05/14/2010 11:00PM

Proceed Bee shows surprising speed


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Even with four scratches in the male division of the on Saturday at Arlington, there appeared to be three solid early-speed horses still running. Proceed Bee was not one of them, but he was the one who wired the race, posting a half-length victory over late-closing Princeville Condo in the $100,000 Owners Stakes.

Heavy rain Wednesday night left the Arlington grass course unsuitable for use Saturday, and as was the case in 2009, the Illinois Owners was rained onto Polytrack. Voy Por Uno Mas, a confirmed front-runner, led all the way winning last year's race, and figured to go to the front again Saturday, with Public Speaker and Forest Attack adding more on-paper pace. But no. After an opening quarter-mile in a pokey 25.51 seconds, there was Proceed Bee out by his lonesome.

"I didn't expect to be on the lead," said winning rider Chris Emigh.

Proceed Bee ($16) galloped through the first half-mile in 50.03 seconds, with Voy Por Uno Mas coming up to apply the mildest pace pressure on the outside, while Public Speaker lurked near the rail. But the soft early fractions left Proceed Bee with plenty in the tank, and he withstood Public Speaker's push to his inside while hitting the wire before fast-closing Princeville Condo could reach him. The winner was timed in 1:43.33 for one and one-sixteenth miles.

"He's kind of a funny horse," said Emigh. "Sometimes he runs, sometimes he doesn't. It just depends on the mood he's in."

Proceed Bee, winning for the eighth time in 17 starts for owner Bill Stiritz and trainer Scott Becker, hadn't raced on a synthetic surface since finishing third from a wide draw in the 2009 Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park, but he now has won three times on Polytrack, and seems at least as good on synthetics as on turf, where he won the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby last fall.

* In the $97,000 female division of the , Askbut I Won'ttell rallied from behind Hooh Why's solid pace while hugging the rail under jockey Eddie Perez, posting a three-length win over the early leader.

In race nearly canceled late Saturday morning by Arlington when it scratched down to four horses, Askbut I Won'ttell quickened nicely once guided off the fence by Perez for run at the top of the stretch. Hooh Why set splits of 23.83 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 47.86 to the half - a quick pace - and had no answer when tackled at the top of the stretch. Hooh Why's rider, Junior Alvarado, shifted out and steadied behind the winner when passed, but Alvarado's claim of foul quickly was disallowed.

Askbut I Won'ttell, purchased for just $14,000 at auction and owned by Rich Ege and Team Block, was racing for the first time on a synthetic surface, having made seven starts on turf and two on dirt. The filly, trained over the winter in New Orleans by Neil Pessin, had made steady progress since leaving Arlington last fall, and was a sharp allowance race winner at Fair Grounds before finishing a tough-trip seventh of 12 in a third-level allowance last month on the turf at Keeneland.

"She had trained real well since she's gotten here," Block said. "She looked like she was underneath Eddie all the way today."

Askbut I Won'ttell ($8.80) was timed in 1:41.79 for 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack. Cumulonimble finished third, but show wagering was cancelled because of the short field.