February 10, 2023
Courtesy of NYRA & written by Keith McCalmont
By Mary Eddy – NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Hidden Brook Farm and breeder Joseph McMahon and Anne McMahon’s graded stakes-placed Bank Sting will make a return to sprinting for her 6-year-old debut in Sunday’s $100,000 Broadway, a seven-furlong test for older New York-bred fillies and mares, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by John Terranova, Bank Sting was last seen earning her first graded placing in the one-mile Grade 3 Go for Wand on December 3 here, finishing 4 1/4 lengths behind runaway winner Dr B after a prominent trip under Joel Rosario. She finished 3 3/4 quarters lengths ahead of returning rival Betsy Blue, who exited that race to win two open-company stakes at the Big A. Bank Sting earned a career-best and co-field-high 96 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort.
Terranova said Bank Sting was training exceptionally into the Go for Wand, which led him to try her in graded company versus the restricted NYSSS Staten Island that was contested one day later.
“It was very impressive. It came back one of the fastest races she’s ever run,” Terranova said. “We thought she was ready to run a big one that day and that’s why we put her in there over the Stallion Series race and we were looking for a big run.”
The daughter of Central Banker is in search of her sixth stakes victory, looking to add to a gutsy open-company score in the Heavenly Prize Invitational last March and state-bred victories in the Critical Eye and NYSSS Staten Island in 2021 and the La Verdad and Dancin Renee last year.
Bank Sting has banked $652,050 through a lifetime record of 14-8-3-0. Her Big A record stands at an impressive 9-6-2-0, with three of those victories coming in stakes.
“She’s doing good and we’re looking forward to it,” Terranova said.
Dylan Davis, who was aboard for all thee of her Aqueduct stakes coups, has the call from post 4.
Cloud Nine Stable’s graded stakes-placed Betsy Blue enters for trainer Linda Rice after her two open-company stakes scores here in the Garland of Roses on December 10 and the Interborough on January 21, the former of which came on one week’s rest after finishing third in the aforementioned Grade 3 Go for Wand. The 5-year-old daughter of Tonalist led a Rice-trained exacta in the Interborough, rallying from last-of-5 to surge past stablemate Piece of My Heart and land the one-length victory.
Betsy Blue, who was bred by Blue Devil Racing Stable, has been a model of consistency since being haltered for $50,000 out of a winning effort in March 2021 at the Big A. The dark bay mare has won eight of her 18 outings for Rice and has hit the board in eight others. She boasts field-best career earnings of $659,510 from a record of 21-10-7-2.
In addition to her two latest stakes victories, Betsy Blue also won the state-bred Bouwerie in May 2021 for her first career stakes score. She posted a sparkling 4-year-old campaign in which she won five races, capped by a six-length triumph going the Broadway distance in an August optional claimer at Saratoga Race Course, an effort that was awarded a career-best 96 Beyer.
Regular rider Jose Lezcano retains the mount from post 2.
Adelphi Racing Club and Cutair Racing’s Funny How streaks in with four consecutive victories for trainer Ray Handal. The 4-year-old daughter of Overanalyze began her streak in September with a maiden-breaking score at third asking sprinting six furlongs against open company at Belmont at the Big A. She followed with a pair of state-bred allowance wins to close out her sophomore campaign at the Big A.
Funny How’s latest effort was a determined nose score in a January 7 open-company allowance here when she stalked and pounced to nab the victory from Dame Cinco at the wire. Funny How tracked in fourth-of-8 along the inside through the first half-mile before swinging two-wide and making her strong run down the lane. She stopped the clock in 1:25.31 for the seven furlongs under Katie Davis, who will ride again from post 5.
“I’m excited to have Katie ride her back,” Handal said. “If she doesn’t win, then it doesn’t mean she’s not a good horse. She’s got to run against some real seasoned vets, but she’s answered every task we’ve thrown at her and I just hope she can take another step forward. If she runs a good figure, she’s right there with Bank Sting and those other New York stakes horses.”
Bred by Hibiscus Stables, Funny How was a $120,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling Sale. Out of the multiple stakes-winning Distorted Humor mare Heavenly Humor, she is a half-sister to graded stakes-placed Funny Guy, stakes-winner Super Humor, and the multiple stakes-placed Three Jokers.
Frank Catapano and Nicholas Primpas’ Honey Money will make her third outing for conditioner Rob Atras on the heels of a strong optional claiming victory traveling one mile on December 29 here. The bay Central Banker mare tracked closely to the pace in fourth for the first quarter-mile before unleashing a five-wide bid and gaining a three-length advantage at the stretch call. She widened her margins under urging from Dylan Davis and crossed the wire four lengths in front in a final time of 1:39.03.
The win came in Honey Money’s first start at a mile since an open-lengths allowance score in May at Belmont Park. She made her next seven outings at sprint distances, including her first start for Atras when a game second in a seven-furlong allowance tilt on December 11 here.
Atras said he would prefer to keep Honey Money at one mile, but is hopeful she can still be effective at sprint distances.
“She was training really well and I thought getting back to a mile and having a nice trip outside really worked,” Atras said of her last start. “Dylan rode her perfect. It was a really nice race from her.”
Honey Money has worked consistently over the Belmont dirt training track, including a half-furlong breeze in 50.30 seconds on January 29.
“She’s doing great in her works,” said Atras. “I’m a little anxious to run her because when they’re training like that, you want to run them.”
Jorge Vargas, Jr. has the call from post 6.
Rounding out the field are Mr. Amore Stable’s homebred dual stakes-winner November Rein [post 1, Frankie Pennington] for conditioner Kelly Breen and Three Player’s Stable and trainer Oscar Barrera, III’s in-form Know It All Audrey [post 3, Manny Franco], who has won or finished second in each of her last six outings.
The Broadway is slated as Race 3 on Sunday’s nine-race card. First post is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.