Public Speaker (by Distorted Humor) already had shown his worth on turf and synthetic surfaces, and a wet Hawthorne Race Course dirt track could not slow him down, either. After lengthy deliberations, owner Peter Karahalios and trainer Dale Bennett decided not to scratch Public Speaker from the $100,000 Robert Carey Memorial Handicap when the race was rained off turf, and Public Speaker validated their decision by winning the Carey by 1 1/4 lengths.
Four-year-old Public Speaker, winner of the $100,000 Sea O'Erin on Arlington turf last time out, had raced on dirt only in his career debut, and did not show much. When the Carey and Indian Maid Handicaps were taken off turf late Saturday morning, Bennett and Karahalios went back and forth on whether to scratch or run.
"I had vans of horses over at Arlington ready to go," Bennett said. "I told him we could put him on a van instead."
"We were burning up the phone lines this morning," Karahalios said.
But Public Speaker had no problems. Jockey Junior Alvarado quickly put him into the race, and Public Speaker took up a perfect position pressing Antrim County. The pair went to the half-mile on a sloppy track in 47.84 seconds, and around the far turn, only Sebastien County was in striking range. But Sebastien County could not keep pace in the stretch, as the two leaders drew away. Antrim County hung in gamely, but Public Speaker, a winner in 7 of his 13 starts now, probably is just a better horse, and he edged clear through the final furlong.
The winner ran one mile and 70 yards in 1:42.16, and pair just $4.20 to win. Sebastien County held third in a field that scratched from nine down to five horses.