September 28, 2023

Crazy Beautiful powers clear in Summertime Oaks

Crazy Beautiful
Crazy Beautiful and jockey Mike Smith win the Summertime Oaks (Photo by Benoit Photo)

Unlike her rough-trip 10th in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Crazy Beautiful didn’t have a straw in her path in Sunday’s $196,000 Summertime Oaks (G2), and accordingly drove to a convincing victory at Santa Anita.

The Ken McPeek shipper was sent off as the 13-10 second choice, with hitherto unbeaten Soothsay the 4-5 favorite in a four-filly field. Although Soothsay had proven herself at this track and 1 1/16-mile trip in the Santa Anita Oaks (G2), she was facing a much stronger rival here.

Soothsay broke sharply and led for a few strides, but last-out maiden winner Lady Aces was too quick on the rail. Striding forward through an opening quarter in :23.66, Lady Aces was prompted by Soothsay as she clocked fractions of :48.36 and 1:12.84. Crazy Beautiful, under new jockey Mike Smith, was well placed just behind them. The 19-1 Plum Sexy was flanking her until dropping back on the far turn, leaving the door wide open.

Lady Aces continued to hold on grimly when challenged by Soothsay swinging into the stretch. The favorite finally began to wear her down, only to hear the oncoming hoofbeats of Crazy Beautiful.

With all the room in the world to angle into the clear, Crazy Beautiful lengthened stride and powered past Soothsay by 1 3/4 lengths. The daughter of Liam’s Map was just getting warmed up crossing the wire in 1:43.85, for she pulled farther ahead on the gallop-out.

Lady Aces checked in another 1 3/4 lengths back in third. Plum Sexy was eased home in last. The fifth entrant, Absolute Scenes, was scratched.

Phoenix Thoroughbred’s Crazy Beautiful sports a mark of 9-4-3-0, $520,865. She was notching her third stakes tally, following last summer’s Debutante S. at Ellis Park and the March 27 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2). The gray placed in the Alcibiades (G1) and Pocahontas (G3) as a juvenile and in the Feb. 27 Davona Dale (G2) in her seasonal reappearance. Her only two unplaced efforts have come in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and the April 30 Kentucky Oaks.

Smith mentioned the filly’s misfortune last out at Churchill Downs:

“First I’d like to thank Kenny McPeek and Phoenix Stables. He always reaches out to me and throws this old guy a bone and I really appreciate it. She broke really well – I noticed in the Kentucky Oaks, she got slammed leaving there, never really giving her the chance to run. So, I knew a better break and the way she’s bred with Liam’s Map, Indian Charlie mare, she has some speed if you needed it. 

“For a minute there I thought about going to the lead, but they went up there and entertained themselves enough to where I felt confident to get back. With a short field I was hoping Plum Sexy would drop back and I’d get out when it was time.”

Smith got acquainted with Crazy Beautiful on Saturday morning. The exercise didn’t have to follow the script for the Hall of Famer to be confident in her well-being:

“I didn’t help her all that much, she was fresh and keen. I was supposed to gallop her a mile and about a quarter. I think I got about three quarters out of it and I had to pull up, I got tired. I just jogged her the rest of the way around. She had a lot of really good energy and I told Kenny that. I said, ‘Her energy level is up, don’t be surprised if she’s closer.’ He said it was fine with him and it all worked out great.”

As Smith mentioned, Crazy Beautiful is out of the Indian Charlie mare Indian Burn, who was a Grade 3-placed stakes winner at six furlongs. The sophomore was bred by Carolyn Vogel in Kentucky, and McPeek secured her for $250,000 as a Fasig-Tipton October yearling.