Clement L. Hirsch Stakes 2021 Entries: Shedaresthedevil will do that on Sunday

Trainer Brad Cox sends one of his best to Del Mar for Sunday's Grade I Hirsch S. Have a look at this preview of the race ...
Trainer Brad Cox sends one of his best to Del Mar for Sunday's Grade I Hirsch S. Have a look at this preview of the race ...

1 1/16th (Dirt), Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1), Purse $300k, F&M 3+

The 51st Edition of the Hirsch Stakes is a Grade 1 route which offers female runners the chance to score a “Graded” victory, and simultaneously earn a spot in the starting gate for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). It is “Win and You’re In” time at Del Mar, and of course, they are the host for this year’s purple and white extravaganza. History tells us that the Hirsch was dominated over 10 years ago by John Shirreffs’ excellent “Queen of the Track,” Zenyatta. She won 3 in-a-row starting back in 2008. What a generational horse! Those that came in her wake included runners like Ron Ellis’ Include Me Out, and John Sadler’s Iotapa, Stellar Wind (2x), and Ollie’s Candy. Bob Baffert won this contest last year with short-priced favorite Fighting Mad, and that was his 1st victory in this race, ever. Who will take the prize this time around?

Now, let’s find out about this field…


#1 Warren’s Showtime (Jky: JJ Hernandez/Trn: C. Lewis):

Out of Clubhouse Ride, here is a filly who already has 20 starts under her saddle. That makes her pretty experienced, and she comes to Del Mar for the 3rd time in her career. She has never won on this track, but Craig Lewis is hoping that is all going to change. Even though she won the Grade III Wilshire on the grass back at Santa Anita in late June, the surface switch is a concern. Others have done it … that is for sure, but there is some major firepower assembled here. JJ Hernandez is going to have to give it his all.

Grade: C


#2 Clockstrikestwelve (Jky: K. Frey/Trn: J. Wong):

Trainer Jonathan Wong has had a heck of year, much like many a barn has, but he really tried to pack up his stable and ship wherever he could. Coming to Del Mar once again with a string, he sends this 5-yr-mare into this race after she ran earlier this year at Los Al, Golden Gate, and at Santa Anita. Her class is a concern, and Kyle Frey will need to keep her close if he wants to have any shot to cross the wire first. This is just a big ask.

Grade: C


#3 As Time Goes By (Jky: M. Smith/Trn: B. Baffert):

Trainer Bob Baffert is back at it with American Pharoah … well, it is not the Triple Crown-winner per se, but his offspring. This filly is well-bred, and jockey Mike Smith once again takes the controls. Bettors will be enticed by her 2-wins in-a-row, but I wouldn’t be fooled. She is one who absolutely needs the lead, in order for her to take over a race. She felt the pressure last time out in the Santa Maria (G2) @SA, so maybe her streak is in jeopardy. This is Baffert we are talking about, so that will not phase most. I wouldn’t take too short a price on her. Will see how she rates, if she gets into trouble early.

Grade: B+


#4 Paige Anne (Jky: F. Prat/Trn: S. Callaghan):

Trainer Simon Callaghan has this older filly out of Take Charge Indy, and she has the service of Flavien Prat. Perhaps the jockey can rival Baffert’s burner early, and then we might be looking at a speed duel. With only 1 race under her saddle this year, this step up in class from an ALLW Co. 33k at Golden Gate is going to seem like the Moon. Her conditioner knows how to train, and get them ready, so hopefully, that level of fitness will shine through.Grade: C+

#5 Cover Version (Jky: A. Cedillo/Trn: R. Saldana):

The Saldana Barn has this Godolphin bred in their midst, and the filly out of Medaglia d’Oro is one of those switching back to the dirt after running on turf. How that is going to work in here is anyone’s guess. I am actually more concerned about the OC40k Co. she was in. It just is going to be too overwhelming an experience, especially when you compare her to some of the others that are drawn in here. Abel Cedillo is … well … able … but he is no magician in the irons. Big … big … question marks.

Grade: C+


#6 Venetian Harbor (Jky: M. Gutierrez/Trn: R. Baltas):

The 4-yr-old filly out of Munnings has continued to be a bright spot in the barn of Richard Baltas. She has taken on challenges over the past 2 years, and I am impressed with her back class. Not everything has run smoothly, but when you are entered in races like the Fantasy (G3) @OP, Ashland (G1) @KEE, Test (G1) @SPA, and the BC F&M Sprint (G1) @KEE, just to name a few, that is quite a lineup. If Mario Gutierrez can get a quality trip out of her up front, then she might have a shot at this one. The problem is … there is a fair amount of speed signed on her. This is going to be very interesting to see how she responds. Classy lady to be sure …

Grade: B+


#7 Shedaresthedevil (Jky: F. Geroux/Trn: B. Cox):

In 2021, no one is having as good a year in the training business as Brad Cox. He appears poised for a great 2nd Half, and this runner, a filly out of Daredevil, only stumbled in her last outing in the Odgen Phipps (G1). That 3rd place finish was her poorest of the year, but considering she lost to Letruska (1st) and stablemate, Bonny South (2nd), it wasn’t too terrible at all. Now, she is back in action with her regular jock Florent Geroux making the trip out. We should expect that she will be ready to reclaim the top spot in this Grade I race. Her class is irrefutable, as she makes the trip to SoCal. Cox is a master at spotting the correct races, and this only makes her better as she points to a presumed rematch with Letruska in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). A return to Del Mar, after a win this time, would be pretty sweet.

Grade: A-


Join us Sunday for all of our Del Mar selections, where “Surf Meets the Turf!”