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Saturday Night Steak Out for Cindy and Larry Jones


Headlines for Sunday, January 11, 2009

  • Saturday Night Steak Out for Cindy and Larry Jones
  • Patena's Place Run in Lecomte Leaves Josie Carroll Pleased
  • Au Moon Runs Third in Lecomte Under February's Full Moon
  • Indygo Mountain Doing Fine Sunday Morning


Saturday Night Steak Out for Cindy and Larry Jones

NEW ORLEANS, La. - A lucky horseshoe, or just good horses, good training and good people?

It didn't really matter Saturday night for Cindy and Larry Jones as they celebrated a 3-year-old stakes sweep at Fair Grounds - Just Jenda in the $75,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes, followed by Friesan Fire's clear victory in the $100,000 Grade III Lecomte a half hour later. It was time to go out for a steak dinner.

"We absolutely made pigs of ourselves," admitted Cindy the morning after Saturday's dinner. Her husband was on the road for Oaklawn Park to make preparations for the Arkansas-based division of his stable.

For this year at least, the Joneses, who have overseen the conditioning of Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks quality horses like Hard Spun, Proud Spell and Eight Belles in the last two years, are still working people.  Retirement, and quality time with six grandchildren, will have to wait for another year.

Just Jenda will be pointed for the $150,000 Grade III Silverbulletday Stakes, and Friesan Fire is headed for the $200,000 Grade III Risen Star Stakes that same afternoon on Louisiana Derby Preview Day here Feb. 7.  Grade II Remsen winner Old Fashioned, another Jones trainee, is being pointed for Oaklawn's Grade III Southwest Stakes, and still another promising Triple Crown sophomore, It Happened Again, will run in the Triple Sec Stakes at Delta Downs on Friday.

The lucky horseshoe, or at least the lucky horseshoe nail that Cindy Jones grasped during the Tiffany Lass and the Lecomte, will remain in her hand for all the upcoming races.

"It's guaranteed to go to all those races," she said.  "Yesterday, it was just awesome."

Also awesome was the fact that Just Jenda is owned by Cindy, who says the filly is by far the best horse she has ever owned. 

"It was very special to have her win like that," she said.  "Those were some quality fillies in that race against her (Saturday), but she didn't even want to pull up after the race.  She wanted to go on, and that's a good sign.  Also, it was a good sign that when she got back to the barn she wanted to jump right into her feed tub.  She's named in honor of our granddaughter Jenda, who had just graduated from high school when we got the filly.

"The day she got off the van from South Carolina, one of the assistants said one of the horses off the van was particularly good looking, and it was her.  She's a gorgeous animal, and she's talented as well.  She's in the same stall that Proud Spell had last year (at Fair Grounds, when she won the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks and eventually the Kentucky Oaks.)

"In her only loss down at Delta, she just couldn't get a hold of the track down there," Cindy added.  "She stumbled three times in the stretch because she wasn't handling it.  The same thing happened with Hard Spun when we ran him in the Southwest at Oaklawn two years ago.

"As for Friesan Fire's race, when we watched the replay we realized that he absolutely dragged Gabe (jockey Saez) to the lead.  The horse did all that basically on his own.  We wanted the jock to get him in behind horses for the experience, but putting blinkers on him has made him a lot more competitive.  Like a lot of A. P. Indys, he has that ‘want to' quality about his running."


Patena's Place Run in Lecomte Leaves Josie Carroll Pleased

            Canadian-based trainer Josie Carroll saddled Good and Lucky to win Saturday's $75,000 Louisiana Handicap, but she was equally pleased with Patena's second-place finish in the Grade III Lecomte Stakes in the 3-year-old's first effort over a dirt course.

            "He's done everything we've asked him to do so far," said Carroll of Patena, "and he also got a lot out of that race (Saturday).  We galloped him out past the wire and he galloped out strong and continues to show us that he's a horse who can get a distance of ground.

            "Hopefully, that race (Saturday) will set him up perfectly for the Risen Star," Carroll added, "and both of my horses came out of their races well and are doing well this morning.  Good and Lucky ran very well Saturday, but he's always loved the Fair Grounds track."


Au Moon Runs Third in Lecomte Under Full Moon

Tim Brown and Phil Gahm's Au Moon could not catch Friesan Fire and Patena in the one-mile Lecomte, but was clearly best of the other sophomores in Saturday's Louisiana Derby prep at Fair Grounds.

"The (Lecomte) didn't set up well for him at all," said Au Moon's trainer David Carroll Sunday morning.  "He needs more of a distance of ground, but hopefully he got something out of the race Saturday.

"I was pleased with (Au Moon's) effort, and he came back fine," said Carroll, who saddled Denis of Cork to finish third in last year's Kentucky Derby.

"The two horses that finished in front of him Saturday are both very nice horses," Carroll said, "but I'm not afraid of either one of them.   Maybe I should be, but I'm not."

Au Moon's next meeting with Friesan Fire and/or Patena will likely come at Fair Grounds in either the Risen Star or the Grade II Louisiana Derby March 14.


Indygo Mountain Doing Fine Sunday Morning

            Clarence Scharbauer Jr.'s Indygo Mountain, the morning line choice for Saturday's Grade III Lecomte, ran a disappointing sixth without ever launching a serious bid but came out of the race without the problems that had necessitated his late scratch during the post parade of a Lecomte prep Dec. 18.

            "He's doing fine this morning," said Jill Parrot, trainer Bret Calhoun's assistant, Sunday morning. "We just lost too much training time with him after he had those foot problems that caused his late scratch last time."