03/27/2003 1:00AM

'Bertie' aimed for Louisville BC


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer Steve Flint said he did not even bother to nominate Allamerican Bertie to the upcoming Apple Blossom because he "never really felt comfortable" shipping his standout filly to run against Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year.

"It wasn't as much running against Azeri, but our filly has already run three times this year, and she's only lost once over this track," Flint said Thursday at Churchill Downs, where Allamerican Bertie recently arrived from Gulfstream Park.

The Grade 1 Apple Blossom, to be run Saturday, April 5, at Oaklawn Park, will be the seasonal debut for both Azeri and Take Charge Lady. Allamerican Bertie was a romping winner of the Grade 2 Rampart Handicap at Gulfstream in her last start.

"We decided to back off her a little bit and point for the Louisville Breeders' Cup," said Flint, referring to the Grade 2, $300,000 race at Churchill on May 2. "We're happy with that decision."