09/11/2005 11:00PM

Big closer guns for Don Juan Con


POMONA, Calif. - Don Juan Con is so wickedly fast that it is reasonable to wonder how he will manage the turns on Fairplex Park's five-furlong track.

The question is crucial to the 6 1/2-furlong, $60,000 Beau Brummel Stakes on Wednesday, when racing resumes at the Los Angeles County Fair. If handles the turns, the Beau Brummel could be over early. Five others will chase, including late-runner Say Tomorrow and improving maiden The Thought Occurs.

Mel Stute has won more Fairplex stakes, 43, than any trainer in history, and he starts Say Tomorrow, an inexpensive New York-bred whom Stute probably would not have purchased if not for one imperfection.

"When they announced at the sale that he was a ridgling, it backed up the sale to my price range," Stute said.

He bought the colt, by Tomorrows Cat, for $12,000. Say Tomorrow finished sixth in a two-furlong race in March, then returned on Aug. 1 at Del Mar in a $32,000 maiden-claiming race.

"I've never had a horse close like he did that day," Stute said.

broke on top, but dropped out early and was last by 13 lengths. With a furlong remaining in the 5 1/2-furlong race, Say Tomorrow was still last by 10 lengths. In the final furlong, he took off, closing 8 1/2 lengths to miss by 1 1/2 lengths. It was a super comeback, and Say Tomorrow returned two weeks later against $62,500 maiden-claimers to win by three lengths, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 67.

Say Tomorrow enters the Beau Brummel with only one glitch - a disappointing 1:04.60 workout.

"It's not good," Stute said. "He doesn't work by himself."

Nevertheless, Say Tomorrow and jockey Matt Garcia have a shot to win from behind if Don Juan Con falters. Martin Pedroza rides Don Juan Con, who has won 2 of 4 including a stakes at Pleasanton in July.

was purchased by J. Paul Reddam before he started and was sent to California after a third-place finish in his debut at Arlington. In his first start for trainer Doug O'Neill, The Thought Occurs finished third with an 84 Beyer. Win or lose, The Thought Occurs and jockey Patrick Valenzuela have enough speed to keep Don Juan Con honest up front.

Comebacker June's Prince, debut winner At a Boy Russ, and Yavapai Downs shipper Flying Bill also entered.