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WILMINGTON, DE – Trainer Kenny McPeek’s multiple Grade 2 winner Crazy Beautiful hits the ground in the northeast for the first time as she faces a diverse field in Saturday’s $300,000 Delaware Oaks (G3) at Delaware Park.
The Delaware Oaks is a 1 1/16-mile dirt route restricted to 3-year-old fillies. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on a 9-race card and has a local post time of 4:45 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Delaware Oaks:
1. Orbs Baby Girl 15/1 – She earned her first blacktype honors last time out when wiring a sloppy off-turf edition of the 1-mile Penn Oaks, a race that marked her first time trying two turns. She broke her maiden in a 7-furlong Gulfstream Park dirt sprint last December but is bred to handle this distance. She’s cross-entered for turf in the 1 1/16-mile Christina Stakes earlier on the card.
2. Exogen 15/1 – She stretches out to try two turns for the second time in her career after finishing fourth in April’s Weber City Miss Stakes at Pimlico. She was claimed for $20k out of her career debut last September and should feature prominently in the early going under Jeremy Laprida, whose debut aboard resulted in a runner-up finish last time going 6 1/2 furlongs against Parx optional claimers.
3. Midnight Obsession 4/1 – She won 2 straight to start her career, defeating Pennsylvania-breds in a 7-furlong Parx dirt sprint before beating open company going 1 1/16 miles on a sloppy (sealed) Belmont Park main track. The John Servis trainee missed by a 1/2-length in the sloppy off-turf Lyphard Stakes against PA-breds last time out and has the tactical speed necessary to make her own trip.
4. Juror Number Four 6/1 – She stretches out to try two turns for the first time while making her fourth foray into the stakes waters. Her best finish at this level was a runner-up effort against state-breds in last December’s 7-furlong Maryland Juvenile Fillies Championship, but she was fourth in both last September’s local 5 1/2-furlong Small Wonder Stakes and the Miss Preakness Stakes (G3) last time out.
5. Hybrid Eclipse 10/1 – Last time out, she earned her third win from 4 starts since transferring to trainer Linda Rice at the start of 2021, conquering Parx optional claimers going a two-turn mile. Her lone defeat saw her finish last of six in the Weber City Miss, but she rebounded with a win following that dud and the New York-based Rice won with 6 of her last 20 runners over the local courses.
6. Leader of the Band 8/1 – The second Servis entry makes her two-turn debut after receiving a 2-month break from the races; when last seen, she was a dominating 4 1/2-length winner going 7 furlongs against Parx optional claimers. That earned her a career-high 79 Beyer Speed Figure that puts her within range of the favorite, but she’ll likely need to run another best race if she hopes to contend here.
7. Crazy Beautiful 6/5 – She ships to the northeast circuit for the first time after putting together a 9-4-3-0 record racing in California, Kentucky and Florida against the division’s best. She won the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) 3 starts back and the Summertime Oaks (G2) at Santa Anita Park last time out, both at this distance, and brought with her Hall of Famer Mike Smith, aboard for her latest score.
“She is doing great,” McPeek said. “We could not be happier with this flly. She handled the race in California pretty handily, so hopefully we will be able to pull off the coast-to-coast bookend and pull off the Santa Anita to Delaware Park double. The Delaware Oaks is a real good spot for her. The money, the grade, and the timing are all what we are looking for. We are excited that Mike Smith is coming back to ride her and I suspect she will be tough.”
8. She a Hot Mess 12/1 – She necked out her second career victory last time out over this course and distance on June 16, rallying from last to defeat second-level optional claimers. Her come-from-behind running style sets her up well against a field with plenty of pace on paper, though she’ll need a career-best effort and then some if she hopes to make any real noise in her stakes debut.
9. Baby Gundin 15/1 – She returned from 2 months away to finish second against allowance rivals over this course and distance in her first start against winners. She broke her maiden going this far at Tampa Bay Downs in late March and is bred to run at least this long, being a daughter of the 2013 Preakness Stakes (G1) champion Oxbow (standing at Calumet Farm).
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