January 27, 2022

Crazy Beautiful using Comely as a prep for American Oaks

Crazy Beautiful winning the Delaware Oaks at Delaware Park (Photo by Hoofprints, Inc.)

Comely S. (G3) — Race 9 (3:43 p.m. ET)

Crazy Beautiful will look to add a fourth graded stakes win on the year in Friday’s $200,000 Comely S. (G3) at Aqueduct, and stands a strong chance of doing so if the main threat to her doesn’t show up.

Although not competitive in either foray into Grade 1 company this season, Crazy Beautiful has been a stellar and reliable competitor at lower levels. The daughter of Liam’s Map has accounted for four stakes wins this term, including the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), Summertime Oaks (G2), and Delaware Oaks (G3). Last time, the gray displayed versatility when finished second in the Valley View (G2) at Keeneland on the turf.

“The goal is to get her to the American Oaks (G1) at the end of the year,” said trainer Kenny McPeek, referring to the Dec. 26 turf race at Santa Anita. “The Valley View gave me a test drive that she can handle the turf just fine. She’s shown previously that she can run on anything.”

Army Wife, who captured the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) and Iowa Oaks (G3) prior to running third in the Alabama (G1) and Cotillion (G1), would present the most serious challenge to Crazy Beautiful. However, the Mike Maker trainee was also entered in Thursday’s Falls City (G2) at Churchill Downs against older fillies and mares.

The remainder of the field in the 1 1/8-mile Comely, which is restricted to three-year-old fillies, lacks much in the way of class. The exception is Played Hard, who outfinished Crazy Beautiful in the Alabama (G1) and last time put up a huge fight against that rival in the Seneca Overnight S. at Churchill Downs. Played Hard set a solid, contested pace, and just missed by a neck to Crazy Beautiful going 1 1/16 miles.

The two stakes scheduled for grass at Aqueduct on Friday figure to have heavy favorites. Never Surprised, runner-up in the Hill Prince (G2), Saranac (G3), and Kitten’s Joy (G3) this season, looms a short-priced choice in the $150,000 Gio Ponti S. for three-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles. The race’s appeal is beefed up by the presence of Queen’s Plate winner Safe Conduct.

Earlier in the card, Flower Point has the best current form of the six fillies and mares in the $150,000 Forever Together S. That, too, is scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf.