The filly that Brad Cox fondly refers to as an "overachiever" only added to her impressive list of achievements July 2 with a commanding 1 3/4-length victory in the $350,000 Fleur de Lis Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Winless in her previous two starts this year, Shedaresthedevil refuted the naysayers when she streaked past a stubborn Super Quick in deep stretch to garner the seventh graded stakes race of her career.
"(Super Quick) kind of got away from us down the backside so that was a little bit of a concern but our filly showed her class and experience today," Cox said. "I'm happy to have her get back in the win column this year."
After dropping the hammer at $5,000,000 at The November Sale, Fasig-Tipton's marquee breeding stock sale, a decision was made by Flurry Racing Stables, Qatar Racing, and new part owner Mandy Pope to keep the daughter of Daredevil in training one more year with Cox. That choice appeared questionable when the now 5-year-old hadn't regained the form that took her to grade 1 glory at 3 and 4. Despite the two losses, Cox was confident that Shedaresthedevil would rise to the occasion, especially following her narrow runner-up effort to Pauline's Pearl in the May 7 La Troienne Stakes Presented by Signify Health (G1).
"I think a lot of naysayers were thinking she lost a step but we certainly hadn't seen it in her training plus the figure she ran in her last race was actually one of her better ones," said Cox. "I have to give Mandy Pope credit on bringing her back because It's rare to have a mare come back at age five because of her value in the breeding shed. It means a lot that we're racing her at 5."
Cox had his share of experience training an elite filly through successive top-level campaigns with two-time Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) winner Monomoy Girl. Like Sharedaresthdevil, Monomoy Girl captured the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) as a 3-year-old before continuing her brilliance for two additional seasons.
Facing a short field of 5 in the Fleur de Lis, Shedaresthedevil broke alertly under regular pilot Florent Geroux and stalked Allaire DuPont Stakes (G3) victress Super Quick behind a moderate tempo of :24.13 and :47.83. Although Super Quick was able to sneak away to a 3-length advantage at the half-mile, Shedaresthedevil took aim on the leader around the turn and hit full flight down the lane. Super Quick was 3 1/4 lengths clear of third place finisher Pauline's Pearl at the wire.
"We sat in a perfect position the entire way around the track," said Geroux. "Inside the eighth pole she started to find her best stride and drew away late. She’s back.”
Sent off as the second choice, Shedaresthedevil ($4.80) ran the 1 1/8-miles on a fast main track in 1:49.17.
Improving her record to a stellar 10-3-5 from 20 starts with her Fleur de Lis tally, Shedaresthedevil was bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm. She is out of the winning Congrats mare Starshipwarpspeed, the dam of graded stakes-placed Mojovation in addition to three other winners. The 14-year-old mare delivered a filly by Uncle Mo this year.
Although last summer she ventured out to California, landing the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1), a trip to Saratoga Race Course could be next in the agenda for Shedaresthedevil.
"She’s never been up there but I think she would like it," said Cox. "I think she would handle the 1 1/8 up there but as long as she’s doing well we’ll pick one of those spots (at Saratoga or Del Mar) and it’ll definitely be in a grade 1.
"The Breeders' Cup is our main goal so we're going to try to get there some way, some how."