03/03/2003 12:00AM

'Bertie' lives up to her end of bargain


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - She rose to the occasion.

With her owner-breeders, the Kleins of Louisville, Ky., celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary Saturday, it was Allamerican Bertie's obligation that same day to come up with a special effort in Gulfstream's $200,000 Rampart Handicap for fillies and mares.

She was outstanding. Conceding weight to five opponents, the 4-year-old daughter of Quiet American from Clever Bertie went to the lead early, dropped to the inside on the clubhouse turn, and was never in serious danger thereafter. To a generous ovation from the crowd, the 3-5 favorite drew out through the final furlong under John Velazquez to score by a stakes-record 7 3/4 lengths.

Smok'n Frolic, winner of the Sunshine Millions Distaff and an earner of over $950,000, finished second.

Notching her eighth win in 14 starts, Allamerican Bertie completed nine furlongs in a crisp 1:47.92. The Rampart, long run at 1 1/16 miles, was moved to nine furlongs last winter when the winning time was 1:49.80.

"That was probably the best race she ever ran," trainer Steve Flint said. "She is awfully sharp right now. She's settled a lot with maturity and isn't nearly as anxious as she was when she was younger. She knows what to do and does it. If Azeri comes back in her best form, we respect her as a champion and Horse of the Year. But we feel she can hold her own with anyone else in the division."

A treat to the eye in the paddock, Allamerican Bertie was the only real speed in the Rampart and had the situation in hand at all times. She is genuine and full of quality; anticipation runs high for the season ahead.

Allamerican Bertie may run in the $500,000 Apple Blossom April 5 at Oaklawn or get a break and come back in the $300,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day.

"She loves the track and the Kleins are from Louisville, so it looks like a good fit," said Flint.

Amonita may retire a winner

Amonita, a 2 1/2-length winner of Sunday's $100,000 Suwannee River Handicap on the turf for fillies and mares, may have run her last race.

"She is to be bred this spring in Kentucky to Kingmambo," trainer Christophe Clement said. "There is a race for her in California and the decision is up to the owner, who is Charles Henry de Moussac, the president of the French Breeders' Association."

The de Moussac family, who raced Arc de Triomphe winner Trempolino, has had horses with Clement since he launched his stable in 1991. Without exception, all of them were strong in pedigree, and Amonita is no different. She is a sister to Sheikh Mohammed's Mock Orange, who won stakes races for Clement several years ago.

"Amonita was a top 2-year-old filly in France but something of a disappointment at 3," Clement said. "She was the beaten favorite in the French 1,000 Guineas, a classic race. They sent her to America in the fall of 2001 and I had a difficult time bringing her back to the races. She won a small stakes at Calder in December but the Suwannee River was a better performance. If it was her last start, she leaves on a good note."