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DEL MAR, CA – Regular rider Florent Geroux ships west this Sunday, joining Shedaresthedevil for the big mare’s return to California in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) at Del Mar.
The Clement L. Hirsch is a 1 1/16-mile dirt route open to fillies and mares ages 3 and up that awards the winner a free berth into the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). This year’s edition is the penultimate event on a 10-race card and has a local post time of 6:00 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Clement L. Hirsch:
1. Warren’s Showtime 8/1 – This California-bred daughter of the state’s top stallion Clubhouse Ride is a 5-time stakes champion, and while 4 of those came on turf, she did win last year’s 1 1/16-mile Melair Stakes against her fellow state-breds at Santa Anita Park. Her usual running style is to take back and make one long run, which should benefit from the expected hot early pace signed on here.
2. Clockstrikestwelve 30/1 – She makes her second start back after a short break and returns to the southern California racing circuit after finishing second in the 1 1/16-mile She’s A Tiger Stakes up north at Pleasanton. She only recently gave dirt a try for the first time, putting together a 5-2-1-0 record since last December when she debuted on the surface victoriously going 1 mile at Los Alamitos.
3. As Time Goes By 8/5 – She returns after a hard-fought nose victory going this distance at Santa Anita Park in May’s Santa Maria Stakes (G2), her second straight stakes score following the 1 1/8-mile Santa Margarita (G2) that she won by 9 1/4 lengths. Her only dirt route defeat came in March’s Beholder Mile Stakes (G1) when second to Swiss Skydiver, last year’s Champion 3-Year-Old Filly.
4. Paige Anne 15/1 – She makes her second start of the year after setting the pace and finishing third in a May 1 1/16-mile synthetic route against Golden Gate Fields allowance rivals. Her early turn of foot suggests that she should play a major factor from the bell, and though her only 2 wins came 17-18 months ago and her career dirt record is 7-1-2-3, the meet’s leading rider Flavien Prat takes the mount.
5. Cover Version 30/1 – The co-longest shot on the board returns to dirt after finishing a well-beaten fifth in a local 1 3/8-mile optional claiming event on turf. Her lone main track victory came 2 starts back going this distance against a Los Alamitos starter allowance field. Her stakes debut comes in her first trip under Abel Cedillo, currently second in the meet’s jockey standings (through Thursday).
6. Venetian Harbor 2/1 – She heads back to dirt for her second start of the year after trouncing her rivals from gate to wire in June’s 6 1/2-furlong Monrovia Stakes (G2) over the Santa Anita Park turf. Expect returning rider Mario Gutierrez to employ a similar tactic here, though an easy lead might be difficult with plenty of other speed facing the Richard Baltas-trained multiple dirt graded stakes winner.
7. Shedaresthedevil 7/5 – She returns to California for the first time since her juvenile season in 2019 looking to rebound from her last-out third in the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. The Brad Cox trainee loves this distance, earning 5 of her 7 career wins and never missing the board in 8 tries at 1 1/16 miles, and has tactical speed to either set, press, or stalk the early pace.
“She travels really well,” assistant trainer Eric Gary said as she prepares for her fourth start at as many tracks in 2021. “We’ve had her out a couple times and she has handled the track really well. I think this race has probably been a part of the plan for her all along. The ultimate goal is the Breeders’ Cup here, so that would figure.”
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