08/15/2003 11:00PM

Ellis Park: Triple-digit Beyer juvenile


A handicapping dilemma familiar to many horseplayers has arisen Sunday with the arrival of Cactus Ridge at Ellis Park.Cactus Ridge has been spectacular in winning both of his career starts, including his most recent in which he earned a huge Beyer Speed Figure. But that latest victory came at Canterbury Park, and bettors will have to decide whether that race is on a genuine par with the kinds of races in which his eight 2-year-old rivals in the $100,000 James C. Ellis Juvenile have been competing.

Cactus Ridge, a Hennessy colt, is based at Arlington Park with trainer Bret Calhoun. After winning his June 7 debut at Arlington, Cactus Ridge was shipped north to Minnesota, where he won the Canterbury Juvenile by an eye-popping 15 lengths on July 12.

Eddie Martin Jr. will be in from Delaware Park to ride Cactus Ridge at the Henderson, Ky., track.If for some reason Cactus Ridge is not the favorite in the Ellis Juvenile, then perhaps it will be Race for Glory, a D. Wayne Lukas-trained colt who won his lone start, a July 13 maiden race at Arlington, by a widening six lengths.