03/30/2010 12:00AM

Distance key for No Such Word

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Larry Jones was unable to win a maiden race with No Such Word. But his wife, Cindy, has made a graded stakes winner out of the filly, who is set to run Friday in the Fantasy at Oaklawn.

"It made me look stupid," Larry Jones joked. "I couldn't win a race with her!"

But there's a reason for that, Cindy Jones said. No Such Word was always meant to run a route of ground, and Larry Jones only had her for her initial three starts, all at six furlongs or shorter. He then retired from training, and when No Such Word was transferred to Cindy Jones, she promptly won her maiden in a seven-furlong race at Churchill Downs.

"It was one turn, but it was still a distance," Cindy Jones said. "Two turns has been key for her."

No Such Word is now 2 for 2 in routes, winning an allowance here in February and then coming back to take the Fantasy prep, the Grade 3 Honeybee, in her most recent start March 13. It was a powerful effort. No Such Word and her regular rider, Terry Thompson, overcame a tight trip to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Beautician, the runner-up in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

"Terry rode a perfect, perfect race," Cindy Jones said. "He got her in a good position. I was a little concerned when they turned for home because she was in a pocket and he had a horse that was ready to go. And when he got out, got her to the outside, she just hit another gear and was gone. And he said he had tons of horse left after the race."

No Such Word earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 92. Cindy Jones said the right kind of effort in the Grade 2, $300,000 Fantasy would send No Such Word to the Kentucky Oaks. Larry Jones won the Oaks in 2008 with Proud Spell, that year's 3-year-old filly champion. Proud Spell raced for her breeder, former Kentucky Gov. Brereton Jones, who also bred and races No Such Word.

No Such Word was one of four probables for the Fantasy as of Tuesday. The others were Blind Luck and All Due Respect, who flew in from California, and Tidal Pool, who was a recent eight-length allowance winner over older rivals for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

The Fantasy is the first of nine stakes to be run over the final week of the meet, with at least one stakes scheduled for each program. The meet ends April 10 with the running of the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby.

The Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap goes Saturday, and Dakota Phone and Delightful Kiss arrived for the race from California on Tuesday morning. Jonesboro, who was scratched out of a local allowance last week, will run in the Oaklawn Handicap, trainer Randy Morse said. Others expected for the race are Win Willy, Duke of Mischief, and Prom Shoes, according to Oaklawn stakes coordinator Craig Lytel.

Stall superintendent retiring

Francis Klein, a former trainer who for the past 14 years had been the stall superintendent at Oaklawn, said he plans to retire when the meet closes April 10. Klein turned his stall superintendent position over to Beverly Fowler before the start of this season and has since been assisting in various administrative duties at the track on weekends. He is 72.

"I own an automobile detail shop in Hot Springs, and I've been working over there full time," Klein said. "It was good at Oaklawn. I will miss it"

Klein began training horses in the 1960s, competing at such tracks as Oaklawn, Louisiana Downs, Hawthorne, Sportsman's, and Ak-Sar-Ben. He and his wife, Doreen, have six children and all of them have worked at or are currently employed by Oaklawn.

Trainer Bernie Flint and and jockey agent Steve Krajcir are both son-in-laws to Klein.

* Oaklawn has kicked up overnight purses for the second time this meet. Allowances and maiden special weights have been increased $4,000 each, while claiming races are up $2,000 each. In addition, the track will offer a purse increase of $1,000 per starter for every wagering interest greater than eight. The purse increases are due in large part to the success of the track's new gaming center.