Virginia-Bred Upstart Filly Runs To The Money, Earns ‘Rising Star’ Honors

Sunday, March 13, 2022 at 2:32 pm | Back to: Top News

Green Up | Ryan Thompson

The following piece appeared in Thoroughbred Daily News and was written by Alan Carasso. Green Up is a Virginia-bred filly that was bred by Robin Richards.

Sent off a mortal lock at odds of 2-5, Team Valor International’s Green Up (Upstart) improved off a big-figure debut second for previous connections and galloped her six overmatched rivals into the ground, earning ‘TDN Rising Star’ honors for a 6 3/4-length tour-de-force.

Having dramatically outrun odds of 25-1 to be runner-up at Churchill Downs last May behind the subsequently stakes-placed Ontheonesandtwos (Jimmy Creed) for owner Leonard Mattingly and trainer Chris Melton, the $10,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling graduate was acquired by these high-profile connections a short time thereafter, according to Team Valor’s Barry Irwin.

“She’s tall and immature. She had a few issues and we gave her plenty of time,” he explained. “We were actually going to run her next week going a mile, but we started getting worried that the race wouldn’t fill, so we sprinted her even though she doesn’t want to sprint.”

Green Up’s most recent breeze, a five-furlong bullet at Palm Beach Downs in 1:01 Mar. 6, had the Virginia-bred sitting on ready. Irwin said the drill was very much in character.

“Her works are unbelievable,” he said. “She goes out there, she stays with her company and just before the wire, she moves a little bit ahead and then on the gallop out she opens up 12 or 15 lengths every time.”

Off to an uneventful beginning for the in-form Irad Ortiz, Jr., Green Up tracked longshot pacesetter Teasing (Tapit)–a full-sister to GI Belmont S. winner Tapwrit–through solid opening splits. Easing alongside that one as the quarter pole loomed, Green Up quickly put daylight on her rivals and stopped the timer in 1:10.04 while never asked through the final eighth of a mile. 

“It was as much as I expected and I expected a lot,” Irwin commented. “About three weeks ago, Todd called me and goes, ‘this Green Up, she’s a graded stakes winner, she’s unbelievable.’ He says, ‘I know trainers never call people up with anything but bad news, so I want to call you with some good news and tell you what a good filly you’ve got. Pretty exciting to have one like this.”

The winning jockey added: “She did everything right. She did it the right way. She put me in a good position. She did everything so easy. Going to the turn, I just rode her, biding my time. When I asked her she responded really well. She took off.”

A May 9 foal, Green Up is out of an unplaced half-sister to the solid Midlantic handicap horse Just Call Kenny (Jump Start)–also a paternal descendant of A.P. Indy–who counted the GIII Philip H. Iselin S. as his major career victory and who won the 2014 Spectacular Bid S. over this main track. Green Up holds an entry for the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks and is the second Rising Star for Upstart, who is already represented on the Oaks trail by GII Davona Dale S. heroine Kathleen O.

4th-Gulfstream, $53,000, Msw, 3-13, 3yo, f, 6f, 1:10.04, ft, 6 3/4 lengths.
GREEN UP, f, 3, by Upstart
1st Dam: Green Punch, by Two Punch
2nd Dam: Green Jeans, by Green Dancer
3rd Dam: Duds, by Ack Ack
Sales history: $10,000 Ylg ’20 EASOCT. Lifetime Record: 2-1-1-0, $44,360. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG. Click for the free catalog-style pedigree.
O-Team Valor International LLC; B-Althea Richards (VA); T-Todd A Pletcher.