David Banks, who discovered multiple steeplechase stakes winner Pleasant Woodman, died Saturday, Dec. 6, after sustaining an apparent heart attack at Evangeline Training Center in Carencro, La. He was 65.
The popular horseman was the brother of National Steeplechase Association board member Virginia Lazenby and the husband of Allison R. Banks, who races as Farm d’Allie Racing Stables. In partnership, they owned Pleasant Woodman, winner of the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Stakes in May and Grade 1-placed in the A. P. Smithwick Memorial at Saratoga Race Course.
Banks purchased the Woodman gelding from breeder Foxwood Plantation LLC and trained him for his starts at the flat tracks. Pleasant Woodman proved more adept at longer distances and matured into a stakes winner for trainer Doug Fout. In addition to the Marcellus Frost, he also won Aiken Spring’s Budweiser Imperial Cup (Gr. 3) in March. He sustained a fatal tendon injury while finishing fifth in the International Gold Cup’s David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 3) on Oct. 25.
For his sister, the trainer sent out the two-year-old filly Idratherblucky for a victory at the Fair Grounds on Thursday.
Witnesses at the training center said he collapsed and fell from his pony while on the track before 7 a.m. on Saturday. A clocker and on-site paramedics immediately began CPR, and he was taken to Lafayette General Hospital, where he died.
In addition to his wife and sister, he is survived by a grown son and daughter. He had relocated to Louisiana from central Kentucky in 2009.
A. J. Credeur, Evangeline Training Center’s general manager, said his death is a loss for the Louisiana racing community. “He’s been a dear friend,” he told Daily Racing Form. “He was an outstanding guy, a stand-up guy. The industry lost a good person.”