SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Keeping watch over trainer Fausto Gutierrez’s stable star Sunday morning, groom Jose Diaz reported St. George Stable homebred Letruska emerged from her thrilling victory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $600,000 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti in good order.
Diaz said Letruska will leave Saratoga Monday bound for Monmouth Park, where the South Florida-based Gutierrez also maintains a string of horses. The trainer said Letruska would be pointed to the Grade 1, $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster October 10 at Keeneland as a final prep for the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff November 6 at Del Mar.
Letruska led from start to finish and turned back several challengers in the final furlong to capture the 1 1/8-mile Personal Ensign by a half-length, her fourth consecutive victory and 16th in 21 lifetime starts. Nine of her wins have come in graded-stakes, five of them against Grade or Group 1 competition.
“She has ability, but more she has a big heart. This a special horse,” Gutierrez said following the win. “To have this speed and to be able to run long distances, and to have the big heart is special. Not for nothing, I think this is one of the best horses in the country.”
The Personal Ensign was Letruska’s third victory this year in a “Win and You’re In” challenge race for the Distaff, following the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps June 5 at Belmont Park and Grade 2 Fleur de Lis June 26 at Churchill Downs. She has won five of her six starts in 2021, including a defeat of champion Monomoy Girl in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom April 17 at Oaklawn Park. Her lone loss this year came by a head in Oaklawn’s Grade 2 Azeri March 13.
Personal Ensign Replay
Photo: Letruska earning her 101 BSF. (NYRA/Coglianese)