11/03/2004 12:00AM

Trio of turf stars drop by


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The names are enough to make a horseplayer think he has his days mixed up. Bedanken, Honor in War, and Ay Caramba, all exiting rich weekend stakes at Keeneland, have resurfaced in separate turf allowances on what shapes up as an exceptionally good Friday program at Churchill Downs.

, a winner of 11 of 18 starts for breeder-owner Pin Oak Farm, figures to be the biggest favorite of the class-plunging trio. As far back as the eye can see on her past-performance line, Bedanken has run in nothing but stakes races, most recently the Grade 2 WinStar Galaxy, in which she finished an uncharacteristically dull eighth.

Enticed by the classified conditions that permit a horse who has already won three stakes this year to drop into the allowance ranks, trainer Donnie Von Hemel has entered Bedanken against six other fillies and mares in the fourth of 10 Friday races. Don Pettinger, Bedanken's regular rider, will be back aboard when she breaks from post 5 in the $68,300 race at 1 1/16 miles.

, excluded from the Breeders' Cup Mile last weekend, is one of seven older horses entered in the seventh race, which also carries a $68,300 purse at 1 1/8 miles. Owned by the 3rd Turn Stables syndicate headed by former All-Pro offensive lineman Will Wolford, Honor in War is entered off a sharp runner-up finish behind Nothing to Lose in the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile.

Besides Honor in War, whose greatest career victory came over the Churchill turf course in the 2003 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, the seventh race also drew Rochester, who could surpass the $1 million earnings mark with a win here Friday, and Quest Star, who has knocked out more than $755,000 in 32 career races.

, who made an eye-catching North American debut here last spring when winning by 2 1/2 lengths, was a creditable fourth in his last start, the Shadwell Mile. Off that effort, Ay Caramba is the one to beat in the ninth race, a $60,400 mile with a three-other-than condition. Trained by Eduardo Caramori, Ay Caramba is a Brazilian-bred who will have Pat Day aboard when he breaks from post 9 in an overflow field.

One other allowance (race 8), set for 6 1/2 furlongs on dirt, is carded Friday, when first post is 12:40 p.m. Eastern. Ruby's Reception, Turn to Lass, and Silent Stream are the main contenders there.