There was always something special about Piedi Bianchi - everyone could see it from the moment she was born for breeders Deann & Greg Baer DVM in Indiana. The Baers had paired the stakes placed mare named Adore You (Tactical Cat) with Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Overanalyze. This breeding created a pedigree decorated with names like Seattle Slew, Damascus, Mr. Prospector, Secretariat, and more - Piedi Bianchi was destined to be great.
When Piedi Bianchi was just a few weeks old, she traveled to GoodWin Farm near Paris, Kentucky where she stayed until she was about five or six months old. “I get all of Greg and Deann’s foals when they are about 10 to 14 days old,” Jay Goodwin explained. “Some you notice when they get off the trailer, some get a little better before they leave, and some are freaks when they get off the trailer and when they get back on the trailer to leave. Piedi was the latter.”
Piedi Bianchi went through the sales ring three times before she made her racing debut; she was first sold as a weanling for $60k at the Keeneland November Sale, then for $80k as a yearling at the Keeneland September Sale, and was finally picked up by Doug & Dennis O'Neill for another $80k at the OBS Two-Year Olds in Training Sale.
Dennis O’Neill, the older brother of trainer Doug O’Neill, is known as something of a “bloodstock wizard”. He’s selected horses like Goldencents as well as two Kentucky Derby winners: I’ll Have Another (2012) and Nyquist (2016).
The O’Neills had purchased the daughter of Overanalyze for Nice Guy Stables and Jay Oringer. While the filly was still in her early training, Oringer showed a photo of his new horse to his friend and one of Piedi’s future co-owners Mike Maturo. Upon seeing this photo of the gorgeous grey filly, Maturo said she should be named “Piedi Bianchi”, which translates to “white feet” in Italian.
No one knew it at the time, but that "white-footed" filly was going to take them on the ride of a lifetime.
Two-Year Old Season (2017):
Piedi Bianchi was shipped from the OBS sale in Florida to California to begin her race training with Doug O’Neill. The filly first appeared in the races on July 6th, 2017 at Los Alamitos and finished second. She was much more successful in her next start, this time at Del Mar; she came flying down the stretch to win by about 1 ¼ lengths. The win was so impressive that her connections decided to step her way up in class and pay the supplemental fee for the Del Mar Debutante (G1), where she would be facing tough competitors like Just A Smidge and Spectator. The betting public wasn't so convinced that Piedi Bianchi should be running at the Grade 1 level and made her one of the longest shots on the board. Nevertheless, Piedi Bianchi proved that she was worthy of running in their company that day; she put her heart into the stretch run, chasing Moonshine Memories and shrinking the distance between them with every stride. Unfortunately, she didn’t have enough time to catch Moonshine Memories and finished second by a ½ length.
"That was a good late run from her," Piedi Bianchi's jockey Mario Gutierrez said after the race. "She's getting better—improving all the time."
[Video: Watch Piedi Bianchi (#7) finish 2nd in the Del Mar Debutante (G1)]
Though Piedi Bianchi hadn’t won her Grade 1 debut, it was still a credible enough performance for her connections to send her to the Chandelier Stakes (G1) next out. Moonshine Memories was also entered in this race, which meant Piedi Bianchi was going to have another shot at defeating her. However, a new face was also entered into the Chandelier: an impressive maiden winner named Alluring Star.
The betting public ranked Alluring Star as their favorite. Moonshine Memories was the second-choice and Piedi Bianchi was the third.
Once again, the ever tough and talented Moonshine Memories was able to turn away Alluring Star and won the race by about three lengths. Piedi Bianchi never gave up in the stretch and ended up finishing third, just a neck behind Alluring Star.
[Video: Watch Piedi Bianchi (#7) finish third in her second Grade 1 attempt]
Piedi’s two on-the-board finishes in Grade 1 company was enough to earn her a spot in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar. Despite her good performances, Piedi was still overlooked by the public who sent her off at odds of 17-1.
Unfortunately, the Overanalyze filly was wide throughout the premier race for two year old f