OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Leading New York sire Central Banker can round out a successful season when represented by a trio of fillies in Saturday’s $500,000 Fifth Avenue division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series for eligible New York-sired juvenile fillies at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Campaigned by Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stable and William H. Lawrence and trained by Al Stall, Jr., Central Banker registered triple digit Beyer Speed Figures at ages three and four, including a 107 Beyer when capturing the 2014 Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap.
Central Banker retired to McMahon of Saratoga Farms, owned by Joe and Anne McMahon, in 2015. Now a hot commodity on the New York stallion market, Central Banker has passed on his speed and brilliance to his progeny, which include NYSSS Fifth Avenue 8-5 morning line favorite Morning Matcha as well as fellow aspirants Bank On Anna and Mrs. Banks.
Trained by Butch Reid, Jr., Morning Matcha enters off two sharp victories at Parx Racing, while maiden Bank On Anna and first-time starter Mrs. Banks, who is part owned by Joe and Anne McMahon, seek their first career win.
Central Banker, a son of Speightstown, hit the ground running in the Empire State, becoming New York’s leading freshman stallion in 2018 which included multiple maiden winners at Saratoga. On a national scale, he trailed only Goldencents, Cross Traffic and Cairo Prince in leading freshman sires on a commercial level.
Central Banker subsequently became New York’s leading second and third crop sire before becoming the 2021 leading sire in the Empire State. In addition to Morning Matcha, Central Banker enjoyed success this year with state-bred stakes-winners Bank On Shea, Bank Sting and Bankit – his most successful offspring to date and first to achieve millionaire status.
The rocket start to his stallion career was noticed by New York breeders as Central Banker’s book of mares was in the hundreds in 2019-20. This past breeding season he covered 98 mares.
Joe McMahon said the positive reception is due to Central Banker’s ability to pair well with a variety of different mares.
“His balance is so good that he compliments almost any kind of mare you breed to him,” McMahon said. “He does well with big mares and small mares. He produces the same physical almost all the time, and we noticed that right from his first crop.”
McMahon said he has a certain model when it comes to searching for stallion prospects.
“Central Banker won on the turf and won going one turn, and he’s from a sprinting line. He’s by Speightstown and his profile as a racehorse was the same,” McMahon said. “That was certainly one of the main attractions to him when we bought him.
“Horses that are extremely well-balanced like this horse can go with a lot of different types of mares,” McMahon added. “They can overcome a lot of different types of problems if they give their offspring that balance. That’s what he did and that’s what we hoped he would do when we bought him.”
Central Banker’s yearlings proved popular at the 2017 Saratoga New York-bred Preferred Sale with his offspring averaging just over $58,000.
“His first crop was well received at the weaning sales in Kentucky, Florida and here in New York,” McMahon recalled. “Lots of people were able to see them after the first crop was born. That fueled the interest for future crops. It showed people what good foals he was getting, and he was always supported by good syndications of breeders. After the yearling sales, the next year, they were well received. There were a lot of them in the preferred sale at Saratoga.”
Central Banker could round out a great year at stud with another stakes winner on Saturday and McMahon said he is hopeful dual stakes-winner Bank Sting will launch a successful 2022 when she contests the $100,000 La Verdad on January 2 at the Big A.
“We had Bank Sting win [the NYSSS Staten Island] a couple weeks ago and that was extremely impressive,” said McMahon, who owns Bank Sting with Hidden Brook Farm. “She’s only had seven starts and won five. We had some bad luck with her at Monmouth to run in a graded race and she got excited moving away from New York going down there, so she was scratched at the gate. She seems to like Aqueduct and so we’ll give her another try there.”
The Fifth Avenue, set for Race 8, is one of two New York Stallion Stakes Series races on Saturday’s nine-race card, with the Great White Way division slated for Race 6. With each division offering a purse of $500,000, the New York Stallion Stakes Series rewards owners and breeders for their efforts to breed mares to stallions in the Empire State. First post on Saturday’s card is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.
NYRA Press Office
Photo of Central Banker courtesy of McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds