LOUISVILLE, KY – Trainer Brad Cox’s Shedaresthedevil more than held her own against the best of the 3-year-old filly division, pulling off a 15/1 upset in Friday’s $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs.
Shedaresthedevil broke inward a bit as she left gate 7 under Florent Geroux, then stuck right to the outside of the 3/5 favorite Gamine heading into the clubhouse turn.
With her closest rival running within a length early on, Gamine posted opening fractions of :23.39, :47.92, and 1:12.12.
Straightening for home alongside Gamine’s hip, Shedaresthedevil gradually inched ahead in the stretch and held off Swiss Skydiver‘s bid to win by 1 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:48.28 for the 1 1/8-mile fast dirt route.
The time was a new record for the Kentucky Oaks, besting the previous fastest time of 1:48.64 that Bird Town set in 2003.
“She had a great trip,” Geroux said. “She broke very sharp and I was able to stalk Gamine all the way. That was the plan, but sometimes, plans don’t always work out. Perfect plan today. The only question was whether or not I was going to be able to run her down. My filly ran an amazing race.”
Swiss Skydiver’s failed attempt for the lead kept her 1 1/2 lengths better than Gamine.
“She finished up nicely,” said Swiss Skydiver’s jockey Tyler Gaffalione. “She just wasn’t good enough today. Huge effort from the winner. Hat’s off to the connections. I thought there’d be a little more speed. It kind of set up like I thought, but they slowed it down. My filly was tracking in a nice position; she was comfortable where she was. We had every shot turning for home. We had 1/4 of a mile to get there. Just second-best today.”
Speech finished fourth ahead of Tempers Rising, while Hopeful Growth necked out Bayerness for sixth.
Donna Veloce and Dream Marie completed the order of finish.
Shedaresthedevil’s win was her third straight and followed an impressive effort in early July’s Indiana Oaks (G3) to improve her record to 10-5-2-2. The 3-year-old Daredevil filly, purchased last November for $280,000, has now earned $1,245,768 for current co-owners Flurry Racing Stables, Qatar Racing, and Big Aut Farms.
“This is why you wake up every morning, to get to win races like this,” said Cox, who also saddled the 2018 winner Monomoy Girl to victory one race prior in the La Troienne Stakes (G1). “This filly has been really impressive coming into the race. and when she breezed with Monomoy Girl a couple weeks ago, we knew how well she was training. There were some tough fillies in the Oaks this year, with Swiss Skydiver and Gamine. We are so thrilled to win a race like this, again, in our backyard. This has been a phenomenal day. with Monomoy Girl winning the La Troienne. then winning the Oaks with Shedaresthedevil. These are the days you dream of.”
Shedaresthedevil returned $32.20 to win, $8.40 to place, and $3.80 to show. Swiss Skydiver brought back $3.80 to place and $2.60 to show, while Gamine paid $2.40 to show.