Bedanken Spanks Them in Pago Hop Stakes

Favored Bedanken demolished 11 rivals in winning the $100,000 Pago Hop Stakes Saturday at Fair Grounds.

The multiple graded stakes-winning filly added some more black type to her name with a stakes record-setting performance.

"I think she prefers a firmer course like the one she got today," said trainer Donnie Von Hemel. "Her move at the top of the lane was a real surprise the way she outkicked the rest of this field."

Owned by Josephine Abercrombie's Pin Oak Stable, Bedanken paid $5.40, $3.40, and $2.60 after covering about a mile on the Stall-Wilson turf course in 1:36.96. Bedanken shattered the stakes record of 1:38.39 set by Weekend Madness in 1993.

Ridden by Don Pettinger, Bedanken found a hole at the top of the lane and accelerated past pace setter Distinctive Code.

"At first she didn't handle the turf all that well," Pettinger said. "But as the race panned out she began to take to it. On this turf course you wait for the turn home and get your spot. I got my spot."

The grey daughter of Geri pulled away to win by seven lengths over 30-1 longshot Dynamic Lady. Lush Soldier endured a rough trip under Robby Albarado to finish third.

Bedanken has seven wins at five different racetracks in 10 starts, never finishing off the board in her career. Saturday's win increased her career earnings to $281,174.

"We're really proud of her," Abercrombie said of her homebred filly. "Donnie's has done a magnificent job and I believe she will get some well deserved time off now."

(Chart, Equibase)