09/26/2006 11:00PM

Second of June, 5, suffers fatal injury


Second of June, a candidate for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, suffered a fatal injury during a workout at Churchill Downs on Wednesday and had to be euthanized later that morning.

Second of June, a 5-year-old son of Louis Quatorze, was nearing the completion of a one-mile work in preparation for next Saturday's Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park when he injured his right hind ankle. A big effort in the Gold Cup would have earned Second of June a start in the Classic, which would have been the final race of his career.

"The vet went over him from head to toe yesterday," said trainer Bill Cesare. "And he couldn't have been any better."

Second of June was coming off a second-place finish to Premium Tap in the Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga on June 2. He was ranked among the leading 3-year-olds in the country during the winter of 2004 only to have his Kentucky Derby dreams end after he suffered a fractured leg during a narrow loss to Read the Footnotes in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. He was sidelined again midway through his 4-year-old campaign due to an inflammation in his ankle and did not return to competition again until June of this year. Second of June ended his career with a record of 14-4-6-2 and earnings of $528,800.

"He gave us a lot of good times," said Cesare, who trained Second of June for his mother, Barbara Cesare. "It just wasn't meant to be."