12/30/2016 3:11PM

Bonita Bianca goes last to first in East View Stakes


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Bonita Bianca remained unbeaten against New York-bred competition with a last-to-first, 5 1/4-length victory in Friday’s $100,000 East View Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Aqueduct.

Last of five and seven lengths behind through the first half-mile, Bonita Bianca, under Irad Ortiz Jr., launched a four-wide bid leaving the three-eighths pole and ran by her four opponents, including the pace-setting Tiznow’s Smile, to earn the victory.

Tiznow’s Smile finished second, five lengths in front of Bree’s Got Heart. Overnegotiate, who chased the early pace, faded to fourth and was followed by Messer Misfit.

Bonita Bianca, trained by Rudy Rodriguez, improved her record to 3 for 4 for owners Michael Dubb, Michael Imperio, and Michael Caruso’s Bethlehem Stable. Her lone loss was a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Demoiselle.

In that race, Bonita Bianca was last, as far as 14 lengths back, early on before rallying for third.

Bonita Bianca was again last Friday, owing in part to dirt being kicked in her face, according to Ortiz, who had to continuously slap her on the shoulder to keep her moving forward.

“She’s a little lazy, you have to work hard,” Ortiz said. “When she gets some dirt, some kick-back, she starts jumping a little bit, so it made me too far back. I was riding her the whole way. At the five-eighths pole, I hit her once and she started picking up.”

Bonita Bianca, a daughter of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin out of the Grade 1-winning mare Friendly Michelle, covered the mile and 70 yards in 1:46.46 and returned $3 as the 1-2 favorite.

“For a minute it didn’t look like we were getting there, especially on this type of track where you got to be 1-2-3,” Rodriguez said. “I think she’s a little better than these horses and she proved it today.”

Rodriguez said he’d like to pick his spots discriminately for Bonita Bianca throughout the winter in order to have a fresh filly for the summer.

The next route race for New York-bred fillies for which Bonita Bianca would be eligible is the $100,000 Maddie May Stakes on Jan. 29.