12/08/2004 12:00AM

Second of June fit but has nowhere to run


MIAMI - Jockey Cornelio Velasquez got off Second of June after working a mile in a sensational 1:41.48 at Calder on Wednesday and asked trainer Bill Cesare, "When is he going to run?"

That's a question a lot of people have been asking lately as Second of June continues to work toward his eagerly awaited return. Second of June was considered among the leaders of the 3-year-old division until he was sidelined by a fracture suffered during his second-place finish in Gulfstream Park's Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 14.

Second of June gave every impression that he's about ready to get down to some serious action with Wednesday's work. Velasquez allowed him to ease into the drill, going the opening half-mile in 52.60 seconds, after which Second of June really began to pick up the pace, coming home the final four furlongs in an exceptional 48.88.

"He's getting closer," Cesare said back at the barn. "That was his second mile work, and it was just as good as some of his works here last winter before he got hurt."

Cesare remains tight-lipped about when he plans to launch Second of June's comeback other than to say he is pointing for the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream on Jan. 29. Second of June is by Louis Quatorze and races for Cesare's mother, Barbara.

"There's really nothing for him here in the book," said Cesare. "The only 3-year-old stakes is on the turf, and I don't want to run him on grass. The other alternative is the Fred Hooper, but that's in only 10 days against older horses. If I have to, I'll train him right up to the Sunshine Millions."

Funny Cide on extended vacation

Funny Cide has settled into his winter home at Gulfstream Park but is not expected to see any action until the latter part of the meeting.

Trainer Barclay Tagg has taken up residence in one of the new barns along the Gulfstream backstretch after spending the last two winters at the Palm Meadows training center in Boynton Beach.

"This is beautiful back here," Tagg said after completing training on Wednesday. "And if anybody complains about the new track or these barns, I'll be glad to take 25 more stalls. In fact, it's amazing they were able to get both new tracks and all these barns built and ready so fast. It took me the same amount of time to get my bathroom floor tiled this summer, and it's about the size of one of these stalls."

Tagg said he gave Funny Cide the entire month of November off following his 10th-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic and will have him only walking under tack and perhaps doing a little light jogging through December. Funny Cide posted three victories, including the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, and earned more than $1 million in 2004.

"He deserved a break," said Tagg. "He ran 10 times in 10 months this year and also never really got a break the year before. I'd like to run him here once at this meet, and the only options are the Donn and the Gulfstream Park Handicap, and the Donn comes up too soon."

The Grade 2 $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap has been shortened to 1 3/16 miles and will be run on March 5.

Changing World: Too fast early

Tagg was still smarting on Wednesday over Changing World's third-place finish in last Saturday's Grade 3 My Charmer Handicap. Changing World opened a long early lead after setting exceptionally fast fractions, then faltered in the final furlong when passed by Something Ventured and Snowdrops.

"The pace was ridiculous," said Tagg. "She should have won that race. As it was I'm surprised she managed to finish third after setting those fractions."