Jones.

While golfing one day, he mentioned to one of the course employees, Theresa Shiel, that he had a racehorse. Shiel introduced Jones to her father, Dan, a trainer at Fort Erie.

"That's pretty much how it started," said Jones, who is 73. "His name was Lemico Jules and he was picking up a $5,000 check every two weeks at Fort Erie. He did okay."

Jones will go for a substantially bigger check Sunday when he runs You Will Love Me in Sunday's $150,000 Ontario Damsel Stakes at Woodbine.

After his success with Lemico Jules, Jones decided to try the tougher waters at Woodbine racetrack and collected a small group runners and mares.

One mare, Trinnon, had been a $60,000 yearling purchase at the 1995 Woodbine select yearling sale but only placed during her racing career. Jones said he bought her from trainer Jim Day through bloodstock agent, now trainer, Dave Cotey.

"Dave has helped me buy a couple of mares along the way," Jones said.

Jones bred Trinnon, a daughter of Grade 2 stakes winner Anshan out of the stakes-producing mare Aunt Arctic, to Bold Executive, but the mare didn't get in foal. She produced her first foal in 2000 when Great Auntee, a grey daughter of Great Gladiator, was born.

Great Auntee, now 7, earned over $300,000 on the track for Jones and his wife, Sheila, while racing in high claiming events.

In the meantime, Jones sold his cattle farm and all his farm equipment and moved to a small 25-acre residential property in Caledon, close to places where Jones can participate in his other favorite pastime, golf.

You Will Love Me, by One Way Love, a multiple champion, is Trinnon's fourth foal.

"I tried to sell her at the yearling sale two years ago," said Jones. "I was hoping to get $25,000 for her but someone only went up to $19,000, so I bought her back. She had X-rayed with chips in her hocks."

The filly, trained by Earl Barnett, was sixth in her career debut last Nov. 3 but has come within of neck of winning her last four starts. Her win in the $126,000 Lady Angela Stakes as a 15-1 longshot June 8 was the biggest win by a Jones horse.

"That was a real hoot," said Jones. "I had had so many friends ask when they could come to the races with me, so I brought some that day. One guy made $5,000 betting on her. We really enjoyed drinking the champagne up in the turf club."

You Will Love Me, her yearling full sister, her weanling half-sister by Parisianprospector, and their dam are the only horses owned by Jones. The horses reside at John Carey's T.C. Westmeath Stud. Carey and wife purchased Great Auntee off Jones this spring and bred her to one of their stallions, Old Forrester.

Trinnon has recognizable names in her pedigree to fans of Ontario racing from the 1970s and 80s. Decent Davey, Skinny Minny, and Jumpin Joseph, all from the famed breeding program of the Warren Beasley family, are just some of the stakes winners in her family.

"I liked Trinnon's breeding with all those good Beasley horses in her pedigree," said Jones. "I'm not going to buy any more horses, but I'm having some fun."