Updated on 09/17/2011 9:40PM

Second of June stuck outside

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Second of June missed 10 months of racing last year because of a condylar fracture. The resultant loss of earnings may keep him out the the Sunshine Millions.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Bill Cesare has been pointing Second of June for next Saturday's $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic for several months. Cesare circled the date on his calendar before his star horse even launched his comeback late last year after a 10-month vacation.

But barring a late scratch from the Florida contingent or two from the Californians, Cesare and the Florida-bred Second of June will find themselves on the outside looking in when entries for the Classic and the seven other Sunshine Million races are drawn on Monday.

Under the guidelines of the , there must be an equal number of Florida-breds and California-breds among the 12 runners in the field. If an equal number of California-breds is not entered, additional Florida-breds will be allowed to enter to ensure a full field of 12. If more than 12 horses are entered, preference is given first to Grade 1 stakes winners in 2004-2005 and then to Grade 2 or Grade 3 stakes winners in 2004-2005, with total earnings used as a tiebreaker.

The Classic closed with 21 pre-entries, seven from California and 14 from Florida. Midas Eyes is the lone Grade 1 winner from Florida. Second of June is one of six other Grade 3 winners on the list but has the fewest earnings among the group.

"I never considered this could happen, but obviously there's not much I can do about it," said Cesare. "The rules are the rules. I can't change anything. I'll just have to go with the flow. Hopefully we'll get lucky between now and Monday and somebody will drop out, or maybe he'll be able to draw in off the also-eligible list, although that would mean having the disadvantage of starting from an outside post."

Second of June was one of the heroes during the opening six weeks of the 2004 winter meeting following his impressive victory in the Holy Bull Stakes and game effort behind Read the Footnotes in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. But a condylar fracture suffered in the Fountain of Youth ended any Kentucky Derby dreams and kept Second of June sidelined until his second-place finish in an optional claiming race at Calder on Dec. 27.

"He's been training extremely well since his last race, and I was really looking forward to running him in the Sunshine Millions," said Cesare, who trains Second of June for his mother, Barbara Cesare. "I guess the only other alternative if he doesn't get in would be the Donn Handicap the following week. It's a Grade 1 race, but the purse is only half of the purse for the Classic, and the competition is probably going to be a lot tougher if Roses in May and Saint Liam run."

Cesare planned to nominate Second of June for the Donn on Thursday.

"I'll keep my options open, but there's no question I'd rather be in the Sunshine Millions," said Cesare.

Madcap Escapade nears return

Madcap Escapade worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds immediately after the second renovation break on Friday, and according to trainer Frank Brothers, she is about ready to get back to action. A 4-year-old daughter of Hennessy, Madcap Escapade has not started since incurring a non-displaced hairline fracture of the hip after her only loss, in the Kentucky Oaks on April 30.

"She's not too far away now," Brothers said shortly after Madcap Escapade had cooled out following her work. "She's come along fine, has had a series of works, and I'm very happy with her."

Brothers said he hasn't picked out a specific race for Madcap Escapade's return, although he acknowledged the seven-furlong Shirley Jones Handicap on Feb. 19 was one option.

"She's moving well and seems to be happy in the morning, but the proof is in the pudding when she runs," said Brothers. "We just have to get her back in the game both physically and mentally."

Brothers said he is hoping for big things this year from Madcap Escapade, whose four victories last season included a win over likely Eclipse Award champion Ashado in the Grade 1 Ashland.

"The key this year is getting her to relax," said Brothers. "That would make her a better filly."

Quality workers

Madcap Escapade wasn't the only stakes winner to work at Gulfstream on Friday. Trainer Shug McGaughey sent out his multiple graded stakes winner Daydreaming to work a half- mile in 48.80 seconds, as well as Grade 1 Hollywood Derby hero Good Reward, who went five-eighths in 1:01.80. Grade 1 winner Passing Shot, trained by Allen Jerkens, drilled a bullet half-mile in 47 seconds from the gate for Sunday's $60,000 Banshee Breeze Handicap, and The Lady's Groom worked five-eighths in 1:01.60.

At Palm Meadows, Zakocity readies seven-eighths in 1:29.40 as he prepares for the Sunshine Millions Classic.

Slots referendum approved for vote

As expected, the Miami-Dade Commission followed Broward County's lead and voted Thursday to put a referendum to allow slot machines at county parimutuel facilities on the March 8 ballot. The Broward Commission passed a similar vote on Tuesday.

A statewide measure passed on the November ballot, clearing the way for both Miami-Dade and Broward to hold individual elections giving voters the opportunity to approve racetrack video lottery terminals in their respective counties. If passed, the measure could lead to video lottery terminals being placed in Calder Race Course (Miami-Dade) and Gulfstream Park (Broward) before the end of the year.

Representatives from the Florida Horseman's Benevolent and Protective Association and the group Floridians for a Level Playing Field, which lobbies for all parimutuel interests in south Florida, are expected to stage a huge advertising blitz in the media over the next several weeks to help assure passage of the measure.