Trainer Christophe Clement savored his first Breeders’ Cup victory as Bobby Flay’s homebred Pizza Bianca sliced between foes late to get up in Friday’s $920,000 Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). Under an inspired ride by Jose Ortiz, the 9.90-1 chance maneuvered from the tail of the field to prevail over the 17.70-1 Malavath and 6-1 Haughty in a frenetic finish.
Pizza Bianca, a last-to-first debut winner at Saratoga, was coming off a distant second in the Sept. 19 Natalma (G1) at Woodbine. The royally-bred daughter of Fastnet Rock didn’t have the clearest of trips when rallying behind Godolphin’s impressive Wild Beauty that day. But she looked like a savvier operator around Del Mar.
Cachet sped to the early lead in splits of :23.59, :47.84, and 1:11.85 on the firm turf, and the British shipper maintained her momentum until well into the stretch. Then the closers began to bear down. Haughty loomed on the outside, Malavath was spearing through on the inside, and Pizza Bianca had to change lanes a couple of times in a nifty piece of broken-field running.
Bursting between Cachet and the stalking Hello You in deep stretch, Pizza Bianca crossed the wire a half-length up on Malavath in 1:36.08 for the mile. Haughty was a neck back in third, heading fourth-placer Cachet. Next came Hello You; Consumer Spending; Koala Princess; Helens Well; Cairo Memories; Mise en Scene, who arguably burned too much petrol from post 13 early; California Angel; a slow-starting and troubled Bubble Rock; Sail By; and Turnerloose.
Flay was hoisting a Breeders’ Cup trophy for the second time, having won this race in 2010 with More Than Real. But he also bred Pizza Bianca, whose scorecard now stands at 3-2-1-0, $637,635.
The well-named Kentucky-bred is out of the Galileo mare White Hot, who is herself a half-sister to 2011 Epsom Derby (G1) hero Pour Moi. White Hot is also a three-quarter sister to multiple Group 3 vixen and French classic-placed Gagnoa, dam of current Group 3-winning and multiple Group 1-placed juvenile Ancient Rome. White Hot’s full siblings include Group 3 scorer and Irish classic-placed Dawn Patrol.
Considering her pedigree potential, Pizza Bianca is just getting warmed up.