10/25/2006 12:00AM

Bernardini, Discreet Cat work at Belmont


Bernardini and Discreet Cat walked onto Belmont Park's main track simultaneously Wednesday morning for workouts. Unfortunately, that's as close as race fans can expect them to get over the next 10 days.

Although Discreet Cat was pre-entered for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, to be run Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, he will only run if something untoward happened to Bernardini, who is the favorite for the Classic. Both horses are owned by Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum, though Discreet Cat races under the Godolphin banner and Bernardini races as a member of Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stable.

The winner of the Preakness, Jim Dandy, Travers, and Jockey Club Gold Cup, Bernardini worked five furlongs in 1:02.40 under exercise rider Simon Harris. Discreet Cat, undefeated in five career starts, worked five furlongs in 1:02.53. Discreet Cat remains on target for the Grade 1, $300,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 25.

"That pre-entry just buys us nine days time," said Rick Mettee, who oversees Godolphin Racing's New York runners. "The work was so slow that I wouldn't hesitate to come back in four or five days and do a strong piece of work if we had to if, God forbid, something happened to Bernardini."

Trainer Tom Albertrani said he was very pleased with Bernardini's work, especially his last quarter, which went in 23.43 seconds. Last Thursday, Bernardini worked five furlongs in 1:04.67.

"Today's work was more of what we were looking to see him do," Albertrani said. "It was a perfect work."