03/09/2002 1:00AM

Oaklawn: Bedanken handles new distance


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Bedanken conquered two turns in her first attempt when she overtook pacesetter Cozy Susie into the stretch, and went on to a 2 1/2-length win the Grade 3, $75,000 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park. It was a nose back in third to Sarah Jade.

Bedanken ($4.80) broke sharply in the 1 1/16- mile race for 3-year-old fillies, and was content to settle in third behind Cozy Susie, who led the field through an opening four furlongs in 47.20 seconds with Atsa Pretty Muffin in close pursuit. Bedanken launched her bid midway on the turn for home under regular rider Don Pettinger, and was diligent through the stretch, covering the distance over a fast track in 1:46.40.

The Honeybee was Bedanken's fourth consecutive win, and her second straight stakes win at the meet. She had previously won the $50,000 Dixie Belle over six furlongs here Jan. 25. She earned $45,000 for the win, her fourth in five starts, which improved her earnings to $97,590 for her owner and breeder, Pin Oak Stable.

Bedanken is trained by Donnie Von Hemel.

* Leading rider Terry Thompson will be sidelined indefinitely after he broke a thumb in the fifth race. Thompson was injured soon after the start of the 5 1/2-furlong race when his mount, Fleet Boss, clipped heels with Brown Eyed Major, the eventual winner who was disqualified and placed last as a result of the incident.

Thompson underwent surgery on Saturday.