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LOUISVILLE, KY – St. George Stable homebred Letruska scorched her outclassed rivals with ease to win Saturday’s $300,000 Fleur de Lis Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs.
The Fleur de Lis is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Letruska receiving her second automatic berth in the Distaff at Del Mar this November. Letruska previously earned her place when winning the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park June 5.
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Letruska veered outward as she broke from the far outside post 6 under Jose Ortiz as the 3/5 favorite but quickly recovered and went straight to the front, securing sole command heading into the clubhouse turn.
With Antoinette chasing closest behind her, Letruska posted comfortable opening fractions of :24.53, :48.19, and 1:11.36 before she began opening up in the far turn.
Cruising along uncontested as she straightened for home, the Fausto Gutierrez trainee drew off to win the 1 1/8-mile fast dirt route by 5 3/4 lengths in 1:48.57.
“There was a little question mark coming into this race off 3 weeks’ rest, but I knew Fausto is a great trainer and he’d have her ready,” Ortiz said. “She is a really nice mare and she was ready today. She got to the front pretty easy and she was comfortable the entire way around there.”
Antoinette held off Envoutante by 3/4 of a length for second. Point of Honor, Spice Is Nice, and Vault completed the order of finish.
Letruska’s win was her third straight following the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) and the Ogden Phipps last time out, improving her overall record to 20-15-1-1 with $1,616,459 earned. During the post-race interview, Gutierrez indicated that a future showdown against males was in play for the 5-year-old Super Saver mare, with an eye on contending for Horse of the Year honors.
“She’s a spectacular horse,” Gutierrez said. “I don’t really like to say what’s next, but she was great today. We know she’s a really nice dirt horse and is supposed to win at different racetracks and different conditions for a possible Horse of the Year campaign.”
Letruska returned $3.40 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.10 to show. Antoinette brought back $10.60 to place and $4.40 to show. Envoutante paid $2.40 to show.
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