The Sting: McMahons celebrate with stakes win by homebred

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Paper, cotton, leather…gold at 50. And on your 51st anniversary? How about three wins by your New York stallion, including one by a filly you bred and co-own in her stakes debut, on Big Apple Showcase Day Monday at Belmont Park. Yeah, that’s how Joe and Anne McMahon celebrated their 51st anniversary on Memorial Day 2021. Dinner at Mama Riso’s in Lake George topped it off.

“Today was a special day,” Joe McMahon said. “A special day.”

McMahon of Saratoga’s Central Banker produced Bankit to win the Commentator, Bank Sting to win the Critical Eye and topped it off with a win in the finale by Quantitativbreezin.

Bred by the McMahons and owned in partnership with Hidden Brook Farm, Bank Sting increased her win streak to four with a front-running gem in the $200,000 stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares. Trained by John Terranova and ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, the 4-year-old bay filly added a stakes win in her stakes debut to her ever-growing resume, turning back Good Credence by 1 1/4 lengths. Mrs. Orb finished third after a mile in 1:36.34. 

Bank Sting is the second stakes performer produced by Bee in a Bonnet, a stakes-placed daughter of Precise End. Liberty Island, a daughter of Harlem Rocker, finished second in the Busanda in 2015.

“I always liked that mare, she’s had a couple of runners by ordinary stallions and we liked the way this filly trained and thought she was OK,” McMahon said. “She’s a talented horse. If we’re lucky and the racing gods keep her sound, we’ll have a lot of fun.”

Consigned to the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale in 2018, Bank Sting failed to sell for $14,000 and joined the racing team, along with Hidden Brook Farm.

“Hidden Brook is a real good outfit,” McMahon said. “Good people, it’s nice to have a Kentucky outfit that appreciates the New York scene.”

Bank Sting sure helped. She finished fourth in her debut at Aqueduct in December 2019 but came out of it with a chip and didn’t return until this winter. And, wow, was it worth the wait. She won a New York-bred maiden by 2 1/4 lengths, came back and took the first-level allowance by 4 3/4 lengths and tacked on the second-level allowance by a length.

“It was great with her but the bigger thing was Central Banker having three wins, that’s a pretty good day,” McMahon said. “Central Banker is amazing. He gets good runners, consistent runners, he moves his mares up. We’re very proud of him.”

McMahon says he doesn’t go by the book or listen to this guy or that guy, he does it his own way. He certainly did that when taking a big deep breath and bidding $400,000 for Central Banker, a Grade 2 stakes winner for Klaravich and William Lawrence and trainer Al Stall Jr., from Claiborne’s consignment at the Keeneland November sale in 2014.

“He wasn’t a big horse, but he’s well proportioned, extremely well balanced. Everybody looked at him, but nobody pulled the trigger,” McMahon said. “I kept calling Bernie Sams. Claiborne put him in the November sale and we wound up buying him out of the ring and paid a lot of money for him, more than I thought I would. It was a big move for us, but I had very strong feelings about the horse. I just thought, ‘Wow, this horse ticks a lot of boxes.’ ”

Including, the anniversary box. And, Joe, if you’re wondering, it’s meant to be photos or cameras. Better call Coglianese.


Check out the other recaps from Big Apple Showcase Day, courtesy of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. 

River Dog runs away with Mike Lee

Bankit joins seven-figure club in Commentator

Betsy Blue kicks off Showcase Day with Bouwerie win

Robin Sparkles, Vintage Hollywood handle muddy conditions for Showcase Day wins