Once-Beaten Best Actor Romps To Smarty Jones Victory At Parx – Horse Racing News

Once-Beaten Best Actor Romps To Smarty Jones Victory At Parx – Horse Racing News

Best Actor and Florent Geroux winning the Smarty Jones

Gary and Mary West’s Best Actor, an unlucky second last out in the Grade 3 Indiana Derby, cruised to a 5 3/4-length score in Tuesday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pa. The Smarty Jones for 3-year-olds was one of three stakes on the day, following the $200,000 Parx Dash and the $150,000 Cathryn Sophia for 3-year-old fillies.

Ridden to victory by Florent Geroux for Brad Cox, Best Actor covered 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:44.14. The colt by Flatter out of Abraqat, by Smart Strike, was bred in Kentucky by E.H. Beau Lane, Gail McMichael Lane, J.B. Lane and Michael Orem.

Kissalot – a $30,000 Saffie Joseph Jr. claim two starts back ridden by Jose Ortiz – finished second, two lengths ahead of 8-5 favorite Creative Minister and Brian Hernandez Jr. in third. They were followed by Golden Alchemist, Practical Coach, Clapton, Witty, and Pioneer of Medina. Camp David and Icy Storm were scratched.

Best Actor, winning for the third time in four career starts, paid $7 as the 5-2 second choice.

Practical Coach and Frankie Pennington rushed to the lead after the break, with Best Actor his closest pursuer going into the first turn. Kissalot raced just to Best Actor’s outside and was carried wide around the first turn by the eventual winner.

Practical Coach went the opening quarter mile in :23.76 and the half in :47.72 before Best Actor moved to the lead with little encouragement from Geroux, the six furlongs clocked in 1:11.97. Best Actor opened up two lengths on Kissalot at the top of the stretch, passed the mile marker in 1:37.75, and widened his advantage to the finish despite racing on the wrong lead.

Best Actor finished second, beaten a half length by Actuator, in the July 9 Indiana Derby, his lone defeat. Best Actor stumbled coming out of the gate and then was bumped solidly by Actuator, who veered into him. Best Actor rallied from off that pace and was gaining on Actuator when that one drifted out, the two horses  brushing in the final furlong. Stewards lit the inquiry sign for the trouble at the start and Geroux claimed foul for stretch interference, but the result was allowed to stand.

The Wests acquired Best Actor through agent Ben Glass at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, paying $330,000. He was consigned by Beau Lane Bloodstock.

Violent Turbulence, Green Up Victorious

In the Parx Dash, a race originally carded for about five furlongs on grass but moved to dirt because of wet turf, the main track only entrant Violent Turbulence registered a 12-1 upset going wire-to-wire under Silvestre Gonzalez.

Trained by Kathleen Demasi for Pewter Stable and Spedale Family Racing, Violent Turbulence was 3 1/4 lengths clear at the wire after covering five furlongs in :57.95. The gelding by Violence set fractions of :22.43 and :45.74 en route to his win. Another outsider, 42-1 longshot Extreme Force, finished second, with 9-10 favorite Doc Amster third. The winner paid $26.40.

There were three scratches because of the surface switch, including 2021 Parx Dash winner The Critical Way.

Violent Turbulence was winning for the sixth time in 18 starts. This was his first added-money victory.

Team Valor International’s Green Up came from just off the pace to defeat 1-2 favorite Interstatedaydream in the Cathryn Sophia Stakes. Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. for trainer Todd Pletcher, Green Up was winning her fourth consecutive race and second stakes, following a July 3 victory in the Boiling Springs at Monmouth Park. Her only defeat came in May 2021 in her only start at 2.

Green Up, a filly by Upstart out of Green Punch, by Two Punch, ran the mile and 70 yards in 1:39.77, tracking Interstatedaydream and Florent Geroux throughout and taking command in the stretch to win by two lengths. She paid $7.80 as the second betting choice in the field of five. Runner-up Interstatedaydream was 6 1/4 lengths ahead of Morning Matcha in third, followed by Shotgun Hottie, anjd Emerald. Bazinga, Butterbean, Ha’ Penny, and Silverleaf were scratched.

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