Bedanken Sets Stake Mark in Fair Grounds Return

(from Fair Grounds' release)
It's not every day that a horse returns from a year layoff and turns in a stakes record performance. But then again, Bedanken, the winner of Friday's $60,000 Furl Sail Handicap at Fair Grounds, is not your average filly.

The daughter of Geri circled the field on the far turn and finished powerfully in a stakes-record 1:36.19 for about one mile on the Stall-Wilson turf course.

"She ran a tremendous race for being off for over a year." said winning jockey Don Pettinger, who has been aboard for all of Bedanken's lifetime starts. "I was always looking forward to her running as a 4-year-old."

Pettinger allowed Bedanken to settle in eighth down the backstretch behind the quick fractions of :22.85 and :46.21 set by Eagle Lake. As the field entered the far turn, Pettinger asked her the question, and she responded emphatically, collaring Due to Win Again in the final furlong and holding off Flager's late bid to win by a length.

Bedanken won for the eighth time in 11 career starts and surpassed the $300,000 mark in career earnings.

Winning trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel indicated that Bedanken would most likely make her next start at Fair Grounds, possibly in the Bayou Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT) Handicap, on Feb. 28.

The winner, the 2-1 favorite among the 13 entered, paid $6.40, $3.80 and $3. Flager returned $4.60 and $3.20. Due to Win Again's show was $4.40. The $2 exacta was worth $52.

(Chart, Equibase)