La Troienne Stakes Picks: Shedaresthedevil a sturdy favorite

Shedaresthedevil returns to the scene of her breakthrough victory
Shedaresthedevil returns to the scene of her breakthrough victory

The Grade I La Troienne Stakes is Race 8 on the card and the third race as part of the Derby City-6 on Oaks Day this Friday at Churchill Downs. Your 2020 Kentucky Oaks winner Shedaresthedevil is in the field but what does our in-house handicapper think about her chances?

He previews the race below along with his full slate of selections for the card under the Twin Spires. For picks from across the US this Friday then check out our Picks page (linked to below) which is updated overnight with a full slate of selections from the team...

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Sadly this is another race in which I don’t have anything too creative to say. While she’s not going to be quite as heavy a favorite as Maxfield or Aunt Pearl, Shedaresthedevil (#2) is likely to be the clear betting choice in the G1 La Troienne and is my choice, as well. I’ve had a love/hate relationship (primarily the latter) with this filly for a while now. I thought she was completely dressed up off beating some weaker competition heading into last year’s G1 Kentucky Oaks and a hopeless case in that race, so naturally she beat some truly stellar 3-year-old fillies to pull off the upset at 15-1. After a disappointing third in the G1 Spinster at Keeneland to close out the year I thought perhaps my initial read on her was correct and the Oaks was merely a fluke, however she returned last out in the G2 Azeri to prove me wrong once again. In what was likely just a prep for this race, Shedaresthedevil set a swift pace in the Azeri and turned back Letruska, who in turn slayed the giant Monomoy Girl in the G1 Apple Blossom. I don’t think there’s any other way to view Shedaresthedevil’s win in the Azeri as an extremely encouraging starting point for her 4-year-old campaign, and she now gets back on the track over which she posted her breakthrough victory in 2020. There is some other early speed signed on to go with her, but I doubt it will matter as Shedaresthedevil is able to come from off the pace if need be. Given her adaptable running style she’s going to be a handful as she seeks her second G1 victory at Churchill Downs.

In my mind, the main challenger to the favorite is Envoutante (#1), who was no match for Shedaresthedevil in the Azeri but was also just getting her year started. It’s not as if Envoutante was beaten all that much in the Azeri, however, and like Shedaresthedevil the best race of her career came over this track last year when she bounded away to win the G2 Falls City by six lengths. She, too, has a versatile running style, and perhaps the great equalizer here will be that both must run without Lasix for the first time, which could throw a wrench in their form cycles. Irrespective of that, Envoutante has run fast enough to win a race like this and should be in a position to capitalize if Shedaresthedevil fails to fire.


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