With champion Midnight Bisou’s retirement, Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Shedaresthedevil will be the one to beat in Sunday’s $400,000 Spinster (G1) at Keeneland. The Brad Cox-trained filly enters her first test against older rivals with a three-race win streak, and the 1 1/8-mile Spinster awards a free berth to the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Keeneland.
A total of three “Win & You’re In” challenge series events will be offered on the 10-race program. The $200,000 Bourbon (G3) serves as a qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), and the $150,000 Indian Summer S. for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2).
Winner of the Honeybee (G3) earlier this season, Shedaresthedevil recorded a troubled third in the Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn Park before romping in a Churchill Downs allowance in June. The sophomore daughter of Daredevil returned to stakes competition a month later with a five-length score in the Indiana Oaks (G3).
Overlooked at 15-1 in the Kentucky Oaks, Shedaresthedevil tracked odds-on favorite Gamine until powering past in upper stretch. She turned back a bid from runner-up Swiss Skydiver to post a 1 1/2-length decision, registering a career-best 106 Brisnet Speed rating in the process, and Florent Geroux will be back aboard.
Lady Kate enters on the upswing for Eddie Kenneally, posting a convincing win in the Groupie Doll S. and a second to Monomoy Girl in the Sept. 4 La Troienne (G1) at Churchill Downs. Tyler Gaffalione picks up the mount on the probable pacesetter. Ollie’s Candy will try to get over the hump following three close placings. A head second in the Apple Blossom (G1) and a neck third in the Ogden Phipps (G1), the five-year-old mare exits a half-length second in the Aug. 2 Clement L. Hirsch (G1) at Del Mar. Joel Rosario has the call for John Sadler.
The remaining contestants are Valiance, a turf stakes winner who will stick to the main track after winning the off-the-turf Eatontown S. at Monmouth Park; stakes heroine Our Super Freaky, third in the Shuvee (G3) last out; and Delaware H. (G2) runner-up Saracosa.
Wesley Ward will be well-represented in the Bourbon and Indian Summer.
A full field of 12 is set for the Bourbon at 1 1/16 miles, and Into the Sunrise and Blame the Booze are both contenders for Ward.
Into the Sunrise rolled to a convincing maiden win when switching to turf for his second start at Ellis Park and exits a neck second in the Aug. 23 Soar Free S. at Woodbine to Gretzky the Great, who came back to win the Summer (G1). Blame the Booze easily graduated at first asking and exits a close second as the favorite in the off-the-turf With Anticipation S. at Saratoga.
Hopeful (G1) third-placer Mutasaabeq will make his turf debut for Todd Pletcher, and Indy Tourist merits respect for Mike Maker after posting a rallying third in the Sept. 7 More Than Ready Juvenile S. at Kentucky Downs.
Eight will go postward in the Indian Summer over 5 1/2 grassy furlongs, and Golden Pal will be favored following an impressive 3 1/2-length triumph in the Aug. 21 Skidmore S. at Saratoga. A neck second in Norfolk (G2) at Royal Ascot two back, the bay son of Uncle Mo won under complete wraps last time. Golden Pal is out of the terrific turf sprinter Lady Shipman, an 11-time stakes winner, and Gaffalione will take over in the saddle.
Ward has also entered the stakes-winning filly Wink, who exits a second in the Sept. 3 Prix d’Arenberg (G3) at Longchamps; and Roderick, who will switch to the turf after an unplaced effort in the Best Pal (G2) at Del Mar.