Pizza Bianca Punches Royal Ascot Ticket in the Hilltop

Pizza Bianca wins the Hilltop S. | MJC

Bobby Flay homebred Pizza Bianca, heroine of last term's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, punched her ticket to Royal Ascot in style here.

In an impressive 2021 campaign, Pizza Bianca broke her maiden over the Saratoga grass on debut July 22 at Saratoga and jumped right into Grade I company, finishing second behind Wild Beauty (Frankel {GB}) in Woodbine's GI Natalma S. Sept. 19. That set her up for a run in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar, where she posted a half-length victory at 9-1. Pizza Bianca returned from the bench to be second, beaten just three-quarters of a length, as the 4-5 favorite in the Memories of Silver S. at Aqueduct Apr. 24.

Confidently backed at 2-5 here, she raced in sixth behind pacesetter Murph (Malibu Moon) through an opening quarter in :23.31. Patiently handled and still with plenty to do heading into the far turn, she started to move along the inside, then switched back out as the field turned for home. She was let loose in the stretch and came rolling over the top to win going away.

“[Jockey] Jose [Ortiz] did exactly what we were hoping for,” Flay said. “She broke; he kind of put her to sleep around the track; asked her a little bit; and she performed very nice. Really, a sigh of relief, but also just a beautiful performance.”

The G1 Coronation S. at Royal Ascot will be next.

“I ran in that race in 2011 with More Than Real,” Flay said. “She didn't run that well, but it doesn't matter. It was an amazing experience. To me, this is what this is all about. These horses can take you on experiences of a lifetime.”

On behalf of Flay, bloodstock agent James Delahooke went to 1.25 million guineas ($2,122,050) for Pizza Bianca's dam White Hot at the 2014 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. Pizza Bianca is the first foal for her unraced dam. The half-sister to G1 Epsom Derby winner Pour Moi (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}) is also represented by a yearling colt by Uncle Mo and birthed a colt by Not This Time in 2022.

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HILLTOP S., $100,000, Pimlico, 5-20, 3yo, f, 1mT, 1:36.54, fm.
1–PIZZA BIANCA, 122, f, 3, by Fastnet Rock (Aus)-White Hot
(Ire), by Galileo (Ire). O-Bobby Flay; B-B. Flay Thoroughbreds
(KY); T-Christophe Clement; J-Jose L. Ortiz. $60,000. Lifetime
Record: GISW, 5-3-2-0, $717,635.
2–Diamond Hands, 118, f, 3, Frosted–Love Cove, by Not For
Love. ($25,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP; $425,000 2yo '21 OBSAPR).
1ST BLACK TYPE. O-Robert Masiello & Steven Rocco; B-Brant
Laue & Godolphin (KY); T-Christophe Clement. $20,000.
3–Vergara, 120, f, 3, Noble Mission (GB)–Figure of Beauty, by
Street Cry (Ire). ($130,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-Gary Broad;
B-Neil Jones (KY); T-H. Graham Motion. $10,000.
Margins: 1 3/4, HD, NK. Odds: 0.40, 7.20, 4.70.
Also Ran: Lady Puchi, Determined Gold, Murph, Hail To, Determined Star.

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