06/22/2008 11:00PM

Weeks tries to build on last start


ELMONT, N.Y - Weeks, a 7-year-old daughter of Ghazi, has gone from low-level claimer to listed stakes winner in turf sprints and will seek her second such stakes victory in Wednesday's $75,000 Caress at Belmont Park.

The Caress, one of four turf sprints on the nine-race card, goes as race 3 and thus will not be part of the pick six, which has a $61,237 carryover after nobody hit the wager Sunday. The pick six is contested on races 4 through 9.

The Caress will mark the second trip to New York from her Delaware Park base this meet for Weeks, who is trained by Michael Pino for Proud Eagle Farm. In last month's Upper Noosh, Weeks finished a late-running second to Genuine Devotion. That was her first start in 6 1/2 months, or since she won the Witches Brew Stakes at the Meadowlands last Oct. 31.

Pino said that layoff was precipitated by the filly having a history of foot problems, which prevented Weeks from running on the turf more frequently.

"Seemed like we'd run her in the winter and when summer came around we'd had to lay her up, so we missed the turf," Pino said.

Pino said he was thrilled with Weeks's performance in the Upper Noosh, run over soft turf.

"Down the backside she was acting like she couldn't get a hold of the course, then she leveled off and came running," Pino said. "It was a tough race to come back off a layoff from. She ran good. Hopefully, she's had enough time to get over the race. She's doing excellent; I feel like she's headed for a good race."

Pino is confident that Weeks can handle seven furlongs on the turf, though she has not raced beyond six. Jazzy is another that must prove herself at the seven-furlong distance. She displayed an exceptional turn of foot winning the Capades Stakes at Saratoga last summer.

Jazzy has been beaten less than two lengths in a pair of turf sprints this year, but trainer Mark Hennig felt that she encountered trouble attempting to save ground both times.

"To run that hard and have to hesitate at all makes it hard to overcome," Hennig said. "We felt coming away from those races that the best route might by the overland route."

Jockey Garrett Gomez will have to work his way to the outside after breaking from the rail under Jazzy.

Stormy West and Waquoit's Love are both dropping out of graded stakes route races for this. Trouble Maker completes the field.