11/15/2004 1:00AM

Tricky Devil back off 113 Beyer


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The eighth race Wednesday at Churchill Downs is the kind of race that horseplayers see every day. It's an entry-level allowance for horses that have not won a race other than maiden, claiming, or starter.

This particular race, however, drew a horse that did something that maybe no other horse has done in maiden claiming company. The horse is Tricky Devil and what he did was earn a sensational Beyer Speed Figure of 113 in winning a $40,000 maiden claiming sprint on Oct. 8 at Keeneland in his last start.

Al Stall Jr., who trains the 3-year-old gelding for B. Wayne Hughes, said he found out that had run such a huge Beyer only when the gelding's name surfaced on a Daily Racing Form list of top Beyers by a 3-year-old this year. "He's above The Cliff's Edge and below Smarty Jones," Stall said.

Stall understands that Tricky Devil would be overmatched by those since-retired stars of the 3-year-old division - but still he believes that Tricky Devil has a considerable amount of talent.

"He just caught the right field, the right track, the right everything," Stall said Monday from Fair Grounds, where he will have 50 stalls for the four-month meet that starts Nov. 25. "I mean, it wouldn't surprise me if he got beat Wednesday. He's always been a really tough horse to manage. Maybe it's the Coronado's Quest coming out in him, I don't know."

Stall is concerned that Tricky Devil will bounce off what was by far his best performance. "But I've done everything I could," he added. "I've passed a few spots. I've given him plenty of rest. Now it's time to see what's what."

Tricky Devil, with Eddie Martin Jr., drew post 1 in a full field in the eighth race, a $49,400 race at 6 1/2 furlongs. Indeed, it would not be surprising to see him get beat, 113 Beyer and all.

Three of his rivals have earned 95 Beyers or higher. Those contenders are .

The richest race of the Wednesday card is the ninth, a $54,900 turf allowance for fillies and mares. Post time for the first of 10 races is 12:40 p.m. Eastern.

* Stakes here this coming weekend are a pair of Grade 3, $150,000 turf races at 1 1/8 miles: the Cardinal, for females, will be run Saturday, and the River City, for males, is set for Sunday.