May 26, 2024

Best Actor, Green Up win big at Parx

Best Actor wins the 2022 Smarty Jones (G3) at Parx (Barbara Weidl/Equi-Photo)

Best Actor turned in an award-worthy performance Tuesday at Parx, dominating seven three-year-old rivals in the $300,000 Smarty Jones S. (G3), a prep for next month’s Pennsylvania Derby (G1).

Under Florent Geroux, Best Actor stalked a length behind pacesetting longshot Practical Coach for more than a half-mile, took the lead on the far turn, and drew off to score the first stakes win of his career by 5 3/4 lengths.

Owned by Gary and Mary West and trained by Brad Cox, Best Actor paid $7 as the 5-2 second choice, covering 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.14.

Kissalot finished second by two lengths over 17-10 favorite Creative Minister, who edged Golden Alchemist for third by a neck at the wire. The order of finish was rounded out by Practical Coach, Clapton, Witty, and Pioneer of Medina.

The Smarty Jones was the third win in four lifetime starts for Best Actor, who beat maiden foes at Oaklawn Park in April and allowance rivals at Churchill Downs in June before finishing a half-length second in the July 9 Indiana Derby (G3).

Best Actor was bred in Kentucky by E.H. Beau Lane, Gail McMichael Lane, J.B. Lane Orem, and Michael Orem, and was a $330,000 Keeneland September purchase. He is by Flatter and out of Abraqat, a daughter of Smart Strike and multiple Grade 1 winner Spun Sugar. The latter is a full sister to Cigar Mile (G1) winner Daaher.

Cathryn Sophia S.

Green Up ran her current win streak to four races when decisively scoring in the $150,000 Cathryn Sophia S., a local prelude to next month’s Cotillion (G1).

Under Irad Ortiz Jr., Green Up overtook 1-2 favorite Interstatedaydream approaching the quarter pole and drew off to win by 3 3/4 lengths. The final time for one mile and 70 yards was 1:39.77.

Owned by Team Valor and trained by Todd Pletcher, Green Up returned $7.80 as the second choice in a field of five three-year-old fillies. Interstatedaydream, the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) and Indiana Oaks (G3) winner, finished a clear second over Morning Matcha.

Runner-up in her only start at two, a five-furlong maiden at Churchill Downs, Green Up debuted for her present connections on March 13 at Gulfstream, winning by 6 3/4 lengths against maiden company going six furlongs. She next won a one-mile allowance at Gulfstream by four lengths, and most recently captured the Boiling Springs S. at Monmouth Park by 5 3/4 lengths.

Green Up is a Virginia-bred daughter of Upstart and Green Punch, a Two Punch half-sister to Grade 3 winner Just Call Kenny. She was bred by Althea Richards.