09/22/2005 11:00PM

No Reason tries to stay out of trouble

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ELMONT, N.Y. - No Reason had several reasons why she finished fifth as the even-money favorite in last month's Lady Finger Stakes at Finger Lakes. Her connections hope they won't be searching for any reasons for defeat Sunday when No Reason returns in the $100,000 Joseph A. Gimma Stakes at Belmont Park.

heads a 12-horse field entered in the Gimma, a seven-furlong stakes for New York-bred 2-year-old fillies run at seven furlongs. The Gimma is a much more appetizing race than the Bertram F. Bongard, a seven-furlong race for New York-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings which drew only a field of six.

All 12 runners in the Gimma have done nothing more than win a maiden race. No Reason did that very impressively over a sloppy Belmont main track in July, breaking sharply from the rail and galloping to an 11 1/2-length victory under Jerry Bailey. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 82 for the effort.

In the Lady Finger, Fly to Me - who is entered in this race - stumbled at the start and bothered several horses to her inside. Among them was No Reason, who was forced to check hard. She was eighth early on a day when speed won all the sprint races at Finger Lakes.

"It was a mess,'' said Toby Sheets, the assistant to Steve Asmussen, the trainer of No Reason. "All the bad luck we could get we got.''

No Reason has come back with a series of solid works leading up to this, including a bullet half-mile breeze in 48.07 seconds Monday. Bailey, who is 17 for 30 at the meet, has the call from post 6.

Trainer Ramon Hernandez seeks his third Gimma trophy when he sends out Artistic Express. In her maiden win going 5 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga, Artistic Express dueled outside another rival, put that one away, and held off a late run from Cinderella's Dream.

"She showed a lot of ability before she ever ran,'' Hernandez said. "I hope she can be competitive going that far or even farther. She acts like she wants to go a little more distance.''

Trainer Bruce Levine is hopeful that , who finished third from post 12 in the Lady Finger, will appreciate the added distance of the Gimma.

"You couldn't get a better trip, it was just the ground loss that got you basically,'' Levine said of the Lady Finger.

, who won a six-furlong maiden race at Saratoga despite changing leads late, looks the best of a three-horse entry sent out by trainer Dominic Galluscio.