01/17/2007 12:00AM

'Cliff' finds field he can handle


ALBANY, Calif. - Since finishing last in his debut on Sept. 20, the 3-year-old maiden Cliff Dweller has not run a bad race. Even his debut, when he had to steady at the start and still finished only five lengths behind Candy's Bro, wasn't that bad.

Since then, Cliff Dweller has finished fourth, third, second, and third while running a mile on a wet track, at six furlongs, at a mile on the turf, and at six furlongs again. On Friday, he will meet five rivals in a one-mile maiden race at Golden Gate Fields.

Trainer Chuck Jenda is far from discouraged by Cliff Dweller's inability to get his initial victory.

"He's never really had a chance to train up to a race because so many races around here don't fill," said Jenda, who said he thinks Cliff Dweller is better around two turns. "He's sprinted and routed, run on wet tracks and turf. And he's met some pretty nice runners."

In addition to Candy's Bro, Cliff Dweller ran third to Another Kris and Acquire the Fire, who each won next time out after beating him.

Both of Cliff Dweller's siblings are winners, including the stakes winner Kachina Dawn. His dam, Anasazi Mud, won several minor stakes.

Cliff Dweller has consistently picked up checks and already earned $17,550. He has the highest career Beyer Speed Figure in Friday's field, a 69.

"He's going to find a field he can beat," Jenda said.

Friday's group may be the one.

There is speed in the field in the form of Gustavo and Cayambe. They should set things up nicely for stalker Cliff Dweller.

Cayambe showed improvement in his second start, in which he beat Cliff Dweller, before going to the sidelines. He faded in his comeback and has switched barns in the five weeks between starts. He seems the likely pacesetter.

Also entered is Blue Midnight, who has hit the board twice at this distance, although both those efforts came on turf. Cliff Dweller beat him in his last start when he ran against straight maidens for the first time.

Rounding out the field are Global Riot, making his second start after trailing Cliff Dweller in his sprint debut, and Domoron Again.