Will she dare or won’t she? The Mystery of Shedaresthedevil and the Breeders’ Cup

October 7, 2020

By MB Kalinich

In an interview with Past The Wire Sept. 6 just after her Kentucky Oaks victory, Shedaresthedevil’s co-owner Staton Flurry stated he was “uncertain of her next start or whether or not to enter her into the Breeder’s Cup this November.” Shedaresthedevil’s next start would be the Grade 1 Spinster on Sunday at Keeneland where she placed third in her first try against older horses.

Daily Racing Form reported Oct. 5 that immediately after the Spinster, trainer Brad Cox called the Breeders’ Cup “a big, big question mark.” Monday morning Flurry confirmed on his Flurry Racing Twitter account that the filly would get a vacation.

“Thanks for everybody’s texts today! Shedaresthedevil looks great post race and will get a little vacation. She will see everybody at Oaklawn in the spring! After the last 2 big efforts, she deserves a little r&r!”

However, that tweet disappeared.

Paulick Report picked up the DRF story on Monday afternoon (with the deleted tweet embedded) which was retweeted Tuesday morning from Staton’s personal Twitter account with a new message.

“Anybody that knows me, knows how much I want to win at home. Excited to plan on an Oaklawn campaign with Shedaresthedevil.” #Azeri #AppleBlossom

Paulick Report stated Cox had confirmed that Shedaresthedevil will skip the Breeders’ Cup and will be rested ahead of a planned campaign at Oaklawn Park this winter.

But hold your horses. Horse Racing Nation then published Tuesday evening that Cox had not confirmed passing on the Breeders’ Cup. HRN reported Cox said: “That decision has not been made 100 percent. We still need to talk to all the owners and kind of come up with a plan, but she came out of the race in good shape. We’ll come up with a firm decision in the next couple of days.”

So as of Wednesday morning we cannot confirm Shedaresthedevil’s next start. But we can guess.

Cox also said. “She never got a breather. It was a lot to ask, bringing her back in four weeks.” Shedaresthedevil received a four-month layoff last year before the start of her Oaklawn campaign. And Flurry very much wants a fresh horse for Arkansas.

Should Flurry’s other partners, Qatar Racing and Big Aut Farms, agree, Shedaresthedevil’s next start will likely be the Grade 3 Bayakoa Stakes on Feb. 15 or possibly an AOC at Oaklawn to freshen up. Per not-so-subtle hints dropped by Flurry it’s highly likely his star filly will have starts in the Grade 2 Azeri Stakes on March 13 and the Grade 1 Apple Blossom on April 17.

“For me, winning in Hot Springs at Oaklawn, that’s the top of the bucket list,” Flurry said after the Kentucky Oaks. “Hopefully, we can give her some time off and bring her back fresh and maybe run two or three races there. . . . If we can sweep all those, get on the Breeders’ Cup trail.”

Staton isn’t old horse racing blueblood. The 30-year-old native Arkansian is more bluecollar managing rental properties around Arkansas with his mother. He grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas where his family owned many of the parking lots surrounding Oaklawn Park. With entrepreneurial spirit, every weekend he collected money from parking race goers before he even learned how to drive. It was then began his dream of one day owning his own horse running under his own silks.

After graduating from college and his father’s death in 2011, Staton claimed his first horse in 2012. Bitten by the ownership bug, he created Flurry Racing Stables designing his own racing silks – a black and white snowflake, front and back, and black and white checked sleeves representing his love of auto racing.

Then along came Shedaresthedevil. Blood stock agent Clay Scherer brought the filly to Staton’s attention telling him “this horse is a monster and not a bad price for a progeny of Daredevil.” However, Qatar Racing and Big Aut Farms also took an interested. Rather than bidding against each other driving the price up, Scherer facilitated a partnership.

Purchased at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale in 2019 for $280,000, Shedaresthedevil has career earnings of $1,285,768 including $1,185,320 from her 2020 campaign.

Bred in Kentucky by WinStar, she was originally purchased at the Keeneland November Breeding Sale in 2017 by Big Cuse Bloodstock for $100,000. Offered back in 2018 at the September Yearling Sale for $20,000 she was RNA. But in 2019 she had grown into herself and was now a hot prospect.

The plucky daughter of Daredevil has had quite the schedule since breaking her maiden on first asking June 13, 2019 at Churchill Downs. She jumped in class to Grade 2 stakes competition at Del Mar placing third in the Sorento in early August. She would stay in Southern California in late summer early fall to finish fourth in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf and place second in the Anoakia at Santa Anita.

After her last start in early October the 2-year-old bay filly would be rested until freshening in an Allowance Optional Claiming race at Oaklawn in mid-February where she, again, placed second. Three weeks later Cox would run the sophomore back in the Grade 3 Honeybee and give Flurry a thrill of a lifetime. A graded stakes win and at the racetrack where he had grown up.

With a bit of a break Shedaresthedevil would conclude her Oaklawn campaign May 1 with a third place to Swiss Skydiver in the Grade 3 Fantasy.

Carefully paced by conditioner Cox, her next start June 5 would be another refresher in an AOC. Shedaresthedevil wired the 1 1/16th mile race at Churchill winning by six and a half lengths. There were noticeable differences. The filly was getting faster and gaining confidence. Earning an Equibase Speed Figure of 78 in her maiden win and 83 in her previous win, Shedaresthedevil was awarded a number of 97 for her AOC win.

Cox would next take his prodigy to the Grade 3 Indiana Oaks July 8 where she captured her second graded stakes by five lengths. This would be her prep race for the Kentucky Oaks, the race where she would be a surprise upset winner against recent Preakness winner, Swiss Skydiver, also sired by Daredevil.

With her last start again being in early October and a tentative four month rest ahead, Shedaresthedevil might just be on a path for a seriously competitive 2021. Or will she be a serious competition in the Breeders’ Cup?

Stay tuned!

MbKalinich

Photo: Shedaresthedevil wins the Kentucky Oaks. Credit: Churchill Downs/Coady

Contributing Authors

MB Kalinich

Maribeth Kalinich is a racing enthusiast and historian who writes about current racing events, Thoroughbred history and preservation of historic racing sites. Growing up in...

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Good Work here, particularly this, which is being missed by many with good intentions. Folks wanting racing to end aren't getting messages that matter to them. Thanks.

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