Bank Sting after her win in the Heavenly Prize Invitational (NYRA/Coglianese)
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Hidden Brook Farm, Joseph G. McMahon and Anne McMahon’s Bank Sting has proven to be a winning machine with eight triumphs in 13-lifetime starts, but the only thing missing on a stellar resume is a graded stakes victory. That could all change when the reigning New York-bred Champion Older Mare takes on a deep field in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Go for Wand for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up going a one-turn mile at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Bank Sting tried graded stakes company once this year, finishing a distant fourth in the Grade 2 Ruffian on May 8 at Belmont Park. Terranova said he decided to give Bank Sting another shot in graded company rather than wait for the NYSSS Staten Island here on Sunday.
“She’s proven against restricted and listed company already,” Terranova said. “So, to give her this opportunity at this stage where she’s doing so well to possibly have a graded stakes win would be important to her as a broodmare going forward later on. We just thought it was a good opportunity to take a try at it. She’s doing well and we like the race.”
Bank Sting, by perennial New York-leading sire Central Banker, will return to the mile distance for the first time since finishing second to fellow New York-bred Champion Make Mischief in the Critical Eye on May 30 at Belmont Park.
A winner of the 2021 Critical Eye in her first stakes conquest, Bank Sting also won the Heavenly Prize Invitational at the same distance on March 6 at the Big A in her lone open-company stakes conquest for trainer John Terranova.
Bank Sting’s most recent victory came in the Dancin Renee:
Breaking from post 10 and tabbed as the 4-1 morning-line co-second choice by NYRA oddsmaker David Aragona, Bank Sting will face a formidable group, including the red-hot Battle Bling who arrives off a triumph in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm on November 4 at Aqueduct. Other contenders include dual stakes-winner Love in the Air, graded stakes-placed Tonal Vision and West Coast-based stakes-winner Sharapova.
Two starts back, Bank Sting cut back to six furlongs for the Dancin Renee on June 26 at Belmont, which she won by 5 1/2 lengths.
“I think she’s versatile,” Terranova said of her distance capabilities. “Anywhere from six [furlongs] to a mile is good for her. No real concerns, obviously the mile is within reach. She’s able to get that over that track in particular. All good as far as that goes.”
Terranova admitted that the Go for Wand field was a little bigger than he thought it would be.
“I had heard they were expecting less, but others decided to enter,” Terranova said. “Whoever is staying in, who knows. With it being this late in the year and this race being a graded stakes for fillies and mares, I don’t think there’s much left for the year.”
Bank Sting, a 5-year-old mare, has banked $612,050 and earned five stakes victories. Terranova said she will likely remain in training in 2023 for her 6-year-old season.
“She’s a good, healthy filly. It’s up the owners and everyone involved,” Terranova said. “For now, we’re looking forward to Saturday. We’ll see how she does tomorrow and go from there.”
Turf stakes-winning juvenile Freedom Trail finished a close eighth in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club on November 26 at Churchill Downs in his main track debut. He stalked a close third down the backstretch under Florent Geroux, appeared poised for a winning run around the far turn but flattened to finish 3 1/2 lengths behind the victorious Instant Coffee.
“We were thrilled. We thought he ran well,” Terranova said. “Florent was very pleased with him. He looked like a winner from the three-eighths pole to the quarter-pole. He was just galloping all over and as soon as he gave him his head, which is typical of a turf-type of horse, he couldn’t quicken up and spun his wheels. He only got beaten a little over three lengths. It just wasn’t his race – had he taken to the dirt a little better, there’s no telling. He had a handful of horse at the top of the stretch. He’s a superstar turf horse and we’re looking forward to next season.”
Terranova said the son of freshman stallion Collected will likely regroup and focus on turf races in the New Year, but Terranova did not rule out the possibility of trying synthetic surfaces with the bay colt.
Owned by Gatsas Stables, R.A. Hill Stable and Steven Schoenfeld, Freedom Trail is out of the War Front mare Freedom, who is a half-sibling to multiple Grade 1-winners Hoppertunity and Executiveprivilege.
Terranova also stated that Grade 1-placed New York-bred You’re My Girl, owned by Gatsas Stables, R.A. Hill Stable and Hidden Brook Farm, is getting a freshening following a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 4 at Keeneland, and will join Terranova’s winter string at Tampa Bay Downs in the New Year.
“She’s getting a little vacation but she should be back in training soon,” Terranova said. “We aren’t too sure what we’re aiming for at the beginning of the new season, but she’ll come down to Florida with us and train down there. We’ll figure out what’s best to get started back in the New Year.”