12/03/2005 1:00AM

Silver Tree salvages day for Mott and Bailey

Jim Lisa Photos
Silver Tree (right), under Jerry Bailey, overtakes 41-1 Demeteor by a neck in the Tropical Park Turf.

MIAMI - A day that began on a sour note for the team of jockey Jerry Bailey and trainer Bill Mott ended in the Calder winner's circle after favored Silver Tree outfinished the 41-1 longshot Demeteor by a neck in Saturday's $100,000 .

Bailey and Mott had also been heavily favored to win the Grade 3 My Charmer earlier in the day with Sand Springs, who wound up finishing fourth after having her chances compromised by a poor start. Silver Tree helped make amends for that setback after shaking loose from tight quarters in early stretch and angling inside Demeteor before finally catching the game leader in the final strides of the 1 1/8-mile Tropical Turf.

Demeteor, who also finished just behind Silver Tree when third in last year's Tropical Turf, stalked the pacesetting Keep Cool, gained command near the eighth pole and just failed to last. Settle Up rallied belatedly to finish third.

Silver Tree, a homebred son of Hennessy owned by Peter Vegso, returned $4.60 as the favorite in a field of 11 older grass specialists. Final time for the nine furlongs was 1:46.28 over the firm course.

Silver Tree completed an all-stakes pick four that included Snowdrops, Stolen Prayer, and Saint Augustus which paid $1,162.70 for a $1 ticket.

The win was the first in seven starts this season for Silver Tree, who finished second in the Grade 2 Fourstardave and Bernard Baruch handicaps earlier this year.

"He has run against some nice horses this season and ended up second, behind Artie Schiller and Leroy [Leroidesanimeaux]," said Mott. "We realized his limitations, which is why we kept him out of the Breeders' Cup this year. He's eligible for the Sunshine Millions race at Gulfstream so we will be looking at that next."