04/03/2003 12:00AM

Beulah Park track report


GROVE CITY, Ohio - Beulah Park has struggled at the entry box over the past month, but the $40,000 Edward Babst Memorial Handicap drew a full field of 14 Ohio-bred colts and geldings, including the defending champion, Disappearance.

The six-furlong Babst was one of four victories last season for Disappearance, trained by Jim Morgan. Disappearance has not raced since he finished eighth, beaten 8 1/4 lengths, in the Holiday Cheer Stakes at Turfway Park on New Year's Day. That was just 11 days after he rallied to a four-length victory here in the Samuel Handicap at six furlongs over a muddy surface.

Devil Time and Waist Gunner John both merit respect. Devil Time exits the best race of the entrants, having finished fifth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths, in the one-mile Mardi Gras Handicap at Fair Grounds on March 3. Trained by David Carroll, he figures to be a late threat on Saturday, although he has not run in a sprint since the beginning of 2002.

Waist Gunner John will be making his first start since November. He showed his readiness by working a bullet half-mile in 46.80 seconds last Saturday at Thistledown. Among his five wins in 2002 was the Best of Ohio Sprint Championship, in which he rallied to win by three-quarters of a length.