At a glance

  • Gelding, Ontario-bred, foaled May 6, 2021
  • By Old Forester out of American Armada
  • Trainer: Kevin Attard
  • Acquired at 2022 Fasig-Tipton October Yearling Sale
  • Foundation development at Margaux Farm (KY)

Behind the name

Banting’’s name is a tribute to a Canadian war hero, Nobel prize winner, and the discoverer of one of the most ground-breaking medical treatments of the 20th century.

Eager to serve his country in WWI, Frederick Banting immediately enlisted with the Canadian Army Medical Corps after graduating from medical school. He left Ontario in 1917 for England then served in France in both rear hospitals and in aid stations on the front lines.While treating casualties, Banting was seriously wounded by shrapnel from a shell during the Cambrai Offensive in 1918 in an assault considered to be one of the Canadian military’s most impressive tactical victories. It was part of a series of connected battles that led to the defeat of Germany weeks later, an offensive in which more than 30,000 Canadians were killed, wounded, or went missing.

Despite the extent of his injuries, Captain Banting refused the order to evacuate. He continued helping other injured soldiers for 17 hours before he was finally removed from the front line. In England, he took over his own treatment and avoided the anticipated amputation of his arm. Before returning to Canada in 1919, Banting was awarded the Military Cross for heroism under fire, a high honour received by only 3,000 men throughout the war.

In 1922, Dr. Banting developed one of the most important medical discoveries and ground-breaking treatments of the 20th century: insulin, a drug that has saved and extended tens of millions of lives around the world. To facilitate mass production, he sold his patent rights to the University of Toronto for $1 stating that “insulin does not belong to me, it belongs to the world”.

In 1923, at the age of 32, Banting became the first Canadian to ever receive the Nobel Prize in Medicine. He remains the youngest person of any nationality to ever do so in the fields of in physiology or medicine. He was also knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

When WWII broke out, Banting insisted on serving again. He did so as a major and liaison officer between the British and North American medical services working on projects that included treatments for mustard gas, oxygen masks, and a G-suit that protected pilots from the effects of radial acceleration in aircraft. His pioneering research enabled advances that left a distinctly Canadian legacy in aviation and aerospace medicine.

About the sire

Old Forester is a Kentucky-bred Graded Stakes Winner who ran 22 races from 2004 to 2005 and retired with a record of six wins (including firsts at Belmont Park and Churchill D), 11 seconds, and two thirds. In-bred to legendary champs Northern Dancer (4×5) and Bold Ruler (5×5), Old Forester climbed quickly to the top of Canada’s stallion ranks and is the #1 lifetime active sire in Canada and a Top 2 Canadian Sire for the last 5 years.

With progeny earnings over $29 million, Old Forester has sired 22 stakes winners including 2017 Canadian Horse of the Year and 6x Sovereign Award Winner Pink Lloyd (29 first place finishes in 38 races, $1.9 million in purses) as well as 43 dams of 97 named foals of racing age. Old Forester is half-brother to 2015 Canadian Horse of the Year Catch a Glimpse.

About the dam

American Armada is an Ontario-bred filly sired by Multiple Graded Stakes Winner Quiet American ($755,000 in purses won on the track) out of Bold Ruritana ($1.1 million earned on the track).

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