Hidden Brook Racing´s Bank Sting Kicks Off 2022 With Another Stakes Win

Monday, January 3, 2022

Hidden Brook Farm and Joseph and Anne McMahon’s Bank Sting secured her third career stakes win with a gutsy performance in the $97,000 La Verdad Stakes, battling back to defeat Eloquent Speaker by a neck on a muddy (sealed) track at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Bank Sting, also a graduate of the famed Hidden Brook Florida training center, now boasts earnings of $406,300 and six wins in eight starts. La Verdad 3rd-place finisher Courageous Girl is also a Hidden Brook Florida alum.

“I thought she was going to level off there a little bit, but I know she has a lot of gameness in her and she really reaches when she needs to,” trainer John Terranova said. “She’s a good filly and can overcome biases and whatnot. She handles an off track.”

Sent to post as the 1-5 favorite under Dylan Davis, Bank Sting broke alertly from post 4 with Letmetakethiscall  pressuring to her outside through an opening quarter-mile in :23.01. Eloquent Speaker was in hand on the rail early but surged into even terms with Bank Sting approaching the turn through a half-mile :47.08.

Eloquent Speaker established a narrow lead at the top of the lane but Bank Sting, traveling several paths outside of Eloquent Speaker, responded to left-handed encouragement from Davis and kicked into gear inside the final sixteenth to post a narrow victory. The final time was 1:25.

Courageous Girl  finished a further 9 3/4-lengths back in third with Letmetakethiscall and Awillaway  rounding out the order of finish.

Bank Sting won five of six starts last year, posting wins in the one-mile Critical Eye Handicap over muddy going in May at Belmont Park and a romping 8 1/4-length score last out in the seven-furlong New York Stallion Stakes Series Staten Island division Dec. 5 over a fast Big A main track.

Davis said he was impressed by the 5-year-old Central Banker mare’s desire to win the stretch battle after an open-lengths romp last out.

“That (close finish) wasn’t expected, but I think the track had a lot to do with it,” said Davis, who won the La Verdad last year with Mrs. Orb. “Comparing her from her last effort to today, she just had a little difficulty getting over it. I think her best suit is more of a drier track. I was coming in here thinking that she was going to duplicate her last effort and today she had a challenge. I liked what I saw. She was digging in and was able to find a little extra in that last sixteenth of a mile and give me what we needed for the win.”

Terranova said Bank Sting could now target the $100,000 Biogio’s Rose Stakes, a one-turn mile for older New York-bred fillies and mares March 6 at the Big A; or the $250,000 Barbara Fritchie Stakes (G3), a seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares 4 and up Feb. 19 at Laurel Park.

“We had thought about that (the Barbara Fritchie) beforehand, too. I guess we’ll see how things unfold out of this race,” Terranova said. “She’ll be nominated and we’ll keep it in the back of our minds. We always have the New York-bred race in March if we need more time. We’ll see what the winter brings, we’ve been lucky with the weather.”

Bred in the Empire State by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, Bank Sting is out of the stakes-placed Precise End mare Bee in a Bonnet who also produced stakes-placed Liberty Island (Harlem Rocker). Bee in a Bonnet has a 2-year-old full sister to Bank Sting, a yearling Laoban colt, and was bred to Solomini for 2022.

-edited from www.bloodhorse.com