06/13/2005 11:00PM

Second of June injured

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Second of June has been withdrawn from Saturday's Stephen Foster Handicap because of an ankle injury that will keep the 4-year-old colt out of action at least into the fall.

Trainer Bill Cesare said Tuesday at Churchill Downs that Second of June came up lame shortly after he returned from training Monday. The eventual diagnosis was an osselet, or a painful calcium deposit, in Second of June's left hind ankle.

"He'll get 60 days off," Cesare said. "I'll take him back to Florida, let it cool out a little, blister it, and hope to get him back in good shape."

Second of June figured no worse than fourth choice in the Grade 1, $750,000 Foster. From 11 career starts, Second of June has 4 wins and 4 seconds, with top Beyer Speed Figures of 108, 111, and 113.

The favorites for the 1 1/8-mile Foster are the Bobby Frankel-trained duo of Saint Liam and Badge of Silver and the 2003 Foster winner, Perfect Drift.

Second of June has not raced since finishing a close second in the April 9 Oaklawn Handicap, and his injury is the latest in a run of bad luck for Cesare. He was one of several trainers whose horses recently had been quarantined at Churchill after a breakout of equine herpes virus. One of Cesare's horses, an unraced filly, had to be euthanized last month after contracting the disease.

"It's been bad news since we came up here," said Cesare, whose primary base is south Florida. "Had to put one down, and then all this with my big horse. That's the way this business can be sometimes."

The Foster figures to have six or seven starters. Although Churchill officials have been listing Pollard's Vision as a possible starter, he had not been booked as of Tuesday morning on a Tex Sutton charter flight that is scheduled to transport Saint Liam and Badge of Silver to Louisville from New York on Thursday, a Tex Sutton agent said.

Colonial Colony, the 7-year-old horse who won the 2004 Foster at 62-1 but has gone winless in 10 subsequent starts, is a doubtful starter, said trainer Dallas Stewart.

Saint Liam, who has not started in three months since finishing off the board as the favorite in the Santa Anita Handicap, worked a half-mile in 47.45 seconds on Tuesday at Aqueduct under Rudy Rodriguez. The move was termed "breezing" and was the fastest of four workouts at the distance.

"He went perfect. He's coming up to this as good as any race ever," said stable manager Mark Reid.

- additional reporting by Dave Litfin