Jones Records 300th Stakes Win at Los Al
Trainer becomes only the second ever to reach the milestone.
March 1, 2015
Paul Jones became only the second trainer to win 300 stakes races at Los Alamitos after Zigfield Follies posted a half-length victory in the $15,000 Elan Again Handicap on Saturday night. The victory takes Jones to a milestone level that only the legendary Hall of Fame trainer Blane Schvaneveldt had previously reached at Los Alamitos. Schvaneveldt is the all-time leader in stakes wins at Los Alamitos with 387.
For Jones, the win is another great moment in a career filled with many. He is American Quarter Horse racing’s all-time leader in money earned with over $76.4 million and second in victories with 3,838. Of those wins, 3,325 have come at Los Alamitos, including many of his most memorable stakes victories.
“I think the most special stakes win for me is my first Champion of Champions with Whosleavingwho in 2002,” Jones said. “I feel like it was the start of all the success that I’ve had. I won my first AQHA champion trainer award after that victory and I’ve been champion trainer every year since then.”
Jones’ first stakes win ever came in the California Sires’ Cup Derby with Beinbetter on July 25, 1993, at Los Alamitos. His first ever futurity win was not at the Orange County oval. Instead it came in the Northern California Fairs Futurity with Hitarun on September 1, 1997. Hitarun, which Paul owned and trained, would give him a derby win at Los Alamitos in the 1998 PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby. Like Whosleavingwho, both of those horses and victories are very special to the trainer.
“I still have Hitarun,” Jones said. “He’s at my ranch in Temecula. I kept Beinbetter at my New Mexico ranch after his racing was over. He stayed there until he passed away about four or five years ago. My biggest goal in racing now is to do as much as we can with our 2-year-olds. I also hope that we can keep winning champion trainer awards, but each year it gets tougher and tougher. It was hard to get there (champion trainer) and it’s harder to stay there. There’s good Quarter Horse racing all over the country now. You can win big races for good money in a lot of different places nowadays.
“I’ve also been fortunate as a breeder,” Jones said. “We bred an AQHA champion in Foose and bred (in partnership with Thompson Racing) Favorite Cartel, who also had an outstanding racing career. We’ve been pretty lucky breeding horses considering that we have a small number of mares.”
Having won virtually every major race in the sport, Jones still dreams of the ultimate accomplishment in racing.
“That would be winning either the Quarter Horse racing Triple Crown at Los Alamitos (Ed Burke Million Futurity, Golden State Million Futurity and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity) or the Triple Crown in Ruidoso (Ruidoso Futurity, Rainbow Futurity and All American Futurity). Winning a Triple Crown is the biggest thing you can do in this business.”
Ridden by Cesar De Alba, Zigfield Follies was second at the start of the Elan Again before pulling away to a half-length victory over Ed Allred’s Girls Can Fly. An allowance winner in her last start, Zigfield Follies earned $8,250 for winning the Elan Again. The 4-year-old mare by One Famous Eagle ran in the Grade 1 Southern California Derby last year. A winner of four of 10 starts, she’s earned $32,516 in her career.
Girls Can Fly earned $3,375 for running second. Bearing A Secret, Mrs Pickens, Ronas Runner, and California Gurl completed the field.
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