The Pizza Man

The Pizza Man

Chad B. Harmon

The Pizza Man Heads West for Turf Cup

Arlington Million (gr. IT) winner finished third in last year's edition at Del Mar.

Well-travelled The Pizza Man will make his way back to the West Coast for the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IIT) Nov. 26 at Del Mar.

Although a lung infection derailed a planned trip overseas to run in the Nov. 29 Japan Cup (Jpn-I), Midwest Thoroughbreds' homebred son of English Channel  should be a significant favorite in the 1 1/2 mile Hollywood Turf Cup, a race he finished third in last year, behind winner Finnegans Wake  and Patrioticandproud.

MITCHELL: The Pizza Man Will Miss Japan Cup

Since last year's Hollywood Turf Cup, however, the 6-year-old gelding has really hit his stride, most notably becoming the first Illinois-bred to win the Arlington Million (gr. IT) in August. He also won the Stars and Stripes (gr. IIIT) for the second year in a row, finished just a neck behind Grand Arch in the Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) , and came in fifth in the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).

What The Pizza Man won't have Thanksgiving Day, though, is regular rider Florent Geroux, who is scheduled to ride six races at Fairgrounds Race Course & Slots Thursday. Geroux has been aboard for the gelding's last 10 starts, but Hall of Famer Mike Smith will take over for the Hollywood Turf Cup.

The Pizza Man's most formidable opponent for the Hollywood Turf Cup appears to be Michael House's Big John B, who entered the Breeders' Cup Turf on a three-race win streakincluding scores in the Cougar II Handicap (gr. III) and the Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT), both at the seaside racetrack over the summerbut broke slowly at Keeneland and never got involved, finishing 10th.

ANGST: Big John B Repeats in Del Mar Handicap

A Florida-bred son of Hard Spun  trained by Phil D'Amato, Big John B has a four-for-four record at Del Mar and is three-for-three over the track's turf course.

The only other multiple graded stakes winner in the field is Sam-Son Farm's homebred Up With the Birds, Canada's 2013 Horse of the Year. The 5-year-old son of Stormy Atlantic  trained by Graham Motion hasn't won in eight starts since a victory in last year's Nijinsky Stakes (Can-IIT), but could be primed for a winning run after finishing a solid second to Cannock Chase in the Pattison Canadian International (Can-IT) last time out Oct. 18 at Woodbine.


Entries: Hollywood Turf Cup S. (G2T)

Del Mar, Thursday, November 26, 2015, Race 7

  • Grade IIT
  • 1 1/2m
  • Turf
  • $250,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 2:00 PM (local)
11Class Leader (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateSantiago Gonzalez120John W. Sadler20/1
22Up With the Birds (ON)Drayden Van Dyke124H. Graham Motion4/1
33Danas Best (AUS)Victor Espinoza120Philip D'Amato20/1
44Quick Casablanca (CHI)Tyler Baze122Ronald L. McAnally30/1
55Procurement (FL)Corey S. Nakatani120Thomas F. Proctor20/1
66The Pizza Man (IL)Mike E. Smith126Roger A. Brueggemann5/2
77Ganesh (BRZ)Alex O. Solis126Richard E. Mandella8/1
88Power Ped (KY)Mario Gutierrez120Neil D. Drysdale20/1
99Texas Ryano (KY)James Graham120Carla Gaines10/1
1010Generoso (URU)Martin A. Pedroza124Paulo H. Lobo30/1
1111Southern Freedom (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMartin Garcia120Jerry Hollendorfer20/1
1212Power Foot (KY)Tiago Josue Pereira120Neil D. Drysdale20/1
1313Wanstead Gardens (ON)Gary L. Stevens120Neil French20/1
1414Big John B (FL)Rafael Bejarano124Philip D'Amato3/1
1515Flamboyant (FR)Brice Blanc120Patrick Gallagher20/1
1616Bird E House (KY)Kent J. Desormeaux120Michael Pender30/1