July 25, 2024

Letruska returns in Royal Delta

Letruska wins the Spinster Stakes at Keeneland (Photo by Coady Photography)

Last year’s champion older dirt female, Letruska will open her six-year-old season in Saturday’s $150,000 Royal Delta S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park. Jose Ortiz retains the assignment for trainer Fausto Gutierrez, and Letruska tops seven fillies and mares in the 1 1/16-mile race.

The Kentucky-bred daughter of Super Saver captured six stakes in 2021, including a trio of Grade 1s, but Letruska must rebound after having a five-race win streak snapped in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Del Mar, weakening to 10th after pressing the pace as the favorite.

She’s shown an affinity for Gulfstream (3-for-3), and Letruska will be forwardly placed as the odds-on favorite.

Crazy Beautiful is the most accomplished rival. A five-time stakes winner, the gray four-year-old rolled to a 2 1/4-length victory in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) last March, and the Liam’s Map filly cuts back to a more favorable distance (6-4-1-0) after a third in the 1 1/8-mile Comely (G3) at Aqueduct last November. Corey Lanerie will be up on the Kenny McPeek trainee.

A multiple stakes winner on Woodbine’s Tapeta, Il Malocchio was also stakes-placed on dirt last year, and she will return to the main track for Martin Drexler following a five-month layoff. Javier Castellano takes over the reins. Key Biscayne, a Gulfstream off-the-turf stakes heroine, is also part of the mix. The five-year-old mare has raced primarily on turf, but three of her four wins have come on dirt. Irad Ortiz Jr. rides for Juan Alvarado.

Family Time, Helping Lisa D, and Into Vanishing round out the field.