08/25/2006 11:00PM

Second of June just needs a win


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Second of June hasn't won a race since January 2004, but that won't deter trainer Bill Cesare from shipping the talented but injury-prone horse from Churchill Downs to Saratoga for Saturday's Grade 1 Woodward.

Second of June's last victory came in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park during the winter of his 3-year-old campaign. He followed that performance with a gut-wrenching second-place finish behind Read the Footnotes in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, after which it was discovered that Second of June had suffered a fractured cannon bone. The injury sidelined him for the next 10 months.

Second of June's first comeback comprised five races that included second- and third-place finishes in the Grade 2 Oaklawn and New Orleans handicaps before Cesare had to again stop on him due to an osselet in his right hind ankle. That injury cost Second of June another 14 months before he returned to finish a game second, beaten a nose by Suave, at Churchill Downs on June 16. In his last start, Second of June finished third, more than seven lengths behind Suave, in the Grade 2 Washington Park Handicap.

"He got beat only a zap to a real nice horse coming back after more than a year in the allowance race, and I expected him to get tired going a mile and three-sixteenths in Chicago," said Cesare. "He's training well, getting fitter, and headed in the right direction at the moment, and most important, he's sound. Five weeks should be perfect coming into this race, and at this point we're not ducking anybody. I know the competition will be tough, but he should have no excuses."

Garrett Gomez will ride Second of June in the Woodward.

Bejarano out with fractured rib

Jockey Rafael Bejarano will be sidelined after being diagnosed with a fractured rib on his lower left side, his agent, Jose Ferrer, said Saturday.

"Rafael complained of pain in his side on Friday and X-rays revealed a hairline fracture in one rib," said Ferrer. "The doctor here cleared him to ride, but Rafael said he won't accept any mounts until he's feeling 100 percent and is without pain because he doesn't want to jeopardize the chances of any horses he'd be on.

"He's scheduled to be in Kentucky on Tuesday for a house closing, and he'll see another physician there before deciding when to ride again," Ferrer added. "Right now the earliest he could possibly return would be Friday."

Bejarano was unseated from his mount, Tizlater, during a race here on Aug. 14, although Ferrer said Bejarano is not certain whether that spill caused the fracture. Bejarano, who has registered 18 victories here this summer, missed the majority of the 2005 Saratoga meet after suffering a fractured right ankle during a gate mishap.

Foot problems plague 'Silver' again

Badge of Silver, whose career has been plagued by foot problems, was scratched out of Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap because he developed an abscess in each of his hind feet, trainer Bobby Frankel said.

Badge of Silver, who was the morning-line favorite for that race, was to have made his first start since New Year's Day, when he won the San Gabriel Handicap at Santa Anita.

Frankel said he noticed the problem on entry day, Wednesday, and spent Thursday and Friday trying to get the feet right. Frankel said he didn't think the problem should keep Badge of Silver out very long.

"I don't think so," Frankel said. "Hopefully, I can make the [Woodbine] Mile with him."

The $1 million Woodbine Mile is scheduled for Sept. 17.

Jerome, Cigar Mile for Discreet Cat

Discreet Cat came out of his 11-length allowance victory on Friday in good shape, and will most likely make two more starts this year. His next objective will be the $150,000 Jerome Handicap at Belmont Park on Oct. 1. Thereafter, he would most likely be pointed to the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 25.

In his first start since March 25, Discreet Cat ran seven furlongs in a meet-best 1:21.53 while being forced to race four wide. He was virtually wrapped up on late by Garrett Gomez. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 112.

"He was bright-eyed," assistant trainer Rick Mettee said Saturday morning. "From his demeanor you would have never known the horse had run the previous day. I couldn't be happier with him."

Going into the race, Mettee said he felt Discreet Cat was two workouts short of being able to run a top effort. He maintained that stance on Saturday.

"I wasn't kidding when I told you he was two weeks short of being spot on," Mettee said. "When he hit the front, I thought he was going to hang a little bit. To go 12-flat [the last furlong] the way he did it and to gallop out the way he did, he exceeded my expectations."

Commentator ready for Forego

Commentator completed preparations for an expected start in Saturday's Grade 1 Forego Handicap by working four furlongs in 47.32 seconds over the Oklahoma training track Saturday morning. It was his third and final breeze in between his New York-bred stakes win on July 12 and the Forego.

"It was beautiful," trainer Nick Zito said. "He's on his game, thank God. He looked pretty good."

Zito on Saturday also worked Wanderin Boy, who went five furlongs in 1:00.13 over the training track. Wanderin Boy could make his next start in Saturday's Grade 1 Woodward, a race in which Zito is also expected to run Sun King and Andromeda's Hero.

"Mr. Hancock expressed he'd certainly like to look at that," Zito said of Wanderin Boy's owner, Arthur Hancock.

In his last start, Wanderin Boy finished sixth in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap.

- additional reporting by David Grening