Cox Keeping Top Mares Apart: Monomoy Girl To Apple Blossom, Shedaresthedevil To La Troienne

Shedaresthedevil is scheduled to return to the track Thursday morning for the first time since her head victory over favored Letruksa in the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) for older fillies and mares last Saturday at Oaklawn, according to Jorge Abrego, who oversees trainer Brad Cox’s Oaklawn division.

Shedaresthedevil ($5.60) ran 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in a meet-best 1:42.57 to earn a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 99 for her wire-to-wire victory under Florent Geroux, the filly’s first start since finishing third in the $400,000 Spinster Stakes (G1) Oct. 4 at Keeneland. The Spinster also was the first race against older horses for Shedaresthedevil, who is co-owned by Staton Flurry of Hot Springs.

Shedaresthedevil was a finalist for an Eclipse Award as the country’s champion 3-year-old filly of 2020 after winning four races, including the $300,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) last March at Oaklawn and the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) Sept. 4 at Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Oaks is the country’s biggest prize for 3-year-old fillies. In her previous start at Oaklawn, Shedaresthedevil finished third behind eventual divisional champion Swiss Skydiver in the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) last May.

“There was a little more pressure today than last time, being the Oaks champion coming in, 6-5, 4-5, whatever odds we were,” Flurry said. “I’m glad to have that one over with and see where we go from here.”

Although the Azeri is the final major local prep for the $1 million Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 17, Cox said Shedaresthedevil probably will make her next start in the $500,000 La Troienne Stakes (G1) April 30 at Churchill Downs. Cox is pointing for two-time Eclipse Award winner Monomoy Girl for the Apple Blossom.

“We’ll talk it over with both camps, the Monomoy camp and the Shedaresthedevil camp, and come up with a game plan,” Cox said. “Ultimately, it would be great to keep them apart. They’re two great fillies and both, obviously, worthy of running in Grade 1’s next time. There’s no sense in them butting heads this early in the year. Really, for both of them, their goal is the Breeders’ Cup.”

Monomoy Girl, a two-time Breeders’ Cup Distaff champion, won the $250,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) for older fillies and mares Feb. 28 at Oaklawn in her seasonal debut.

Flurry said Shedaresthedevil received a 60-day break following the Spinster before resuming training in Kentucky. Shedaresthedevil arrived Jan. 9 at Oaklawn and returned to the work tab Feb. 1 before joining Cox’s Fair Grounds division because of anticipated severe winter weather in Hot Springs that, ultimately, canceled training for almost two weeks. Cox had said in January that Shedaresthedevil was already on a tight schedule to make the Azeri and couldn’t avoid any hiccups in advance of the race.

“We didn’t miss any training, but we probably would have liked to have worked her a couple of more times maybe to feel a little more confident coming over here,” Cox said. “Obviously, she was fit enough to get it done. I think that’s something positive that we can maybe move forward from. She was on the front end, doing all the work. We’ll give her plenty of time to recover from this one and hopefully move forward.”

Cox said Shedaresthedevil exited the Azeri in “really good” shape physically and will remain at Oaklawn for the “short term” in preparation for her next start.

“Probably, the La Troienne makes the most sense,” Cox said.

Wednesday was another walk day for Shedaresthedevil, Abrego said, after Oaklawn closed the track early because of lightning in the area.

Flurry, who campaigns Shedaresthedevil with Qatar Racing LTD (David Redvers) and Big Aut Farms (Autry Lowry), purchased the daughter of Daredevil for $280,000 at the 2019 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Shedaresthedevil has a 6-2-3 record from 12 lifetime starts and earnings of $1,503,518.

Cox said stablemate Getridofwhatailesu, who finished third in the Azeri, will be considered for the 1 1/16-mile Apple Blossom. Getridofwhatailesu was coming off a sharp late-running victory in the $150,000 Pippin Stakes Jan. 23 at Oaklawn. She was beaten two lengths in the Azeri.

“It’s possible she could stay here and look at the Apple Blossom,” Cox said. “A Grade 1 placing would be worth a lot; I’m not saying she can’t win. But she likes this track.”

Cox said Getridofwhatailesu also will be considered for the $100,000 Doubledogdare Stakes (G3) April 16 at Keeneland and the La Troienne. Both races are 1 1/16 miles.

The post Cox Keeping Top Mares Apart: Monomoy Girl To Apple Blossom, Shedaresthedevil To La Troienne appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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