Unmissable Mare Rivalry: Azeri Stakes Showdown

Exciting Showdown: Ce Ce vs. Shedaresthedevil in the Azeri Stakes

One of the most anticipated races at Oaklawn Park is the Grade 3 Azeri Stakes, where spectators will witness a clash between Ce Ce, the reigning Eclipse Award-winning female sprinter, and Shedaresthedevil, the defending champion of the Azeri Stakes. These two talented mares headline a field of nine filly/mare contenders, all vying for victory in the 1 1/16-mile race. With post time set for 5:10 p.m. (CT), racing enthusiasts can expect an intense battle on the track.

A Close Look at Ce Ce

Ce Ce, trained by Mike McCarthy, is no stranger to success. After capturing her first Grade 1 win in the Apple Blossom Handicap two years ago, she has consistently impressed with her performances. Since her Grade 2 Princess Rooney Invitational victory at Gulfstream Park in July, Ce Ce has won three out of her last five races. Notably, her most remarkable achievement was a dominant 2 ½-length triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Del Mar in November. In total, she boasts eight victories in her 17 starts, including three at the Grade 1 level. Furthermore, her previous win in the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park demonstrates her affinity for this track. With an impressive track record and career earnings of $1,793,100, Ce Ce is undoubtedly a mare to watch.

Ce Ce’s Enigma: Two-Turn Races

Despite her undeniable talent, Ce Ce’s performance in two-turn races remains a mystery. Her last attempt at such a race was in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita Park last spring, where she finished last in a four-filly field. Trainer Mike McCarthy considers this race to be a significant test for Ce Ce’s two-turn ability, hoping for better results this time. Though her performance in such races may be uncertain, her strong connection to Oaklawn Park and her impressive past performances make her a formidable competitor.

The Consistency of Shedaresthedevil

Shedaresthedevil, trained by Brad Cox, enters the Azeri Stakes as the morning line favorite and the defending champion. Her victory in last year’s Azeri, where she wired the field and edged out Letruska by a head, marked the beginning of an impressive streak for this 5-year-old mare. Since then, she has secured four wins in her last six races, including two Grade 1 victories. Shedaresthedevil’s triumphs in the La Troienne at Churchill Downs and the Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar showcase her versatility and ability to perform well at this distance. Additionally, she has won seven out of her ten starts at the 1 1/16-mile distance, confirming her consistency and prowess.

A Versatile Competitor

What makes Shedaresthedevil a threat in any race is her adaptability and versatility. In the Azeri Stakes, she showcased her gate-to-wire skills, but her racing style is not limited to just one approach. In the Grade 3 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park two years ago, Shedaresthedevil demonstrated her ability to rally from behind. With a powerful surge, she overtook her rivals and secured victory by less than a length. Trainer Brad Cox appreciates this versatility, stating that Shedaresthedevil doesn’t necessarily need the lead to perform well. With jockey Florent Geroux aboard, tactical decisions will be made based on the break and the comfort level of both horse and rider.


The upcoming Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park promises to be a thrilling race between Ce Ce and Shedaresthedevil. As the reigning Eclipse Award winner and the defending champion, respectively, both mares bring their unique strengths and accomplishments to the track. Ce Ce’s impressive track record and powerful performances make her a strong contender, while Shedaresthedevil’s consistency and versatility add to the excitement. With an intense rivalry shaping up between these two formidable competitors, racing fans are in for a treat.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is the trainer of Ce Ce?

Ce Ce is trained by Mike McCarthy.

2. How many Grade 1 victories does Ce Ce have?

Ce Ce has accumulated three Grade 1 victories in her career.

3. Who is the trainer of Shedaresthedevil?

Shedaresthedevil is trained by Brad Cox.

4. What is Shedaresthedevil’s record at the 1 1/16-mile distance?

Shedaresthedevil has an impressive record of seven wins in ten starts at the 1 1/16-mile distance.

5. What was Shedaresthedevil’s most recent Grade 1 victory?

Shedaresthedevil’s most recent Grade 1 victory came in the Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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