Updated on 09/17/2011 12:09PM

Bedanken comes back


NEW ORLEANS - A year ago, Bedanken stepped onto the Fair Grounds grass course and rolled to a seven-length victory in the Pago Hop Handicap, looking very much like a major player for turf stakes.

What she has been instead is an exercise in frustration and patience for her owner, the Pin Oak Stud of Josephine Abercrombie, and trainer, Donnie Von Hemel. One physical setback after another beset Bedanken during 2003, and it is only in Friday's $60,000 Furl Sail Handicap here that the filly returns to action.

"After she won the Pago Hop, we took her to Oaklawn, and things went well for a while," Von Hemel said Monday morning. "Then she kicked her stall or something and had a hind leg that was sore. We got her going, and then she popped a splint, and we decided to give her some time off. We brought her back again, and wouldn't you know, she popped another splint. It's been kind of frustrating, but we've been through this enough times. When you like a horse like this, they're worth waiting for."

Von Hemel has been readying Bedanken for her comeback at Remington Park, where she has turned in several works on the grass course, many in company. He believes she is ready to run, but cautioned, "A lot of times, you won't find out till after you run them whether they're fit enough or not."

Bedanken has a whole herd of opponents in the Furl Sail, which is contested at about one mile. The early weather forecast calls for a chance of rain Friday, and a move to dirt could gut a compelling race. Among the other 13 horses entered is the New Zealand-bred mare Janeian, the 120-pound highweight and a strong win contender. Janeian's last race, a seventh-place finish in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs, does not look like much, but she can do much better than that.

Others have solid credentials. Lady Linda, proven at this class level, ships in from Pimlico, while Flager and Due to Win Again finished a neck apart in an allowance prep for this race.