With five wins in six starts in 2021, Bank Sting runs to the finish line solo. (Chelsea Durand)
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Hidden Brook Farm’s and Joseph and Anne McMahon’s Bank Sting opened up in the stretch to easily take down the first of two New York Stallion Series Stakes on Sunday’s card at Aqueduct Racetrack, earning her second career stakes win in the $150,000 Staten Island division for eligible state-sired fillies and mares 3-years-old and up going seven furlongs over the main track.
Bank Sting, who earned her first stakes victory in the Critical Eye at Belmont Park in May, improved off a fifth in the Empire Distaff last time out to secure her fifth win of the year for trainer John Terranova. Bank Sting has found an affinity for Aqueduct, scoring four of her five career wins at the Big A.
Ridden by Dylan Davis from post 4, Bank Sting broke inwardly and, along with Mad for Fame from post 2, squeezed Trinni Luck in post 3 at the start. Post-time favorite The Important One was sent to the lead by Jose Lezcano shortly after the break and was quickly overtaken by Trinni Luck, who led the field of seven through an opening quarter in 22.60 seconds. After taking the lead again around the half-mile pole, The Important One notched the half-mile in 46.10 while Bank Sting remained in third, three lengths off the pace while racing two-wide down the backstretch.
Closing the gap between The Important One and a tiring Trinni Luck, Davis angled Bank Sting six-wide to the outside of The Important One, overtaking the lead at the eighth pole and never looking back. Widening her margin under a hand ride from Davis, Bank Sting crossed the wire 8 ¼ lengths in front, stopping the clock in 1:26.27 over the fast track.
Byehubbyhellomoney made up ground on the rail to overtake second by 1 1/2-lengths from The Important One, who held onto third by a neck over Awillaway. Rounding out the order of finish was Fight On Lucy, Mad for Fame, and Trinni Luck.
Davis, who rode the Central Banker filly for the first time in the Staten Island, said Bank Sting was comfortable the whole way to victory.
“It was pretty much a perfect set up for her,” he said. “She’s a nice filly and she tries hard. She broke well and I was able to get into a good tracking position. I just didn’t want to have too much for her to do being that was my first time being on her. She engaged at the two-and-a-half on her own, I just allowed her to keep her stride going. I didn’t want to get in her way. After that, I got her out in the clear and she responded well and went all the way nicely to the wire.”
Terranova said he was pleased to see his filly give a big effort in the Staten Island after her summer and fall schedule were disrupted after being scratched at the gate in the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher at Monmouth this summer.
“She’s trained really well,” he said of the leadup to the Staten Island. “We were a little hurried with her after the incident at Monmouth in July. She missed most of the summer and we were hurrying up to make Empire Showcase Day. We jumped into the Distaff and the conditions were sloppy and it was her first race back. Ideally, if we had got a prep race going into that, it probably would have helped her cause. She came out of that race well and trained forward. Every day has been a good day since then.”
After her memorable Staten Island performance, Terranova said he has not yet decided on the next race for the 4-year-old filly.
“It set up great. The two speeds were in there and Dylan has been on her in the morning, so he knew she could do a little bit of anything,” Terranova said. “There was going to be a pace to run into, so we were hoping they’d come back to us a little bit. I’m proud of her. She’s been a special New York-bred for us. We’ll take it one race at a time with her.”
Eric Cancel, jockey of runner-up Byhubbyhellomoney, said the filly’s patience allowed her to make up ground late to secure place honors.
“The filly ran very good,” Cancel said. “The pace was a little quick for her, but she did what she always does – she sits and makes a run from the quarter-pole down. I was glad the whole rail opened up for me.”
Bred in New York by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, Bank Sting earned $82,500 for her victory to increase her total career earnings to $351,300 and improve her record to 7-5-0-0. She returned $7.90 for a $2 win ticket.
Staten Island Division Replay
Live racing resumes Thursday with an eight-race card to kick off the winter meet at the Big A. First post is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, click here
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By Mary Eddy/NYRA Press Office