A filed of seven fillies and mares will head to the gate on Sunday at Del Mar in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch (G1) going 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
The race is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) which will be held at Del Mar on Nov. 6.
The Brad Cox trained Shedaresthedevil is the 7-5 morning line favorite. The filly was third behind Letruska in her last outing at Belmont Park in the Ogden Phipps (G1). She wo her first two starts in 2021, taking the Azeri (G2) and La Troienne (G1). She won the Kentucky Oaks (G1) last year, one of four wins in her three-year-old season.
“She travels really well,” Cox assistant Eris Gary said. “We’ve had her out a couple times and she has handled the track really well. I think this race has probably been a part of the plan for her all along. The ultimate goal is the Breeders’ Cup here, so that would figure.”
Her main rival will be the Bob Baffert trained As Time Goes By (8-5) who has won four of her last five starts. She won the Santa Maria (G2) at Santa Anita by a nose in her last start on May 22. Baffert won the race last year with Fighting Mad.
As Time Goes By Wins Santa Maria
Venetian Harbor (2-1) came back off the layoff with a sharp win on turf in the Monrovia (G2). The Richard Baltas trainee’s best effort going two turns on the main track came in Ashland (G1) last year at Keeneland where she was second to Speech.
“It’s a very tough race, there are some very good mares in there and it might be a little long for her,” Baltas said. “But if she can get out there, relax a little bit and get a breather we’ll see what happens. Our strategy isn’t necessarily to go, you play the break. But I don’t know if anybody is going to want to go right with her.”
Completing the field are Warren’s Showtime (8-1), Clockstrikestwelve (30-1), Paige Anne (15-1), and Cover Version (30-1).
The Clement L. Hirsch is the ninth race on the 10-race card on Sunday with a post time of 6:00 PT.
Let’s head out to Del Mar for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Del Mar Race 9 The Clement L. Hirsch G1 (6:00 PT)
#3 As Time Goes By 8-5
#7 Shedaresthedevil 7-5
#1 Warren’s Showtime 8-1
#6 Venetian Harbor 2-1
As Time Goes By
This gal is sent out by the Baffert barn and she makes her first start since winning the Santa Maria (G2) by a nose back on May 22. She only had to beat three foes in that victory but the third-place finisher Miss Story D came back to win the She’s a Tiger at Pleasanton and the fourth-place finisher Ce Ce came back to win the Princess Rooney (G2) in her next start. The Baffert trainee won the Santa Margarita by 9 1/4 lengths two back at nine furlongs and three back made a mild late rally to finish third in the Beholder Mile (G1) behind Swiss Skydiver. This race is top heavy with early speed and this gal looks as if she can sit off the pace and having Smith in the irons should help. Baffert has hit at just a 14% clip so far at the meet after winning at a 24% rate the past two summers here.
The Cox trainee had won five of six starts going into the Ogden Phipps (G1) last out at Belmont Park. She prompted the early pace and battled on until late in a third-place finish behind Letruska. She was down toward the 2-3 paths on a day the outer paths seemed to be the best place to be that day. The winner came back to win the Fleur De Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs in her next outing. She came off the bench three back to win the Azeri (G2) in a gate effort at Oaklawn Park and then won the La Troienne (G1) at Churchill Downs. She faces a group with plenty of early speed and that is not going to play in her favorite. She has shown an ability to sit and pounce and that likely will be the strategy here.
The filly has made her last six starts on turf, last out winning the Wilshire (G3) at a mile with a good late rally. She has run well on dirt including winning the state bred Melair last June at Santa Anita. The Lewis trainee rarely runs a bad one, landing in the money in 18 of her 20 career starts including three of four over a fast dirt surface. This race sets up for somebody coming from off the pace and she should be coming late at a decent price. She has a shot of breaking up a chalky exacta.
WIN: As Time Goes By to win at 8-5 or better.
EXACTA: 3 / 1,7