03/08/2006 12:00AM

Albertrani plots three courses

Einstein, winning the Gulfstream BC Turf, may go in the Pan American.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Tom Albertrani has three very talented 3-year-olds in the barn, although at the moment only one is a potential Kentucky Derby candidate.

Deputy Glitters, runner-up behind Bluegrass Cat in Tampa Bay Downs's Sam F. Davis Stakes in his last start, is the most experienced of Albertrani's trio of 3-year-olds and the only one on the Kentucky Derby trail. He is scheduled to make his next start in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby on March 18.

Albertrani also has high hopes for Bernardini, a very impressive winner of a one-mile maiden special weight on Saturday, and the speedy Songster, who set a track record winning his debut and was then was in turn beaten in track-record time by Elusive Quality here last weekend.

"Right now, Tampa is our first preference with Deputy Glitters," said Albertrani. "The race fits nicely with his program, and the way it shapes up, if there's only one horse to beat, we'll take our chances going up against Bluegrass Cat again."

Deputy Glitters ran the best race of his career when he was second as the longest price on the board in the Sam Davis.

"Stretching him out around two turns is the main reason he seemed to improve last time," explained Albertrani. "And if he were to run another creditable race next week, we might point at something like the Blue Grass or the Wood."

Albertrani said Deputy Glitters would likely work on Thursday and once again early next week in preparation for the Tampa Bay Derby.

Neither Bernardini nor Songster raced at 2, and as a result both have started only twice and are a bit too inexperienced to be considered Derby contenders.

"I didn't get Bernardini until September," said Albertrani. "He was ready to run around the holidays, but the weather was bad in New York, so we just decided to wait and send him to Florida before his first start. He broke slow and got a good education the first time. Jerry Bailey rode him and told me after the race the lightbulb didn't come on yet. Then we had a delay before his second start because of a lung infection, but stretching him out to a mile is what he really needed."

Albertrani said he will probably look for a first-level allowance race either here or in New York for Bernardini's next start.

"We're probably too far behind to think about the Derby," said Albertrani. "He's too nice a horse, and we don't want to push him. The Preakness could be a possibility if everything were to go right."

Songster set a seven-furlong track record of 1:21.59 winning his maiden at first asking on Jan. 28. He then lost both the record and the first race of his career when he finished a close second behind Elusive Quality, who established a new mark of 1:21.11 in Saturday's second race.

"Songster had some minor problems which delayed us getting him to the races," said Albertrani. "He's got a lot of natural speed, but I think he'll still go a little further, although we'll keep him sprinting for now."

Albertrani said Songster will be pointed to the Bay Shore Stakes and a possible rematch with Elusive Quality at Aqueduct on April 8.

Filly provides brief scare

Trainer Bill Mott, who has been on a tear of late, had a few anxious moments after watching his promising 3-year-old filly Performing Diva win Sunday's seventh race.

Making her first start since finishing third on the Churchill Downs turf in the Caressing Stakes on Nov. 19, Performing Diva rallied from off the pace to a convincing 2 3/4-length entry-level allowance win going a mile. But before she could return to have her picture taken, jockey Edgar Prado jumped off and unsaddled Performing Diva, fearing the filly might be suffering from heat stroke.

"She got a little overheated," said Mott. "She got a little shaky and it made me a little shaky, but fortunately it wasn't anything serious, and she'll be fine."

Mott said he stopped on Performing Diva, who was also third in the Grade 2 Alcibides at 2, to give her a little rest before embarking on her 3-year-old campaign.

"She's nominated to all the big races, and the Ashland could be a possibility, although at this point that might be a bit of a stretch," said Mott, who trains Performing Diva for owner-breeder Bruce Lunsford. "We'll talk things over and try to pick out a logical spot for her next start."

Einstein staying home

Einstein, upset winner of the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Turf Handicap in his stakes debut, will not go to Dubai for the UAE Derby and could make his next start here in the Grade 2 Pan American on April 1, according to trainer Helen Pitts.

"We've decided to keep him on turf for now," said Pitts. "Besides, the UAE would be a long trip and a hard race, and if you go over there you could lose him for most of the year. He's still got lots of years left, and there are a lot of nice opportunities for him over here."

Pitts said her goal for Einstein is the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day.

* Artie Schiller, who narrowly missed winning the Eclipse Award for top turf performer of 2005, continues to move closer to his 2006 debut, working six furlongs in 1:14.60 over the main track at Palm Meadows on Wednesday. Artie Schiller has not started since his victory in the 2005 Breeders' Cup Mile.