The Pizza Man works five-eighths for San Marcos

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TwinSpires Staff

January 23rd, 2016

Edited Press Release

The Pizza Man, a 2015 Eclipse Award finalist for champion turf male, had his first work of 2016 on Saturday morning at Fair Grounds. The Roger Brueggemann-trained son of English Channel left Barn 20 at approximately 8:45 a.m. (CST), shortly after the break, and completed five furlongs in 1:01.60 -- good for 11th of 42 moves at the distance.

The Pizza Man will now aim toward the $200,000 San Marcos (G2) at Santa Anita on February 6. At 1 1/4 miles on the grass, the San Marcos is designed to give the big bay fan favorite a trip on the same turf course over which the $3,000,000 Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) will be contested in November, which is unique in that it includes a hillside turf course that crosses the dirt course in the early portion of the race. A victory would push his career earnings over the $2 million mark.

Jockey Francisco Torres, who has successfully ridden the seven-year-old before in races, was aboard for Saturday's drill. Hall of Famer Mike Smith, who was aboard for his impressive victory last out in the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) at Del Mar in late November, has the return call in the San Marcos.

"All systems go," Torres said after dismounting.

After the San Marcos, The Pizza Man is possible for the $6,000,000 Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) at Meydan in the United Arab Emirates. If his connections decide to stay in the United States for his second start, he will be under consideration for the $300,000 Mervin H. Muniz Memorial (G2) on March 26 at Fair Grounds.

"He's doing well," Brueggemann said. "We're probably going to Santa Anita with him if he comes out okay."

Richard Papiese, principal of owner Midwest Thoroughbreds, has indicated that The Pizza Man's main objectives for 2016 are a title defense in the $1,000,000 Arlington Million (G1) on August 13 -- an effort in which he defeated eventual divisional champion Big Blue Kitten -- and the aforementioned Breeders' Cup, in which he finished fifth.

(Four Footed Fotos)