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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