Defending Leading Trainer Ness Prepares for 14th Meet

April 19, 2024

Jamie Ness (MJC Photo) and Delaware Park Gate (Hoofprints Inc). 

Seeks Record-Breaking 12th Overall Title

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Chris Sobocinski/Delaware Park News & Notes

WILMINGTON, Del.— When the 87th season of live racing opens on Wednesday, May 15th, trainer Jamie Ness will once again be looking to rewrite the Delaware Park record book. 

While the native of Heron, South Dakota has been a perennial top national trainer by wins in North America, he is odds-on to notch a record 12th overall Delaware Park leading trainer title.

Ness is currently tied with the legendary trainer Grover “Buddy” Delp, who like Ness, was annually among the top national trainers by wins during his era. Delp recorded 11 Delaware Park titles over a two-decade period beginning in 1963.

“It is incredible to have this opportunity because there have been so many great trainers to go through Delaware Park and to be mentioned among those names is an honor,” said Jamie Ness. “Records are always meant to be broken of course, but maybe like 20 years down the road from now, my children will be involved, and they will see the name in the books and be proud of Dad. That is pretty special and very meaningful to me.”

Ness holds the record of most consecutive training titles at nine. Delp won seven in a row from 1963 through 1969. Scott Lake also won seven in a row from 2002 through 2008.

Ness has never been worse than third in the standings since his first season stabled at Delaware Park in 2011. The two seasons he was not the leading trainer, were 2011 (second) and 2014 (third).

“Delaware is a great place, so great in fact that when we had to find an area to settle down, my wife (Mandy) and I decided to put our roots in the area around Delaware Park, so I consider it my home track and my base,” Ness said. “Everyone in our operation gets excited for the Delaware season. Since we have horses all over, we have to worry about putting together the Delaware staff and every year I have the same problem – everyone wants to go to Delaware. If your staff likes to go there, that tells you how people feel about the Delaware meet.” 

Ness will have approximately 65 horses at the Stanton-oval with the typical mix of allowance and claiming horses.

Boss Logic will be returning for his fourth Delaware Park season. Last year, the 6-year-old son of Oxbow went 4-for-4 and owns a career record of six wins, a second and two thirds from nine outings at the Stanton-oval. The Kentucky-bred has a career record of 13 wins from 30 starts with earnings of $340,066.

“He is actually at Delaware right now,” Ness said. “I had to give him a little time this winter with a foot issue, but we nipped that in the bud, and he is back in training. He should be ready to go right around Opening Day.”

Ness cannot wait to get Speedyness involved in the Delaware Certified restricted races. The 3-year-old home-bred son of Great Notion has a career mark of five wins and two thirds from ten starts with a stake win and earnings of $231,200.

“I am also looking forward to getting Speedyness going at Delaware,” he said. “He is Delaware Certified. He is entered to run in the Tesio this weekend and I think he has a shot, but we are eager to get him into some Delaware Certified races.”

Ness is also excited about his 2-year-olds. Last season, he had five Delaware Certified 2-year-old winners from 29 starters at Delaware Park. 

“We are also going to have a fresh crop of about two dozen Delaware Certified babies coming along, so every new season it is always exciting to see what you got,” he said.

Ness notched his first career win with Blue Rocket at Canterbury Park in 1999. He recorded his 2,000th victory with Caylee’s Song at Laurel Park in 2013, his 3,000th win came with Late Breaking News at Parx in 2020 and his 4,000th with Sing Scat at Laurel Park last year. Last year, he was the second leading trainer by wins in North America with 349 and he was third in 2022 and 2021.

Jamie Ness 4000th Win with Owner Morris Kernan, Jr., (Right). (MJC Photo)

Other familiar outfits planning on returning for the 2024 live racing season include trainers: Edward Allard, Juan Arriagada, Lynn Ashby, Victor Barboza, Jr., Brett Brinkman, Keri Brion, Gary Capuano, Victor Carrasco Jr., Greg Compton, Sam Cronk, Kelly Lynn Dieter, William Downing, Michael Gorham, Richard Hendriks, Blake Kelly, Steve Klesaris, James Lawrence, Cathal Lynch, H. Graham Motion, Chelsey Moysey, Pedro Nazrio, Gerard Ochoa, Anthony Pecoraro, Pedro Posadas, Ben Perkins Jr., Kerri Raven, Tim Ritchey, McLean Robertson, Kelly Rubley, Brittany Russell, Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon, Niall Saville, Carlos Sepulveda, Andrew Simoff, Robert Smith and Michael Stidham.

New barns for this season include: Jose Francisco D’Angelo, Bonnie Lucas and Darian Rodriguez

2024 Live Racing Dates

Live racing will be conducted on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday each week. Nine Friday cards will be added to the schedule on the following dates: June 7th, June 14th, August 2nd, August 9th, September 13th, September 20th, September 27th, October 4th and October 11th. Live racing is not scheduled on Thursday, July 11th. The 75-day meet is scheduled to conclude on Saturday, October 12th. Daily first race post time is set for 12:30 p.m. 

A special Weekend Festival with multiple stakes will be highlighted by the $300,000 Grade III Delaware Oaks on Saturday, July 6th and the $500,000 Grade II Delaware Handicap on Sunday, July 7th

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