03/15/2009 12:00AM

Honeybee sets up Just Jenda for Fantasy


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Just Jenda put herself in a position for a start in Oaklawn Park's biggest race for 3-year-old fillies, the Grade 2, $250,000 Fantasy on April 5, after her three-length win in the Grade 3, $100,000 Honeybee Stakes on Sunday. Afleet Deceit finished second in the 1 1/16-mile race, a half-length in front of favorite and third-place finisher Bon Jovi Girl.

Just Jenda ($8.40) broke with the field and settled in third along the rail as Bon Jovi Girl and Peach Brew ran the opening quarter in 25.34 seconds on a track rated good. Just Jenda moved to the outside of horses down the backside, with Bon Jovi Girl continuing to lead through a half-mile in 49.79 and six furlongs in 1:14.27. The eventual winner then drew even with Bon Jovi Girl at the quarter pole, moved to the lead from there, and dug in through the stretch to cover the distance in 1:45.95.

"When I asked her to go, she responded very good," said Gabriel Saez, who rode Just Jenda for trainer Larry Jones.

Jones trains Just Jenda for his wife, Cindy. The win was the second straight in the Honeybee for Jones.

"It means a lot to us," he said. "With Eight Belles having won it last year, to come back and win it again makes me and Cindy feel awfully good."

The late Eight Belles also won last year's Fantasy, for Fox Hill Farm.

Just Jenda picked up her third career stakes win in the Honeybee, which improved her record to four wins from six starts for earnings of $205,400. She is a daughter of Menifee. Her other stakes wins have come in the $75,000 Brandywine at Philadelphia Park and the $75,000 Tiffany Lass at Fair Grounds.