April 23, 2024

Shedaresthedevil back for Locust Grove; Bell’s the One, Bango lead Churchill undercard stakes

Shedaresthedevil, with Florent Geroux up, wins the La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs (Photography by Jamie Newell/TwinSpires)

Locust Grove (G3) – Race 10 (10:42 p.m. ET)

Shedaresthedevil has shown an affinity for Churchill Downs, counting the 2020 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and April’s La Troienne (G1) among her four local wins, and she will be heavily favored under the Twin Spires in Saturday night’s $400,000 Locust Grove (G3).

The 1 1/16-mile race is among five stakes on the Downs After Dark program, which has a first race post of 6 p.m. ET.

Shedaresthedevil exits a 3 1/4-length victory in the Aug. 1 Clement L. Hirsch (G1) at Del Mar, and her lone setback from four starts this season, a third in the Ogden Phipps (G1) at Belmont Park, came against division leader Letruska, who exacted a measure of revenge after losing to Shedaresthedevil in the Azeri (G2) at Oaklawn earlier this season.

Trained by Brad Cox, Shedaresthedevil likes to race on, or close to the pace, with regular rider Florent Geroux, and the Daredevil filly will break from the far outside post among seven runners.

La Troienne runner-up Envoutante, a two-time stakes winner at Churchill Downs and third most recently in June’s Fleur de Lis (G2), is the main rival. Kenny McPeek conditions the daughter of Uncle Mo, and Brian Hernandez Jr. retains the mount.

Cox will also send out Matera, who stretched her win streak to three with a victory in the Aug. 15 Groupie Doll S. at Ellis Park. The improving four-year-old filly will make her first graded attempt, and Ricardo Santana Jr. will be up.

Crystal Ball, who exits a close third in the July 25 Shuvee (G3) at Saratoga, and multiple graded stakes-placed Our Super Freak are also entered.

Open Mind S. – Race 3 (6:56 p.m. ET)

Grade 1 winner Bell’s the One will seek her third consecutive stakes victory when she lines up for $300,000 Open Mind S., a six-furlong test for fillies and mares that kicks off the stakes action.

Last seen taking the July 28 Honorable Miss (G2) at Saratoga, Bell’s the One captured the Roxelana S. at Churchill two starts back. The five-year-old mare’s biggest career win came in the Derby City Distaff (G1) on the 2020 Kentucky Derby undercard, and Corey Lanerie guides the late runner for Neil Pessin.

Sconsin, a multiple graded winner over the track for Greg Foley, will wheel back off a three-week rest following a fourth in the Ballerina (G1) at Saratoga. Runner-up in the Roxelana two back, the Include filly will be reunited with Tyler Gaffalione.

Multiple stakes winner Mundaye Call is also part of the five-horse field.

Louisville Thoroughbred Society S. – Race 7 (9:05 p.m. ET)

Multiple stakes hero Bango, a comfortable winner of the Aristides S. at Churchill in late May, tops six sprinters in the $275,000 Louisville Thoroughbred Society S. at six furlongs.

The four-year-old colt will bring a three-race stakes-winning streak to the starting gate, most recently romping by five lengths in the July 17 Good Lord at Ellis, and Gaffalione will pilot for Foley.

A Grade 3 winner in 2019, Dennis’ Moment has raced sparingly over the last two seasons, but the four-year-old colt returned from a lengthy hiatus with a good effort on Aug. 20, finishing a head second in an Ellis Park allowance. He’s eligible to keep showing more for Dale Romans and Lanerie.

Derby Date, who edged Dennis’ Moment last time, will bring a two-race win streak to his stakes debut. Just Might enters in good form for Michelle Lovell, stretching his win streak to three with a victory in the Aug. 23 Chesapeake S. on Colonial Downs main track.

Grade 3 victor Mighty Mischief and multiple stakes runner-up Endorsed complete the lineup.