Summertime Oaks: McPeek Hoping For Cleaner Trip For Crazy Beautiful

Kenny McPeek, who captured the 2020 Santa Anita Oaks with that year’s Eclipse Award champion 3-year-old filly Swiss Skydiver, seeks another Oaks victory at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., on Sunday in the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks with Crazy Beautiful, who, like Swiss Skydiver, will be ridden by Mike Smith.

Crazy Beautiful, a gray daughter of Liam’s Map, is coming off a disappointing but eventful 10th-place finish against 12 rivals in the G1 Kentucky Oaks on April 30, when she was seriously impeded at the start.

“It was a pretty good case of bumper cars,” McPeek said by phone from Churchill Downs. “She got kind of mangled leaving there and again in the middle of the race. It seemed like nothing went right.

“Obviously, there will be a lot less traffic on Sunday (with five horses going 1 1/16 miles) than her last race. She’s a classy filly who’s already won a Grade 2 (the Gulfstream Park Oaks on March 27, prior to the Kentucky Oaks), so we felt like this was a good spot for her. We’re excited to hopefully getting her back to her winning ways.”

With McPeek busy back east with the likes of Swiss Skydiver, who runs in the G1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park on June 5, Crazy Beautiful is being cared for at Santa Anita by trainer Karen Headley.

“Bruce (Karen’s late father) and Karen are longtime friends,” McPeek said. “I’ve shipped into their barns for years. She’ll saddle her and handle all the details.”

Bruce Headley was a charismatic and colorful trainer whose most accomplished runner was Kona Gold, Eclipse Award champion sprinter of 2000. He set a six-furlong track record of 1:07.77 that year winning the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs.

“The old man was a great guy,” McPeek said. “I always had a lot of respect for him as a horseperson.”

The Summertime Oaks is race eight of nine with a 1 p.m. first post time: Lady Aces, Umberto Rispoli, 4-1; Crazy Beautiful, Mike Smith, 6-5; $4,000 supplemental entry Plum Sexy, Abel Cedillo, 20-1; Soothsay, Flavien Prat, 4-5; and Absolute Scenes, Trevor McCarthy, 50-1.

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