07/02/2003 12:00AM

Horses start to arrive for U.N. 'Cap


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Horses have started to arrive at Monmouth Park for Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 United Nations Handicap.

The Tin Man, from California, and Kim Loves Bucky, out of Kentucky, arrived on the same plane Tuesday evening at Kennedy Airport, and both were vanned here.

The Tin Man, who should ensure a solid pace in the race, galloped over the main track Wednesday morning under Crystal Brown, trainer Richard Mandella's assistant.

Mandella is expected to arrive Thursday afternoon to supervise final preparations.

In three starts this season, The Tin Man has one win, a gate-to-wire romp by 9 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 San Luis Obispo Handicap at Santa Anita on Feb. 15. He has run only once since then, finishing a tiring seventh after setting the pace in the Jim Murray Handicap at Hollywood Park on May 10.

Kim Loves Bucky squeezed out a half-length win in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs on May 31 for trainer John Glenney.

The U.N. will be Kim Loves Bucky's second crack at Grade 1 company. The 6-year-old gelding ran fourth to Denon in the Turf Classic last September at Belmont Park.

"He's ready to step up again," Glenney said. "Every year he's moved up a notch, and he's better this year than he was last year."

The headliners in the field - With Anticipation, the defending winner, and Denon, the expected starting highweight - are due to arrive closer to race day.

Skip Away comes up competitive

Trainer Norman Pointer scanned the entrants in the $60,000 Skip Away Stakes, the supporting event on Monmouth's Friday card, and said, "My horse always runs hard, but I could have found him an easier spot."

Pointer sends out Beware Avalanche in the one-mile race. A 7-year-old gelding closing in on $500,000 in career earnings, Beware Avalanche will need a top effort to play a role in this very competitive race.

Classic Endeavor, the winner of the Frisk Me Now Stakes earlier this meet, will be the one to beat on a dry track. His worst recent efforts have come in the slop, including a 28 1/2-length loss in his most recent outing, the Brandywine Handicap at Delaware Park.

Sea of Tranquility, runner-up in this stakes last year, returns and joins Jersey Giant as the only two New Jersey-breds in the field.

Iron Chancellor will come from Belmont Park for trainer James Jerkens. He ran second in the Frisk Me Now.

Night Caller and the Dennis Manning-trained entry of Cool N Collective and Just Le Facts complete the field.