Letruska Back in Winning Form in G3 Royal Delta

February 27, 2022

Champion Mare Romps by 3 Lengths Geared Down

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – St. George Stable LLC’s Letruska made an emphatic statement while winning Saturday’s $150,000 Royal Delta (G3) at Gulfstream Park: She’s Back!

The multiple Grade 1 stakes winner, who finished off her 2021 championship season with a subpar effort in the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Del Mar. returned to winning form in the 1 1/16-mile stakes for older fillies and mares with a dominating three-length front-running victory with no need for encouragement from jockey Jose Ortiz.

“I think this is important. Now, she is 6 years old, and she made it look easy. It’s not easy. It’s a Grade 3. To win you have to make this kind of effort,” trainer Fausto Gutierrez said. “She looks in very good form and ready for the next race.”

Letruska ($2.20) broke cleanly from the starting gate and took the lead leaving the turn into the backstretch. Ears pricked throughout the remainder of the race, the 6-year-old daughter of Super Saver set comfortable fractions of 24.39 and 48.63 seconds for the first half mile and continued on to capture her 2022 debut while being geared down inside the final sixteenth of a mile.

“She broke well. I put her on the lead, and she relaxed well. Around the three-eighths pole I just smooched at her a little bit. I knew the race was over. She was full of herself. On the straight you could see I was just easing her up,” Ortiz said. “She was looking around at the people inside the track and the photographers and stuff. She did everything very easy.”

Letruska ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.43. Into Vanishing finished second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Il Malocchio. Crazy Beautiful finished fourth another 1 ½ lengths back.

Letruska’s Royal Delta victory came over the track on which she defeated males by 4 ¼ lengths in a 1 ¼-mile stakes on the Classico del Caribe program for horses representing Latin American and the Caribbean back in December 2019. Sixteen races and eight graded stakes (four Grade 1 stakes) victories later, she is the reigning Eclipse Award older dirt female champion.

Letruska entered the Royal Delta undefeated in three starts over Gulfstream’s main track, having also won the 2020 Added Elegance and Rampart (G3) before going on to dominate her division last year. The Kentucky-bred mare captured the Houston Ladies (G3) at Sam Houston, Azeri (G2) and Apple Blossom (G1) at Oaklawn, Ogden Phipps (G1) at Belmont Park, Fleur de Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs, Personal Ensign (G1) at Saratoga and Spinster (G1) at Keeneland. Her 2022 campaign ended on a sour note after she finished off the board in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Del Mar.

“I think the Apple Blossom is next. This year, if everything goes OK, I would like her to run six times,” Gutierrez said. “Last year, she had eight stakes, a lot of Group 1s, traveling all around. Now, we need to go more passive.”

Letruska, who was turned out for six weeks following her loss in the Breeders’ Cup, has pleased her trainer since returning to training.

“She’s more body now. She’s 6 years old,” Gutierrez said. “She got to relax for six weeks and then came back strong.”

Gulfstream Park Press Release

Photo: Letruska (Ryan Thompson Photo)

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