12/18/2011 12:53PM

Turfway: Proceed Bee best by head in Prairie Bayou

Patrick Lang/Lang Photography
Proceed Bee, ridden by Rodney Prescott, captures the Prairie Bayou.

Chicago invader Proceed Bee overtook a pack of tiring leaders turning for home, then barely withstood a late run by Wealth to Me to post a head victory Saturday night in the $50,000 Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

With Rodney Prescott riding for the familiar owner-trainer team of Bill Stiritz and Scott Becker, Proceed Bee returned $9.40 as second choice in a field of 10 older horses after completing the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:52.30 over Polytrack. Wealth to Me, a 7-1 shot under Greta Kuntzweiler, was another three lengths ahead of Matty’s Trail, the second longest shot in the field at 34-1. Mad Flatter, the 9-5 favorite, faded to sixth after rushing into contention on the final turn and tiring in the final furlong.

Plutonium, chased from the start by Becky’s Kitten, set fractions of 22.73 seconds, 45.87, and 1:11.09 before the others came calling. Proceed Bee, widest of all, got first run on Wealth to Me, who had trailed through the early stages before getting past them all but the winner.

Proceed Bee, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Bernstein, now has won 12 times and earned nearly $640,000. Remarkably, he has never finished second in 28 career starts but has finished third five times.