Gary and Mary West’s 3-year-old Tapit filly Actress made a splash, literally and figuratively, when she broke her maiden in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico May 19, her third career start.
A sudden thunderous deluge had transformed a fast main track to a sea of sludge prior to the 1⅛-mile main event on Pimlico’s Preakness eve card. Facing 10 more seasoned rivals, the Jason Servis-trained Actress overcame her lack of experience and a less than ideal trip to post a head victory over Sumaya U.S. Stable’s Lights of Medina.
After Actress and jockey Nik Juarez broke from the number 10 gate, they settled near the back of the field through the first half-mile. As the field cornered the far turn, Actress advanced along the rail before maneuvering to the center of the track for the stretch drive and encountering some problems that challenged the gray filly’s greenness. Taking the lead nearing the finish post, Actress withstood the late challenge of Lights of Medina, who had two lengths on Gary Barber and Bobby Flay’s third-place finisher Corporate Queen. Time for the distance on the sloppy, sealed track was 1:51.87.
A Kentucky-homebred for the Wests, Actress is out of the excellent stakes-winning Milwaukee Brew mare Milwaukee Appeal, who won the Sovereign Award as champion 3-year-old filly in 2009 and retired with more than $1 million in earnings.
The 59th graded stakes winner for Gainesway’s three-time leading sire Tapit, Actress is inbred to former Gainesway stallion In Reality, a cross found in 14 of Tapit’s 96 stakes winners.