Two years ago, Bankit won the Commentator Stakes by 13 1/4 lengths. Monday, he won it again, this time by about 13 1/4 inches.
Bankit, a 7-year-old son of Central Banker owned by Winchell Racing and Willis Horton Racing and trained by Steve Asmussen, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.01 and returned $12.20 as a surprising third choice. It was the ninth win from 40 starts and his eighth stakes success for Bankit, who has now banked $1,406,405. He was foaled and raised at Hidden Brook Farm before being sold by Hidden Brook at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton NY Preferred Yearling sale.
The Commentator was the last of six stakes to be run on a 10-race Big Apple Showcase Day program that consisted of races restricted to New York breds. Three of the stakes were won by margins of a nose, nose and a head.
Jockey Joel Rosario came out on the winning side of two of those photos getting Bankit up in time after getting City Man up by a nose in the $125,000 Kingston, which immediately proceeded the Commentator.
In the Commentator, Rosario had Bankit in fourth position about three lengths off the pace established by Sea Foam, who went a quarter in 22.88 seconds and a half-mile in 46.28. Olympic Dreams, under Trevor McCarthy, was chasing from the outside and Sheriff Bianco, with Jose Ortiz up, was pursuing from the inside.
At the five-sixteenths pole, Rosario tipped Bankit out into the clear and while Sea Foam and Olympic Dreams were battling on, Bankit looked poised to go past them.
At the eighth pole, Bankit did get the lead, but Rosario said he started to wait on company. Olympic Dreams came back again and Bankit was fortunate to outlast him to the wire.
“As soon as he takes the lead, he kind of waits a bit on horses,” Rosario said. “You got to just keep riding and hopefully he gets a head in front.”
“He’s tough,” Toby Sheets, the assistant trainer to Asmussen said. “And a great ride by Joel.”