06/06/2009 11:00PM

Proceed Bee takes hard-fought Prairie Mile

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If Saturday night's $50,000 Prairie Mile is anything to go by, this year's $250,000-guaranteed Iowa Derby, scheduled for June 26, may take shape as an outstanding renewal. A large crowd, enjoying perfect spring weather following the simulcast of the Belmont Stakes, witnessed three classy 3-year-olds fighting out a lively finish.

In the end, Proceed Bee unleashed a menacing five-wide rally under Terry Thompson's strong hand ride to best Conchacer by one length. The 6-5 favorite Uno Mas, trained by Steve Asmussen, finished third, just a neck behind Conchacer.

Trained by Scott Becker for owner William Stiritz, Proceed Bee exhibited a welcome return to form after a lackluster seventh-place finish on turf in the May 23 Arlington Classic. A gelded son of Bernstein, Proceed Bee was squeezed back to last of eight when checked leaving the clubhouse turn. However, despite tepid fractions of 24.30 seconds, 48.81, and 1:13.39, for six furlongs, he displayed an excellent turn of foot to zip past his opponents, stopping the clock in 1:37.12.

Conchacer, supplemented to the Prairie Mile by trainer Dale Bennett for Savoy Stable, poached a two-length lead at the furlong marker and was not disgraced in his first try around two turns. Uno Mas, who stayed on well through traffic, also displayed an affinity for the Prairie Meadows dirt surface.

Despite his impressive r sum , which now includes three stakes wins and a third-place finish in Turfway Park's Grade 2 Lane End Stakes, Proceed Bee returned $15.40 to win.

Don'ttalktome proves a worthy favorite in Panthers

The co-featured $50,000 Panthers Stakes, the local prep race for the Grade 3, $200,000 Iowa Oaks on June 26, lost some intrigue when it was reduced to a field of four by the defection of shippers Bow Tie Pasta, Mein Fraulein, and Rivie.

As a result, locally based Don'ttalktome, trained by Judi Hicklin for Gene Phelps' World Thoroughbreds Racing Inc., was sent off at prohibitive odds of 2-5. In her first attempt at a distance over six furlongs, the talented daughter of Cactus Ridge did not disappoint.

Ridden conservatively by leading rider Terry Thompson, she assumed command at once and was not fully extended when fending off the admirable Monterey Street by a well-measured length. Collecting $30,000 for her connections, Don'ttalktome registered a solid time of 1:36.95 for the one-mile distance.