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LEXINGTON, KY – St. George Stable homebred Letruska essentially cashed a lucrative workout check for winning her final start before the World Championships in Sunday’s $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.
The Spinster is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, awarding an automatic berth in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Del Mar this November.
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Letruska broke from post 4 as the 2/5 favorite under Irad Ortiz Jr. and went straight to the lead, where she played “catch me if you can” through opening fractions of :24 flat, :47.89, and 1:12.52.
Envoutante and Town Avenger, side-by-side down the backstretch in stalking positions, failed to fire when asked in the far turn as Crystal Ball attempted to circle them three-wide but failed to catch the leader.
Letruska straightened for home with an insurmountable lead, and though she needed to be given a few reminders late, the Fausto Gutierrez trainee crossed 1 3/4 lengths the best while completing the 1 1/8-mile fast dirt route in 1:49.01.
“She’s doing so good right now,” said Ortiz Jr. “I think she has great condition, a good trainer. She’s doing unbelievable right now. She was just moving smooth out there. She didn’t go that fast today but she did it easy, relaxed, and whenever I asked her, she was there for me.”
Just as they did last time out in the Personal Ensign Stakes (G1), Dunbar Road and Bonny South rallied from the back of the pack but couldn’t catch Letruska. This time, it was Dunbar Road taking the runner-up honors for her first on-the-board effort in 2021.
Bonny South took third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Dunbar Road and 2 1/2 lengths clear of Crystal Ball, Envoutante, and a distanced Town Avenger. High Regard scratched.
Letruska’s win was her fifth straight (with 4 of those coming in Grade 1s) and improved her overall record to 22-17-1-1 with $2,236,459 earned. The 5-year-old Super Saver mare’s last 4 victories were all “Win and You’re In” events, stamping herself as the de facto division leader and a possible Horse of the Year.
“This is a horse to change the life of any person,” Gutierrez said. “She’s a superstar and she proves (it) every second, every race. She shows her game, her ability at Churchill, at Oaklawn, at Saratoga. She’s a race horse.”
Letruska returned $2.80 to win, $2.10 to place, and $2.10 to show. Dunbar Road brought back $3.40 to place and $2.20 to show. Bonny South paid $2.40 to show.
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