By Evan Hammonds BloodHorse
A year ago trainer Kenny McPeek came to the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) with graded stakes-placed Swiss Skydiver who scored a 9-1 upset in the 1 1/16-mile event in South Florida. Peter Callahan’s stout filly would go on to win the Alabama Stakes (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) and earn a championship.
This year McPeek will try to strike lightning twice with Phoenix Thoroughbreds III’s Crazy Beautiful, a stakes-winning, grade 1-placed filly in the March 27 Oaks. McPeek has the 5-2 morning-line favorite.
Kentucky-bred Crazy Beautiful is coming off a second-place finish in the Feb. 27 Davona Dale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream. The daughter of Liam’s Map rallied from off the pace in her 2021 debut to finish a distant second to runaway winner Wholebodemeister. Crazy Beautiful was making her first start since finishing off the board in the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Keeneland.
“She ran great here. I think that she’s training well enough that we should go right now,” McPeek said.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has entered Con Lima for a return to dirt in the Oaks off four successive turf outings. The Texas-bred filly by Commissioner, who is owned in a partnership by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Joseph Graffeo, Del Toro, Eric Nikolaus, and Troy Johnson, graduated over Gulfstream Park‘s main track last July after finishing a second to Wholebodemeister in her debut.
“Being a graded-stakes and all—and she seems to like Gulfstream—we decided to give it a try,” Pletcher said.
There are no graded winners on dirt in the Gulfstream Park Oaks lineup.
At 3, Con Lima won the listed Ginger Brew Stakes at a mile and ran second in the Jan. 30 Sweetest Chant Stakes (G3T). She came back to overcome trouble leaving the starting gate to close from far back and finish second in Feb. 27 Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3T) and was placed first via disqualification.
“Her races on the turf have been very good, but she’s been consistent on both surfaces,” Pletcher said. “It seemed like the right trip to try it.”
Competitive Speed, a sprint-stakes winner owned by John Minchello, is scheduled to make her first start around two turns in the Oaks. The daughter of Competitive Edge is coming off a third in the one-turn mile Davona Dale, in which she made a wide middle move to challenge Wholebodemeister. Prior to the Davona Dale Competitive Speed won the 6 1/2-furlong Glitter Woman Stakes and finished a troubled sixth in the Forward Gal Stakes (G3).
Juddmonte Farms Inc.’s Millefeuille will seek to rebound from a seventh-place finish in the Davona Dale. The Bill Mott-trained daughter of Curlin had run finished second in the Dec. 6 Demoiselle Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct. Tyler Gaffalione is scheduled to ride the homebred filly for the first time.
The Gulfstream Park Oaks is among 10 stakes on the program that features the Curlin Florida Derby Presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm at Xalapa (G1). The Gulfstream Park Oaks also offers 100-40-20-10 qualifying points for the April 30 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Gulfstream Park, Saturday, March 27, 2021, Race 12
- Grade II
- 1 1/16m
- 3 yo Fillies
- 5:17 PM (local)
|1||Con Lima (TX)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||122||Todd A. Pletcher||3/1|
|2||Bow Bow Girl (KY)||Corey J. Lanerie||122||Dale L. Romans||8/1|
|3||Crazy Beautiful (KY)||Jose L. Ortiz||122||Kenneth G. McPeek||5/2|
|4||Pens Street (KY)||Miguel Angel Vasquez||122||Rohan Crichton||9/2|
|5||Len Lo Lady (KY)||John R. Velazquez||122||Dale L. Romans||12/1|
|6||Millefeuille (KY)||Tyler Gaffalione||122||William I. Mott||7/2|
|7||Competitive Speed (KY)||Leonel Reyes||122||Javier E. Gonzalez||8/1|