Piedi Bianchi will take a major step up on Saturday as she gets set to make her second start of the year in the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama for 3-year-old fillies, said trainer Todd Pletcher on Thursday.
Owned by Nice Guys Stables, Madaket Stables, Jack Bick, and Jay Oringer, the Indiana-bred filly by Overanalyze was originally entered in the Indiana First Lady for state-breds at Indiana Grand on Wednesday as well as Thursday's eighth race at the Spa, a one-mile allowance optional claiming event, before her connections opted for the 1 ¼-mile Grade 1.
Piedi Bianchi was Grade 1-placed as a 2-year-old, finishing second to Moonshine Memories in the Del Mar Debutante, and third in the Chandelier last fall under the tutelage of California-based trainer Doug O'Neill. She closed out her year with a fifth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, where she was beaten 5 ¾ lengths by eventual champion Caledonian Road, and a third-place finish to Dream Tree in the Grade 1 Starlet in December.
She subsequently moved east, making her debut for the Pletcher barn in a six-furlong allowance race on June 24 at Belmont Park. In that effort, the gray filly raced wide and made up ground late, but couldn't catch the top two and finished third by four lengths.
“I thought her comeback race was probably better than it looks on paper and we feel like this is a race we want to take a chance in,” said Pletcher.
“My concern is always that we're going from one race off a layoff to a mile and a quarter,” he added. “She was one of the better 2-year-old fillies on the West Coast and she's trained consistently well since we've had her, so hopefully we have her fit enough for the assignment.”
Piedi Bianchi was an $80,000 2-year-old-in-training purchase last year, and boasts $244,700 in earnings with a 1-2-3 record from seven starts. At 15-1 on the morning line, she will be ridden in the Alabama by Hall of Famer John Velazquez from the rail.
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