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LOUISVILLE, KY – Phoenix Thoroughbred III Ltd.’s 3-time graded stakes winner Crazy Beautiful wore down Rigney Racing LLC’s front-running even-money favorite Played Hard in deep stretch to win Friday’s inaugural running of the $155,568 Seneca Overnight Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.
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Breaking from post position 4 in the field of six fillies, Crazy Beautiful raced just off pacesetter Played Hard’s right hip as the leader set fractions of :23.31 and :46.47.
Played Hard had a length advantage midway around the final turn as she clipped 6 furlongs in 1:10.45, but Crazy Beautiful re-engaged down the stretch and inched clear of the tiring pacesetter in the final 100 yards.
Ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. and trained by Kenny McPeek, Crazy Beautiful ran 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:42.35 to collect her sixth win in 12 starts. The winner’s share of $92,060 increased Crazy Beautiful’s earnings to $801,925.
“I saw in some of her previous races that she was able to use a little bit of early speed to get into a better position and would still have some punch late,” Hernandez said. “Today, it looked like Played Hard could have an easy lead, but I had confidence in my filly that she’d be able to keep close to the pace early. She’s ran against some really nice fillies this year and I think she may have used that class to her advantage today.”
Earlier this year, Crazy Beautiful posted victories in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), the Summertime Oaks (G2) at Santa Anita, and the Delaware Oaks (G3).
Illiogami, the winner’s stablemate Oliviaofthedesert, and Time for Glory completed the order of finish. Double Dawn was scratched.
Crazy Beautiful was bred in Kentucky by Carolyn R. Vogel. She is a daughter of Liam’s Map out of the Indian Charlie mare Indian Burn.
“Brian got her into a great spot early,” said assistant trainer Greg Geier. “There wasn’t a lot of speed in the race, but she got a good trip and she’s a really nice filly.”
Crazy Beautiful paid $5.20, $2.60, and $2.20 as the 8/5 second betting choice. Played Hard, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, returned $2.40 and $2.10. It was another 2 3/4 lengths back to Moon Swag in third under Florent Geroux, who paid $3.40 to show.
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