After sending champion Swiss Skydiver for two successful raids on Santa Anita over the past year, trainer Ken McPeek hopes that the trek west works just as well for Crazy Beautiful. The Kentucky shipper will challenge unbeaten local Soothsay in Sunday’s $200,000 Summertime Oaks (G2).
Crazy Beautiful aims to rebound from a troubled 10th in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), where she sustained a superficial cut on her left foreleg. The Liam’s Map filly scored a career high in her prior start, driving from last to first in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) that Swiss Skydiver had won last season. Crazy Beautiful was knocking on the door with a trio of runner-up efforts in the Pocahontas (G3), Alcibiades (G1), and Davona Dale (G2), and now she picks up Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith.
Soothsay earned a spot in the Kentucky Oaks by capturing her stakes debut in the Santa Anita Oaks (G2). But trainer Richard Mandella didn’t think it advisable to press on to Churchill Downs in the circumstances. Soothsay was stepping up from a sprint maiden in her Feb. 26 unveiling, and the Hall of Fame horseman preferred to give her more time rather than pitch her into the Oaks in her third start.
From the family of 2018 Triple Crown champ Justify, the royally bred daughter of Distorted Humor figures to benefit from that conservative handling. The one caveat is that her California form has taken some knocks, with Santa Anita Oaks runner-up Beautiful Gift and third-placer Moraz finishing well behind in the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) and Kentucky Oaks, respectively. Soothsay, the co-highweight with Crazy Beautiful at 124 pounds, reunites with Flavien Prat.
Only three others entered. Peter Eurton’s Lady Aces comes off a smart maiden tally sprinting six furlongs. Drawn on the rail, the Constitution filly promises to flash speed with Umberto Rispoli. Plum Sexy has failed to progress on turf for Doug O’Neill, and the daughter of Munnings will get a chance to show more on dirt. Absolute Scenes, beaten double-digits in her turf tries here, had fared better on the British Polytrack. The Richard Baltas pupil switches surfaces in hopes of a turnaround.
The Summertime Oaks is carded as Sunday’s 8TH race, with a post time of 7:30 p.m. (ET).