Ben Jones was born in Parnell, Missouri, and attended Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri for high school.
Jones went into the business of breeding and training of thoroughbreds during the first decade of the 20th century, racing his horses on small circuits in the American West and in Mexico. By the end of the 1920s he was recognized as one of the better trainers in the industry. He gave up his operation to accept the job of trainer for Woolford Farm in Prairie Village, Kansas from 1931 to 1939 during which time he trained three champions including the 1938 Flamingo Stakes and Kentucky Derby winner, Lawrin.
For the next season, Jones was hired by Warren Wright, Sr. to train for his Calumet Farm in Lexington, Kentucky and to take charge of its breeding operation. Under Ben Jones, Calumet became one of the greatest stables in thoroughbred racing history. He is the only trainer to win the Kentucky Derby six times, including victories by two U.S. Triple Crown winners, Whirlaway and Citation.
In 1948, Ben Jones was appointed general manager of Calumet Farm and his son, Horace A. "Jimmy" Jones, took over head trainer duties. Ben Jones made the cover of the May 30, 1949 issue of Time magazine. He retired in 1953 and in 1958 was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Ben Jones died in 1961 at the age of seventy-eight.