A spot in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff is available to the winner of Sunday’s Grade I Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar.
The feature race has attracted a field of seven, including the Brad Cox-trained Shedaresthedevil and the Bob Baffert-trained As Time Goes By.
The online sports betting market is dominated by Shedaresthedevil, who already owns two Grade I wins and she’s looking to add another against the quality field.
Cream Rises to the Top
There is little doubting the class of Shedaresthedevil, who didn’t disgrace herself when running third behind Letruska and Bonny South in the Ogden Phillips.
The 4-year-old filly showed excellent form prior to that, including back-to-back wins in the Azeri and La Troienne at Churchill Downs. She got the better of Letruska in the Azeri, which should be a quality form guide for this contest.
Her 3-year-old form was outstanding when winning the Grade I Kentucky Oaks in September. It’s her highest-rated win and co-owner Staton Flurry is happy with her progress since her last run in June.
“We circled this race early on since the Breeders’ Cup will be run at Del Mar,” Flurry told Bloodhorse. “We want to get a race over the track, plus we think she will benefit from getting back to two turns.
“She’s training great at Ellis right now, so she will ship out next Wednesday. Looks like it is shaping up to be a competitive race.”
Mr. Man update from @camehome1517 …..he waiting for his girl Shedaresthedevil to return from her west coast beach trip 🌊🏝. In the meantime he will not complain about not having to share a fan pic.twitter.com/HoWUyXbnIm
Brad H. Cox Racing (@bradcoxracing) July 28, 2021
She has yet to win from two attempts at Del Mar, but she hasn’t raced at the Californian track since finishing fourth in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2019.
That was her career-worst run, which is some record. She owns seven wins and six placings from 14 starts, which is tough to overlook and horse racing betting markets reflect as much.
As Time Goes By Has Potential
The Bob Baffert-trained As Time Goes By is a rising star of the 4-year-old filly ranks and she could pose a challenge to the favorite.
She finished second in the Beholder Mile Stakes behind the talented Swiss Skydiver before winning the Santa Margarita Stakes and Santa Maria Stakes.
🏆 AS TIME GOES BY
(Mike Smith – Bob Baffert
SANTA MARGARITA STAKES 2021 ($200,000) Santa Anita Park @santaanitapark @mikeesmith10 @BobBaffert @coolmorestud @coolmoreamerica @amer_pharoah @baffert_horses
📷 @BruinLisa pic.twitter.com/DzWBjPoqcm
Stakes Winners 🏆 (@StakesWinners) April 25, 2021
The wins came against easier opposition, but she is a Grade I-winning filly in the making and she has the Baffert factor. He has a knack for winning the big California races and the daughter of American Pharoah gives him an excellent chance of success.
Baffert won the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes in 2020 with Fighting Mad. It was his first win in the race and he has a filly good enough to give him consecutive victories.
Venetian Harbor Could Land Prize
The Richard Baltas-trained filly has been around the mark throughout her career and she enters with a Grade II Monrovia Stakes win under her belt.
Jockey Mario Gutierrez, who was aboard for the first time, was complimentary of her effort.
“I had the opportunity to work her in the mornings, so I already knew a lot about her,” said Gutierrez. “I knew she carried the speed, that was never the question. I just let her break and right away, try to not ask her too much, she did the rest. She put herself in the race, after that, it was just wait for the time to kick home and she got the job done.”
It was her first run since finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup, and although yet to win at Grade I level, she owns numerous Grade II wins and placings. The daughter of Munnings finished second in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland and second in the Test Stakes at Saratoga.
It’s high-level form and we wouldn’t be surprised if Venetian Harbor figured in the finish. It could pay to watch for late online betting moves.