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Spinster Preview: Letruska’s Last Breeders’ Cup Distaff Prep
Letruska (Credit: Coady Photography)

Spinster Preview: Letruska’s Last Breeders’ Cup Distaff Prep

LEXINGTON, KY – Unquestionable division leader Letruska is set to make her last prep for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Distaff in Sunday’s $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.

The Spinster is a 1 1/8-mile dirt route open to fillies and mares ages 3 and up that serves as the penultimate event on a 10-race card with a local post time of 5:15 PM. The race is also 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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Here’s a look at the full field for the Spinster:

1. Dunbar Road 5/1 – After hitting the board in 10 of her first 11 starts, she’s yet to do so in 3 attempts this year, though her fourth in the Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) last out came 3/4 of a length behind the winner. The good news is that’s the closest she’s come to winning since July 2020 and she earned a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure; the bad news is that two who beat her last out return.

2. Bonny South 9/2 – She began the year winning the 1 1/16-mile Doubledogdare Stakes (G3) over this course by a hard-fought head over a next-out stakes winner. She was second in both the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) and the Personal Ensign, each time behind Letruska, and she was second in both attempts at this distance in 2020. Her works post-Personal Ensign hint that she’s still primed.

3. Town Avenger 20/1 – After winning 1 of 3 starts on turf to begin her career, she transferred to dirt and convincingly defeated first-level allowance horses going a sloppy (sealed) one-turn mile at Churchill Downs. She earned a career-best 90 Beyer that still sits far below what her top rivals average, but this 3-year-old seems to be improving and worked 4 furlongs over fast dirt in :47 flat last week.

4. Letruska 4/5 – Her whirlwind 2021 tour brings her to Keeneland for latest test, and with her comes her 4-race win streak against the best in this division. She took a short 2-month break before the Personal Ensign, which she won with a hard-fought gate-to-wire effort that forced her to repel virtually all eight rivals at one point or another. How much that tough effort took out of her remains to be seen.

5. Envoutante 6/1 – She makes her second start off the bench after finishing third in the 1 1/16-mile Locust Grove Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs last month. She defeated Bonny South and six others by 6 lengths in last November’s Falls City Handicap (G2) going this long at Churchill Downs, an effort that netted her a career-best 101 Beyer. A return to that form would make her dangerous here.

6. Crystal Ball 5/1 – She netted a win and 2 narrow defeats in 3 starts since Rudy Brisset took over her training duties this summer. She took home the 1 1/8-mile Lady Jacqueline Stakes at Thistledown, then ran third in the Shuvee (G3) by 3/4 of a length and was runner-up by a neck in the Locust Grove. Tyler Gaffalione rides for the second straight start and wins at a 19% clip riding for Brisset.

7. High Regard 20/1 – She steps up to Grade 1 level for the first time while winless in 6 starts this year, with her best finish coming when third 2 starts back in the 1-mile Groupie Doll Stakes at Ellis Park. Last of six in the Locust Grove last time out, her connections might be hoping that this 5-year-old mare hits the board to gain Grade 1 blacktype, which greatly increases her value as a broodmare.

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