Nyala Farm’s Banrock, voted New York-bred champion turf male and older male in 2009, will be retired from racing, trainer Tom Bush said.
Banrock was scratched from the West Point Handicap presented by Trustco Bank at Saratoga Aug. 18 when it was found he had jaundice and elevated bilirubin levels the morning of the race. Shipped to Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center in Lambertville, N.J., for further evaluation, he was treated successfully with anti-viral medication, but no specific diagnosis was ever made.
“He looks really good and he’s real happy in the barn,” Bush said. “I want to just watch him here for maybe another week or so and then we’ll look for a van for him.”
Banrock will winter at the Camden Training Center in Camden, S.C., where he has spent off seasons in the past, while his connections search for a new home where the 8-year-old gelding can transition to a second career as a riding horse.
“He’s always been very sound, and we want to find someone who will ride him, not just turn him out,” Bush said. “He’s a nice ride.”
Banrock retires with a record of 12-5-4 from 39 starts and earnings of $830,815. A fixture on the New York turf for the last five years, Banrock is a two-time winner of the Kingston, West Point, and Ashley T. Cole, and also won the Thunder Puddles and Mohawk Stakes. The 2009 Mohawk was the most recent victory for the homebred son of Go for Gin out of the Ends Well mare It's a Gherkin, who also was bred and campaigned by Nyala Farm.