03/05/2002 1:00AM

Bedanken puts streak on line in route race


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Bedanken, who has won her last three races, including the $50,000 Dixie Belle Stakes opening day at Oaklawn Park, will make her first start around two turns Saturday in the Grade 3, $75,000 Honeybee.

The 1 1/16-mile race is one of three route stakes for 3-year-old fillies in the region Saturday. Also on the calendar are the Grade 2, $350,000 Fair Grounds Oaks in New Orleans and the $30,000 Sam Houston Oaks in Houston.

Bedanken has not made a wrong move in her last three starts. After closing for second in her 5 1/2-furlong debut last August, she has won three straight races, her most recent a nose decision against top Michigan-bred filly Born to Dance in the six-furlong Dixie Belle on Jan. 25.

The added distance of the Honeybee should benefit Bedanken, a daughter of Grade 1 Oaklawn Handicap winner Geri and the Strawberry Road mare Danka. She is the first foal to race from Danka, who is a half-sister to three stakes winners, including $595,663-earner Apolda.

"I think [the 1 1/16 miles] is certainly within the parameters of the way she's bred," said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains Bedanken for Pin Oak Stable.

Don Pettinger will ride.

The Honeybee was downgraded to a listed stakes, but that change will not go into effect until 2003 because the race is run before May 1.

Powder a go; Spanish Glitter waits

Powder is set to make her stakes debut Sunday in the $50,000 Spring Fever after breezing a strong five furlongs Saturday, while Spanish Glitter, who will be favored if she goes, was in a holding pattern for the race Tuesday because freezing temperatures have hampered training at her base in Kentucky.

"We haven't figured out if we're going," said Spanish Glitter's trainer, Bernie Flint.

Spanish Glitter won both of her races at Oaklawn this year, including the $50,000 American Beauty Stakes on Feb. 9.

Powder also has won both of her starts at Oaklawn this meet. She won an entry-level allowance by a length on Jan. 27, then returned to win another allowance by five lengths Feb. 21. In her last work, the front-running filly was relaxed, which pleased trainer Sonny Wigginton.

"The work was right on the money," said Wigginton. "She went five-eighths in 1:01.80, which really isn't fast for her. It seems the works have slowed down and the performance has sped up."

Wigginton attributed Powder's newfound patience to maturity. "This year, she's just grown up," he said.

Tim Doocy has been aboard Powder in her last two starts, and has the mount in the Spring Fever.

Suzanne's Flying returns off troubled third

Suzanne's Flying, who won a division of the $50,000 Rainbow Miss Stakes last year at Oaklawn, makes her second start of the meet Thursday in a $30,000 allowance sprint. She finished a troubled third in her comeback from a five-month layoff last out.

"She ran a good race, I thought, first time out," said trainer Bob Holthus. "She came back good, and ought to be competitive."

Threats to Suzanne's Flying include Darling Deputy, who has been working sharply for her first start since January. James Lopez has the mount on Suzanne's Flying, while Marlon St. Julien will ride Darling Deputy for trainer Steve Moyer.

* Three-year-old Cojet, who finished an uncharacteristic seventh as the favorite in the second division of the $75,000 Southwest Stakes on Saturday, will likely make his next start in the Grade 3, $100,000 Rebel Stakes on March 23.