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Russell Jones inducted into Parx Hall of Fame

UNIONVILLE, Pa--Russell B. Jones of Unionville was inducted into the Parx Hall of Fame at Parx on Sept. 15.

Russell JonesRussell JonesAlong with Jones, the Pa.-bred gelding Page McKenney, trainer Richard Vega, former Governor Edward G. Rendell and veterinarian Dr. Patricia M. Hogan were also inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Jones has been  a breeder in Pennsylvania, currently buys at auction in this country for horses to race in Europe, has served on racing commissions and ran one of the biggest bloodstock agencies in the country.

"I've been a breeder in the state for, it must be 40 some years," said Jones.

He currently sits on the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission.

"I was the head of the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association at one point," said Jones. "I was on a prior racing commission."

My brother and I ran what was the biggest consignment agency (Walnut Green) outside the state of Kentucky," said Jones. "Now I'm retired, and that has to be the biggest chapter of all."

Actually, Jones is semi-retired, as he finds time to advise his cousin-in-law and good friend Phyllis Wyeth on matters involving her hot young sire Union Rags, winner of the 2012 Belmont Stakes.

"It's been thrilling," said Jones. It's been a lifetime experience. Great horse, great lady, may it  last."

 

PAGE McKENNEY won 22 races from 58 starts and $1.9 million.

By former Pennsylvania stallion Eavesdropper, Page McKenney was bred by Dr. James E. Bryant and Linda P. Davis and foaled at Northview PA.

He didn't get his first win until his 13th start and then became a winning machine with incredible consistency.

During a stretch on 31 races. 26 of the stakes, he finished in the top three 30 times.

"Watching him come down the stretch, head down and ears back, just pure grit and determination, man, I'm going to miss it," said Bryant.

 

GOVERNOR RENDELL was critical in getting gaming enacted in Pennsylvania in 20014.

"One of the many reasons I got behind expanded gaming is because the horse racing industry is such a giant job producer in the Commonwealth," said the governor.

 

DR. HOGAN has had a long career but is most widely known for her treatment of the then 2-year-old Smarty Jones when he suffered a severe head injury in a freak accident.

She has been instrumental in Parx decade old racehorse retirement program. the PTHA's Turning for Home, Inc.

 

VEGA, a teenager in 1980 when the U.S. border was opened to Cuban residents. immigrated to the U.S. and ended up on a refuge camp near Penn National, and the excitement of the track lured him.

He made his way to what was then called Keystone Racetrack in 1984 and never left.

He has more than 1,000 wins since becoming a trainer in 1994, and his horses have won nearly $17.5 million.

 

 

 

Alix Coleman

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