10/26/2001 12:00AM

BC Morning Roundup: Lukas takes a tumble


ELMONT, N.Y. - Friday was a busy morning for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who was bucked off his pony, aptly named Sudden Impact, as he lent a hand to trainer Aidan O'Brien as he brought his horses to the track in order to school in the gate.

"I'm way too old and not enough cowboy to stay on when they start going like that," said Lukas, who was uninjured. "I landed on my feet. I knew I would land on my feet, because I knew I was going to bail out."

The incident happened when O'Brien's Classic contender Galileo reacted strangely to a gray horse and spooked Lukas's pony as Lukas was assisting O'Brien and his horses to the track for the first time Friday morning.

The ruckus was put quickly under control, however, and O'Brien's contingent continued onto the track and over to the gate where they each schooled in the gate.

Notably, Galileo, and Johannesburg loaded kindly into the starting gate while Black Minnaloushe needed plenty of time and urging before finally going into the stall.

As for Lukas, he considers Spain to be his best chance for a win on this year's Breeders' Cup card.

"Spain is fresh and has been pointed for this all along," said Lukas from outside his Belmont barn where he had been speaking to a large group from Kids to the Cup. "You have to look at where a horse is on Oct. 27, not where it's at in July."

Lukas's two other Breeders' Cup starters will be Orientate in the Classic, and Jump Start in the Juvenile.

"Jump Start has to move up a bit to win. That's a very contentious race," said Lukas. "I'm looking forward to his 3-year-old year. He doesn't have to win for us to be excited about him going into next year."

Fleet Renee, two others out of Cup

Three Breeders' Cup entrants, Fleet Renee, Slew Valley, and Numerous Times, were scratched from their respective races early Friday morning due to minor physical problems.

The defections of Fleet Renee and Slew Valley leave trainer Michael Dickinson without a Breeders' Cup starter. Fleet Renee, who was listed at 5-1 in the morning line in the in the Distaff,

reportedly tied-up before being loaded onto the van to Belmont Park Friday morning. Slew Valley, listed at 20-1 in the morning line odds for the Turf, reportedly coughed several times when returning to the barn after an early-morning canter at Dickinson's Tapeta farm.

The third horse declared from the Breeders' Cup Friday was the undefeated Numerous Times who was a top contender in the Mile for trainer Sid Attard. Numerous Times had arrived at Belmont earlier in the week from his base in Toronto, but apparently twisted an ankle Thursday night in his stall.

Sprint pace will help Bet On Sunshine

Paul McGee, trainer of 9-year-old Bet On Sunshine, who will be making his third appearance in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, wouldn't trade places with anyone heading into this year's race.

"The pace helps us. We won't need to enter any rabbits. There's plenty of them in there for us," said McGee. "The two post is fine, it shouldn't have any effect on him at all."

Bet On Sunshine comes into this Breeders' Cup off three straight wins, capped by the G3-Phoenix Breeders' Cup at Keeneland. Last year, he came off a third-place finish in the Phoenix and finished third again in the Sprint.

"He's the same horse he was last year, maybe even a little better. I thought he ran a winning race last year, he just got beat by Kona Gold," said McGee. "His wins at Churchill and Keeneland (in the Aristides and the Phoenix) were some of his better races. Even the win at Arlington (in the Arlington Sprint Handicap) was only a nose, but that was a nice race, too."

Xtra Heat the last horse to arrive

Filly speedball Xtra Heat, who has won 17 of 20 career races, was the last horse to arrive at Belmont Park for the Breeders' Cup. Her van from Laurel pulled up to the stable gate about an hour before Friday's noon arrival deadline.

New, improved Fantastic Light

Fantastic Light is expected to be the post time favorite in the $2 Breeders' Cup Turf after being entered in that race instead of the Classic on Wednesday. The Godolphin-owned winner of three Group 1 races in Europe this year will be trying the Turf for

the second straight time after finishing fifth last year.

"This year he's a different horse, he's run against the best and won three Group 1's on the turf this year," said trainer Saeed bin Suroor. "He has run on the turf all his life and he beat the best horses in Europe. We think he has a great chance to win."

Belmont Park: "Big Sandy"

Belmont Park has earned the nickname "Big Sandy" because of the deep, cuppy track conditions that seem to be prevailing at the 1 1/2-mile oval late this week. There is a stiff wind on track, and weather has been very dry for quite some time.

The track conditions are a concern for many horsemen including Bob Baffert, who will send out the heavily favored Officer in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

"I'm a little leery of the track here because it hasn't rained here in a while," said Baffert. "I hope they get some water on it."

In addition to track conditions, Baffert is also concerned about Officer's inside post draw.

"The two-hole could be a problem. Usually he draws really well, I don't know why he chose the Breeders' Cup to get a bad post draw. That's OK though, we'll take it."