05/28/2003 11:00PM

Speed is key 'Word'


MIAMI - A second-level allowance race typically carries a $28,000 purse during the Calder summer meet. But because of a special endowment from the Florida Breeders' Association, Saturday's Royal Glint Stakes - for nonwinners of two other than - will be worth $50,000 to eight of the nine horses in the race.

The only horse in the field not eligible for the extra money is the Kentucky-bred Just Say the Word, and he is the one to beat.

Just Say the Word, trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., has not started since easily defeating entry-level allowance competition at Gulfstream Park going seven furlongs April 12. Just Say the Word set lively fractions of 44.87 seconds for a half-mile and 1:09.97 for six furlongs en route to a 2 1/4-length victory under jockey Paul Toscano.

Just Say the Word has worked steadily since that performance, and the stretch to the one-mile distance of the Royal Glint should not pose a problem because Just Say the Word won his maiden at the distance here last December. He also proved competitive on several occasions at 1 1/16 miles, including a third-place finish in the OBS Championship behind multiple stakes winner The Name's Bond.

Toscano will again ride Just Say the Word, who carries 112 pounds under the allowance conditions of the race. He'll carry five fewer pounds than key contenders Kinsman Valor and Whos Crying Now.

Kinsman Valor won a pair of two-turn races at Gulfstream, where on March 20 he was claimed for $35,000 by trainer David Fawkes on behalf of Prairie Lane Farms. Fawkes has decided to put blinkers back on Kinsman Valor for the Royal Glint after watching him drop too far off the early pace and tire badly in the Simply Majestic Stakes last weekend.

Whos Crying Now returns to the main track after finishing fifth in the Gleaming Channel Stakes on turf earlier in the meet. Like Kinsman Valor, he put together back-to-back victories going 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream.

Whos Crying Now will be joined in the Royal Glint by his uncoupled stablemate Patriotic Flame, who seeks to rebound from a string of poor outings, including his last pair on grass. Patriotic Flame showed his affinity for the local course during his 2-year-old campaign when he sandwiched second- and third-place finishes behind Trust N Luck in the What a Pleasure and In Reality stakes around a first-level allowance victory.