The owners of Balmoral Park and Maywood Park in Illinois are interested in purchasing Ellis Park, the western Kentucky racetrack owned by Churchill Downs Inc., according to published reports.The Courier-Journal of Louisville reported the Johnston family is prepared to make a bid for the track within the next few weeks. Churchill Downs Inc. bought Ellis Park and a Lexington training center in 1998 for about $22 million. The training center was later sold to Keeneland and is now called The Thoroughbred Center.A Churchill Downs spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment, though the company has a policy of not commenting on such matters. Churchill Downs Inc. was expected to release its 2002 financial results Feb. 11.Balmoral and Maywood, currently dark for live racing because of a horsemen's boycott, make up a year-round harness circuit in the Chicago area. Balmoral, founded as Lincoln Fields, offered Thoroughbred racing in the past but hasn't since the early 1990s.The Johnston family told the Courier-Journal Ellis Park would remain a Thoroughbred track should they buy it.