Flay Homebred Pizza Bianca Gives Clement First Cup Victory In Juvenile Fillies Turf

Last of 14 runners with a quarter mile to run, Bobby Flay’s homebred Fastnet Rock filly Pizza Bianca was masterfully guided through a narrow opening along the inside by jockey Jose Ortiz and accelerated powerfully in the final furlong to score a half-length victory over Irish-bred Malavath in the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Friday at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif.

The Juvenile Fillies Turf was one of five Breeders’ Cup races for 2-year-olds on what has come to be known as Future Stars Friday. The championships continue on Saturday, culminating with the $6-million Classic, last of nine Breeders’ Cup races on the day.

The win by Pizza Bianca ended a long string of frustrating losses in the world championships for trainer Christophe Clement, who was 0-for-40 in Breeders’ Cup races entering the day. An earlier loss by Derrynane in the Juvenile Turf Sprint extended that streak to 0-for-41 – the most defeats by any trainer who had yet to win one of the 14 Cup races.

Coming off a second-place finish in the G1 Natalma Stakes at Woodbine on Sept. 19, Pizza Bianca was winning for the second time in three starts. She covered one mile on firm turf in 1:35.36 and paid $21.80 on a $2 win mutuel.

Runner-up Malavath finished a neck in front of Haughty, one of two entrants in the Juvenile Fillies Turf for trainer Chad Brown, who was gunning for his sixth victory in this race in its 14th running. Irish-bred Cachet finished a head back in fourth, with another Irish-bred, Hello You, finishing fifth.

They were followed by Consumer Spending, Koala Princess, Helens Well, Cairo Memories,Mise En Scene, California Angel, Bubble Rock, Sail By and Turnerloose.

The win was the second in a Breeders’ Cup race for celebrity chef Flay, who won this same event with Todd Pletcher-trained More Than Real in 2010.

Turnerloose and Florent Geroux tried to make the early running but were beaten to the punch by Luis Saez aboard Cachet, who set fractions of :23.59 for the opening quarter mile, :47.84 for the half and 1:11.85 through six furlongs.

Ortiz and Pizza Bianca were fourth from the rear as the field hit the backstretch, and were shuffled further back approaching the far turn. With a quarter mile to run, Ortiz could see the entire field in front of him. He slipped through an opening inside of a second Brown entrant, Consumer Spending at the top of the stretch, then swung outside a path to overtake the front-running Cachet inside the furlong pole. Malavath, racing along the rail, was passed by Pizza Bianca at the top of the stretch, then re-rallied in the final sixteenth to make it close at the end.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf chart

“If I go outside I was going to be eight, nine wide and that wasn’t the plan,” said Ortiz. “The only instruction they gave me was to save ground. And I stick to it and when we hit the three-sixteenth pole she did a beautiful turn of foot, I knew I had a shot to win the race. And at that point, passing the eighth pole, I knew I was going to go between those two horses because the turn that she gave me, I knew I was going to go blow by them and I was going to play them easy.”

Ortiz was riding the filly for the first time after Joel Rosario opted for Koala Princess, who went off the 9-2 favorite but was never a factor while finishing seventh.

“I watched the replays, I did my homework,” Ortiz said. “The filly is a very nice filly, she run second behind a very, very talented filly (Wild Beauty) last time at Woodbine. I talked to Christophe this morning and said, I told him what I wanted to do. I said, Christophe, I want to break good, save ground, use her a little bit out of the one hole and take some solid position. He said, I agree with you a hundred percent that’s what I want to do also. Things didn’t work out like I wanted, I wanted to be closer two or three, but she was very comfortable to where she was.”

“Very nice. Great win. I’m delighted,” said Clement. “I was surprised with (agent) Ron Anderson and Rosario didn’t ride the filly because we always thought that she a nice one and she proved us right today. I’m absolutely thrilled with the confidence showed in us. It’s nice.”

“He’s the best trainer in the world that hasn’t won the Breeders’ Cup, and I’m glad that that story’s over,” said Flay. “He is a very deserving trainer. He’s so great at what he does, cares so much about his horses … clearly pays attention to every detail.

“His team, his son Miguel, his assistant, who is also named Christophe, I mean, these guys eat and sleep these horses, and to be part of a victory for them, their first victory in the Breeders’ Cup, it’s a very special feeling.”

Flay purchased Pizza Bianca’s mare, White Hot (by Galileo) for approximately $2.1 million as a yearling in 2014.at Tattersalls in England. Though she never made it to the races herself, she has now produced a Breeders’ Cup winner with her very first foal.

Additional Post-Race Quotes:

Trainer Francis-Henri Graffard (second with Malavath (IRE)) – “I’m absolutely delighted with the run. She gave it her all. It’s obviously disappointing to be narrowly beaten however I’m very proud of the filly. She’s going to be even better next year.”

Jockey Ryan Moore (second with Malavath (IRE)) – “Ran a great race. She’s a very good horse.”

Trainer Chad Brown (third with Haughty) – “Tyler (Gaffalione) rode a great race from that post. I was very happy with the trip. I think, in the end, the three weeks’ rest really did me in. She made a really big jump in her numbers from her first to her second race and I think I just didn’t have enough space between races. Not every horse can do that back in three weeks. I think that’s where she lost a little bit of the starch from the quarter-pole home.”

On Consumer Spending, sixth – “She got a good trip inside and she ran fine. Flavien (Prat) remarked that she probably wants to go a little bit farther. She might not be up to this class level.”

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione (third with Haughty) – “I felt real confident coming into the stretch. She gave me a nice kick but it wasn’t enough to hold off the closers. It was a great performance coming off the maiden victory.”

Jockey Joel Rosario (seventh on beaten favorite Koala Princess) – “She ran well but hung a little bit. I got stopped a little bit right before the quarter pole but what can I say? We will try another time.”

Jockey Luis Saez (fourth with Cachet– “She ran big. I thought she was going to win but she just got tired at the end. She tries so hard and gave me everything. I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to take the ride.”

Trainer George Boughey (fourth with Cachet) – “I thought for a minute we were going to win. Luis gave her a fantastic ride. I was delighted with her coming over. Her preparation was excellent. She’s only two years old and will be better at three. She’s going to be really exciting next season.”

The post Flay Homebred Pizza Bianca Gives Clement First Cup Victory In Juvenile Fillies Turf appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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