04/17/2005 11:00PM

Plesa proving he's among best on grass

Second of June could run next in the Alysheba Handicap on May 6.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - When thinking about the top turf trainers at Gulfstream Park, names like Christophe Clement and Bill Mott immediately come to mind. But after sending out three grass winners from as many starters here Sunday, Eddie Plesa Jr. might have to be added to that list.

Plesa earned his turf hat trick with Man Made ($38.60), Looking for Loot ($10.60), and Unbridels King ($23.60), who captured the afternoon's $46,000 allowance feature. All three of Plesa's grass winners were ridden by jockey Richard Bracho.

"I don't know if this means I'm a good turf trainer or Richard's a good turf rider," Plesa said shortly after Unbridels King upset a field that included multiple stakes winner Proud Man.

Plesa's three grass winners may have surprised the betting public, but he said he felt each of his three horses had a good chance of winning.

"I really could have made a case for all three going into their races," said Plesa. "Man Made was coming off a win on dirt, and I thought it was just a question of whether he'd take to the turf. I felt Looking for Loot was in a real good spot, and Unbridels King is a quality horse who used his last start at five-eighths to sharpen and get mentally right for this race. I knew he had license to improve off his last."

Man Made is owned by Lucille Stephens, the widow of Hall of Fame trainer Woody Stephens. Unbridels King won the Mecke Stakes last summer at Calder.

Plesa is also gearing up the best horse in his barn, B.B. Best, for a possible start in Aqueduct's Grade 3 Withers Stakes at a mile on April 30. B. B. Best is coming off third-place finishes behind High Fly and Bandini in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes and High Fly and Noble Causeway in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.

"He had his first work since the Florida Derby over the weekend, and on every level he's doing real well," said Plesa.

Plesa will also be in action at home April 30 with another of his up-and-coming 3-year-olds, Favre, who may go off the favorite in Calder's $100,000 Unbridled Stakes. The Unbridled is one of four stakes on the opening weekend of the 2005 Calder meet.

Favre is coming off a narrow defeat to Right Daddy in the Ocala Breeders' Championship.

"I'm not taking anything away from the winner, but I really think we should have won the race in Ocala," said Plesa. "We got beat a nose and my horse jumped the tire tracks at the sixteenth pole, and I believe it was just enough to cost us the race."

Mott vs. Clement

Plesa does not have an entry in Wednesday's $33,000 allowance feature on the turf, but Mott and Clement both have key contenders in the first-level allowance race for 3-year-old fillies.

Mott sends out likely favorite Regal Approach in search of her third straight grass win. Clement counters with Gouache, an Irish-bred who finished a troubled sixth under similar conditions when making her U.S. debut March 30.

Second of June targets Foster

Trainer Bill Cesare, a mainstay at Calder for many years, will keep a string of about 10-12 horses in Florida this summer, but said he plans to spend most of his time on the road with a small stable of five or six runners, including graded stakes winner Second of June.

Cesare and Second of June are currently at Churchill Downs, where their main objective will be the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap on June 18.

Second of June, sidelined 10 months after suffering a condylar fracture finishing second in the 2004 Fountain of Youth, is coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Oaklawn Handicap.

Cesare said he plans to get one prep into Second of June before the Stephen Foster, most likely in Churchill's 1 1/16-mile Alysheba Handicap on May 6.