By Mint Julep


Horace A. Jones Trainer: Two Kentucky Derby Winners

1957 kentucky derby winner iron liege

Key Takeaways

  • Jimmy Jones, a famous name in horse racing history, made a big mark as a trainer by guiding two Kentucky Derby champions to victory.
  • His amazing skills and hard work paid off with several wins in the Triple Crown races, such as leading Citation to triumph in both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.
  • In 1959, Jimmy Jones earned a spot in the Racing Hall of Fame. His influence on American Thoroughbred horse racing goes far beyond his training days and is still felt today.

Early Life and Family Background

Jimmy Jones, also known as Horace A. Jones, was born in Parnell, Missouri on November 24, 1906. He grew up surrounded by horse racing because of his father Ben A. Jones, who was a famous Hall of Fame trainer. Jimmy’s passion for horses blossomed at Woolford Farm in Prairie Village, Kansas where he spent most of his time hearing the sounds of hooves and whinnies coming from the stables.

With a legacy rich in equestrian excellence and expertise passed down to him, Jimmy quickly found success as a horse trainer. His time at Calumet Farm marked a period where his talent shined brightly under the Kentucky sun. Through hard work and dedication to training these majestic animals, he transformed champions into legends that would be remembered for generations.

After World War II ended and nations were reshaped by conflict, Jimmy found victory on racetracks across America. Becoming head trainer at Calumet Farm wasn’t just another job for him; it was a true calling driven by determination and love for these incredible creatures who raced like poetry in motion.

As each powerful steed trained by Jimmy thundered across race tracks with grace and strength emerged tales filled with courage and triumph that captivated crowds cheering them on towards their dreams against the backdrop of lush green pastures.

Success at Triple Crown Races

Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones was a master of the racetrack, known for his exceptional talent in training thoroughbred horses to greatness. With a sharp eye and unwavering dedication, he guided Iron Liege to victory at the Kentucky Derby in 1957, laying the foundation for his incredible success with Tim Tam just one year later. Watching Jimmy Jones work with these magnificent creatures was like observing an artist at their canvas—meticulous, precise, and brimming with passion.

In horse racing history, few names shine as brightly as Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones when it comes to Triple Crown triumphs. His greatest accomplishments included steering Citation to victory not only in the prestigious Preakness Stakes but also in the challenging Belmont Stakes—a true testament to both his expertise and profound understanding of these majestic animals’ abilities on the track.

Jones’s legacy goes well beyond mere victories; it includes a significant influence on generations of trainers who came after him. His methods were seen as groundbreaking for their time—blending traditional techniques with innovative approaches that set new benchmarks for excellence in horsemanship. It’s no surprise that even today, experienced professionals look back at Jimmy Jones’s career with deep respect and admiration.

The special touch that Jimmy possessed seemed almost magical as he led champions like Tim Tam towards glory on those revered tracks where dreams come true amidst thundering hooves and cheering crowds echoing through history’s annals. Each race became more than just a competition but rather a tribute to meticulously honed training perfected over years by this master craftsman whose name still inspires awe among enthusiasts globally.

With every stride taken by horses trained under Jimmy Jones’s watchful eye, they carried not only themselves but also his unyielding spirit across finish lines into greatness—an enduring testimony to one man’s incomparable skill and steadfast commitment to excellence heard ’round those legendary ovals where champions are forever crowned kings.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Inspires upcoming trainers of the next generation
  2. Establishes a top-tier benchmark for excellence in horse racing
  3. Adds to the storied history and tradition of the sport
  4. Highlights how dedication and hard work lead to success


  1. Feeling the pressure to match previous accomplishments
  2. Few chances for emerging trainers to stand out in the limelight
  3. Risk of overshadowing current racing stars by fixating on past heroes
  4. Struggles in upholding the esteemed legacy and reputation of Racing Legends

Leading Trainer and Notable Wins

Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones, the brilliant mind behind Calumet Farm’s triumphs, was a true legend in the world of horse racing. His exceptional talent as a trainer shined brightly through his flawless track record of leading seven champion horses during his esteemed career at Calumet Farm. With four wins at the Preakness Stakes and one victory at the Belmont Stakes, Jimmy Jones established himself as an unmatched force in the sport.

His outstanding accomplishments extended beyond just winning races to receiving widespread recognition within the racing community. He was celebrated as America’s top trainer on five separate occasions—an honor that speaks volumes about his unwavering commitment and unparalleled skill in nurturing equine talent to its fullest potential.

One cannot speak of Jimmy Jones without recognizing his pioneering financial achievements within horse racing circles. As the first trainer to earn over $1 million in purses during a single season, he set a new bar for excellence and paved the way for future generations of trainers to aim even higher.

The legacy left by Jimmy Jones echoes through time with each passing Kentucky Derby or Triple Crown event—reminders of his lasting impact on thoroughbred horse racing history. His sharp eye for talent and strategic training methods elevated him into legendary status among fans, fellow trainers, and jockeys alike.

In every stride taken by one of Jimmy Jones’ trained champions down those revered racetrack grounds, there is an echo of appreciation from those who acknowledge and treasure his enduring mark on this cherished sport—a mark that will forever endure as proof of greatness embodied in Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones: The Trainer Extraordinaire.

Induction Into Racing Hall of Fame

Jimmy Jones made a name for himself in the horse racing world with his sharp eye for talent and unmatched dedication to his craft. His entry into the prestigious Racing Hall of Fame not only recognized his accomplishments but also highlighted his unwavering love for training top-notch racehorses. This honor marked the pinnacle of a successful career where he turned promising young horses into champions with skill and panache.

Even today, Jimmy’s influence can be felt at racetracks around the country as tales of his exceptional horsemanship are shared from one generation to another. His ability to connect deeply with horses went beyond just training; it was an art, a seamless partnership between man and animal that led to remarkable success on the track. Each time he won at Derby races, it wasn’t merely about finishing first but also about demonstrating unparalleled expertise, tactics, and intuition honed over years of hard work.

As fans gather each year at events like the Kentucky Derby, they may not realize that they are stepping into Jimmy Jones’ enduring legacy. Despite many years passing since he last triumphed at Churchill Downs, his spirit lives on in every thunderous beat of hooves across those legendary tracks. The recognition bestowed upon him by the Racing Hall of Fame elevated Jimmy from being just a trainer – transforming him into a symbol of excellence who reshaped what greatness truly means in this sport where dreams run side by side with destiny.

Unconventional Trainer Switch Leads to Derby Victory

Year Horse Finish
1948 Citation 1st †
1956 Fabius 2nd
1956 Pintor Lea 5th
1957 Iron Liege 1st
1958 Tim Tam 1st

Retirement and Legacy

After Jimmy Jones retired from training in 1964, he took on the role of Director of Racing at Monmouth Park Racetrack. With his sharp eye and exceptional skills with horses, he brought a wealth of knowledge to this new position, shaping the future of horse racing. His influence extended beyond just the races as he mentored a new generation of trainers and jockeys looking to follow in his footsteps.

Jones eventually settled into retirement in Missouri, where he continued supporting various charitable causes that were close to his heart. One significant contribution was his generous support for St. Francis Hospital & Health Services through a substantial bequest. Even after stepping away from the racetrack spotlight, Jimmy Jones remained dedicated to giving back to communities and left behind a lasting legacy that went far beyond horse racing.

Thinking about Jimmy “The Coach” Jones’s retirement and legacy is truly remarkable due to the indelible mark he left on thoroughbred horse racing history. From expertly guiding two Kentucky Derby champions to achieving multiple Triple Crown successes during his illustrious career as a trainer, Jones became synonymous with excellence and dedication in the sport. His unwavering commitment both on and off the track continues to inspire those striving for greatness within horse racing – truly a legend whose impact transcends generations.

Kentucky Derby Record Summary

Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones was a standout figure in the world of horse racing, making a lasting impact on the history of the Kentucky Derby with his exceptional training skills. Although Eddie Arcaro was officially credited as Citation’s trainer for their Derby win, it was Jimmy Jones who played a crucial role in guiding Citation to victory in races like the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. The powerful team of Citation and Jimmy Jones notched multiple wins across prestigious Triple Crown events, leaving their mark on the sport.

Jones’ strategic abilities and deep understanding of horses were evident as he led his champions to success at Churchill Downs time after time. His talent for nurturing horse talent set him apart as a legendary trainer in horse racing history. With sharp attention to detail and unwavering dedication, Jimmy Jones molded champions that raced into fame with impressive victories.

The legacy created by Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones goes beyond just wins; it reflects a profound love for these magnificent animals that transcends generations. His influence continues to inspire aspiring trainers and jockeys to strive for greatness following his example of excellence standards. Among Kentucky Derby legends, Jimmy Jones is celebrated for his skillful horsemanship and boundless passion—a true giant whose name will forever be remembered alongside tales of triumph under the Twin Spires.

Every thundering hoofbeat at Churchill Downs carries echoes of gratitude towards Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones—the mastermind behind some of horse racing’s most remarkable achievements! As spectators watch history unfold beneath those iconic twin spires, they can’t help but feel inspired by past legends born on that same track—with Jimmy Jones leading each step towards glory amidst cheers fit for royalty.

Legendary Tales of Derby Triumphs

  1. Exciting Stories of Winning the Derby:
  2. The victory of Iron Liege in the 1957 Kentucky Derby stood out because he overcame Bold Ruler, who was heavily favored and ridden by legendary jockey Bill Hartack.
  3. Horace A. Jones’ precise training techniques and keen attention to detail were key factors behind his horses’ success in the Derby.
  4. The win of  Iron Liege under Horace A. Jones are considered significant moments in Kentucky Derby history, highlighting his talent as a top trainer in horse racing.

Significant Horses Trained

Jimmy Jones displayed exceptional training skills as he worked with renowned horses like Citation, the famous Triple Crown winner. His impressive accomplishment established Jones as a top-notch trainer in the competitive world of horse racing.

One of Jimmy Jones’ star pupils was Hill Gail, who triumphed at the prestigious Kentucky Derby under his expert guidance. The strong bond between trainer and horse played a crucial role in achieving this significant victory on the racetrack.

Jimmy Jones continued his winning streak with Iron Liege, another Kentucky Derby champion he skillfully prepared for success. His talent for connecting with these magnificent animals and bringing out their best on race days set him apart as a true master of his craft.

A notable example of Jimmy Jones’ exceptional abilities is Tim Tam’s victories in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, showcasing his unparalleled talent for nurturing champions. His dedication and expertise poured into every horse under his care paved the way for lasting success on some of racing’s most prestigious platforms.

Through overseeing an impressive lineup of horses such as Fabius, Bewitch, and Two Lea among others at Calumet Farm, Jimmy “the Gentleman” Jones made a lasting impact on thoroughbred racing history. His legacy endures not just through wins but also in the hearts of those who appreciate his profound influence on one of sport’s most majestic pursuits.

Contributions Beyond Training Career

Jimmy Jones was not just a successful horse trainer, but he also had a lasting impact on American Thoroughbred horse racing. His leadership at Calumet Farm and dedication to maintaining high standards throughout his career played a crucial role in shaping the careers of multiple champion horses. Jimmy’s talent for identifying potential extended beyond working with horses; he had a reputation for recognizing talented jockeys early in their careers and helping them grow alongside the equine stars under his care.

In addition to being strategic in horse racing, Jimmy Jones inspired those around him with his unwavering passion and determination. Riders, grooms, and other trainers were drawn to his enthusiasm for the sport. He didn’t just teach about handling thoroughbreds; he instilled values like integrity, hard work, and sportsmanship in everyone who learned from him.

Jimmy’s influence went beyond one generation within the close-knit community of horse racing enthusiasts. He wasn’t just known as a trainer – fans saw him as somewhat of a legend for elevating the sport during its golden era. Stories about Jimmy’s ability to predict race outcomes or turn average horses into champions created admiration that continues long after his time at Calumet Farm.

The tales of Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones read like chapters from an epic novel where each victory is celebrated as another milestone in an illustrious career that forever changed American Thoroughbred history. Beyond trophies and awards, it was Jimmy’s unwavering commitment to excellence that made him stand out as one of the sport’s true icons – someone whose legacy will keep inspiring future generations both on and off the racetrack.


1. How did Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones earn his reputation as a master trainer in the world of horse racing?

Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones became widely known as an expert horse trainer in the competitive world of horse racing thanks to his incredible skills. He led two Kentucky Derby champions to victory and accomplished numerous Triple Crown wins, establishing himself as a legendary icon in the sport.

2. What were the names of the two Kentucky Derby champions that Jimmy Jones trained, and what made them stand out in racing history?

Jimmy Jones successfully trained two Kentucky Derby champions, Citation and Hill Gail. These incredible horses made a lasting impact on racing history with their exceptional skills, winning multiple Triple Crown races and leaving behind a legacy in the sport that continues to inspire.

3. Can you elaborate on Jimmy Jones’ approach to training and how it contributed to his success with multiple Triple Crown winners?

Jimmy Jones achieved remarkable success with multiple Triple Crown winners by paying close attention to detail, intuitively grasping each horse’s unique abilities, and dedicating himself wholeheartedly to their care and training.

4. What impact did Jimmy Jones have on the broader landscape of thoroughbred horse racing beyond his Kentucky Derby victories?

Jimmy Jones made a lasting impact on thoroughbred horse racing with his amazing training abilities. He led two horses to victory in the Kentucky Derby and achieved multiple Triple Crown wins, establishing himself as a legend in the sport.

5. How did Jimmy Jones’ legacy influence future generations of trainers and shape the evolution of training methods in horse racing?

Jimmy Jones revolutionized horse training with his cutting-edge techniques, outstanding skills in handling horses, and remarkable achievements with Kentucky Derby champions and Triple Crown winners. His high standards of excellence have motivated and impacted countless trainers over the years, playing a significant role in shaping the development of modern horse racing training methods.

6. Are there any memorable anecdotes or stories that showcase Jimmy Jones’ unique talents and dedication to his craft as a trainer?

Jimmy Jones demonstrated his exceptional skills and dedication as a trainer by successfully training two Kentucky Derby champions, Whirlaway and Citation. This memorable anecdote highlights his unique talents in developing top-tier racehorses.