SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – St. George Stable homebred Letruska won the game of “catch me if you can” against eight rivals in Sunday’s $125,000 Shuvee Stakes (G3) at Saratoga.
Breaking from post 3 under Joel Rosario as the 7/2 second choice, Letruska went straight to the front and, given an unpressured lead, posted opening fractions of :23.05, :46.20, and 1:09.51.
Widening her margin as she passed through the far turn, Letruska turned for home with nary a rival in sight. Royal Flag made a strong stretch bid to close the gap, but Letruska held safe to win.
The Fausto Gutierrez trainee crossed a length the best in a final time of 1:48.94 for the 1 1/8-mile fast dirt route.
“O thought I would find myself on the lead and hopefully have a little left at the end,” Rosario said. “She’s super fast. … She relaxed nicely. I put my hands down and she was really calm and happy. It was a very good performance.”
Royal Flag’s effort, though not enough to catch the winner, put her 3/4 of a length past Our Super Freak, who had been the leader’s closest stalker throughout most of the race.
Golden Award nosed out Lucky Stride for fourth, while Bellera and Another Broad were a further 1/2-length and 3/4 of a length, respectively, behind them.
The 3/1 favorite Nonna Madeline and Lucky Move completed the order of finish.
Letruska’s win improved her record to 13-10-0-1, including a perfect 6-for-6 in Mexico, where she began her racing career. The Kentucky-bred 4-year-old Super Saver filly has now earned $243,539 after winning her first American-based graded stakes (she won a pair of Grade 1s in Mexico).
“She went very fast in the beginning, but at the end, she had horse,” Gutierrez said. “At the start, she didn’t get the best jump. The first jump was a little bit slow, but after that she started to improve … She’s a filly that needs speed and distance. This is obvious in her races here and in Mexico. In Mexico, she doesn’t have the big competition, but she made very good times. I think this is the kind of race she can run.”
Letruska returned $9.30 to win, $5.90 to place, and $4.30 to show. Royal Flag brought back $6.50 to place and $5.10 to show, while Our Super Freak paid $5.90 to show.