May 19, 2024

Shedaresthedevil faces six in Clement Hirsch title defense

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

Shedaresthedevil turned things around in in the July 2 Fleur de Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs, snapping a three-race losing streak with a 1 3/4-length decision, and the classy five-year-old mare will take some beating when she returns to Del Mar for a title defense in Saturday’s $400,000 Clement L. Hirsch S. (G1).

A three-time Grade 1 winner for Brad Cox, Shedaresthedevil tops a field of seven in the 1 1/16-mile Hirsch, a “Win & You’re In” for the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Keeneland. Florent Geroux, who has been up for the last 13 starts, including a 1 3/4-length tally in the Hirsch, will be up on the expected favorite.

Private Mission is the main rival following an about one-length win in the June 18 Santa Maria (G2) at Santa Anita. A two-time graded scorer last year, including a 6 1/2-length romp in the Torrey Pines (G3) at Del Mar, the four-year-old Into Mischief is trained by Bob Baffert (21-6-4-6 during the summer meet), and leading rider Juan Hernandez will retain the mount.

Santa Margarita (G2) heroine Blue Stripe, runner-up in the Santa Maria, will be running late with Hector Berrios. An Argentinean import, the five-year-old will make her fourth start stateside for Marcelo Polanco. Multiple graded winner Soothsay, last seen winning the 2021 Indiana Oaks (G3), will come back from a lengthy layoff for Richard Mandella. Mike Smith picks up the assignment on the four-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor.

Santa Anita Oaks (G2) winner and Kentucky Oaks (G1) third-placer Desert Dawn, third as the odds-on favorite in the June 12 Summertime Oaks (G2), will step up to face elders. Stakes winner Samurai Charm, second in the 6 1/2-furlong Great Lady M (G2) last out, will stretch back to two turns for Peter Miller. Last-out allowance winner Lisette completes the field.