The above Monmouth Park ashtray was one of two identical ashtrays, I purchased at two separate H.A. (Jimmy) Jones estate auction sessions. The first was purchased at his initial sale in late 2001. This one came up in his March 17th, 2002 sale.
This ashtray is in almost new condition and luxuriously crafted. It is a large ashtray measuring 8.5" across and weighs over 2 pounds. I can see why Jimmy decided to take this one back home with him to Parnell, Missouri on his retirement from Monmouth Park. It is made of a heavy brown leather sleeve with harness stitching around the edge. The bottom has felt padding to protect fine furniture. On the inside of the sleeve is a gold engraving of the gates of Monmouth Park racetrack with Monmouth Park inscribed underneath and showing through the glass ashtray insert. There is a heavy glass ashtray insert that fits into the leather sleeve.
This is a unique item which symbolizes one of the major transitions in Jimmy's Jones' career. He was training for Calumet Farms in the 1960s, having succeeded his father, Ben Jones. Calumet's racing stock seemed to be on the decline, Bull Lea was an aging stallion at that time and was not producing what he once did. No prominent stallion replacement seemed to be eminent. Jimmy was 57 years old and had been training horses since he was seven--he was ready for a change and Monmouth Park was it. Monmouth Park offered him a job as Director of Racing in 1964. So it was in 1964 that he moved behind a desk at that track and left the shedrow forever. I am sure this Monmouth Park ashtray was most probably on that desk and contained the ashes from many a prominent cigar in meetings and visits to that office. Even if you or your friends do not smoke, this would make an excellent tray to hold coins, paper clips, etc. Purchase of this item will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity declaring me as the purchaser at the estate sale, the sale bill, and any other pertinent information.