Shedaresthedevil Digs Deep to Take La Troienne
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Whether she is running in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) or during the Oaks Day undercard, Shedaresthedevil  always seems to win at Churchill Downs.

Winner of the COVID-19-postponed Oaks last September, Shedaresthedevil returned triumphantly at Churchill in the $500,000 La Troienne Stakes Presented by Twinspires.com (G1) on a traditional Oaks Day April 30, leading throughout and turning back Envoutante  by a length. The victory improved the Brad Cox trainee's local record to 4-for-4, which includes a maiden win at Churchill Downs in June 2019 and an allowance optional claiming victory there last June.

Shedaresthedevil, b, 4/f
Daredevil — Starship Warpspeed, by Congrats

Owner: Qatar Racing, Ltd. (David Redvers), Flurry Racing Stables, LLC (Staton C. Flurry) and Big Aut Farms (Autry Lowry, Jr.)
Breeder: WinStar Farm, LLC (KY)
Trainer: Brad H. Cox
Jockey: Florent Geroux
Information provided by Equibase at time of entry.

Pedigree Notes
Daredevil stands at Lane's End for $25,000 (2021).

Sale History
KEENOV2019 • $280,000 • Consignor: Hunter Valley Farm, agent • Buyer: Flurry Racing Stables.
KEESEP2018 • ($20,000 RNA) • Consignor: Warrendale Sales, agent.
KEENOV2017 • $100,000 • Consignor: Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent • Buyer: Big Cuse Bloodstock.

 

Her affinity for the Churchill Downs surface—and Cox's preference to keep her separated from stablemate and champion older mare Monomoy Girl —led to her presence in Friday's race, though that didn't make her task particularly easy. 

Four other fillies in the seven-horse field entered Friday's race with perfect dirt records beneath the Twin Spires, and two of those, Envoutante and Finite , completed the trifecta. Finite rallied for third, two lengths behind runner-up Envoutante.

Though the final result was the same as in the 2020 Oaks, Shedaresthedeveil utilized a different style than she did in the Oaks, when she chased favored Gamine  before passing her and outlasting eventual champion Swiss Skydiver  for victory.

This time Shedaresthedevil took charge early. Hustled away from the gate by Florent Geroux, she cleared the field in the 1 1/16-mile race with fractions of :23.99, :47.94, and 1:11.71 while facing only token early pressure from longshot Bajan Girl .

Leaving the second turn, Bajan Girl came under pressure, and a threat from Envoutante emerged along the inside.

But once Geroux put his mount to left-handed urging, Shedaresthedevil responded and kept her rival at bay. The winner carried high weight of 123 pounds, spotting the opposition between three to five pounds.

"She loves to race at Churchill. She showed it again today," Geroux said. "They made me work hard for this. When we turned for home, she kept her head up, and I could tell she was digging in. Those other fillies came to her, but she showed a lot of heart and a lot of grit, and I knew she wasn't going to let them by." 

Shedaresthedevil and Florent Geroux at Churchill Downs on April 30, 2021.
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Shedaresthedevil and Florent Geroux leave the paddock at Churchill Downs

Brian Hernandez Jr., who rode Envoutante, winner of the Falls City Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs in November, believed he had Shedaresthedevevil in his sights.

"Turning for home when (the rail) opened up, I thought, 'Oh good, I'm going to get through and win.' She spurted for me, but the other filly just had more," he said.

The winner, a 4-year-old daughter of Daredevil  owned by Flurry Racing Stables, Qatar Racing, and Big Aut Farms, was timed in 1:42.69 on a fast track. She paid $5.40 as the favorite.

Disappointing with a fifth-place finish as the 2-1 second choice was three-time graded stakes winner Dunbar Road , who captured the Alabama Stakes (G1) in 2019 in her most prestigious score. Friday's race marked her first start since finishing third in the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) at Keeneland last fall.

Dunbar Road made a middle move behind the slow early pace to contend on the second turn before flattening out late. She was a half-length behind fourth-place Bajan Girl. Paris Lights  and Sanenus  were sixth and seventh, respectively.

Shedaresthedevil skipped the Breeders' Cup last year after a third-place finish in the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. Freshened, she returned victorious in the Azeri Stakes (G2) March 13 at Oaklawn Park, defeating Letruska , who upset Monomoy Girl in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) two weeks ago at the Arkansas track.

"We didn't want to try and chase the Breeders' Cup Distaff. It was obviously the right move," said Cox of Shedaresthedevil's 2020 campaign. "She's moved forward at 4. She's shown that in her two starts."

He indicated a desire to try this fall's Breeders' Cup Distaff at Del Mar and "work our way back from that. There's some obvious races in New York and one at Del Mar we are thinking about." 

The La Troienne victory was a third for Geroux and a second for Cox. The two teamed to win the race last September with Monomoy Girl.

Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, Shedaresthedevil is out of the winning Congrats  mare Starship Warpspeed . The mare has produced four winners from as many starters and one other black-type horse, Mojovation  (Quality Road ), third in the Futurity Stakes (G3) in 2017.Starship Warpspeed alsonhas an unraced 3-year-old filly named Jemison  (Outwork ), a 2-year-old filly by Speightster  named Blackheartedgypsy, and an Exaggerator yearling filly. She foaled an Uncle Mo  colt this year.

She was a $280,000 purchase by Flurry Racing Stables from the Hunter Valley Farm consignment at the 2019 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. She has earned more than $1.8 million in winning seven of 13 races, with most of that bankroll coming since her acquisition in late 2019.

Staton Flurry smiles after Shedaresthedevil with Florent Geroux win the La Troienne (G1) at Churchill Downs on April 30, 2021.
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Staton Flurry enjoys the winner's circle after Shedaresthedevil's score

 

 

Courtesy of the Bloodhorse

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