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2022 NYSS Staten Island Preview & FREE Picks | Bank On Anna Should Benefit From Early Pace Duel
Bank On Anna (NYRA)

2022 NYSS Staten Island Preview & FREE Picks | Bank On Anna Should Benefit From Early Pace Duel

Mike previews the 2022 NYSS Staten Island from Aqueduct, then gives his top picks & long shots. Bank On Anna should benefit if an early pace duel develops between her fellow New York-breds, but can she catch the race’s morning line favorite, the speedy Yo Cuz? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The track press release:

New York-bred sophomore stakes winners Yo Cuz and Galaxina will attempt to regain winning form against elders in Sunday’s 16th running of the $125,000 Staten Island division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series for eligible New York-sired fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward going seven furlongs at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Dream Maker Racing’s Yo Cuz brags field-best earnings of $401,675 through a record of 6-3-0-0. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Yo Cuz has been away from action since finishing last-of-7 against fellow state-breds in the Bouwerie on May 30 at Belmont Park, which was won by eventual multiple graded stakes placed Sterling Silver.

The daughter of Laoban notched a hat trick of consecutive stakes triumphs at the Big A, beginning with a second-out graduation in the seven-furlong NYSSS Fifth Avenue last December where she defeated eventual multiple graded stakes placed Morning Matcha by 1 3/4 lengths. She kept her upward trajectory afloat against state-breds when stretching out to a one-turn mile in the Maddie May on February 21, which she won by 3 1/4 lengths in gate-to-wire fashion, before cutting back to seven furlongs and posting a 5 1/4-length victory in the East View on March 27.

Yo Cuz’s hot streak came to a halt after stumbling at the start of the 6 1/2-furlong NYSSS Park Avenue on April 24, where she finished a distant fourth behind returning rival Galaxina.

Thomas Gallo, managing partner of Dream Maker Racing, said Yo Cuz deserved a freshening after providing the syndicate with a trio of stakes conquests over the winter.

“She had a great campaign earlier this year. She won three stakes in a row. After she threw in two clunkers, we decided to give her some time off. She didn’t owe us anything,” Gallo said. “Sometimes they just need some time off, especially 2-year-olds turning 3. You give them some time, and then they come back good. We’ll see how she comes back, but we’re hoping that she comes back to form. Now, she’s in against older, but she’s been training super.”

Yo Cuz was initially slated to make her comeback last month but developed a minor temperature which delayed her return.

“We’re training her into the stake race, but that’s fine. Bill Mott is a Hall of Famer, so he knows how to do it,” Gallo said.

Bred in the Empire State by Seidman Stables, Yo Cuz is out of the Tale of Ekati mare Steve’s Philly, whose granddam was Grade 1-winning millionaire and popular turf distaffer Wonder Again. She comes from the same family as Colonel Liam, a multiple Grade 1-winner on turf.

Breaking from post 2, Yo Cuz will have the riding services of Jose Ortiz, who has piloted the filly in all six of her lifetime starts.

Ascendant Farms’ New York homebred Galaxina also enters off a layoff, having made her last start when last-of-5 against state-breds in the Fleet Indian on August 26 at Saratoga Race Course.

The chestnut daughter of Giant Surprise caught a muddy and sealed track in the nine-furlong Fleet Indian, where she raced a close fourth before retreating and finishing 21 lengths in arrears of next-out graded stakes-placed Fingal’s Cave. In addition to springing a 24-1 upset against Yo Cuz in the NYSSS Fifth Avenue, Galaxina also captured the 1 1/16-mile New York Oaks on July 25 at Finger Lakes.

Veteran trainer H. James Bond said Galaxina has been “reprogrammed” since her last start.

“She hit a rough track that day,” Bond said of the Fleet Indian. “We regrouped and put this race on the radar. It looked like a possible good spot. We have to run against older fillies in here, but we would have to do that in a month anyway when she turns 4, so we have to grow up and find out what we have.”

Bond expressed respect for rival Yo Cuz and said he looks forward a return bout.

“Yo Cuz is a very nice filly. She had a bad break that day in April and she’s been freshened up, also,” Bond said. “Our fingers are crossed. We know our filly likes the distance and the track. She’s a big, beautiful imposing filly.”

Bond spoke volumes of Ascendant Farms owner Don Manuchia, who has many horses in Bond’s stable.

“He’s a wonderful man to train for. He always wants you to do right by the horse,” Bond said. “He appreciates his horses and the people that work with the horses. It’s a lot of fun to train for people like him.”

Dylan Davis, the pilot in Galaxina’s last two starts, will retain the mount from post 1.

WellSpring Stables’ Bank On Anna will look to get back on track following a seventh-place effort at open company allowance optional claiming level for trainer Phil Serpe. One of two daughters of New York leading stallion Central Banker, Bank On Anna earned her fourth lifetime victory two starts back in Saratoga’s Union Avenue going six furlongs over the main track. Earlier this season she finished third beaten 3 1/2 lengths to Galaxina in the NYSSS Fifth Avenue.

Bank On Anna, bred by Lou Corrente, will break from post 5 under Jose Lezcano.

Bruce Lunsford and David York’s Silken Dollar is the only NYSSS Staten Island contestant to arrive off a triumph, doing so on November 6 over the Big A inner turf for trainer Richard Schosberg. The Central Banker gray fended off a late rally from New Ginya to secure a triumph against state-bred winners. A two-time winner on grass, Silken Dollar seeks her first victory over the main track. She was bred by Patrick Davis and William David York.

Manny Franco will ride Silken Dollar from post 3.

Completing the field are Sedona Rocks [post 4, Heman Harkie, blinkers ON], Impazible Donna [post 6, Javier Castellano], and Bunty Windermere [post 7, Jose Gomez].

The NYSSS Staten Island is carded as Race 7 on Sunday’s nine-race program, which also features the $125,000 NYSSS Thunder Rumble in Race 8. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.