10/03/2006 12:00AM

Bernardini has final Gold Cup work


ELMONT, N.Y. - Bernardini, the leading 3-year-old in the country, worked five furlongs in 1:03.33 Tuesday morning at Belmont Park, his final move in preparation for Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup. Exercise rider Simon Harris kept Bernardini even farther off the rail than usual, in part because of his dissatisfaction with Belmont's main track and in part because several horses had worked before him and the inside part of the track was chewed up.

Though Belmont's main track was listed as fast, Harris said the track had plenty of moisture in it because two water trucks went around during the renovation break. Harris said the track was still drying out from weekend rains.

"Today it was wet, but you were going right through it and I didn't like it at all so I probably erred on the side of caution than what I normally would,'' Harris said.

Bernardini got his final quarter in 24.71 seconds after going the opening three furlongs in 38.62 seconds.

"He's coming into this race as good as ever, today's work was just routine,'' trainer Tom Albertrani said. The Jockey Club Gold field remained in flux on Tuesday. The only other confirmed runners as of Tuesday morning were Dylan Thomas and Andromeda's Hero.

Trainer Patrick Biancone said Spanish Chestnut is not running. Trainer Nick Zito has not made a final decision on who he is running besides Andromeda's Hero.