11/16/2007 1:00AM

Seasoning edge points to Gallon

EmailINGLEWOOD, Calif. - After living on reputation for six weeks, the talented colt Colonel John returns Sunday at Hollywood Park. Bettors will bank on his raw ability to compensate for lack of seasoning in the $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes for 2-year-olds.

The Real Quiet is a prep for the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity on Dec. 22.

Colonel John has raced only twice, and not since winning a fast maiden sprint on Oct. 7 at Santa Anita. Since then, trainer Eoin Harty has kept him busy.

"I've thrown plenty of work at him," Harty said. "I don't think fitness is going to be a problem."

The issue is Colonel John's inexperience.

"I'm a little concerned it's his first time around two turns, and only his third start," Harty said.

If the Real Quiet field included mere patsies, Colonel John might get away with it. The 85 Beyer Speed Figure he earned in the seven-furlong maiden race stands out, and his pedigree is pure distance. Colonel John was sired by Tiznow, and out of a dam by Turkoman.

But two seasoned starters in the Real Quiet pose legitimate challenges. They are six-start veteran Overextended, seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, and Gallon, a stakes winner at Emerald Downs and the most likely winner of the Real Quiet.

Gallon's late-running style should play well on a surface that has favored closers at 1 1/16 miles, the distance of the Real Quiet.

Gallon finished one-two in five starts against good company at Emerald; three times he beat Margo's Gift, who subsequently won the $250,000 Favorite Trick Stakes on Oct. 26 at Monmouth Park. By comparison, every horse Colonel John defeated Oct. 7 is still a maiden.

Jim Penney and his daughter, Kay Cooper, train Gallon for owner Michael Feuerborn. According to Cooper, a Southern California campaign for Gallon was planned after he finished second to the filly Smarty Deb in the Gottstein Futurity at Emerald.

First, Cooper said, Gallon had to do well at Bay Meadows. He did. Racing in a turf allowance, Gallon was blocked on the rail, swung outside in midstretch, and powered to a visually impressive win by 1 1/2 lengths.

Garrett Gomez replaces Gallon's regular rider, Leslie Mawing.