Central Baker continues rise for McMahons

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

Newly Minted, winner of the Union Avenue Aug. 13, played big part in strong run for her sire Central Banker this month. NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

If you were in Saratoga earlier this month, you’d be forgiven for thinking McMahon Of Saratoga Thoroughbreds was throwing a weeklong party. McMahon of Saratoga’s third-crop sire Central Banker gave them plenty to celebrate when he not only had five winners in a week at Saratoga with but 10 winners overall through the first three weeks of August.

For Joe McMahon Central Banker’s success goes outside even the importance to the stallion because it also lets people see the strength of the New York breeding program.

“(The New York breeding program is) important because all these horses race at the NYRA tracks and the NYRA tracks are probably the most bet on and watched races in the country,” McMahon said. “Certainly, when you see a horse like Central Banker have five winners at Saratoga last week alone, that gets him attention. It’s very good for people to see that New York has good stallions and their offspring are running very, very well on the best circuit in the world. That encourages other people to be involved in New York.”

Currently at the top of the New York general sires list and eighth on the national third-crop list, Central Banker is having a summer most only dream of. His first two crops gave him two stakes winners in five days last week and three stakes horses in 15 days.

Zipalong started his sire’s August stakes run with a third in the Cab Calloway division of the New York Stallion Series Aug. 6. That placing was followed by Central Banker’s five-winner week at Saratoga, headlined by champion New York-bred Newly Minted earning her fourth career stakes victory in the Union Avenue Handicap Aug. 13.

Then showing that Central Banker is in demand all over the country, Doc’s Holiday was his latest stakes winner Aug. 18 in Colorado’s CTBA Derby at Arapahoe.

Central Banker’s rise to becoming a successful sire was set in motion almost from the time he stepped off the van at McMahon of Saratoga. A fast dirt horse, John McMahon said the support he’s received from the beginning has been strong and steady.

“Central Banker had great credentials entering his stallion career so that parlayed into a very good first-year book,” he said. “Immediately following, attractive weanlings sold for very good money, which helped, then yearling and 2-year-old sale results followed by race success. So, his support from breeders has been excellent from the very first day he started his stud career.”

While it wouldn’t have been a surprise if Central Banker’s stud fee had risen after the performances of his first few crops, for the McMahons it’s been important for the stallion to stay affordable for breeders. They’ve been rewarded for that loyalty with Central Banker never having less than 75 mares during his five seasons at stud.

“It’s important that he’s good value, we didn’t raise his stud fee,” Joe McMahon said. “We’ve kept him very affordable to breeders in New York with the added incentive that they get twice as much award because they’re New York-sired and they’re eligible for the New York Stallion Series. It’s a value play for a lot of people.

“Rather than send a mare to Kentucky and breed to a $7,500 horse there or a $10,000 horse there and get half the awards and not be eligible for the stallion stakes, this horse gives you as good a horse as you’re going to get in Kentucky for $10,000 to $15,000 plus the breeders awards are twice as high and you’re eligible for the stallion stakes – which are about $3 million in value.”

A stallion who is often lauded by trainers for his trainable and durable runners, for the McMahons it’s important that Central Banker stay in New York not only for his own success but for breeders in the state.

“He’s a good stallion and good stallions can stand anywhere, but we choose to keep him here because New York needs a good stallion like that,” Joe McMahon said. “If he can continue to get 100 mares a year, that’s good business for our farm.”

One Response to “Central Baker continues rise for McMahons”

  1. rick baldwin says:

    The McMahons are true horse racing
    lovers,not just concerned with their
    own bottom line.They are why I continue
    to support our sport all that I can.

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