09/15/2005 12:00AM

DQ sparks controversy

Email

POMONA, Calif. - A relatively quiet race meet at Fairplex Park erupted into a storm of controversy Wednesday when stewards disqualified Don Jaun Con from victory in the $60,000 Beau Brummel Stakes, then suspended jockey Martin Pedroza for three days.

Pedroza and 6-5 favorite Don Jaun Con led throughout in the 6 1/2-furlong stakes for 2-year-olds, but were taken down after stewards ruled the winner interfered with runner-up The Thought Occurs. Jockey Pat Valenzuela and The Thought Occurs were chasing the leader while racing inside, steadied in tight quarters at the quarter pole, then re-rallied to make it close.

Many observers believe Valenzuela was already in a bad spot along the rail into the far turn, and that the incident was as much Valenzuela's fault as Pedroza's. But according to steward Tom Ward, Pedroza "let his horse drop in and took Patrick's path, and Patrick had to steady for about three jumps."

Ward said the stewards previously warned Pedroza, the all-time leading rider at Fairplex, for excessive "race-riding tactics," when he finished fourth on Global Trader in the $60,000 Derby Trial Stakes on Monday. The disqualification of Don Jaun Con was Pedroza's second brush with the stewards on Wednesday.

The stewards took a long look at the final furlong of race 8, in which Riley's Life and jockey Octavio Vergara tried to squeeze through along the rail inside eventual winner Swiss Z and Pedroza. Riley's Life did not make it through and steadied. Ward explained the stewards' decision to let the result stand, saying, "The hole closed before [Riley's Life] got to it."

Pedroza's three-day suspension is scheduled for Sept. 22-24.

A Valenzuela triple

The Beau Brummel win by The Thought Occurs was the third on the card for Valenzuela, who said out-of-town riding commitments might preclude him from further mounts at this Fairplex meet. Doug O'Neill trains The Thought Occurs and was not surprised at the disqualification. "It's just race riding, and sometimes you get away with it and sometimes not," he said.

The Thought Occurs won for the first time in three starts. In his previous start, against maidens, he finished two lengths behind Bengal Lore, who is expected to be among the favorites Sunday in the Barretts Juvenile.

Two Internet bettors hit huge pick six

Internet horseplayers struck paydirt Wednesday on the two-day pick-six carryover at Fairplex. Two winning tickets worth $290,277.20 each were bought at online wagering services. Fairplex mutuels manager Bill Navarro said the winning tickets were purchased through Television Games Network and The Greyhound Channel.

Buoyed by a double carryover of $184,170, bettors wagered an additional $725,980 into the pool on Wednesday, making it the highest pool in Fairplex history. The previous high was $672,756 on Sept. 15, 2003. Most pick-six bettors Wednesday were knocked out in race 6, the first leg, which was won by $35.60 longshot Yodeling Sarah. There were no winning favorites in the sequence. The other five winners paid $13.20, $9, $11.80, $7.40, and $11.60.

Five days into the 16-day Los Angeles County Fair meet, business was way up more than 2004. Average daily handle was more than $6.5 million, an increase of over 6 percent over the first five days of 2004. Fairplex is experimenting this year with a new schedule of Tuesdays dark.

* Trailer Queen, the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the $60,000 Bustles and Bows Stakes on Thursday, scratched from the 2-year-old sprint stakes when she sustained a leg injury in her Fairplex Park stall.

"I think she stuck her leg over the top of the stall," trainer Cliff Sise said.

He speculated she would return during the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita.