Transcript of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Press Conference with Bobby Flay and Jose Ortiz

November 5, 2021

Q. Bobby Flay, congratulations. Pizza Bianca winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and for you, owner, breeder, this is the Breeders’ Cup, extra special, what an incredible filly.

BOBBY FLAY: Yeah. Jose, you’re the man. Thank you.

Listen, my favorite thing to do is to go over the mating and breed. And you never know what you’re going to get. And this, the dam is a horse that I bought as a yearling who never ran, but her, she has one of the best pedigrees in the stud book, and so I just knew that I was going to keep her forever because I always say that the blood shows up eventually.

And I didn’t think it was going to show up in the very first foal, but obviously she’s a really great filly.

Q. The way this race played out, watching it, at the top of the stretch, what are you thinking when she’s last?

BOBBY FLAY: Well, she was last around the far turn, and I just thought to myself, because Christophe had said to me, I’m not sure she’s going to like the firm turf at Del Mar. She had run on two, her first two races, her only two races, there was a little cut in the ground, and he said to me, I think she really likes a little cut in the ground. I’m not sure she’s going to like the Del Mar firm grass. And I’m like, well, she hasn’t run on firm grass yet, so we’re going to try it.

So, I thought at the top of the stretch she didn’t like the firm grass. He was right. And then all of a sudden, this guy decides to get into the race and like it was insane.

I mean, how many turns did you take? I mean, it was nuts.

Q. We watched and had a chance to see the jockey cam —

BOBBY FLAY: I’ve only seen it once. I haven’t watched the replay, but it looked like she was bobbing or weaving three or four times. It was crazy.

Q. Take us through really from the top of the stretch.

JOSE ORTIZ: Well, if I go outside, I was going to be eight, nine wide and that wasn’t the plan. 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.

Q. It was just incredible to watch, but it seemed like everything kind of went the right way for you coming down the stretch as well, horses sort of came off at the right time.

JOSE ORTIZ: Part of being lucky. (Laughing).

Q. Christophe not here. This is his first Breeders’ Cup win, incredible trainer, how special for you to have the horse that he wins with?

BOBBY FLAY: I mean, I said before, he’s the best trainer in the world that hasn’t won the Breeders’ Cup, and I’m glad that that story’s over. He is a very deserving trainer. He’s so great at what he does, cares so much about his horses, so, like 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.

Q. What are the preliminary plans over the next six months or so?

BOBBY FLAY: For this filly? I have no idea. I mean, I’m not the trainer and I let Christophe make 90 percent of the decisions.

But, you know, listen, I’m a dreamer and I think that these horses when they’re really good they can take you on great adventures all over the world. So maybe Ascot? I won this race 11 years ago with More Than Real and we took her to Ascot. She ran second to last, but we had the greatest time of our lives.

And that’s great thing about this sport. It doesn’t matter if you one or lose. If you participate, you’re going to enjoy yourself. It’s really even way better when you win, but it doesn’t happen often, especially in the amazing races like this.

Q. Jose, just getting back to what Christophe told you prior to the race about the filly and how to ride the race.

JOSE ORTIZ: He didn’t say much, honestly. I watched the replays, I did my homework, the filly is a very nice filly, she run second behind a very, very talented filly 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, so…

Q. There was a good amount of drama in the media a few years ago when John Sadler won his first Breeders’ Cup career race. So, based on that, how did Christophe react? Did he act like he finally got the monkey off his back or?

BOBBY FLAY: Just now? Oh, no, he’s elated. I mean, he won a Breeders’ Cup. I mean, it’s been, look, it’s — no one wins this race and doesn’t feel absolutely elated. I mean, his wife is here and his whole team is here and so, no, he was absolutely thrilled. He’s a very cool customer, it’s part of the, it’s part of who he is, but like he really showed a lot of emotion, and it was really nice to see.

Q. I think what says so much about Christophe is that he wins his first Breeders’ Cup, but he’s thinking his next race, he’s got a horse running in the 10th race and that’s where he is.

BOBBY FLAY: Yeah, and like this guy, he’s going to change his uniform too. I mean, it’s like it never ends for these guys, it’s crazy.

Q. Quickly, how did she get her name? We know you’re a top chef.

BOBBY FLAY: Well, I always think about food names when I’m naming horses, but her mom’s name is White Hot and white in Italian is bianca. And I was like, okay, I like Pizza Bianca, it’s basically a white pizza and I’m obsessed with Italy and so that’s really it. There’s no magic to it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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