08/01/2006 12:00AM

Ohio Derby duo to Haskell

Deputy Glitters goes in the Haskell after winning the Ohio Derby.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - The Ohio Derby was a solid comeback race for Deputy Glitters and Flashy Bull following their disappointments in the Triple Crown.

Deputy Glitters prevailed at the end of a long drive to beat High Cotton by a neck to score his first win since the Tampa Bay Derby. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 105.

Flashy Bull finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind the top two, in an effort that trainer Kiaran McLaughlin called a "great race."

They will likely meet again Sunday in the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park at 1 1/8 miles.

Trainer Tom Albertrani said Deputy Glitters is on target for the Haskell, but McLaughlin said he is "90 percent sure" with Flashy Bull.

"It looks like we're leaning toward the Haskell" instead of the West Virginia Derby that same afternoon, McLaughlin said.

The Ohio Derby was the first race for Deputy Glitters following two tough trips in the Triple Crown. He finished eighth of 20 in the Kentucky Derby after getting carried 11 wide into the stretch.

"He's been running with the best horses all year," said Albertrani. "We've always been high on this horse and thought he has a lot of talent. I thought he ran a big race in the Kentucky Derby."

Deputy Glitters sat out the Preakness, which was won by his stablemate Bernardini. Deputy Glitters returned for the Belmont Stakes, a race Albertrani says still puzzles him. Deputy Glitters chased the pace six wide before finishing 40 3/4 lengths behind Jazil.

"I'm not sure what happened in the Belmont," said Albertrani. "He had a bit of skin disease just prior to the race, so he might not have been himself. That's the only thing I could think of, but he came back from that and ran a nice race in the Ohio Derby."

Flashy Bull finished 14th in the Kentucky Derby after breaking from post 20. McLaughlin said the far outside post gave Flashy Bull no chance.

"I didn't think it would be that impossible from that post position, but it was," he said. "We were extremely wide throughout. We had no chance."

Flashy Bull returned in an allowance at Belmont on June 22 that came up surprisingly tough. Minister's Bid, the runner-up to Bernardini in the Jim Dandy last weekend at Saratoga, was the winner. Flashy Bull set the pace under pressure and finished third.

In the Ohio Derby, McLaughlin said he feels jockey Luis Gonzalez put Flashy Bull in a bad spot. Gonzalez ducked inside for the stretch run, looking for room on the rail.

"He was unfortunate in the Ohio Derby when the jockey opted to go inside," McLaughlin said. "I don't think the horse really wanted to be inside. We felt if he went outside, we would have won."

McLaughlin has not chosen a Haskell jockey, but said it will "probably be Jose Santos, if he's still available."

Seaside Retreat out of Haskell

The probable Haskell field was reduced to seven when trainer Mark Casse opted to keep Seaside Retreat in Canada.

Seaside Retreat, who finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby, most recently ran second in the Virginia Derby on the turf.

Casse said he plans to run Seaside Retreat on the grass in either the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park against 3-year-olds on Aug. 12 or the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes against older horses at Woodbine on Aug. 27. On Tuesday, Casse said he was leaning toward the Nijinsky.

"He's got to face the older horses sooner or later, and we might as well do it here at home," Casse said.

In addition to Flashy Bull and Deputy Glitters, the Haskell lineup includes Bluegrass Cat, Strong Contender, Praying for Cash, Awfully Smart, and Electrify.

Childress in second start of season

Childress, second as the 4-5 favorite in her season debut here June 28, looks to make amends in Thursday's optional claiming feature for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

An 8-year-old trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., Childress is running for the $50,000 claiming price.

In her season debut, which was her first start since September, she earned a 70 Beyer, the best last-race figure in the six-horse field. She should be sharper following four workouts here since that race.