12/13/2003 12:00AM

Second of June first at wire

Dan Dry/CDSN
Second of June and jockey Cornelio Velasquez win the What a Pleasure at Calder on Saturday.

MIAMI - Trainer Bill Cesare was convinced Second of June was a very good horse after he overcame a brutal trip to win his career debut this summer. Those who watched Second of June easily defeat eight other 2-year-olds, including Grade 1 Hopeful winner Silver Wagon, in Saturday's $100,000 at Calder surely agree with Cesare's evaluation.

Second of June got a perfect trip under jockey Cornelio Velasquez, stalking the pace of 67-1 Austin Barber into the stretch before taking command and drawing off to a five-length victory over Twice As Bad. Twice As Bad was shuffled back to seventh entering the far turn, circled five wide rallying into the stretch, and outfinished the 4-5 favorite Silver Wagon, who ran third.

Silver Wagon had not started since winning the Hopeful in August, 15 weeks earlier, and was making his first start beyond seven furlongs in the 1 1/16-mile What a Pleasure. He raced well-placed after steadying briefly on the first turn, but could offer only a mild rally through the stretch.

Second of June covered the distance in 1:45.79 over a fast track and paid $6.40. A son of Louis Quatorze, he is owned by Cesare's mother, Barbara Cesare.

"He keeps improving, but he's still immature and learning," said Cesare. "He started to get stupid in the gate again today, and luckily they let them go when they did. If he stood in there a little longer he might have gotten in trouble again. He's going to get better, but the competition is also going to get tougher with every start."

Trainer Ralph Ziadie said he was pleased with Silver Wagon's performance, even in defeat.

"I'm happy," Ziadie said after watching the replay of the What a Pleasure. "He ran just about the way I thought he would."

Ziadie said that jockey Jerry Bailey told him that Silver Wagon "got real tired at the top of the lane. But he also said we're a long way from May, which leads me to believe he was happy with him, too. The main objective today was to find out if he'll get two turns, and now I know he will."