04/15/2002 12:00AM

Guess who's no longer yesterday's news: D. Wayne!


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Who said D. Wayne Lukas is yesterday's news? He has averaged one win a day at the seven-day-old Keeneland spring meet, putting him on a pace that could land him his 13th training title here.

Lukas won three races here Sunday, including his first Commonwealth Breeders' Cup, with Orientate. With nine days left in the 16-day meet, he had won seven races with his first 13 starters.

"It looks like we're running horses in the right spots," he said. "But we really never worry about things like that [a title]. We just let it fall into place. If it comes with the territory, then so be it."

Lukas is scheduled to run Proud Citizen as a longshot in the Lexington Stakes Saturday, but downplayed his chances of making the Kentucky Derby. This is likely to be Lukas's second straight year without a Derby runner after having gone 20 straight years with at least one starter.

He said he wishes he had a top-quality 3-year-old this year. "It'd be the right year for one," he said. "You get a horse who can break 1:50 [for 1 1/8 miles], and you're in business."

Meanwhile, the perennial leading jockey at Keeneland, Pat Day, appears to have his work cut out for him. Even after riding four winners Sunday, Day still trailed leading rider Robby Albarado by a 15-9 margin. In several head-to-head battles already at the meet, Albarado has beaten Day in close photos.

Ethan Man and Officer in Lexington

A field of about 10 3-year-olds appears probable for the highlight of the coming week, the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes on Saturday. Ethan Man and Officer are major contenders in the 1 1/16-mile, Grade 2 Lexington, which has evolved into a last-chance Derby stop.

A delayed telecast of the Lexington will be shown on ESPN2 on a one-hour show beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Bob's Image's career over

The pulled suspensory ligament suffered Saturday by Bob's Image has ended his racing career, trainer Dallas Stewart said Monday.

Bob's Image was the pacesetter in the Blue Grass before fading badly to finish fifth. The gray gelding, whose best effort in seven career starts was a second-place finish to Repent in the Risen Star Stakes, was pulled up shortly after the finish line by jockey Lonnie Meche, then vanned off.

Stewart said Bob's Image is resting at veterinarian Dr. Robert Copelan's farm in Lexington. "He should make a good riding horse someday," said Stewart.

Mr. Mellon out of Derby mix

Mr. Mellon is out of the Kentucky Derby picture after exiting the Arkansas Derby with a stone bruise of one of his feet, for which he will be undergoing treatment this week.

"We'll give him the usual treatment with epsom salts and warm water and hope it works itself out," said Dave Fortner, assistant to trainer Elliott Walden.

Wittenberg wins impressively off long layoff

One of the more impressive performances of the weekend came in the fifth race Saturday, when Wittenberg drew off to win a $65,000 turf allowance for trainer Vicki Oliver. Wittenberg, a 6-year-old Relaunch mare, had been unraced since failing to finish in the Churchill Downs Distaff in November.

The Wittenberg victory capped a memorable week of comebacks for the trainer's family. Oliver's father, owner G. Watts Humphrey, watched Victory Ride make a winning return three days earlier in the Madison Stakes.

O'Callaghan relishes speed and the rail

On three occasions already at the meet, trainer Niall O'Callaghan has won two-turn allowance races with horses that had faded in recent sprint races.

Bold Bluff won opening day, April 5; Bomb Site won Saturday; and Wiseman's Ferry won Sunday. All led from the start.

"Speed and the rail," said O'Callaghan. "If you're going to try them long, you might as well try them here."

Keeneland one-day handle record is broken

The $3,516,621 wagered at on the 10-race Blue Grass card was an all-time single-day record at Keeneland, easily surpassing the previous high of $3,127,294, bet on 2001 Blue Grass day.

The attendance was 28,270, fifth highest in track history. The Keeneland record of 29,687 was set two years ago on Blue Grass day.

* Now that the Oaklawn Park meet is over, many of the jockeys and trainers who were active there will migrate for the last half of Keeneland before moving over to Churchill Downs on April 27. In fact, James Lopez and Calvin Borel already have calls Wednesday.