Shedaresthedevil opened her four-year-old season with a game victory in Saturday’s $350,000 Azeri S. (G2) at Oaklawn Park, turning back the late bid of Letruska to prevail by a head. Last year’s Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner led wire-to-wire with Florent Geroux.
Off as the 9-5 second choice, Shedaresthedevil sprinted clear into the first turn and established opening splits in :23.93 and :47.79. Her advantage narrowed as she came under a ride turning for home, with 3-2 favorite Letruska making a move into contention on the far outside.
Letruska had every chance in deep stretch, but Shedaresthedevil kept finding more to the wire. The winner completed the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:42.57.
“We caught a flyer out of the gate,” Geroux said. “I was expecting Letruska to lead all the way. I don’t know if she didn’t break fast enough or stumbled, but we inherited the lead and I just took it from there. My filly is extremely talented.”
Brad Cox trains the daughter of Daredevil for Flurry Racing Stable, Qatar Racing, and Big Aut Farms.
“Turning for home, she gave me everything she had,” Geroux said. “She maybe got a little bit tired down the lane, but it was good for her first race off the break. I don’t think she was 100% cranked up for this. We have hopes for a big year with her.”
Letruska was two lengths clear of Getridofwhatailesu, who got up late to edge Envoutante for third. Motion Emotion completed the order of finish.
Shedaresthedevil was making her first outing since a third in the Spinster S. (G1) at Keeneland last October. She earned her first stakes victory at Oaklawn Park 12 months ago, taking the Honeybee (G3), and captured the Indiana Oaks (G3) three starts later.
Overlooked at 15-1 in the Kentucky Oaks, Shedaresthedevil overtook favored Gamine in upper stretch and held eventual three-year-old champion Swiss Skydiver safe by 1 1/2 lengths to score.
Shedaresthedevil has now earned more than $1.5 million from a 12-6-2-3 record.
Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, Shedaresthedevil is the first stakes winner from the Congrats mare Starship Warpspeed. The bay filly won one of her first four starts before being purchased for $280,000 at the 2019 Keeneland November sale.