Stables and William H. Lawrence’s Central Banker fought off repeated
bids from Shakin It Up in a stretch duel to win the 80th
running of the $464,800 Churchill Downs (Grade II) Presented by Twinspires.com by a head.
Trained by Al
Stall Jr. and ridden by Corey Nakatani, Central Banker covered the seven
furlongs on a fast main track in 1:21.15.
Delaunay and Falling Sky dueled for early supremacy through fractions
of :22.29 and :44.67 with Central Backer stalking just off the top two.
Nakatani moved at
the leaders at the top of the stretch, but was soon joined by Shakin It
Up and Mike Smith. However, Central Banker never let the West Coast
The victory was worth $270,885and boosted Central Banker’s account to $590,785.
Central Banker is a Kentucky-bred son of Speightstown out of the Go for Gim mare Rhum.
Central Banker returned $23.60, $10.20 and $7.20. Shakin It Up paid $6.20 and $4.
Clearly Now, ridden by Javier Castellano, finished 1 ¾ lengths back in third and paid $4.60 to show.
It was 1 ½
lengths back to Broadway Empire in fourth. Completing the field in
order were defending champion Delaunay, Capo Bastone, Sahara Sky, Laugh
Track, Quiet Force, Falling Sky and River Bear.
CHURCHILL DOWNS QUOTES
Corey Nakatani, rider of Central Banker (winner)
– “(Trainer) Al (Stall Jr.) said to warm him up anyway I wanted and
that he’s a horse I could do anything with so I said, ‘OK, let’s go get
He’s a horse that runs better when he has a target and I was able to
tuck him in there. When the horse Mike (Smith on Shakin It Up) was on
came at him, he re-broke and was all racehorse from there. He made me
Al Stall Jr., trainer of Central Banker (winner) –
“Well I thought there was going to be a ton of pace in there and when I
saw him lay close and pretty comfortable… I guess they weren’t going
as fast as I thought they were. He got that outside draw as opposed to
the inside draw in the Carter. And Corey (Nakatani) said when that horse
came up on him on the outside that he could literally feel (Central
Banker) gritting his teeth and fighting. This
horse has as big of a heart of any horse I’ve ever had in my career, by
far. He’s a racehorse, that’s exactly what he is.”
Mike Smith, rider of Shakin It Up (second) – “He really
dug in but I could never catch the winner. I just couldn’t catch a
break. He ran really good, the winner just ran a nose better.”
Javier Castellano, rider of Clearly Now (third) –
“Unfortunately, he didn’t break good out of the gate. I lost a lot of
ground in the beginning. I wish we could’ve been a little bit closer to
the pace and
then find the kick. That’s the way it goes, though; that’s a great race.
I’m very proud of the way he did it because he finished third coming
from behind horses and he finished really, really good.”
Joel Rosario, rider of favored Sahara Sky (seventh) – “He
didn’t get hold of the track. We lay back there and I thought he was
going to make a move. But the farther we went, he never got hold of the
The pace was perfect. He was exactly where we like to be. He just
couldn’t find it today.”