07/16/2006 11:00PM

Bernardini shows he's fast and fit

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Tom Albertrani is not one of those trainers who prefer to work their horses fast. So take it as a sign that Preakness winner Bernardini is champing at the bit to run in the July 29 Jim Dandy following a five-furlong workout clocked in 58.70 seconds Monday morning at Belmont Park.

After three relatively slow breezes, Bernardini was ready to roll on a steamy morning, carving out fractions of 12.62 seconds, 24.14, and 35.01, meaning he got his last quarter in 23.69 seconds. Belmont clockers caught him galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.28.

Exercise rider Simon Harris gave Bernardini a pretty good run-up from the 5 1/2-furlong marker and said he moved his hands slightly on the colt around the turn.

"I let him know today he was breezing,'' Harris said.

Harris likened Monday's move to Bernardini's five-furlong move in 59.82 seconds leading up to the Withers Stakes, a race he won by 3 3/4 lengths and one that convinced his connections to try the Preakness.

In his three previous five-furlong works since the Preakness, Bernardini was timed in 1:05.09, 1:02.67, and 1:03.97.

"We'd been pretty easy with him,'' Harris said. "We figured we'd give him one just to sharpen him up.''

Though Albertrani wasn't looking for that sharp a move, he was content because of how effortlessly Bernardini did it and how Bernardini was cooling out back at the barn.

"Today was the day we were going to let him do a bit more anyway,'' Albertrani said. "He handled it pretty easily, that's the important thing. I was expecting him to go in 59 and change today, really.''

Albertrani plans to work Bernardini one more time at Belmont prior to shipping him to Saratoga on July 26, three days before the Jim Dandy.

"I think this work today will take care of his preparation leading up to the race with another work before then," Albertrani said. "He's on go. He couldn't be doing any better.''

Deputy Glitters likely for Haskell

Meanwhile, Albertrani's other 3-year-old router, Deputy Glitters, is likely bound for the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 6 following his neck victory over High Cotton in Saturday's Ohio Derby.

Deputy Glitters arrived home Sunday night and seemed to come out of the race well, Albertrani said.

"He ran a game race,'' Albertrani said. "Him and High Cotton hooked up at the five-sixteenths pole and it looked like he was going to go by High Cotton, but High Cotton was determined to put up a fight. Our horse had just a little bit more in the tank to hold him off.''

If Deputy Glitters does run in the Haskell, he will most likely take on familiar foe Bluegrass Cat, who worked five furlongs in 1:01.73 Monday morning at Belmont.

Deputy Glitters beat Bluegrass Cat in the Tampa Bay Derby after finishing second to him in the Sam F. Davis, also at Tampa. Bluegrass Cat finished second in both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, while Deputy Glitters finished eighth in the Derby and 11th in the Belmont.

Discreet Cat back on work tab

Discreet Cat, Godolphin Racing's unbeaten 3-year-old, worked three furlongs in 37.45 seconds Monday morning, his first breeze after getting over an illness. Discreet Cat, who was scheduled to run in the Dwyer Stakes on July 4, has not started since winning the United Arab Emirates Derby by six lengths in March.

"It was just an easy first piece of work since he got over the sickness,'' said Rick Mettee, who oversees Godolphin's New York string. "He went out there first thing and went a nice 37 and 2; about what we expected from him.''

Discreet Cat will ship to Saratoga on Saturday, and if all goes well he could make a start by the end of the meet, Mettee said. However, Mettee reiterated that he would not run in the Travers on Aug. 26.

"I don't think he's all that far away," Mettee said. "Still, picking out the right race is going to be tricky. He's not going to run in the Jim Dandy. I don't think we'd go straight to the Travers. With him, you're limited in that regard.''

Meanwhile, Mettee said that Ashkal Way, who set a course record winning Saturday's Elkwood Stakes at Monmouth, would run next in the Grade 2, $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 6. Ashkal Way ran one mile in 1:32.50 over Monmouth's new turf course, eclipsing the mark established two races earlier.

Ashkal Way is now 3 for 3 since coming to the U.S. He will most likely take on defending Breeders' Cup Mile winner Artie Schiller in the Fourstardave.

"We'd probably still run in there; the timing's right for the race,'' Mettee said. "He has to take on good horses eventually.''

Lemons Forever will go in CCA Oaks

Kentucky Oaks winner Lemons Forever, who finished fourth in the Mother Goose last month, will return to New York on Wednesday to run in Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks.

Lemons Forever worked four furlongs in 49.40 seconds Saturday morning at Churchill Downs, a breeze that convinced trainer Dallas Stewart to take a shot in the CCA Oaks.

"She's done great since the race,'' Stewart said from Louisville. "She's had a lot of good days, consistent days in her training. I see no reason not to run back.''

In the Mother Goose, Lemons Forever raced outside of Pine Island to the quarter pole, but didn't really pick it up in the stretch as Pine Island closed stoutly to be second to Bushfire.

"Nothing really stands out in my mind that could be solid that got us beat," Stewart said. "I'm very pleased with the way she came out of it. She almost acts like she needed the race.''

Stewart said Mark Guidry would ride Lemons Forever back in the CCA Oaks. The field for the Oaks is expected to include Pine Island, Sugar Shake, Teammate, Unbridled Belle, Vague, and Wonder Lady Anne L.

Melhor Ainda on target for Beverly D.

A win and a non-taxing effort were what trainer Bobby Frankel was hoping Melhor Ainda would get out of last Friday's Capades Stakes. Mission accomplished.

In her first start since last October, Melhor Ainda won the Capades by one length over Bright Abundance, and is now set up to take another crack at the Beverly D. at Arlington Park on Aug. 12. Melhor Ainda finished third, beaten only a neck, in the Beverly D. last year.

Last Friday, Melhor Ainda saved ground early, came wide for the stretch drive, and closed well in running 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.29. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 99.

"I thought she ran well," Frankel said. "She did what she had to do. She was in control the whole way. It was a nice and easy race for her too, not stressful.''

Rewrite heads Wednesday feature

The final week of racing here this summer kicks off with a nine-race card that includes five races restricted to New York-breds. The one with the most allure is a second-level allowance scheduled for one mile on the turf featuring the talented 3-year-old filly Rewrite, the last horse to be campaigned by Amherst Stable.

Rewrite, a daughter of Editor's Note out of the mare Fickle Friends, has won both her starts on the turf this year. She won a maiden by stalking and won a first-level allowance race on the lead. Trainer Christophe Clement said he would leave the tactics Wednesday up to jockey Mike Smith, who was aboard for both wins.

Whateverwillbwillb, who has also won two straight on turf, and My Nina Rose loom the major threats.