Bankit returns from the NYSSS Thunder Rumble a winner (Susie Raisher)
By Ryan Martin – NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Reigning New York-bred champions Bankit and My Boy Tate will square off for the sixth time in their respective 36-race careers in Sunday’s $100,000 Say Florida Sandy for New York-breds 4-years-old and upward going seven furlongs at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing’s Bankit, trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, has secured seven career stakes victories, including a last out conquest of the seven-furlong NYSSS Thunder Rumble on December 4 at the Big A, where My Boy Tate finished 6 1/2 lengths back in third.
The bay son of perennial leading New York sire Central Banker also captured last year’s one-mile Evan Shipman through the rejuvenated Wilson Chute at Saratoga Race Course.
A productive 2021 season saw Bankit earn honors for New York-bred Champion Older Male, notching victories in that year’s open company John B. Campbell at Laurel Park as well as the one-mile Commentator at Belmont Park, where he earned a career and field best 105 Beyer Speed Figure. Bankit has earned a field-best $1,258,405 through a record of 36-8-11-5.
“He’s a great guy to have around. He always seems to have something good going on. He doesn’t need a whole lot of time off and he typically makes money. What more can you say? He’s a professional racehorse,” said David Fiske, racing and bloodstock advisor for Winchell Thoroughbreds.
A stakes winner at all three NYRA tracks, Bankit also captured Finger Lakes’ New York Derby in 2019. He has won stakes at distances ranging from seven furlongs to 1 1/8 miles.
“He’s pretty versatile,” Fiske said. “Sometimes, once you get them going and going well, you need to run them, especially in New York in the wintertime. You don’t have to work them too many times. As long as you run them at a regular interval, that keeps them happy.”
Jose Lezcano, a perfect 3-for-3 aboard Bankit, will return to the irons from post 3.
Bankit will do battle with fellow New York-bred champion My Boy Tate, who was named 2021 Champion Male Sprinter. Owned by Little Red Feather Racing in partnership with trainer and breeder Michelle Nevin – a three-time Say Florida Sandy winning conditioner – My Boy Tate captured the inaugural running of this race in 2018, which also was his stakes debut.
A proven horse for course, My Boy Tate brags a 19-8-4-2 record at the Big A. In addition to his 2018 Say Florida Sandy score, he also secured triumphs in non-consecutive editions of the Hollie Hughes [2018 and 2021], as well as the 2020 NYSSS Thunder Rumble and the 2021 Haynesfield. He crossed the wire first in last year’s Say Florida Sandy, but was disqualified to fourth.
Manny Franco, the pilot aboard four of My Boy Tate’s 11 career wins, will ride from post 1.
The Elkstone Group’s Wudda U Think Now will seek his fourth career stakes coup for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. The 6-year-old Fast Anna gelding enters off a 3 1/4-length triumph in the one-mile Alex M. Robb on December 17 at the Big A under Dylan Davis. Fourth to My Boy Tate in the Hudson in October, Wudda U Think Now won last year’s Hollie Hughes in February at the Big A and the John Morrissey in August at Saratoga.
Wudda U Think Now sports a 10-6-2-0 record at Aqueduct.
“I think this a good race for him to run with his own kind,” Rodriguez said. “It looks like a solid group of New York-breds so we’re taking a chance. The good thing is his best races are at Aqueduct. He’s won six races there, so he gets over the track well. I wish we had a couple of more days, but he’s training well.”
Davis will once again pilot Wudda U Think Now, who breaks from post 4.
Completing the field are multiple stakes-placed Reggae Music Man [post 2, Jose Gomez] and stakes-winner Market Alert [post 5, Kendrick Carmouche].
The Say Florida Sandy honors the 2001 New York-bred Horse of the Year who boasted a 21-7-5-3 record at Aqueduct, including victories in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler, Hollie Hughes and Gravesend. He retired in 2003 with earnings in excess of $2 million and an overall record of 98-33-17-12.
The Say Florida Sandy is carded as Race 8 on Sunday’s nine-race card. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.