10/04/2006 11:00PM

Bernardini draws post 1


ELMONT, N.Y. - Bernardini drew the rail and was installed as the 1-2 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.

Bernardini, who brings a five-race winning streak into the Gold Cup that includes authoritative victories in the Preakness, Jim Dandy and Travers, will meet only three rivals in the Gold Cup, run at 1 1/4 miles over Belmont's main track. It is the smallest Gold Cup field since Waquoit beat three horses in 1988.

Dylan Thomas, the Irish Derby and Irish Champion winner, drew post 2 for his first stakes try on dirt. Wanderin Boy, the Brooklyn Handicap winner and likely speed of the race is in post 3. Andromeda's Hero, second to Afleet Alex in the 2005 Belmont Stakes, is in post 4.

"My only concern was I didn't want post 1," said Tom Albertrani, trainer of Bernardini. "I was hoping to be on the outside of Wanderin Boy; this way he could jump out and do what he wanted to do, he looks like he's a front-runner anyway."

The Jockey Club Gold Cup is one of five Grade 1 races on Saturday' card at Belmont Park. The other races are the Beldame, Flower Bowl Invitational, Vosburgh and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational.