stakes winner on Saturday afternoon at Aqueduct Racetrack, charging past
pacesetter Kiss the Lady in the stretch and onto a two-length victory
in the 36th
of the $75,000 Ruthless for 3-year-old fillies.
It was the second
straight win for the Canadian-bred daughter of Successful Appeal, who
finished second after a wide trip in her November debut at the Big A and
returned the following month to break her maiden,
coming from just off the pace to win by a half-length.
Saturday, jockey Eddie
Castro kept Lady Banks close up in third behind Kiss the Lady as she led
through an opening quarter-mile in 23.24 seconds. Ranging up on the
turn, Castro moved Lady Banks to within striking
distance and the filly responded with a determined late run to catch
the pacesetter inside the sixteenth pole and pull clear to the wire.
She completed the six furlongs in 1:12.14 over a muddy inner track.
“Right before the race,
[owner] George Autry and myself changed tactics,” said trainer James
Lawrence, II. “We told him to put her up there just off it, a little
closer than we planned originally. You can do
anything you want to with this filly. I told him not to push the button
until the very end. She did it. What a nice filly! I knew we had a nice
filly before she ran; that’s why we’re here in
Sent off as the 5-2
third choice, Lady Banks returned $7.80 for a $2 win bet. With the
winner’s purse of $45,000, she has now amassed $94,600.
Railtown Girl closed to
finish third, two lengths behind Kiss the Lady, with Little Rocket,
favored Kimono and My Kinda Party completing the order of finish.
said he and the filly’s owners had not decided on Lady Banks’ next
race, but said the Kentucky Oaks on May 3 at Churchill Downs has been
a long-term goal.
“We’re going to try and
space her races out a little bit now,” said Lawrence of Lady Banks, who
was purchased for $130,000 at the Ocala Breeders Sales last March. “I
come from a steeplechase background so I’m
always thinking about stretching them out. We’ll definitely give her a
try at that. When we picked her out, the long-term plan was the Oaks.
[Leading into that] the Gazelle [Grade 2, 1 1/8 miles, April 6,
Aqueduct] is a very good option.”