09/11/2003 11:00PM

Columbus: Evenly matched group


Columbus, Neb. - Seven 3-year-old Nebraska-breds close out the Nebraska racing season in Sunday's $15,000-added Stevens Handicap. Those in the field have taken turns beating one another since February.

High Tech Racing, Grayglen, Intervene, and Homer's Hero have traded shots throughout the year, and none has emerged as dominant. All four have been weighted closely - each in the 120-122 pound range - for this 6 1/2-furlong race, a good indication of how closely matched they have been all year.

High Tech Racing, trained by LaVerne Ballhagen, has won 3 of 4 starts with the loss coming to Grayglen in the Skunktail Stakes at Horsemen's Park in July. High Tech Racing won the Hall of Fame Handicap here on Aug. 3 when Homer's Hero finished second and Grayglen fourth.

Intervene, like Homer's Hero trained by David Anderson, most recently finished fifth, beaten less than three lengths, in the Labor Day Handicap against older horses. Intervene and Homer's Hero will race uncoupled in the wagering.

Martin L K, who has shown an incredible turn of foot in his five starts, is the one to catch. Martin L K collected a nonwinners of three lifetime allowance win last Saturday after opening up a 12-length lead during the race. He may reach his distance limit at six furlongs.