The stunning daughter of Liam’s Map takes her chance in the Alabama Stakes on Saturday, with McPeek chasing back to back wins in the Saratoga showpiece following Swiss Skydiver’s heroics last year. An intended start for his latest star three-year-old filly in the Coaching Club Stakes had to be abandoned when a horse from a neighbouring barn tested positive for herpesvirus. Despite the change in plan, the handler has few concerns heading into the weekend.
“I think she’s doing well,” McPeek told TDN. “I thought she would have run well in the Coaching Club, but, of course, that didn’t happen. She’s doing super, and we’re excited about it.”
Already the winner of three Graded Stakes, as part of an overall record that includes five victories in ten career starts, the Alabama will be Crazy Beautiful’s first start since a scintillating six lengths score in the Delaware Oaks 49 days ago. Before that, she’d been kept to a once-a-month race schedule.
“I think the added time is going to help her, probably,” McPeek said. “And I do think that she will run big. She’s done everything right all year. We’ve shipped around and done a lot of good stuff with her. She’s won three out of her last four. The Alabama would be a home run for her.”
If she were to ‘knock it out of the park’ on Saturday, it would be fourth time lucky for the gorgeous gray in Garde One company. Her first attempt saw her finish runner up in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes before running a solid race in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. In contrast, her most recent try at the top level saw her run an unusually lesser effort in the Kentucky Oaks, although there were plenty of excuses.
“It was a terrible trip,” McPeek said. “She got off awkward and bumped in and never really got up into the race,” McPeek said. “I think it was a bit of a toss. I think she is certainly better than that. Hopefully, she makes amends. We’d like to get a Grade One with her. She’s done everything else.”
While the immediate goal is to win the Alabama and claim the elusive Grade One victory, McPeek is already contemplating what winning at Saratoga would mean for Phoenix’s star filly.
“It’s a huge race, the Alabama,” he said. “and you’d have to put her, certainly, in the mix for champion 3-year-old filly if she pulls it off.”