Shedaresthedevil, favored at odds of 6-5, turned in a perfect dress rehearsal for the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) Aug. 1. Trainer Brad Cox had shipped the 2020 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner to Del Mar for the Clement Hirsch to give the filly a prep over the track where this year's Breeders' Cup will be held.
As an added benefit, the race gave Shedaresthedevil a "Win & You're In" berth to the Nov. 6 Distaff.
Three-time graded winner Venetian Harbor, the 2-1 third choice, sped to the lead when the gates opened. Second-choice As Time Goes By, on the rail after the scratches of Warren's Showtime and Clockstrikestwelve, bobbled slightly, which put her last early.
Ridden by Florent Geroux, Shedaresthedevil came out well from the outside post in the five-horse field and quickly angled into a good position in third, just outside and on the hip of Venetian Harbor. Longshot Paige Anne raced in second along the rail.
Venetian Harbor clocked the first quarter-mile in :23.30 and a half-mile in :47.21. Before the field reached the second turn, she started to edge away. Shedaresthedevil closed the gap almost immediately, however, ranging up to head Venetian Harbor just before the quarter pole.
Venetian Harbor succeeded in staying with Shedaresthedevil for several strides into the stretch, but ultimately Shedaresthedevil had too much in reserve. Shedaresthedevil easily pulled away to win by 3 1/4 lengths, completing 1 1/16 miles on the fast track in 1:45.38. Venetian Harbor finished second, another 3 1/4 lengths in front of Paige Anne.
"The idea was to get her to break alertly, then get a good spot," Geroux said. "That's exactly what happened. She ran her race today, and she's very good when she does."
Shedaresthedevil paid $4.60, $2.60, and $2.60. Venetian Harbor returned $3.20 and $3.60, and Paige Anne paid $5.80.
Eric Gary, an assistant to Cox, saddled Shedaresthedevil for the ownership group of Flurry Racing Stables, Qatar Racing, and Big Aut Farms.
"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," said Gary. "Being around her this morning, I had a really good feeling that she was going to run big today."
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Daredevil —Starship Warpspeed, by Congrats , Shedaresthedevil won her third grade 1, following last year's Kentucky Oaks and the April 30 La Troienne Stakes Presented by Twinspires.com (G1). Both of those races were at her home base of Churchill Downs. In her most recent effort, Shedaresthedevil ran third in the June 5 Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, behind winner Letruska.
Though the Hirsch gave Cox, the Eclipse Award-winning trainer of 2020, an indication of how Shedaresthedevil might do in the Breeders' Cup, the filly had raced at Del Mar before. In the care of trainer Simon Callaghan at 2 in 2019, she ran third in the Sorrento Stakes (G2) at the Southern California track.
WinStar Farm bred Shedaresthedevil, who has gone through the sales ring three times. Flurry Racing Stables purchased her for $280,000 from consignor Hunter Valley Farm at the 2019 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. The filly is from the first crop of Daredevil, and she is a half sister to Mojovation, who finished third in the 2017 Futurity Stakes (G3) at Belmont. Her dam, Starship Warpspeed, has a yearling filly by Exaggerator , produced a colt by Uncle Mo in March, and was bred back to Uncle Mo for 2022.
Starship Warpspeed is also dam of the unraced 2-year-old Speightster filly Blackheartedgypsy, a $350,000 purchase by Flurry Racing Stables from the Woodford Thoroughbreds consignment to the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Blackheartedgypsy recorded four works between late June and mid-July at Keeneland.
Gary said that Shedaresthedevil, an earner of $2,047,318 from an 8-2-4 record in 15 starts, is scheduled to fly back to Cox's Kentucky base Aug. 2.
"Then I guess she'll be back in November," he said.