Shedaresthedevil added a third Grade 1 victory to her portfolio, and a free berth to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff; in Sunday’s $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch S at Del Mar Racetrack. 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

I’m very pleased jockey Geroux said:

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.”The win was worth $180,000 to Shedaresthedevil and pushed her sizable bankroll past the $2 million mark to $2,047,318. She now has won eight of 15 starts with two seconds and four thirds besides.

The Hirsch was a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff, which will be run at Del Mar on November 6 at nine furlongs. Shedaresthedevil earned a fees-paid berth in the Distaff.

“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, Cox’s assistant. “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. ”

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