In a return to his multiple stakes-winning form, Matt Schera’s John Jones cruised to the lead around the far turn and powered down the stretch to a two and a quarter-length repeat victory in the $75,000 Jennings Stakes for Maryland-bred or sired older runners at Laurel Park on Saturday, Dec. 30.

Winless in three starts in 2017 since coming back from a minor injury suffered after last year’s Jennings, John Jones finished the mile in 1:36.36 over a fast main track. Bridget’s Big Luvy was second, with Rockinn On Bye third.

In addition to the Jennings, the Smarty Jones gelding, now 6, captured the Mister Diz over late legend Ben’s Cat in 2016 – Gaudet’s first stakes victory as a trainer – and won five of six starts that year after being claimed by Gaudet for $25,000.

Now 7-for-9 lifetime at the one-mile distance, John Jones went unraced for 10 months before returning to be fourth in a turf allowance on Oct. 5 at Belmont Park.

Bred by Victor Frenkil and his late wife Nancy in the name of Nancy Lee Farms, John Jones is out of the stakes-winning Polish Numbers mare Chrusciki, whom the Frenkils campaigned after purchasing her for $40,000 as a weanling at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December Mixed sale in 2000. All six of the mare’s foals to race have won, three with earnings of six-figures. The mare’s 2015 foal, a gelding by Old Fashioned named C C Old Fashioned, has yet to start. Chrusciki produced a full sister to John Jones in 2016, a filly by Seville (Ger) in 2017 and was bred back to Elusive Quality.

Read more about the running of the Jennings

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Maryland-breds at Keeneland January Sale

Avla “Poppet” Pitts’ chestnut filly, a yearling half-sister to 2018 multiple stakes-winning Maryland-bred juvenile Alwaysmining, topped the Maryland-bred offerings at the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale held Jan. 7-10 in Lexington, Ky.

The Maryland-bred filly, by Medaglia d’Oro’s son Fast Anna, whose oldest foals are just-turned 2-year-olds, was consigned by Hunter Valley Farm, agent for $100,000. She was purchased by Caroline and Grey Bentley, who campaign Alwaysmining, winner of the Maryland Juvenile Futurity and Heft Stakes in December, under the name of their Runnymede Racing.

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MHBA celebrates 90 years

“The formation of an organization, in whole or in part of persons, firms
and/or corporations, who have been or are at the present, or who likely will be interested in the breeding and improvement of horses; the fostering and preserving of traditions pertaining to the horse everywhere and particularly the fine traditions of the horse in Maryland. . .”
—From the Articles of Incorporation, Jan. 12, 1929

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No Never No More to stand first season in Maryland

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