08/27/2004 11:00PM

Second of June's comeback going well


MIAMI - If the planets had all been aligned properly and everything had gone according to plan this season, trainer Bill Cesare and his star 3-year-old Second of June might have been at Saratoga on Saturday competing in the prestigious Travers. Instead, Cesare, a former NFL defensive back, and his big horse spent another quiet day in south Florida where Second of June had another easy 1 1/2-mile gallop over his home track at Calder.

Second of June, who is owned by Cesare's mother, Barbara Cesare, was considered a top Kentucky Derby prospect early this winter after winning the Holy Bull Stakes and losing by a neck to Read the Footnotes following a gallant effort in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes. At the time, the 111 and 113 Beyer Speed Figures Second of June earned for those two performances put him at the top of his class.

But Cesare's dreams and Second of June's 3-year-old season ended just hours after the Fountain of Youth when it was discovered the colt had a condylar fracture of a cannon bone that would require surgery.

"It shouldn't affect him other than time," Cesare said the morning after discovering the injury.

Cesare is giving Second of June all the time he needs before bringing him back to the races.

"He's loping and galloping a mile and one-half here almost every morning and thus far he's doing fine," said Cesare. "I thought about maybe working him sometime in September, but we've missed a few days here and there because of the weather so I'll wait until October before doing anything serious with him. That will give him three full months of galloping under his belt."

Cesare said at the moment he is not pinpointing any specific race for Second of June's much anticipated return to the races.

"I'll give him all the time he needs," said Cesare. "I'm in no rush. When he finally comes back I want to make sure he's completely ready and it's in the right spot."

Adobe Gold beats older foes

Adobe Gold, who has dominated the handicap division for 3-year-old fillies here this summer, handled older competition with similar ease on Friday, overcoming early trouble to win the $40,000 Miss Medallion Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths over Najibes Acres.

Adobe Gold, a daughter of Touch Gold, had to steady in tight quarters on the first turn and dropped back to sixth during the early stages of the 1 1/16-mile Miss Medallion. She gradually worked her way forward leaving the backstretch while taken to the inside by regular rider Eddie Castro, eased out to overtake the pacesetting Sniffles in early stretch, and then easily held off a late surge from Najibes Acre.

The victory was the third in a row for Adobe Gold, who is trained by Marty Wolfson for owner Leo Villareal Jr.

"She's going to have to ship out for her next race," said Wolfson. "I'm looking at several options, including the Cotillion at Philadelphia Park, the Gazelle at Belmont, or the Indiana Breeders' Cup at Hoosier Park."

Najibes Acre, the only other 3-year-old in the Miss Medallion field, has now finished second behind Adobe Gold in each of her last three starts.