In what is slated to be her final prep race before the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar in November, multiple Grade 1 winner Shedaresthedevil will aim to enjoy the comforts of home to their fullest on Sept. 18 when she headlines the 37th running of the $400,000 Locust Grove Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs.
Run at 1 1/16-miles, the Locust Grove could be used to launch fillies and mares to a spot in the starting gate for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) on Nov. 6 at Del Mar and shares the Saturday night spotlight beneath the Twin Spires with the $300,000 Iroquois (G3), $300,000 Pocahontas (G3), $300,000 Open Mind and $275,000 Louisville Thoroughbred Society.
Trained by Brad Cox, Shedaresthedevil is unbeaten in four career starts at Churchill Downs. The daughter of Daredevil began her career at the historic Louisville track in 2019 where she had a 3 ¼-length debut win for trainer Norm Casse. Following a three-race stint with California-based conditioner Simon Callaghan, she was transferred to Cox in early 2020 where she went on to capture that year’s Kentucky Oaks (G1) en route to becoming and Eclipse Award finalist for divisional honors.
“She loves this track here at Churchill Downs as we know from her past races,” said jockey Florent Geroux, who has been aboard Shedaresthedevil for her last eight starts and will be reunited with the eight-time winner Saturday from post No. 7. “I worked her a couple times at Ellis this summer and she’s doing great and really maturing as a 4-year-old. She looks fantastic coming into this race.”
In this her 4-year-old season, Shedaresthedevil has continued to progress, winning three of four starts including a victory over current top distaff Letruska in the Azeri Stakes (G2) and a triumph in the La Troienne (G1) at Churchill on April 30. Though she was a well-beaten third behind Letruska in the Odgen Phipps Stakes (G1) on June 5, Shedaresthedevil returned to form with a 3 ¼ length win in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) over the Del Mar surface on Aug. 1.
Owned by Qatar Racing, Flurry Racing Stables and Big Aut Farms, Shedaresthedevil has won eight of 15 career starts and only been worst than third once in her career while racking up a bankroll of $2,047,318.
Also entered in the Locust Grove is last year’s $200,000 Falls City Stakes (G2) winner Envoutante. Owned by Walking L Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm and trained by Kenny McPeek, Envoutante finished second to Shedaresthedevil in the La Troienne. Following that race, Envoutante was victorious in the $150,000 Shawnee. The 4-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo has been away from the races since June 26 when she finished third to Letruska in the $300,000 Fleur de Lis (G2).
Envoutante has recorded five victories through 13 starts with earnings of $571,438. Brian Hernandez Jr. has the mount from post 5.
Bell’s the One, Sconsin rematch in Open Mind
Lothenbach Stables’ Bell’s the One and Fred Schwartz’ Sconsin, two of the top prospects for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), are set to duel once again in Saturday’s $300,000 Open Mind (Listed) at Churchill Downs.
Three months ago, Bell’s the One and Sconsin faced one another in the $110,000 Roxelana where Bell’s the One scored the three-quarters of a length victory at odds of 2-1. Trained by Neil Pessin, the Grade 1-winning Bell’s the One has recorded nine victories from 19 lifetime starts and topped more than $1.1 million in purse earnings with her victory in the $200,000 Honorable Miss (G2) at Saratoga.
“We’re very proud how she ran at Saratoga,” Pessin said. “She never really seems to get the accolades she deserves. She’s 9-for-19 lifetime and tries so hard every time she runs. The spacing with Saturday’s race seems to work better for her than running at Keeneland. This will give us an extra two weeks before the Breeders’ Cup.”
The six-furlong Honorable Miss was the first time in Bell’s the One’s career she was the post time favorite. Jockey Corey Lanerie, who has ridden Bell’s the One in 14 prior starts, has the mount Saturday from post No. 5.
Four-time winning filly Sconsin, trained by Greg Foley, was made the 7-5 favorite in the Roxelana but was passed in deep stretch by Bell’s the One. Sconsin’s 2021 campaign has included a victory in the $150,000 Winning Colors (G3) by 3 ¼ lengths under jockey Tyler Gaffalione. Her most recent start was a fourth-place finish behind Gamine in the $500,000 Ballerina Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. Gaffalione has the call from post 2.