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Ky Oaks winner Shedaresthedevil takes 4yo debut by a head

An Oaklawn Park press release (Coady Photography photos):

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, March 13, 2021) – 2020 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Honeybee Stakes (G3) winner Shedaresthedevil, making her first start since last October, led gate to wire to win Saturday’s $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) determinedly by a head over 3-2 favorite Letruska at Oaklawn Park.

Breaking from the outside post of five, Shedaresthedevil cleared the field early and proceeded to set moderate fractions of :23 4/5 and :47 3/5 for the first half mile. Letruska began to challenge the winner entering the stretch, but fell short at the wire, finishing two lengths in front of third-place finisher Getridofwhatailesu, the Pippin Stakes winner, who like Shedaresthedevil is trained by 2020 Champion Trainer Brad Cox. Winning time was 1:42 2/5 over fast track.

“We caught a flyer out of the gate,” jockey Florent 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. You know you want to slow her down, just keep her in a nice rhythm. Turning for home, she gave me everything she had. 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.”

Racing for the partnership of Flurry Racing Stables LLC., Qatar Racing Limited and Big Aut Farms, Shedaresthedevil has now won six of 12 career starts and has now earned $1,503,518, including victory in last year’s Indiana Oaks and a third in Keeneland’s Spinster Stakes against older fillies and mares in her previous start. She returned $5.60. $3 and $2.20 as the 6-5 second choice.

“Whenever I run here, I’m nervous,” Staton Flurry of Flurry Racing said. “I expected the three (Letruska) to break good, but she didn’t. We just went on with it. She really dug in. Florent rode a great race. I’m glad to have her back. It’s going to be a fun year.”

Jennie Rees is a communications and advocacy specialist in the horse industry who spent 32 years covering horse racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal before taking a corporate buyout. In addition to handling communications for the Kentucky HBPA, Rees is Kentucky Downs’ publicity director, manages in-season racing publicity for Ellis Park and serves as a consultant to the National HBPA. Other projects include the Preakness Stakes, Indiana Grand’s Indiana Derby Week and work for various HBPA affiliates and horsemen’s associations.