05/26/2007 12:00AM

Wood Be Willing rallies


Wood Be Willing ($9.60) overcame a slow pace to run down Tune of the Spirit in deep stretch and earn his first stakes victory in the $61,050 Eight Thirty at Delaware Park.

A 5-year-old ridden by Jose Caraballo for trainer Michael Matz, Wood Be Willing rallied along the rail, took the lead with a furlong remaining, and defeated Tune of the Spirit by two lengths while covering 1 1/8 miles on firm turf in 1:48.40.

He came into the overnight stakes race off a win going nine furlongs on Keeneland's Polytrack against optional claimers.

Tune of the Spirit, who was allowed to loaf through early fractions of 49.92 seconds for a half-mile and 1:13.09 for six furlongs, held second. Salinja, the 3-5 favorite, got third by a neck over Pa Pa Da.

Eight scratches reduced the original field to just six starters.