James Jerkens Racing
Jimmy Jerkens
  • Born: Jan. 24, 1959 in Bay Shore, N.Y.
  • Residence: Floral Park , N.Y.
  • Family: Married, wife Shirley, with 2 step children, Henry and Fredericka. Father was Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens; Brother Steve also trains. 
  • Jimmy married Shirley Jerkens in July 2008. The story is that the pair dated as teenagers, they were actually High school sweethearts, dating for about 4 years. Then of course, life happened and the two parted ways. Both were previously married and she has two children from that marriage. Shirley is a Pediatric Phsyical Therapist, and built a large non profit practice in Louisville, KY where horses and ponies were part of the treatment. She also galloped horses on the racetrack, primarily in NY and FL through the eighties and early nineties.
  • Racing Background: In fall of 1997, following a 20-year tenure as his father's assistant, Jerkens opened his own stable with seven horses owned by Peter Blum ... Jerkens said his father encouraged him to go out on his own. “He had six or seven horses at the time for (Blum) and they weren't having much luck. He said (Blum) would probably like the idea if I would train. I had known that owner since I was a little kid. It seemed like a good opportunity to just start out with one guy and not too many horses." ... Says he shares many of his father's philosophies: “I do some things a little differently, but for the most part, especially if a horse hasn't been out in a long time, I think we pretty much train them the same way, a lot of long slow works as opposed to short, fast ones.”
  • Racing Career: Jerkens has a 40-horse barn, stabled primarily in New York. He also races in Florida during the winter ... Jerkens' first winner was Ninth Inning at Belmont Park on Sept. 28, 1997. She gave Jerkens his first stakes win and graded stakes win later that year when she won the Astarita ... Won three stakes with Thomas Jo in 1998, the Federico Tesio and the Sir Barton at Pimlico and the Francis “Jock” LaBelle Memorial at Delaware Park. Thomas Jo also finished third behind Victory Gallop and Real Quiet in the 1998 Belmont Stakes ... Tied with Gary Contessa as the leading trainer at the 1999-2000 Aqueduct inner track meeting with 23 victories ... His most memorable moment came in 2005 when he sent out Artie Schiller to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile at his home base of Belmont Park. "Everything came together perfectly that day,” Jerkens said. “He got a great ride (from Garrett Gomez) and the favorite (Leroidesanimaux, that year’s Turf champion) may not have been at his best that day.” ... Artie Schiller, who won 10 of 22 starts and earned $2,88,853, was 12th in the 2004 Breeders' Cup Mile. The son of El Prado also won the Bernard Baruch, Maker’s Mark, Jamaica, National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, Hill Prince and Woodlawn in his career. He was retired to stud at Hurricane Hall Farm near Lexington, Ky., in 2006 ... Jerkens returned to the Breeders’ Cup winner's circle with Corinthian in the inaugural 2007 Dirt Mile. Previous to the Breeders' Cup, Corinthian's biggest win of the 2007 season came in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap. The Met was special to Jerkens since Corinthian held off a late charge by Political Force, a horse trained by his father, “The Chief," ... “I thought we had Lawyer Ron beat,” Jerkens said after the Met Mile. “Then I said, ‘Oh my God, here comes ‘The Chief.’ ” ... Jerkens’ list of 2007 stakes winners also included Christmas Kid, who won the G1 Ashland ... Other graded stakes winners have been Sir Greeley (Westchester Handicap in 2006); Dat You Miz Blue (Vagrancy in 2001); Snake Mountain (Queens County and Stuyvesant handicaps in 2002 and the Stymie and Aqueduct handicaps in 2003); Celtic Melody (Humana Distaff Handicap in 2002); and Multiple Choice (Sport Page and Gravesend handicaps in 2002) ... In 2007,his stable won 52 of 214 starts for earnings of $3,809,641 ... This year, Jerkens has trained the graded stakes-winning fillies Zaftig and Doremifasollatido. Zaftig won the G3 Nassau County on May 3 and the G1 Acorn on June 7. Doremifasollatido captured the G2 Matron on Sept. 13, a victory which put her on the road toward the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies ... Other stakes winners in 2008 include Lady Marlboro, who captured the Sabin Handicap; Sir Greeley; and Mint Lane, who won the Postponed Stakes on June 13 and the G2 Dwyer on July 6. ... Jerkens' runners have earned $2,278,813 and won 35 races from 186 starts. .
Kent Sweezey (Assistant Trainer)
Born: February 21, 1986 in Lexington, KY. 
Residence: Floral Park, NY
  • Born in Lexington, KY on Darby Dan Farm which his father was a managing partner.
  • Attended University of Kentucky
  • Completed The Irish National Stud Breeding Course in 2007
  • Worked breeding and sales seasons for Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand and Arrowfield Stud in Australia
  • Returned to Kentucky to manage Chesapeake Farm and Timber Town Stables from 2008-2010
Racing background:
  • Barn Foreman for Christophe Clement in NY and FL from 2010-2011
  • Assistant to Eoin Harty in Southern California from 2011-2014
  • Assistant to Jimmy Jerkens from 2014-present
Kent learned horses at a very early age growing up on Darby Dan Farm in Lexington. He worked weekends with the mares and foals, and spent the summers prepping yearlings for the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale. The knowledge he learned on the farm, both here and abroad, shaped him into the hands-on horseman he is today. Kent can assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. Feel free to contact him at any time, 859-421-6829.