01/27/2004 12:00AM

Second of June on his toes


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - By all rights, Second of June is supposed to regress after having posted a career-best 108 Beyer Speed Figure when he won the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes here. But after working a mile in 1:42.60 over a somewhat dull Calder racing surface Tuesday morning, Second of June, the early favorite for the $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 14, gave little indication he might be tailing off.

Working for the first time since he defeated Silver Wagon and seven other rivals in the Holy Bull on Jan 17, Second of June loped through an opening half-mile in 53 and change, then finished up strongly, ripping off each of his last four furlongs in splits of 12.40 seconds or better.

"He went perfectly," said trainer Bill Cesare. "He couldn't have done it better. I just wanted him to finish strong. That's what it's all about, isn't it? I don't worry about him bouncing off that last race. In fact, I think he's going to improve even more."

Second of June has easily won his last three starts, all around two turns, and Cesare has continued to work his star a mile between those races.

"I don't understand all these trainers who continue to drill their horses five furlongs, five furlongs, five furlongs, when they're going to have to run a mile and a sixteenth and further," Cesare said. "In fact, I think it's easier on a horse to work a mile, because you're not asking them to go as fast, as long. He goes the first five furlongs in 1:05 or 1:06 and then comes on strong for the last three-eighths. We may get beat down the line, but fitness won't be an excuse."

Silver Wagon tries blinkers

Second of June was followed on the track by Silver Wagon, who also went once around the course, equipped with blinkers, although he was not credited with an official work by the clockers.

Silver Wagon ducked in sharply when struck right-handed by jockey Jerry Bailey during the stretch run of the Holy Bull, and trainer Ralph Ziadie is considering putting blinkers on Silver Wagon for the Fountain of Youth.

"We really didn't work this morning; he just two-minute-licked," said Ziadie. "I put the blinkers on him to get him used to them and see how he goes. He's also been to the gate with blinkers since his last start. I'm not exactly sure what made him take an erratic path like that in the Holy Bull. It could have been simply that he never really needed a stick before, combined with the fact he might also have been getting a little tired."

Jose Santos will ride Silver Wagon for the first time in the Fountain of Youth. Ziadie said he'll have his new jockey work the horse next week.

"Jose is riding great at the moment," said Ziadie. "He looks like the old Santos again. And I want him to come over here and work Silver Wagon to get a feel for the horse and know him a little bit before the next race."

Day's comeback likely postponed

Jockey Pat Day was hoping to resume riding Feb. 1 but said he will likely have to postpone his return for perhaps as long as another two weeks. Day is recovering from minor rotator cuff surgery and has not ridden since Nov. 26.

"The doctors said I'm doing great, but my shoulder still doesn't feel right, and I don't want to go out there if I don't think I can be 100 percent," said Day. "That's not fair to the trainers I ride for or the public. I'm still coming out every morning to work horses, and I'll know when I'm ready to start back."

Hills celebrates Mooji Moo's win

Trainer Tim Hills has had a rough start here this winter, having gone winless during the opening three weeks of the meet. But he and his barn were celebrating last weekend after Mooji Moo successfully shipped cross-country to upset Saturday's Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita.

"I wasn't shocked she won," said Hills. "The last time she ran out there on Breeders' Cup Day she was a bit nervous in the paddock and at the gate, and then Gary Stevens cowboyed another horse right from the break and ran head to head with her. This time we shipped her out a day earlier, gave her a chance to school in the paddock and at the gate, and she was a lot more relaxed."

Mooji Moo was able to get clear on the front end in the Sunshine Sprint, then dug in tenaciously to fend off several challenges in late stretch.

"She broke well and they left her alone a little too long on the lead," Hills said. "And with her, that's all it takes. Give her a little breather and she's really tough."

'Farnum' may go in Fountain of Youth

Trainer Tony Reinstedler said he is "thinking about" running Farnum Alley back in the Fountain of Youth after Farnum Alley emerged a narrow winner over favored Tiger Heart in a tough entry-level allowance race here Saturday.

"It was a good race for him, but he's not that far along, so I'd only call the Fountain of Youth a possibility," said Reinstedler.

Meanwhile, Reinstedler, based at Palm Meadows, said he is going slow with his two stakes-winning turf fillies, Sand Springs and Aud.

"Sand Springs is still up at Ocala and won't get here until the next week or so," he said. "Aud just got down here. It's that slow time of year."

* Read the Footnotes worked an easy half-mile Tuesday in 48.20 at Palm Meadows. Read the Footnotes, a winner of four of his five starts at 2, will make his 3-year-old debut in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth.

- additional reporting by Marty McGee