Day At The Track

Chicago favorite Stanley Banks, 73, dies

06:20 PM 03 Mar 2010 NZDT
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The Chicagoland harness racing scene lost another one of its most familiar faces on Monday, March 1st as Stanley E. Banks passed away at age 73 at his home in Dwight, IL after battling a lengthy illness.

"Slammin Stan" as he was affectionately called by his friends and fans was a fixture among the leading the drivers at all the Chicagoland harness tracks throughout the late 1970's until the early 1990's. Banks retired with 3,513 lifetime victories and $17,167,654 in purse earnings. He was inducted into the Illinois Harness Horseman's Hall of Fame in 1992.

Among the long list of Stanley's favorite horses were Dream Of Victory, Thorpe Messenger, who he steered to victory in the American National as a three-year-old and Poco Perry who captured the Orange & Blue Championship at Sportsman's Park in 1980. Banks also guided the filly Poco Lady to the Grandma Ann Championship in 1982. He then returned to the winners circle with another Grandma Ann winner in Jeanie's Puff in 1984. Equally adept at handling trotters Banks guided Songflori to victory in the American National Stake at Sportsman's Park in 1976 and Prince Azos to a Su Mac Lad Stake title in 1978.

Up until his death Banks maintained ownership in Victory Acres Farm in Dwight, IL as well as 25-years of partnership in one of Florida's most popular restaurants, the Snook Inn which is located in Marco Island, Florida.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Linda; his sons: Scott (Kelly) and Steven (Kieu); Daughters: Lori (Alex) Gorman; Lacey Humbert and Sheri (Ken) Asperson. Also surviving are his grandchildren: Chris and Carrigan Banks, Seth Banks, Cara and Amanda Humbert, Allasia and Emma Asperson; two brothers: Les (Jean) and Dwight (Terri) Banks and one sister Benita (Bill) Yunek as well as many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at the Hagar Funeral Home 201 W. Mazon Ave, Dwight, IL on Monday, March 8th from 11am until 2pm. There will be a short Memorial service at the funeral home after the visitation and then a celebration of Stanley's life at Victory Lanes Bowl 410 E. Mazon Ave, Dwight, IL immediately following.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that Memorial contributions be made to the Stanley Banks Memorial Scholarship Fund at the First National Bank of Dwight. The scholarship is intended to help a needy horseman's child have a chance to pursue a college education.

Tom KELLEY

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