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Jones notches 1,000th Thoroughbred victory


January 30, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

(photo by Portland Meadows)
By Patrick Kerrison
Portland, OR – Jockey Clark Jones notched his 1,000 Thoroughbred riding victory Sunday afternoon, January 29, at Portland Meadows Racetrack in the fourth race aboard Leo & Frieda Maelfeyt’s Touched An Angel.

Jones, a 40-year-old native of Salt Lake City, Utah moved to Vernal, Utah as a small child and that’s where he broke his maiden.

“My first win was aboard a Quarter Horse at a small bush track in Vernal,” Jones said. “It was the first horse I ever rode in a race.”

Since then Jones has amassed a total of 1,448 wins riding mixed breed horses as well.
“I wouldn’t know where to begin to thank people,” he said. “There are so many who helped me reach this point. I’ve had a lot of backing from a lot of good people; good friends.”

Overall, Jones has a riding record of 1448 - 1315 - 1323 from 9536 mounts, winning at a 15 percent clip and hitting the board 43 percent of the time.

“Clark gives you every chance you can get in a race when riding your horse,” said leading trainer Jim Fergason. “When he comes back from a race he can always tell you something about the horse whether it is good, bad or indifferent.”

“Good riders like him know what they’re on,” Fergason continued. “You don’t have to tell them how to ride every horse.”

Fergason would know. Over the years, the pair has teamed up to post a 76-65-58 record from 371 starts, winning 20 percent of the time and hitting the board in 54 percent of their attempts. They’ve collected better than $265,000 in earnings doing so.

Trainer Jonathan Nance was quick to echo Fergason’s sentiments.

“He’s really honest in that he gives you a good ride every time,” Nance said. “You don’t have to give him a lot of direction. He has sharp instincts and knows how to ride a horse well. Whether it’s going to the lead or coming off the pace, he tends to fit a lot of my horses well and knows how to approach each ride.”

Jones and Nance are 39-32-26 from 216 starts together (18 percent) and boast an ITM rate of 44 percent with $172,898 in earnings.

“I was going through my album the other night, knowing he was getting close to this milestone,” Nance continued. “He has won a lot of stakes races for me over the past few years. He just gets along with horses really well.”

His dominant victory aboard Nance’s Lawanda in the Mt. St. Helen’s Stakes on January 7 is among the four stakes races he won this month.

Jones started the month with a win aboard Fergason’s Colony Lane, leading the gelding to his fifth Portland Meadows win in a row. Together, they captured their sixth straight here Sunday afternoon in the sixth race.

On January 8 Jones and Chancy Chancy won the Solda Holme Invitational Handicap for owner/trainer Dave Runyon and then guided Silent Exploit to victory on January 13 in the Tall Ben Invitational Handicap for Ben Root.

“Clark always comes out with a plan on how to go,” said Runyon. “In this game things don’t always go the way we plan them but Clark always knows how to make the right adjustments as a race unfolds.”

Thus far, through 40 days of an 80-day race meet at the Delta Park oval, Jones sits in third place in the rider standings with 43 winners in Thoroughbred races and leads the Quarter Horse standings with eight wins.

“I had a great upbringing,” Jones said. “My Mom and Dad taught me how to work, to work hard and work for what you get.”

Jones also recorded a second milestone, albeit minor in comparison, earlier in the card when he recorded his 100th Portland Meadows Quarter Horse victory aboard Lilys Hidden Secret in the opener.

Clark Jones – By the Numbers:

Overall Statistics – all breeds:
Starts: 9536 1st: 1448 2nd: 1315 3rd: 1323

Thoroughbred Record:
Starts: 6967 1st: 1001 2nd: 904 3rd: 948

Mixed Breed Record:
Starts: 2569 1st: 447 2nd: 411 3rd: 375

Portland Meadows – all breeds:
Starts: 2594 1st: 422 2nd: 357 3rd: 345

Portland Meadows - Thoroughbred Record:
Starts: 1966 1st: 322 2nd: 269 3rd: 250