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Banrock back on worktab

Notably absent from Saturday’s Mohawk field is Nyala Farm’s 7-year-old turf veteran Banrock, who has competed in the race each of the last three years, winning it for the first time in 2009 as part of his sweep of all four turf route stakes for New York-breds on the NYRA circuit that year.


Sidelined by a virus earlier this fall which caused him to miss a planned engagement in the Ashley T. Cole on September 12, Banrock worked three furlongs over the main track at Belmont Wednesday morning in 39.10. It was the gelding’s first work since a five-furlong turf breeze on August 11 at Saratoga, which came a week before his fourth-place effort in the West Point Handicap.


“We never figured out exactly what it was, but it was obviously some kind of intestinal problem,” said trainer Tom Bush. “He spent a week or so at New Bolton, but he’s been back here for six or seven weeks and he’s doing well again.”


Though he has no plans for Banrock, Bush said he might consider taking the horse to Florida for the winter. Banrock has spent previous winters at the Camden Training Center in South Carolina.


“We’re just going to take it day by day,” said Bush. “He actually breezed a little slower than I wanted on Wednesday, but he’s not a fabulous work horse on dirt anyway. It’s certainly a possibility we would take him to Florida since he didn’t get to run this fall, but we’ll see.”


Bush also reported that Sullimar Stable’s Get Stormy, a three-time stakes winner on the turf in New York who picked up a pair of Grade 2 victories at Saratoga this summer in the Fourstardave and Bernard Baruch, exited his fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile in good shape and would remain in Kentucky until the Breeders’ Cup Mile on November 6.


“I don’t think anyone was going to beat Gio Ponti in the Shadwell Mile, but Get Stormy got stuck in the pocket for awhile where he probably wasn’t all that comfortable to begin with,” said Bush. “When he tried to come out, Valenzuela [the jockey aboard third-place finisher Courageous Cat] wouldn’t let him out, which was smart for him but bad for us.”



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