April 23, 2024

Shedaresthedevil rolls in Clement L. Hirsch, secures BC Distaff spot

Shedaresthedevil and jockey Florent Geroux make easy work of the Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar (Benoit Photo)

Kentucky shipper Shedaresthedevil added a third Grade 1 victory to her portfolio, and a free berth to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), in Sunday’s $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch S. (G1) at Del Mar. You might say that her reconnaissance mission to the Breeders’ Cup host track was a resounding success.

Trained by Brad Cox for Flurry Racing Stables, Qatar Racing, and Big Aut Farms, Shedaresthedevil ranked as the 13-10 favorite in a short field. Her class was never in doubt, but connections wanted proof of her effectiveness over the Del Mar surface. Way back in her juvenile days, the Daredevil filly had placed a distant third in the 2019 Sorrento (G2) for then-trainer Simon Callaghan. Much had transpired since, of course, and she furnished that reassurance by traveling like a winner at every stage on Sunday.

Regular rider Florent Geroux had Shedaresthedevil perched in second most of the way, monitoring pacesetter Venetian Harbor. Briefly she was relegated to third on the backstretch when Paige Anne sneaked through on the inside to press Venetian Harbor, but that gambit was over before the far turn. Never in contention was the 3-2 second choice, As Time Goes By, after breaking awkwardly.

Venetian Harbor raced a bit too eagerly through an opening quarter in :23.30, especially considering her stamina doubts. Although her speed was rationed through ensuing fractions of :47.21 and 1:11.77, she did not appear able to respond when Shedaresthedevil loomed alongside turning for home.

As the classy router accosted the one-turn specialist, the outcome was soon clear. Shedaresthedevil overpowered Venetian Harbor and pulled away by 3 1/4 lengths, with ears pricked. Her margin increased despite negotiating the final sixteenth in a leisurely 7.05 seconds, and polishing off 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.38.

Venetian Harbor’s distance limitations were exposed again, but she remained 3 1/4 lengths clear of third-placer Paige Anne. As Time Goes By trudged home another 7 1/2 lengths back, beating only the outclassed 48-1 shot Cover Version. Warren’s Showtime and Clockstrikestwelve were scratched.

“I’m very pleased,” Geroux told Del Mar publicity. “The idea was to get her to break alertly, then get a good spot. That’s exactly what happened. She ran her race today and she’s very good when she does. I’d have to say she’s up there with the best mares I’ve ever ridden. And his is her third Grade 1 win. And the fact that she showed she can run well on the track where the Breeders’ Cup will be held, that’s a good thing, too.”

Assistant trainer Eric Gary thought that Shedaresthedevil would deliver.

“We sat right off the lead – nice, calm and relaxed – and when it was time to go, she showed up like she was supposed to,” Gary said. “We had a good stalking position and when I saw they went the half in :47, I thought we were going to be OK. Being around her this morning, I had a really good feeling that she was going to run big today. She flies back tomorrow (to Kentucky) with some other horses and then I guess she’ll be back in November.” 

Shedaresthedevil’s prior Grade 1 scores had come at Churchill Downs, in last year’s Kentucky Oaks (G1) over champions Swiss Skydiver and Gamine, and in the April 30 La Troienne (G1). The bay also captured the 2020 Honeybee (G3) and Indiana Oaks (G3), and she beat Letruska in the March 13 Azeri (G2) back at Oaklawn. Her resume of 15-8-2-4, $2,047,318, reflects five stakes placings, chief among them last fall’s Spinster (G1) and the June 5 Ogden Phipps (G1) in her latest.

Bred by WinStar Farm in Kentucky, Shedaresthedevil commanded $100,000 as a Keeneland November weanling, but slipped into the RNA pile for a top bid of just $20,000 as a September yearling at that venue.

After her sharp debut at Churchill Downs for Glencrest Farm and trainer Norm Casse, Qatar Racing acquired an interest privately, and she joined Callaghan. Her useful stakes efforts, including a second in the Anoakia, made her a more desirable property at the 2019 Keeneland November Sale. Flurry Racing bought her for $280,000, but Sheikh Fahad’s Qatar Racing stayed involved, and Big Aut was listed as a partner by Honeybee time.

Shedaresthedevil was produced by the Congrats mare Starship Warpspeed, who is also responsible for Grade 3-placed Mojovation. The other major performer on her page is Grade 2-winning and multiple Grade 1-placed sire Crafty C. T.