Piedi Bianchi arrives for $150,000 Indiana First Lady Stakes

Piedi Bianchi joined Bucchero last year to make history as the first two Indiana breds to ever compete in the prestigious Breeders Cup Championships held at Del Mar. The three-year-old daughter of Overanalyze has returned to her home state where she will take on a field of 11 in the 16th running of the $150,000-Guaranteed Indiana First Lady Stakes at Indiana Grand.

Piedi Bianchi settles in nicely to her stall at Indiana Grand in anticipation of her start in the $150,000 Indiana First Lady Stakes at Indiana Grand Wednesday, Aug. 8. (Photo by Tammy Knox)

Piedi Bianchi trained at two under Doug O’Neill on the West Coast. Following her fifth place finish in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, she shipped to Laurel Racecourse where she finished third in the Grade I Starlet Stakes. After taking some time off, the grey filly returned under the direction of Todd Pletcher and is based out of New York. She has one start at three, a third place finish against allowance company in late June. Her start in the $150,000 Indiana First Lady Stakes will be her first attempt in the Midwest.

Shipping in from her home base at Belmont, Piedi Bianchi arrived at Indiana Grand Tuesday, Aug. 7 in preparation for the stakes race, the seventh on the card Wednesday, Aug. 8. Tyler Gaffalione has been named to ride the filly for Steven Spielman’s Nice Guys Stables, Jack Bick and Jay Oringer.

Piedi Bianchi will start from post three at odds of 6-5 as the morning line favorite. The start in the Indiana First Lady Stakes will mark the first time Pletcher has raced at Indiana Grand since the 2013 Indiana Derby, finishing fourth with Micromanage for the Repole Stables, who have a strong connection to Don Dearth and Rhonda Day of Connersville, Ind. Their longtime stallion, Arromanches, was bred to the mother of Caixa Eletronica, the superstar horse owned by Mike Repole.

“We bred the mare to our stud Arromanches at our farm,” said Dearth. “They took the mare to Kentucky to foal, so we have an indirect connection to Pletcher through Mike Repole, who ended up with the foal, Caixa Eletronica. He was by far the most successful offspring of Arromanches.”

Caixa Eletronica made quite a name for himself in New York. The chestnut horse was claimed by Pletcher for Repole in 2011. He scored 23 wins in 68 career starts with earnings in excess of $1.8 million. Caixa Eletronica went on to win four Graded Stakes.

“The first year he (Arromanches) had babies running, we got 17 stallion award checks that year,” added Dearth, who stood the stallion for a $1,000 stud fee. “He was a good stallion for us. And we have a three-quarter sister to Caixa Eletronica.”

Say Grace Amen, who ran second in her last start in late July, is also by Arromanches and her mother is a full sister to Caixa Eletronica’s mother. Unfortunately, Arromanches passed away a few years ago, so the last of his offspring are on the track now.

In 2014 at the age of nine, Caixa Eletronica was hit head on by a loose horse during morning training hours at Belmont Park. Both horses were killed instantly. Repole was very fond of the horse, and both he and Pletcher were heartbroken over the loss of what they called “the iron horse.”

Pletcher has shipped in Piedi Bianchi right beside Dearth’s horses at Indiana Grand in anticipation of her start in the Indiana First Lady Stakes Wednesday. The petite grey filly was bred by Deann and Dr. Greg Baer, a veterinarian in Columbus, Ind. The filly sold at the Ocala Breeders Sale in March of 2017 as a two-year-old for $80,000. She will look to add to her bankroll of more than $244,000 in the Indiana First Lady Stakes. Estimated post time for the one mile 70 yard race is 4:53 p.m.

Joining the Indiana First Lady Stakes on the afternoon card at Indiana Grand is the 15th running of the $150,000-Guaranteed Governor’s Stakes for three-year-olds. Hold On Angel from the John Haran barn has been tagged as the early morning line favorite of the 11-horse field. The Hold Me Back colt starts from post eight at odds of 5-2 for jockey Rodney Prescott. Other top contenders in the race include Sky Writer from the Bob Gorham Stable starting from post two at odds of 9-2 for Eddie Perez and Mike Lauer’s The Money Dance, who starts from post 10 at odds of 9-2 for Edgar Morales. Estimated post time for the Governor’s Stakes is 4:25 p.m.