She dared the competition: Shedaresthedevil sets record in Kentucky Oaks Victory

September 4, 2020

In a very unusual year, a Kentucky Oaks that began with soft fractions would end up the fastest Oaks in its 146 year history.

Setting a record faster than Rachel Alexandra’s when she won the race by 20 lengths, Shedaresthedevil set the Oaks record of 1:48.28 over second favorite Swiss Skydiver. The previous record had been set by MaryLou Whitney‘s Bird Town in 2003 at 1:48.64, ridden by Hall of Fame jockey, Edgar Prado.

Shedaresthedevil was one second off Victory Gallops’ 1999 track record of 1:47.28. The 3-years-old victorious filly was awarded an Equibase Speed Figure of 111.

With a good break from the gate for all, John Velazquez and Gamine took the lead and set the pace with an opening quarter of 23.39 as Florent Geroux held Shedaresthedevil on Gamine’s left flank. With Swiss Skydiver breaking from post one, she was third along the rail.

The group continued in this order and pace with a 47.92 half until the stretch when Tyler Gaffalione brought Swiss Skydiver three wide to pass Shedaresthedevil on the outside and challenge Gamine for the lead. But Shedaresthedevil was unrelenting as she picked up speed and Gamine began to fade.

Kenny McPeek-trained Swiss Skydiver challenged Shedaresthedevil but just she couldn’t rally and was beaten by 1-1/2 lengths. Gamine, trained by Bob Baffert, was third by three lengths with Speech, under Javier Castellano, in fourth by 8-3/4.

“(Swiss Skydiver) ran super. That other filly (Shedaresthedevil) has been training extremely well. I’ve been watching her. Tyler (Gaffalione) rode her good,” commented trainer McPeek.

“That’s horse racing. There’s no guarantees. She’s been training super. I actually wasn’t as worried about Gamine as I was about another filly running a bang-up race. That’s what happened.” 

Tempers Rising, Hopeful Growth, Bayerness, Donna Veloce and Dream Marie complemented the order of finish.

The bay daughter of Daredevil out of Congrats mare Starship Warpspeed was bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm. She is trained by Brad Cox for owners Flurry Racing Stables LLC, Qatar Racing Limited and Big Aut Farms.

“This is why you wake up every morning to get to win races like this,” Cox said. “This filly has been really impressive coming into the race and when she breezed with Monomoy Girl a couple weeks ago, we knew how well she was training. There were some tough fillies in the Oaks this year with Swiss Skydiver and Gamine. We are so thrilled to win a race like this, again, in our backyard. This has been a phenomenal day with Monomoy Girl winning the La Troienne then winning the Oaks with Shedaresthedevil. These are the days you dream of.”

Cox and Geroux had teamed up with Monomoy Girl for victory in the previous race, the $500,000 La Troienne Presented by Oak Grove Racing & Gaming (GI). The trio presented the win to owners Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables. (Although Geroux’s day was still not over.)

“(Shedaresthedevil) had a great trip. She broke very sharp and I was able to stalk Gamine all the way. That was the plan, but sometimes plans don’t always work out. Perfect plan today. The only question was whether or not I was going to be able to run her down. My filly ran an amazing race. It’s been an amazing day,” said Geroux. 

Shedaresthedevil now has a career record of five wins with two second and third place finishes in ten starts with earnings of $1,245,768. Her 2020 record stands at 6: 4-1-1 with $1,145,320 in earnings.

This was Shedaresthedevil’s first Grade 1 win having won two Grade 3s, the Indiana Oaks in July at Indiana Grand and the Honey Bee in March at Oaklawn. She also placed in the Grade 2 Sorrento at Del Mar and the Grade 3 Fantasy at Oaklawn.

In a race that tasted rather chalky with an even odds favorite, 15-1 Shedaresthedevil paid $32.20, $8.40 and $3.80.

By MbKalinich

Churchill Downs/Coady Photography

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