01/17/2004 12:00AM

Second of June strikes again

Second of June, under Cornelio Velasquez, finishes strongly to win the Holy Bull Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Second of June had just dominated a strong field of 3-year-olds, including Grade 1 winner Silver Wagon, in Saturday's $100,000 at Gulfstream Park. But trainer Bill Cesare took the victory in stride while putting the performance in proper prospective.

"It's just one race," said Cesare, who trains Second of June for his mother, Barbara Cesare. "It doesn't mean anything other than we just got $60,000. There are still a lot more races to come and a lot more good horses out there to run against.

"I was worried about him because he was being bad today," Cesare added. "He was too keyed up."

Second of June's 2 3/4-length decision over Silver Wagon in the Grade 3 Holy Bull was his third straight one-sided victory. A son of Preakness winner Louis Quatorze, Second of June returned $7.60 as the second choice in a field reduced to nine after Hopefortheroses was scratched at the starting gate. Final time for 1 1/16 miles was 1:43 over a fast track.

Second of June broke alertly under regular rider Cornelio Velasquez to prompt the pace while four wide into the first turn. He engaged El Prado Rob for command while still well in hand around the second turn, forged clear when roused in early stretch, then drew away from Silver Wagon.

Silver Wagon rallied outside Second of June entering the stretch but ducked in suddenly when hit right handed by jockey Jerry Bailey nearing the eighth pole. He remained in close contention while racing along the rail through midstretch but proved no match for the winner in the final sixteenth of a mile.

Friends Lake finished third, 10 lengths behind Silver Wagon.

Cesare said he will point Second of June for the Fountain of Youth here on Feb. 14 and then the Florida Derby on March 13.

Trainer Ralph Ziadie said he was surprised to see Silver Wagon take such an erratic path through the stretch.

"He's never done that before," said Ziadie. "I might consider putting blinkers on him for the next one."

Bailey was also caught off guard by some of Silver Wagon's antics during the race.

"He spent more time running sideways than forward," said Bailey.