01/10/2013 2:37PM

Aqueduct: Ruthless contender Lady Banks jumps directly from maiden win


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Bred in Canada and based in Maryland, Lady Banks has made her mark in New York.

Lady Banks will try to become a stakes winner Saturday when she tops a six-horse field of 3-year-old fillies entered in the $75,000 Ruthless Stakes going six furlongs at Aqueduct.

A daughter of Successful Appeal, Lady Banks shipped to New York, where, after a slow start out of the gate from the rail, she rallied to finish a close second to Live Lively, who came back to win a first-level allowance race by 11 1/4 lengths at Gulfstream on New Year’s Day. In fact, the top four finishers from that Nov. 23 maiden race all came back to win.

That includes Lady Banks, who returned to New York on Dec. 14 and, after breaking much sharper, won a six-furlong maiden race by one-half length from a stalking position.

“She’s done everything right,” said James Lawrence, who trains Lady Banks for owners George and Stephanie Autry. “She’s got a beautiful mind and attitude. She showed us from the beginning she belonged in New York. We gave her the opportunity and she took it.”

Lady Banks is stabled at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland and Lawrence has trained her over both the dirt and synthetic surfaces at that facility and she has gotten over both equally as well.

Lady Banks is drawn in post 5 in the six-horse field and Lawrence is hoping there is some pace in which to close.

“I would expect her to come from out of it, that’ll be her best running style,” said Lawrence.

Lady Banks will be ridden by Eddie Castro, who entered Thursday’s card only 2 for 64 at the meet, though one of those wins came aboard Lady Banks.

Little Rocket, a New York-bred daughter of Yes It’s True, is 2 for 2, including a 7 1/2-length first-level allowance win against statebreds on Dec. 26.

“I guess she’s going to have to take one more step forward,” trainer Mike Hushion said. “[Mike] Luzzi told me that there was more there last time. He said there’s still a little greenness to her.”

Kimono, trained by Todd Pletcher, will turn back to a sprint after two mediocre races going long. She did finish second to Princess of Sylmar in one of those route races. Princess of Sylmar came back to win the Busanda Stakes last weekend.

My Kinda Party has 2 wins and a second from 4 starts in the Mid-Atlantic region for trainer Tony Dutrow. She has plenty of early speed to be a factor.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin shipped Railtown Girl to Laurel to get a debut win. Kiss the Lady is entered, but would be wheeling back one week after setting the pace and tiring to last in the Busanda.