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ELMONT, NY – Shea D Boys Stable’s Bank On Shea led through every point of call, fending off Wudda U Think Now’s challenge the entire way to post a 1-length win in Friday’s $100,000 Affirmed Success for New York-breds 4-years-old and up going 6 furlongs at Belmont Park.
The ninth running of the Affirmed Success marked the first stakes of the 48-day Belmont spring/summer meet that commenced Thursday.
The race’s expected pacesetter from post position 3, Winners Laugh, appeared to hit the gate at the start and broke last-of-six under jockey Trevor McCarthy.
Jockey Kendrick Carmouche, aboard Bank On Shea from the inside post, reacted to the development by sending his charge to the front under comfortable fractions, with Wudda U Think Now tracking in second position with the opening 1/4-mile in 22.80 seconds, the 1/2 in 46.11, and 3/4 in 57.80 on the fast main track.
The duo maintained their respective positions in the stretch, with Carmouche keeping Bank On Shea to the inside while completing the course in 1:09.86 to post his second win in as many starts aboard the 4-year-old.
“We were thinking about sitting coming out of the one [inside post] with everybody wanting to go, but when the gates opened and Trevor’s horse didn’t go. It’s up to me to do the correct thing,” Carmouche said.
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Bank On Shea, bred by Dr. Scott W. Pierce, gave trainer Tyler Servis his first career stakes victory at a NYRA track. Servis, who has been a conditioner since 2019, won the Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial that year at Parx. Bank On Shea is 2 for 2 since coming into his care, besting an allowance field going 7 furlongs on March 19 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
“He always was a nice horse from the start,” Servis said. “Just to get a horse like this and for him to overcome a lot of the things that he’s had to overcome really means a lot. I spoke to Kendrick this morning and I told him we didn’t need the lead, but when he broke sharply and got up there comfortably, I was pretty confident from there.
“We’ll get him home, see how he comes out of this race energy-wise and see how he cools out and make a decision on his next start from there,” he added.
Bank On Shea ran just once in 2020, finishing second in the Gander that February at the Big A, before returning victorious off a 13-month layoff last month.
As a juvenile, the son of Central Banker showed potential, winning his debut in July 2019 at Saratoga Race Course while running third in the Notebook and capturing the $500,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series Great White Way that December at Aqueduct.
Off at 7/1, Bank On Shea returned $16.40 on a $2 win wager. The $110,000 purchase at the 2019 OBS April Sale improved his career earnings to $450,000.
“We talked this morning and Tyler said [the inside post] was the best position to be in whether we wanted to be on the lead or sit off of it,” Carmouche said. “This horse was ready to run.”
The Elkstone Group’s Wudda U Think Now, trained by Rudy Rodriguez, was making his stakes debut in his seventh career start and earned blacktype by cruising 5 1/2 lengths in front of Big Engine for second under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.
“He just kept going and going,” Ortiz Jr. said. “We tried to catch the leader and we couldn’t. We were second-best today.”
Runningwscissors, favorite Captain Bombastic, and Winners Laugh completed the order of finish.
There was no change to the order of finish following a stewards’ inquiry into the start regarding Winners Laugh.
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