The Kentucky Derby 1-2-3 shipped into New York's Belmont Park yesterday to rest for next week's journey to Baltimore for the Preakness, and let's listen to their trainers after they had safely unloaded the precious cargo:

Laz Barrera (Affirmed) predicts a small field at Pimlico to challenge his champ for Jewel Two, saying, "Besides Alydar and Believe It, who else would want to run against him? I'm confident the horse will win the Preakness."

John Veitch (Alydar): " . . . I'm not afraid to tackle him again. The Preakness certainly will be a two-horse race between Alydar and affirmed. I am hoping it will be different" at the finish.

Woody Stephens (Believe It) "Pimlico is a different track - the turns are sharper and the Preakness is shorter," the 1 3/16 miles a better bet for his horse than the Derby's 1 1/4. "We'll be there trying to win."

Other prospective entires, already at Pimlico: Star de Naska, Noon Time Spender, Indigo Star and Saturday's Woodlawn winner, Iron Legend. Trainer Allen Jerkens, who also took his Sensitive Prince to Belmont said he was unsure about bringing his Maryland-bred home, that in closing sixth at Louisville, the Prince "gave up pretty easy" . . .

Penn State, whos hungry-for-Lion-news boosters keep telling us how University Park/State College is closer to here than Virginia Tech among others, roars into the area picture with a May 17 dinner, 6:30 at Evans Farm Inn to organize a Northern Virginia Nittany Lion Club. The emphasis being on football (1977 highlights on tap). Sorry, State; Radnor, Pa.'s Elizabeth Dougherty, a 5-8 basketball standout for Archbishop Caroll there, has signed a letter of intent with Catholic U., where Coach Marie Wiles will station her at forward . . . Here's a switch: the area's 1977 junior golfer of the year, Jack Skilling of St. Albans School and Chevy Chase Club, has changed his mind about a U. of North Carolina scholarship in favor of going to Stanford without one (to start with). There he'll join Congressional's Sally Voss, recent winner of the San Francisco women's golf title. . .

One who didn't get away form UNC was Karen Stevenson, who this spring became the fist woman to win the school's annual Jim Tatum Memorial Award, established in 1959 for the student-athlete best exemplifying the qualities desired in an athlete by the late Tar Heel - and Terp - football coach. Stevenson, a junior from the District, broke nine school dash and volved in extracurricular activities (e.g., academic affairs chairman for ths Black Student Movement) and scholastically is Phi Beta Kappa . . .

Keith Horne, 0-4, 180, who quater-backed Hampton to the Virginia AAA football title over Gar-Field, has signed with U. of Cincinnati after pitching 16 TDS in a 14-0 senior season . . . Wallace Bryant, 7-0, 235, 28-point, 18-rebound basketball ALL-Indiana from Gary who was Kentucky Derby ALL-Star Classic MVP, has opted for U. of San Francisco, and between him and 7-foot holdover Bill Cartwright, the Dons may survive the "hardship" heart-leaving of star underclass forwards James Hardy and Winnie Boynes . . . From those 10 or 11 pro offers, Maryland defensive lineman Ernie Salley has taken the Denver Broncos up on theirs. It's said he's completely over the knee injury that kept him out of the Hall of Fame Bowl in December . . .

The Buffalo Braves, 20th of 22 in NBA attendace for the season (252-457 - to 446,539 for the Bullets, who ranked 14th), have formally broken their lease on Memorial Auditorium - with Norm Sonju, club president, insisting it doesn't definitely mean they're clearing out. But Sonju said Birmingham already has "committed in excess of 8,000 season tickets"; Louisville is a possibility, with Braves part owner John Y. Brown advised by Kentucky Gov. Julian Carroll that the state would make some $8 million improvements in Freedom Hall (but Brown still stings from his ABA flop there in his hometown), and Brown will visit Dallas (where a new arena is a-building) today to check the lay of the franchise land . . . Bill Byren, president of Women's Pro Basketball League, is due in town today for talks with Washington and Baltimore investors in a prospective franchise for the inaugural 1978-79 season . . . If Hal Greer, now living in Philadelphia, needed cheering up because of the miseries the Bullets are inflicting on the Sixers, he has it: In Huntington, W. Va., where he starred at Marshall before playing NBA 1958-72 (mostly in Philly), they're renaming a 1 1/2-mile stretch of 16th Street "Hal Greer Boulevard" . . . Did Mike Gale sign a new San Antonio contract yesterday sso quickly just to get a genuine Spurs shirt for a change?