Bankit rewarded those who backed the New York-bred son of Central Banker and made him the race favorite with an easy victory in Saturday’s $100,000 John B. Campbell Stakes at Laurel on February 20.
The victory was the fifth for Bankit and second straight stakes victory after winning the Alex M. Robb Stakes last out. Bankit has finished in the top three in 17 of his 26 starts with $876,675 in earnings.
Waiting an extra week for the Campbell after it was rescheduled due to a winter storm didn’t hurt the Steve Asmussen trainee, who looked to be at his peak after a two-month break. Bankit broke from the widest stall in the field of eight and jockey Sheldon Russell let him pick his spot with only one horse beaten early.
Zabracadabra and Deal Driven raced through early fractions of :24.10 and :47.48, setting the run up perfectly for Bankit. As the field entered the far turn, Russell was ready to let his mount stretch his legs and the 5-year-old Bankit happily complied when the jockey let his reins out a notch.
Swiftly passing most of the field by the time they hit the top of the Laurel stretch, Bankit was full of run for the closing stages. He briefly hung with the trio of dueling leaders before moving on with Galerio the only horse to go with him. Bankit had gotten the jump on Galerio, who was never able to shrink the advantage, and the race was over . Bankit won by 1 3/4 lengths from Galerio, who was a clear second with Cordmaker another 1 1/4 lengths back in third. Bankit won the 1 1/16-mile stakes in 1:42.07.
The race went to plan for Russell, who knew Bankit would be hard to beat.
“You can see on the Form he runs better with just a little bit of a stalking trip so I let him break sharp,” Russell said. “A couple of the inside horses went, and he got into a good spot going into the first turn. About the half-mile pole I felt I had a lot of horse. I opted to hang him out there five wide and he just got to running. And I knew at the top of the stretch, he pricked his ears, he’s a professional horse to ride.”
From the first crop of McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds’ Central Banker, Bankit was foaled at that same farm in Saratoga Springs for breeders Hidden Brook Farm LLC and Blue Devil Racing. He is the first foal out of the Blue Devil Racing-raced Sister In Arms, who that owner bought for $125,000 at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga select yearling sale.
Bankit followed his dam’s footsteps when bringing $85,000 in that same ring during the2017 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale when sold by Hidden Brook. From there, their paths diverged with Bankit then going through the ring as a 2-year-old when bought by current co-owner Winchell Thoroughbreds for $260,000 at the OBS March sale. Winchell later added a partner in Willis Horton Racing LLC.
Sister In Arms won two of her six starts before retiring in 2015 and visiting Central Banker. The mare also has Kentucky-bred 3- and 4-year-olds and gave birth to a Good Magic colt last year before visiting Street Sense.
Sister In Arms is following a family tradition with each of her first six dams producing stakes performers. Among those in Bankit’s family are U.S. champions Action This Day and Drefong, European champion Star Catcher and Grade 1 winners Cannock Chase and Bodemeister.
-edited from www.nytbreeders.org