03/27/2002 1:00AM

Sunday Break: Duck, duck, win


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Sunday Break earned a berth in next month's $750,000 Wood Memorial by winning an over five rivals at Aqueduct on Wednesday after an eventful stretch run.

Sunday Break, under Gary Stevens, had a comfortable lead when he ducked in twice in the final furlong of the 1 1/8-mile race. Stevens regained Sunday Break's focus and the colt went on to win the race by one length over Tomahawk Lake. A claim of foul by Tomahawk Lake's rider, Richard Migliore, was not allowed.

Stevens, who said he nearly came off when his mount ducked in, attributed the incident to Sunday Break getting bored on the lead.

"It was too easy for him; he never got the lead so early and easily," said Stevens, who never touched Sunday Break with his whip. "He's improving by leaps and bounds. With another horse you would probably put blinkers on, but that would make [Sunday Break] too keen."

Sunday Break, the 1-5 favorite, broke well and had the lead a stride or two out of the gate. Stevens eased his mount back to the second spot and tracked the pacesetter, Tomahawk Lake, before Sunday Break effortlessly took the lead turning for home.

Sunday Break's trainer, Neil Drysdale, was amused rather than concerned about his colt's antics in the stretch.

"He was playing around," Drysdale said. "He was relaxed out in front and just was messing around. This was a good experience for him."

Sunday Break ($2.40) covered the distance in 1:51.48 over a track labeled fast.