09/04/2002 11:00PM

Interest Only, up-and-comer

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FLORENCE, Ky. - Having lost stable stars Outofthebox and De Bertie this summer to retirement, the Klein family of Louisville was on the lookout for horses to fill that pair's big shoes. It didn't take long for Allamerican Bertie to do just that, but the Kleins have another potential star on the rise.

Interest Only is the latest filly whose feats are helping the sizable stable of Bert, Elaine, and Richard Klein make a smooth transition. Interest Only will make her first start since an impressive victory in the Ellis Park Breeders' Cup when she faces 11 other filly-mare sprinters Saturday in the opening stakes of the Turfway Park fall meet, the $75,000 Weekend Delight Stakes.

Interest Only, a 4-year-old filly whose name is reflective of the Kleins' primary business interest - banking - long has been considered a talented filly, but she has had just six races to put her ability on display. The Ellis Park BC, the secondary feature on the Aug. 10 Gardenia Stakes program, was a perfect showcase for Interest Only, who led throughout to prevail by 3 1/4 lengths.

The Ellis victory continued an encouraging string of races for the Kleins and their first-string trainer, Steve Flint. On July 21, the Kleins' 3-year-old filly Allamerican Bertie easily won the Delaware Oaks. Four weeks later, Allamerican Bertie led to deep stretch in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga before being passed by Farda Amiga.

In the meantime, the Kleins were the leading owners at the 41-day Ellis meet with 11 wins. The family would like nothing more than to get its Turfway meet off to a fast start Saturday when Interest Only is guided again by James Lopez in the six-furlong Weekend Delight.

Probably the main rivals to Interest Only are Nasty Storm, who will try to rebound off two subpar efforts at the recent Saratoga meet; Juke, a Claiborne Farm homebred who was third as the favorite behind Interest Only at Ellis; and So Enticing, a rapid Deerhound filly who recently cleared a third-level allowance for the leading trainer at Ellis, Steve's father, Bernie Flint.

The Weekend Delight goes as the ninth of 10 Saturday races. First post for the fourth of 22 fall programs is 1:10 p.m. The Weekend Delight is the lone stakes at Turfway before the five-race Kentucky Cup series, which will be run for the ninth time here next Saturday.

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