Updated on 09/17/2011 10:23PM

Spruce Run pays $31 in Carey

Four Footed Fotos
Spruce Run (inside) rallies past Fort Prado in the final furlong to win the Robert F. Carey Handicap on Saturday at Hawthorne.

STICKNEY, Ill. - The East Coast-based trainer Linda Rice is a rare participant in Chicago races, and she sent Spruce Run from Monmouth Park to Hawthorne Race Course for the for a good reason - to win.

The betting public was unconvinced, letting Spruce Run go off at overlaid odds of 14-1, but Spruce Run rallied strongly in the final furlong and caught favored Fort Prado just before the finish, winning by a neck in the Grade 3, $150,000 Carey, a one-mile grass race.

Spruce Run might have caught his biggest break about four hours before the Carey, when heavy rain pelted the Hawthorne turf course, which officially was labeled "good," but appeared to be much softer. A veteran 7-year-old owned by the Golden Dome Stable, Spruce Run showed two good efforts, a win and a place, on turf courses rated soft, and he finished best Saturday in a slowly run race.

Old Deuteronomy went to the lead, getting a quarter-mile in 24.66 seconds and a half in 49.23, with 50-1 shot Wimplestiltskin pressing the pace, and Spruce Run racing in third. Fort Prado, meanwhile, hopped at the start and got no early position, racing last in a nine-horse field. But jockey Eddie Razo did a decent job of slowly moving Fort Prado into position, and as the tightly packed field came off the turn, Fort Prado surged and took the lead in midstretch. But he could not hold it. Appearing to struggle with the wet going, Fort Prado lost his momentum about 100 yards from the finish. Spruce Run, with Rex Stokes up, had split horses and switched to the inside, and steadily he wore the favorite down.

Remind, who was hung up on traffic on the turn, rallied to finish a distant third, followed by Wimplestiltskin, G P Fleet, Old Deuteronomy, Major Rhythm, Gondolieri, and Just See James. Spruce Run, timed in 1:39.97 for a mile, paid $31 to win.