INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2010) — Family, friends and colleagues gathered Tuesday at Sky Rose Chapel in Whittier for services in honor of Dal Jones IV, who died following surgery Feb. 16. He was 38.
Jones, an immensely popular figure on the Southern California circuit, was Director of Marketing and Sales at Hollywood Park. He joined Hollywood Park as Group Sales Manager in 2005 and was promoted to his current position in 2008.
Jones worked as an Assistant Trainer for such high profile barns such as Dave Hofmans and Bob Hess, Jr. prior to taking out his trainer’s license. His passion for racing was remarkable. In his career he worked with such classic winners such as 1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion Alphabet Soup, 1997 Belmont Stakes Winner Touch Gold, and 1998 Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion Awesome Again, not to mention many other notable stakes horses.
Jones put his training career on hold to accept a position in the Santa Anita group sales department in 2002, joining his mother, Eleanor, as a member of the Santa Anita team.
“Dal was one of the finest people I have ever worked with,” said Dyan Grealish, Vice President, Marketing and Sales at Hollywood Park, who hired Dal at Santa Anita and recruited him to move across town. “He was a dedicated, fun loving and highly respected colleague. He will be dearly missed by all those who knew him.”
After moving to the front office, Dal’s passion for horses remained strong as he formed a syndicate named Meritage Racing in 2008 with Doug O’Neill as the trainer. The stable won five races from 17 starters with a 71% in the money record.
Jones, who won a battle with Hodgkin’s disease in high school, was an exceptional athlete and is a member of the Temple City High School Hall of Fame. He earned a baseball scholarship to Azusa Pacific University and played four years. Primarily a pitcher, he had a record of 10-3, 66 strikeouts and a 4.65 earned-run average in 41 career appearances. He was one of just two players on the 1993 squad who played on all four of Azusa Pacific GSAC championship teams from 1990-93. He graduated from Azusa Pacific in 1993 with a business degree.
Jones’ main passion in life was his family. He is survived by his wife, Sally, son Dal, who turns four in April, and daughter Avary, 18 months.
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