11/26/2003 12:00AM

Silver Wagon near certain for What a Pleasure


MIAMI - Trainer Ralph Ziadie confirmed Wednesday that he has earmarked the $100,000 What a Pleasure Stakes here Dec. 13 for what would be Silver Wagon's first start since his victory in the Grade 1 Hopeful on Aug. 30.

"Right now, I'd say there's about a 95-percent chance he'll run in the What a Pleasure, although I won't make up my mind for sure until after his final work the week of the race," said Ziadie. "If he runs, Jerry Bailey will be here to ride him."

Bailey rode Silver Wagon to victory in the Hopeful.

Silver Wagon worked an easy five furlongs in 1:03.60 here Tuesday. It was his fourth breeze since he returned to training after recovering from a minor respiratory ailment that kept him out of the Champagne Stakes.

"He came back a little tired after his work yesterday," said Ziadie. "But I've still got two weeks and two more works to get him ready, and right now, my assessment is that he'll be fit enough to run in the stakes. Originally I had considered just training him into the Fountain of Youth, but after thinking it over, I felt it would be better to get a two-turn race under his belt before that. I thought about waiting for an allowance race at the end of the meet, but that could be taking a gamble because there's always a chance it might not fill. They have to use the What a Pleasure."

If Silver Wagon does run in the What a Pleasure, Ziadie would be taking the same path he used to win the Fountain of Youth with Trust N Luck earlier this year. Trust N Luck ran off to a record 11-length victory in the 2002 What a Pleasure, then returned two months later to post an easy victory in the Fountain of Youth.

Second of June in strong work

Among those expected to challenge Silver Wagon in the 1 1/16-mile What a Pleasure is Second of June, who worked a mile in a sensational 1:41.60 here Wednesday. He completed his final quarter-mile in 23.80 seconds.

"He's clueless, just a big, goofy horse who still hasn't figured things out yet," said Bill Cesare, who trains Second of June for his mother, Barbara Cesare. "But I think he has the potential to be a really good horse.

"Right now, the plan is to run on the race on the 13th, and if he shows he belongs with those horses, take it one race at a time from there over at Gulfstream. I think it's great that Ralph's horse [Silver Wagon] could be going in this race, because if you think you've got a good horse, you can't duck the other good ones."

Second of June has won twice in four starts, including a 4 1/2-length entry-level allowance victory Nov. 3. In that race, he ran a mile in 1:39.85 and earned a Beyer Figure of 86. In his previous start, he finished second behind the favored Stolen Time in the Foolish Pleasure.

Cesare also reports that his eight-time stakes winner Cellars Shiraz is ready to come in off the farm and is not too far from a race.

"She's been working on the farm, and I'm hoping to be able to run her either at the end of this meet or at the beginning of Gulfstream," Cesare said. "I've got her nominated to both the dirt and turf races on the Sunshine Millions card, and I'd like to have her fit enough to run in one of the two."

Cellars Shiraz finished second in the inaugural Sunshine Millions Distaff Turf earlier this year.

Chatter Chatter stays home

Trainer Marty Wolfson said he has abandoned plans to run Chatter Chatter in the $1 million Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs on Dec. 5 and will instead keep her home to end her 2-year-old campaign Dec. 13 in the $100,000 Three Ring Stakes, the filly counterpart to the What a Pleasure. Bailey will again have the mount.

Wolfson also said that the promising 2-year-old Ice Wynnd Fire has been sold privately and left Tuesday for trainer Bobby Frankel's barn at Hollywood Park. Ice Wynnd Fire earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure when he won his debut here Oct. 18. He finished second as the 1-5 favorite after breaking slowly in his only other start two weeks later.

John Manning Sr. dies

John Manning Sr., the father of trainer Dennis Manning, died Saturday at his home in Weymouth, Mass. He was 88.

John Manning trained horses for over 40 years, primarily on the New England circuit. Dennis Manning, who is based in Florida during the winter and this season developed the 3-year-olds Grand Hombre and Valid Video, is one of four siblings to follow in his father's footsteps and become a licensed trainer. The others are John Jr., Bobby, and Marian.

Funeral services will be held Monday at the MacDonald Funeral Home in Weymouth.