7.9.20

Shedaresthedevil wins fastest Gr.1 Kentucky Oaks

Shedaresthedevil carried the Qatar Racing colours to success in the Gr.1 Longines Kentucky Oaks at Churchills Downs on Friday, the fastest running in 146-year history.

Shedaresthedevil won her fourth race from five starts as a three-year-old this year when causing a minor upset in the $1.25m Longines Kentucky Oaks for trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux.

While it's easy to say now, it was a surprise Shedaresthedevil was sent off at 15.10 at Churchill given she'd won the Gr.3 Indian Oaks by five lengths on her previous start in July.

Shedaresthedevil was soon in a prominent position, tracking leader and favourite Gamine. Geroux and Shedaresthedevil applied pressure to Gamine rounding the home turn, with another fancied one in Swiss Skydiver right behind them.

Shedaresthedevil responded very generously to overhaul Gamine and was always holding Swiss Skydiver in the final 100 yards, winning by a length and a half.

The winning time of 1:48.28 for 1 1/8 miles was the fastest in Kentucky Oaks history, beating Bird Town's 2003 time of 1:48.64.

It was a second Kentucky Oaks win for Brad Cox - who grew up two blocks from Churchill Down - after Monomoy Girl in 2018. He told the media after Shedaresthedevil's latest success:

"When you’re 15-1 in a Grade 1, there’s no pressure. You just want to run well. Coming into the race today, I thought we had a big shot. I told Florent, ‘Ride to win the race. If she runs third, it’s a victory.’ … He rode to win the race, and he did it."

Regarding tracking Gamine from the off, Geroux added:

"That was the plan, but sometimes plans don’t always work out. The only question was whether or not I was going to be able to run her down. My filly ran an amazing race.”

Qatar Racing shares ownership of Shedaresthedevil with Flurry Racing Stables and Big Aut Farms. She has now won half of her 10 starts.