11/24/2006 12:00AM

Better spot for No Reason


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - With No Reason slated to be sold at auction in January, her connections were hoping to potentially enhance her value by trying to earn some graded black type in Friday's Grade 2, $150,000 Top Flight Handicap at Aqueduct.

But after looking at the entries for the Top Flight, the owners had a change of heart and elected for a softer spot in Sunday's $65,000 Montauk Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race restricted to New York bred fillies and mares. The Montauk, won last year by this year's probable Eclipse Award winner, Fleet Indian, serves as the closing day feature of Aqueduct's main track season. Racing switches to the inner track Wednesday.

Instead of being a longshot in the Top Flight, No Reason looms a solid favorite against six foes in the Montauk, in which she will seek her fifth consecutive stakes victory on dirt.

No Reason beat older horses last time out, when she rallied from off the pace under Garrett Gomez to win the seven-furlong Iroquois Handicap by one length Oct. 21 at Belmont Park.

"She settled farther back last time, and Garrett said she was comfortable back there, and when he asked her she just picked them up," said Toby Sheets, assistant to trainer Scott Blasi.

The only question surrounding No Reason is her ability to get 1 1/8 miles. The farthest she has run is 1 1/16 miles, in her win in the New York Oaks at Finger Lakes.

"I don't think that's a problem," Sheets said of the distance.

Channing Hill will ride No Reason from post 6.

Judy Soda is 4 for 5 at 1 1/8 miles, but she enters her final career start in bad form, finishing fifth of six in the Numbered Account Stakes at Belmont in September and 10th off 11 in the Iroquois.

"The last one, she had post 1 going seven eighths, and I should have scratched her that day," said trainer Tom Bush. "She lost any chance at all to stalk. They just buried her inside. The previous race, I was disappointed in her effort, but they were open [company] fillies and were just better than her."

Bush said Judy Soda's work last Sunday, when she went five furlongs in 1:02.14, "was probably one of the best works she's ever had."

Expect Judy Soda to be on or near the lead breaking from post 2 under Javier Castellano. Carlow and Scatkey also have speed.

Completing the field are Shady Lane, second to Judy Soda in the Saratoga Dew Stakes at Saratoga in August; Sweeping Glance; and Fuego Grande.