Old Fashioned, new racing hope for Jones
Devastated, is the only word that can be used to describe how trainer Larry Jones felt when he saw his most promising horse, Eight Belles, go down just after she had magnificently finished in second place in the Kentucky Derby. His joy at seeing his beautiful filly leave her male counterparts behind in one of the most prestigious horse racing events of the year, was replaced by grief, disbelief and a loss for words, as the news came back that Eight Belles would have to be euthanized.
But hope emerged out of tragedy, with the stunning colt named Old Fashioned, demanding Jones’s attention and instilling faith in Jones that a victorious and happy end to a Kentucky Derby, might still be on the cards. As a two year old, Old Fashioned was unbeaten and suffered his first career loss on 14 March 2009, during the running of the Rebel Stakes. Win Willy managed to just sneak past Old Fashioned in the last few yards of the race. Jones is not troubled by the loss, as missing out on victory once, in a flawless career does not indicate that his racing days are over.
In fact, Old Fashioned will face off against Win Willy again, on Saturday, during the Arkansas Derby that will be held at Oaklawn Park. Contenders for this horse racing event includes, in post order: Captain Cherokee, Papa Clem, Flat Out, Poltergeist, Ziegfeld, Flying Private, Summer Bird, Old Fashioned, Win Willy and Danger to Society. Seeing these two colts in the starting gates almost certainly guarantees an exciting race and a Kentucky Derby to look forward to. Terry Thompson expressed his excitement at being teamed up with Old Fashioned again, saying: “Old Fashioned has a lot of ability, a lot of potential. Another thing I really like about him is that he learns quickly. You only have to show him one thing and he remembers it. I'm excited about getting the opportunity to ride Old Fashioned."
Jones has also announced his retirement from horse racing and his position as trainer, but many are hoping that if either Old Fashioned, or his stable mate Friesan Fire, can pull off a victory in the Kentucky Derby, Jones might just be persuaded to put his retirement on hold.