10/18/2006 11:00PM

No Reason slight edge in Iroquois


ELMONT, N.Y. - Last year, the Iroquois Handicap drew a field of 12, but Seeking the Ante turned it into a one-horse affair. This year, a field of 14 was entered for Saturday's $125,000 Iroquois and literally anyone can win it.

The Iroquois is run at seven furlongs, and the 14 horses have combined to win just 5 of 26 starts at that distance. This field of New York-bred fillies and mares is made up of horses who seem to do better at six furlongs or one mile.

No Reason may rate a slight edge considering she has won her last three starts on dirt while spotting her form with two terrible efforts on turf. In the spring, No Reason won New York Stallion Stakes at Aqueduct at seven furlongs and Belmont at one mile. In her most recent start, No Reason won the New York Oaks at Finger Lakes going 1 1/16 miles.

No Reason, trained by Scott Blasi, is 2 for 3 at Belmont with her lone loss coming as the 6-5 favorite in last year's Joseph A. Gimma Stakes. No Reason has shown versatility in her running style, and figures to get a good stalking trip under Garrett Gomez from post 9.

Her Royal Nibs has been in good form lately, winning two of her last four starts and finishing second in the other two. Last out, in the Schenectady Handicap, Her Royal Nibs finished second to loose-on-the-lead winner Zippy Shannon.

"That filly ran a big race last time to beat us," trainer Dale Romans said. "She got everything her own way and it's always hard to catch a quality horse when they're out there by themselves. Hopefully things will be different this time."

Edgar Prado replaces Gomez on No Reason from post 10.

If you eliminate her races on turf and in the slop, Summer Palace has three wins and a third in four main-track starts on good or fast tracks. Her loss was to Royal Nibs in what was Summer Palace's first race in 10 months.

"She probably needed the race," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "It was one of those fast-run New York-bred allowance races. Her last two races have been nice wins, so this is a logical step for her."

Gold Like U won the Union Avenue Stakes at Saratoga but finished last as the 4-5 favorite in the Schenectady last out. She is 0 for 6 at Belmont.

One live longshot could be Royal Fudge, who finished third at 21-1 in the 2004 Joseph A. Gimma and third at 47-1 in the 2005 Schenectady. Trainer Roger Horgan adds blinkers to Royal Fudge's equipment and her off-the-pace running style certainly fits in this speed-laden field.