Bobby Flay's Pizza Bianca Offers a White-Hot Pedigree at Night of the Stars

Flay In the BC Winners' Circle After the 2021 Juvenile Fillies Turf | Eclipse Sportswire


Bobby Flay has always been content to settle for a bit of slow cooking when it comes to his Thoroughbred breeding program, but this particular project probably took a little longer than even the patient chef and restaurateur expected.

Flay purchased the yearling filly White Hot (Ire) for 1,250,000 guineas at the 2014 Tattersalls October sale on the advice of his late bloodstock agent James Delahooke. Eight years later, he figures to be paid back, with interest, when her Breeders' Cup-winning daughter Pizza Bianca (Fastnet Rock {Aug}) sells with Elite Sales as hip 225 at the Fasig-Tipton November sale as a racing or broodmare prospect.

In excellent form again after an unsuccessful trip to Royal Ascot this summer, Pizza Bianca was most recently a fast-closing fourth in the GII Sands Point S., where her trainer Christophe Clement said he felt she might have run the best race of the field.

“She's doing very well now in the fall,” said Clement, who pronounced himself unhappy with the way she trained at Ascot. “And even if she got beat, she actually ran a very good race the other day, finishing fourth in a Grade II at Aqueduct. If you believe in numbers, she might have run the best number in the race. And I'm absolutely thrilled. I mean, she's she's really, really doing well in the fall. And she seems to be responding to the cooler weather very well.”

Pizza Bianca was Clement's first Breeders' Cup winner, but she had already stamped herself as special before that time, he said.

“She's been very special from day one, largely because of her pedigree,” he said. “And she's got a remarkable pedigree. It's fun because obviously if you train for Bobby, you have access to some of the best pedigrees in the world, and it's very rare for a trainer to be able to train that kind of quality.”

White Hot's full-sister Gwynn (Ire) is the dam of the 2011 Epsom Derby winner Pour Moi (Ire), himself a sire of a Derby winner in Wings of Eagles. She is also the dam to the graded stakes winner and Dawn Patrol and to the multiple-graded-stakes winning and GI stakes-placed Gagnoa (Ire).

Fasig-Tipton's Boyd Browning clearly has high expectations for her on Nov. 6.

“I think the really, really exciting thing about Pizza Bianca is the unbelievable pedigree that she possesses,” he said. “Obviously, we're talking about a filly that won the Breeders' Cup as a two-year-old in a very, very impressive fashion. But just from a pedigree standpoint, her page is an amazing collection of the who's who of the last half-century. She's by Fastnet Rock, who truly was really one of the first legitimate international star sires. He's been a great stallion in Australia and Europe and really embodies a lot of the characteristics that are so important in racing and breeding around the world. He's a son of Danehill, whose influence has been really, really dramatic. She's out of a Galileo (Ire) mare, so you have the combination of Sadler's Wells. You've got the influence of Mr. Prospector in the pedigree. You've got Danzig, you've got Darshaan. It's like you took the best names of the stud book over the last 50 years. And she's got them all.”

What's more, said Browning, she has a precocity that her page might not suggest.

“Her pedigree wouldn't scream `brilliant at two' at you,” said Browning. “It's a classic-type pedigree. And to see the ability that she demonstrated and the precocity that she demonstrated as a two-year-old really reflects the quality and the depth of the pedigree. It really indicates just how talented Pizza Bianca is.”

Pizza Bianca broke her maiden at Saratoga in July of her two-year-old season, and followed that up with a second-place finish in the GI Natalma S. At Woodbine. Sent off at 9-1 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in her third start, she was expected to stalk the pace, but ended up last early and wove her way through the field to get up for a half-length win. Put away for the winter, she was second in her three-year-old debut in a Listed stakes at Aqueduct, won the Hilltop S. on Preakness Day as the odds-on favorite, and then went to Ascot, where she was eighth in the GI Coronation S.

“I was not thrilled with the way she trained in England,” said Clement. “I didn't think she trained as well as she has done in America. And I'm not actually 100% sure why. I just didn't think she showed the same level of energy, and she ran a tad out of form, and it took us a while to get her back.”

But back she is, he said, offering a buyer a lot of upside.

“I don't think she can look much better than what she does at the moment,” he said. “She's very good looking. She's average size, powerful, very deep shoulder, very strong hind leg. She's not at all small, but she's not overly big. She's just perfectly balanced with a gorgeous head. She's doing great temperament-wise. She's very straightforward. She enjoys the training. And  she's actually pretty easy to train.”

Browning pointed out that Pizza Bianca's dam, White Hot, is still only nine years old, and as such, figures to burnish the family pedigree page a lot more before it's all over.

“Pizza Bianca is White Hot's first foal,” he said. “And to be able to produce a Breeders Cup winner as your first foal is tremendous. The pipeline is loaded and will continue to expand. She's got an absolutely beautiful Uncle Mo yearling on the ground that I think Bobby intends to race. He was a spectacular individual that we saw at Stone Farm earlier this year and I absolutely loved him physically. She also has a weanling colt on the ground by Not This Time. She's in foal to Into Mischief on an early cover date for 2022, and she's booked to Into Mischief again for 2023.”

Says Clement, “She's a Grade I winner from a Grade I family, which is a huge deal. She's sound, she's a gorgeous-looking filly, so you could have fun with her as a four-year-old and then retire her as a broodmare prospect to give her a chance to become the mare she is supposed to be. To breed her to the stallion that she's supposed to get to.”

Both Clement and Browning agreed that Pizza Bianca was emblematic of the type of horse that Flay's breeding program is now producing.

“Bobby Flay is becoming in the States what Gerald Leigh used to be England,” said Clement. “A small number of mares, but just the best.”

Added Browning, “When you look at Pizza Bianca, she epitomizes what Bobby Flay's commitment is to the industry and what he's trying to accomplish as a breeder. He has been a collector of some of the finest pedigrees in the world. Bobby is trying to compete at the highest level and is trying to produce the very best racehorses. He's got a collection of broodmares that is truly amazing. And the success that he's had as a breeder and as an owner epitomizes what the dream is about. It's his passion. It's his love for the game, his love for the horse. And we're all fortunate that he has this passion for the Thoroughbred business. And we hope he continues to have great successes as both a breeder and as an owner.”

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