Far back for the opening mile, Midwest Thoroughbreds' homebred gelding The Pizza Man rallied wide into the stretch under Mike Smith to win the 1 1/2-mile Hollywood Turf Cup going away by two lengths as the even-money favorite. Big John B finished second, with Power Foot third and Power Ped fourth among the 14 runners in the Grade 2 event contested over Del Mar racetrack's Jimmy Durante grass course.
Time of the race on a firm turf was 2:31.75 after slow early fractions of :25.05, :51.10, 1:17.28 and 1:43.05.
Trained by Roger Brueggemann, the Illinois-bred son of English Channel was winning for the fourth time in six starts this year and the Hollywood Turf Cup was his 16th lifetime victory in 26 career outings. His earlier victories this year included the G3 Stars and Stripes and G1 Arlington Million. He finished a close second to Grand Arch in the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile and was fifth behind Found in the G1 Breeders' Cup Turf.
Smith, riding The Pizza Man for the first time, had the gelding fourth from the back and in the clear for the first lap around the track, then commenced his rally moving into the far turn. Smith swung The Pizza Man at least six wide into the stretch and he quickly gobbled up the front-runners on this Thanksgiving Day feature.
RAFAEL BEJARANO (Big John B, second) – “I was far back, but very comfortable. He was going well. When we made our run, I followed the winner; I was right behind him and moving well. But he (The Pizza Man) was too good. He was much the best today.”
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