Favored No Such Word became a grade I winner for trainer Cindy Jones with her fifth stakes victory of the year in Aqueduct's $250,000 Gazelle (VIDEO) Nov. 27.
Ridden once again by Terry Thompson, Brereton C. Jones' 3-year-old Kentucky homebred daughter of Canadian Frontier registered her third consecutive stakes victory while completing the 1 1/8-mile Gazelle in 1:51.05 over a fast track. She defeated six rival 3-year-old fillies.
No Such Word could be the final starter for Cindy Jones, whose husband, Larry, announced he is returning to the family's head training duties in 2011.
“That was the way we planned it, to win, absolutely," exclaimed Cindy Jones. "She had been training so awesome into this race."
Stalking on the outside of horses, No Such Word was four wide around the final turn before taking the lead at the head of the stretch. She opened up a comfortable edge in the lane and came home 2 1/2 lengths in front of Awesome Maria. Seeking the Title, another 2 1/2 lengths back, edged Joanie's Catch by a neck for third.
No Such Word won the Monmouth Oaks (gr. III) in August and returned with a 6 1/4-length romp in the Remington Park Oaks Oct. 10 during her current streak. She also won Oaklawn Park's Honeybee (gr. III) and the Go For Wand at Delaware Park this year.
"The last race at Remington, Larry said she didn’t get out of a fast gallop and came out of the race so good," Cindy Jones said in reference to her husband. "It looked like she was galloping down the backside and when he asked her to go, it was all over. This filly has just gotten better and better all year.”
The seven fillies in the Gazelle broke evenly before Awesome Maria, racing at the rail for John Velazquez, took the lead while tracked to her immediate outside by Belle of the Hall and Quiet Temper. No Such Word, leaving from the far outside, fell into a stalking trip off the rail as Awesome Maria clicked off pedestrian quarter-mile fractions of :24.60, :49.90, and 1:13.57.
No Such Word advanced to challenge on the outside of the first three on the final turn and disposed of the tiring Belle of the Hall and Quiet Temper after coming under encouragement from Thompson. Awesome Maria and No Such Word separated from the rest in the stretch with No Such Word getting control at the furlong pole. No Such Word would draw away under some urging.
“We knew today she’d probably lay a little closer," Thompson said. "She puts herself where she wants to be. If there’s pace in the race, she’ll be off it, and if not, she’ll be on it."
Awesome Maria, who held off several challenges while setting the pace, dug in well to hold second over Seeking the Title, who got up for third following a long drive under Rajiv Maragh. Late-running Joanie's Catch was followed by Quiet Temper, second choice Dubai Dancer, and Belle of the Hall.
No Such Word improved her career mark to 7-1-2 in 15 races with earnings of $653,213 after collecting $150,000 for the Gazelle victory.
The bay filly is out of Muskoka Ice, by It's Freezing.
No Such Word carried 117 pounds and paid $5.60, $3.10, and $2.30 as the 9-5 choice. Awesome Maria, looking for her first graded stakes score for trainer Todd Pletcher, returned $3.70 and $2.80 and completed a $20.60 exacta. Seeking the Title, unplaced in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) last time out, was $5 to show.
"It looks like we were just second-best on the day, but it was a good effort,” Pletcher said of Awesome Maria.
Ms Vanenzza scratched.