Bankit posted a slew of close efforts in the 17 months since his last win. But the 4-year-old son of Central Banker left no doubt in the $100,000 Alex M. Robb Stakes at Aqueduct, where he overtook Mr. Buff at the top of the stretch en route to a 4 3/4-length victory.
Chasing his first win in 14 starts in the 1 1/8-mile event for New York-breds, the Steve Asmussen trainee came off a third-place finish in the Nov. 22 New York Stallion Stakes Series Thunder Rumble Stakes for Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing. He landed his first score since the 2019 New York Derby at Finger Lakes.
Bankit was bred,raised and sold by Hidden Brook Farm at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sale.
Jockey Jose Lezcano settled Bankit in fourth as Sea Foam led the six-horse field through the opening quarter in :24.16 and a half-mile in :48.47, with two-time Alex M. Robb winner Mr. Buff pressing the pace in second. Tipped out approaching the far turn, Bankit moved up to third and then found an extra gear on the outside after straightening away for home. He easily overtook Sea Foam before running eye-to-eye and then passing 6-5 favorite Mr. Buff.
The final time was 1:51.59 on a fast track.
“I watched a couple replays, and it looked like sometimes he hangs a little bit,” Lezcano said. “Today, he broke well and I had him behind the two horses I thought we had to beat. When I asked him, he gave me everything he got.”
The winner returned $7.70 for a $2 bet, improving his earnings to $816,675 with a 4-8-4 record from 26 starts.
“He had a nice pace set up, and Jose put him in a good spot. He got good position and ran a good race,” said Toby Sheets, assistant to Asmussen.
Chester and Mary Broman’s Mr. Buff, wheeled back a week after running fifth in the Cigar Mile Handicap (G1), broke a bit slowly and came up short in his bid for three consecutive Alex M. Robb victories but ran three lengths clear of Yankee Division for second.
-edited from www.bloodhorse.com