Bank Sting and Dylan Davis after their win in the 2022 edition of the Heavenly Prize (Susie Raisher)
Union Lake Looks To Make Grade in G3 Barbara Fritchie
Frizette Runner-up You’re My Girl Back in Barn After Rest
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Hidden Brook Farm, Joseph McMahon and Anne McMahon’s graded stakes-placed New York-bred Bank Sting returned to the work tab on Saturday at Belmont Park in her first move since finishing a game second in the Grade 3 Go for Wand on December 3 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The daughter of Central Banker breezed a half-mile in 50.56 seconds over the Belmont dirt training track in company with I Am the Law.
“Everything is great and she had a nice, easy breeze,” said trainer John Terranova. “The two of them just kind of cruised together.”
Bank Sting earned the first graded placing of her career in the one-mile Go for Wand with a prominent trip under Joel Rosario, stalking pacesetter Dr B through swift fractions over a sloppy and sealed track before overtaking second position at the three-quarters call and chasing Dr B home to be defeated 4 1/4 lengths.
“It was fantastic,” said Terranova. “I think both the winner and she ran the best race of their lives. It was the fastest race she’s run and we had adverse conditions with the track. I know she likes a dry track better, but she tolerates the wet track and has run really big on it. I thought she was ready for a big race that day and I think the other filly just really caught her best form that day. We were thrilled with the effort.”
The Go for Wand effort garnered a career-best 96 Beyer Speed Figure and capped a productive 4-year-old campaign for Bank Sting, who earned a stakes victory against open company in the Heavenly Prize last March at the Big A. She also notched stakes victories against state-breds in the La Verdad last January and the Dancin Renee in June at Belmont, and was runner-up in the Critical Eye Handicap and Iroquois.
Terranova said Bank Sting will now turn her attention to state-bred company again in the seven-furlong $100,000 Broadway on February 12 at Aqueduct.
“The distance is kind of right in the middle of what [she likes], six furlongs to a mile,” Terranova said.
Steven Schoenfeld’s Union Lake will look to make the grade in her next outing as she targets the Grade 3, $250,000 Barbara Fritchie on February 18 at Laurel Park. The 4-year-old daughter of Speightster scored a redemptive win last out in a second-level optional claimer on December 31 at the Big A. The victory came on the heels of a disappointing trip to Keeneland in October where she finished off-the-board in the Grade 2 Raven Run.
“It was a misfire down at Keeneland, so we gave her some time to let her regroup and then targeted that race at Aqueduct,” Terranova said. “We were hoping for a big effort and we got it. She came out of it well and she’s aiming towards the Barbara Fritchie.”
Union Lake has breezed back twice since her victory, most recently covering a half-mile in 50.98 Saturday at Belmont.
“It was beautiful and it’s been a couple easy halves that we’ve come back with,” Terranova said. “We’re just keeping her happy and we’ll be looking towards keeping her just as good as she is now.”
Terranova also welcomed back two top runners for owners Gatsas Stables, R.A. Hill Stable and Steven Schoenfeld to the work tab Sunday at Tampa Bay Downs as graded stakes-winner Midnight Stroll and stakes-winner Freedom Trail breezed a half-mile in company in 48.60 seconds.
Midnight Stroll, a dark bay daughter of Not This Time, has not raced since a game third-place finish in the aforementioned Raven Run. She earned her lone graded victory in July at Delaware Park in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks before securing another graded placing when third in the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks in August.
Terranova said Midnight Stroll was originally targeting the Grade 1 La Brea on December 26 at Santa Anita Park, but was rerouted to the Grade 3, $150,000 Royal Delta on February 18 at Gulfstream Park.
“I’m looking at the Royal Delta off of what we saw in the work today,” Terranova said. “We were pointing for the La Brea and had her ready to ship, but she had a little hiccup in her last breeze and so we didn’t think it would warrant going all the way to California. She loves training down here [at Tampa] and she looks super, so we’ll look at the Royal Delta.”
Freedom Trail, a sophomore son of Collected, has made 2-of-3 starts on turf. He tried dirt in his latest outing, finishing a close eighth in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club in November at Churchill Downs. There, he was defeated 3 1/2 lengths by the victorious Instant Coffee, who exited that effort to win Saturday’s Grade 3 Lecomte at Fair Grounds.
Terranova said it is possible Freedom Trail, who won the Awad in October over the Aqueduct turf, could point to the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks on March 25 at Turfway Park which offers 100-40-30-20-10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-five finishers.
“He got a bit of a break and got kicked out for about a month after his last race,” Terranova said. “I’m not sure where we’ll start off with him. We tried him on the dirt and didn’t get disgraced at all, but he’s just not that level on the dirt. We could try synthetic in a race like the Jeff Ruby at Turfway.”
Gatsas Stables, R.A. Hill Stable and Hidden Brook Farm’s New York-bred You’re My Girl has recently returned to Terranova’s barn at Tampa after a two-month respite. The bay Overanalyze filly made her last outing in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, finishing fifth after a prominent trip under Hall of Famer John Velazquez. She earned a Grade 1 placing two starts back when a close second to Chocolate Gelato in the Frizette in October at Belmont at the Big A.
Terranova said he expects You’re My Girl to make it back to the work tab within the next month.
“I’ve got her down here at Tampa and she’s starting to get herself going,” said Terranova. “We gave her a little vacation after the Breeders’ Cup and now we’re back. We’ll kind of see once we get her back breezing what we want to target. She looks great, has filled out, and is stronger and bigger. She’s a happy girl.”