Bedanken Stings Honeybee Foes

Bedanken stalked the early pace, then edged clear in the stretch to earn her second straight Oaklawn Park stakes win in Saturday's $75,000 Honeybee Stakes. Under Donald Pettinger, the Donnie Von Hemel trained 3-year-old daughter of Geri completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.41 on a fast track.

Cozy Susie, a maiden on the main track and two-time winner on turf, led the field into the stretch before Bedanken headed her in the stretch en route to the 2 1/2-length win. Cozy Susie held second, followed by Sarah Jade, Chirimoya, Jeanie Sue, and Atsa Pretty Muffin.

Sarah Jade, the second favorite, disappointed her rider.

"I was right where I wanted to be going into the first turn and thought I was laying perfect as we turned for home," Chris Emigh said. "But she just dropped the bit and didn't give me the big move like she had in her two previous races."

Bedanken returned $4.80, $3, and $2.20 as the 7-5 favorite. Cozy Susie paid $4.80 and $2.40 and completed the $29.60 exacta. Sarah Jade paid $2.20 to show.

Pin Oak Stable's homebred Bedanken earned $45,000 for her fourth win in five career starts. The product of the Strawberry Road mare Danka finished second in her racing debut and has won three straight races since, including the $50,000 Dixie Belle Stakes at Oaklawn in January. The Honeybee was her first start in a race longer than 6 1/2 furlongs.

"She had given every indication of being able to handle two turns," Von Hemel said. "It is nice to see her settle right down and do it in this, her first time that far."

Von Hemel said she would stay at Oaklawn to run in the $200,000 Fantasy Stakes on April 12 at the same distance.

"We got to step up and give it a try," he said. (Chart, Equibase)