I’ve been involved with horses all my life. It’s my escape from what I do. It gives me something else. I’ve just written a song called “I Don’t Want to Be Davy Jones Anymore,” and I’m like, [singing] “and I don’t want to be me anymore. …” I go places and sometimes it’s overwhelming. When people see me they say, “Hey, you look so great. I can’t believe you look just like you did.” I’m like, yeah, right. I’m dragging my ass in the morning like you are when you’re getting out of bed.
I have five racehorses in training. I had a nice winner last week at Gulfstream in Florida — my first win, actually, as a trainer. It was a grand slam filly I bought a couple years ago. She paid 40 dollars [laughs]. Her name is T.E. Jones. All my horses are Joneses. People think I own the Kentucky Derby winner [Smarty Jones] .
I was an apprentice jockey in England in the sixties. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I rode my first winner on the track. I won a mile on the flat. That was the biggest thrill of my life.
What I want more than anything is to win. Coming off a stage, I know the audience is going to enjoy some of what I do — being Davy Jones of the Monkees and all that kind of thing. There ain’t no Davy Jones or the Monkees when I’m dealing with horses. This is about me, my horse.
Maybe some observe what I’m doing with criticism and think, “Oh he can’t be training horses, he’s a Monkee — or he can’t ride.” Maybe they’re waiting for me to fall off or make a mistake. But I can ride a finish as well as anybody, and I’m tough in the jockey room. There are places I go where the Monkees don’t come into play. — As told to Brandon Walters; photographed by Stephen Salpukas.
Letters to the editor may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org