Copa Invitacional del Caribe winner Back at Gulfstream
Friday, June 26, 2020
HALLANDALE BEACH - Letruska is set to make her return to Gulfstream Park’s main track for the first time since outrunning older males during a 4 ¼-length romp at the demanding 1 ¼-mile distance last December.
The 4-year-old daughter of Super Saver, who remained undefeated after her first seven career starts in the Copa Invitacional del Caribe for St. George Stable on the Dec. 8 Clasico Internacional del Caribe program, is scheduled to clash with seven other fillies and mares in Saturday’s $60,000 Added Elegance.
First race post for the 12-race program is noon. Six of the dozen races are scheduled for the turf, with four scheduled as part of the Rainbow 6 along with the Added Elegance.
Trainer Fausto Gutierrez had nominated Letruska to the June 11 Coaltown, an overnight handicap for 3-year-olds and up that attracted Gr. 1 runners Math Wizard and Diamond Oops, then opted to wait for Saturday’s mile overnight stakes for fillies and mares.
“She has worked very good - she’s been very relaxed,” said Gutierrez, whose stable is based at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. “I tried to run her two times, once against the boys, but in the end, I decided to wait because this race was very near. I think this is the perfect race for her.”
“The last time [she ran against males] she got 13 pounds, it was a good handicap,” said Gutierrez, whose stable was primarily based in Mexico until this year.
After Letruska won her seventh in a row on Dec. 8, she sustained her first career loss in her turf debut in the Dec. 28 Tropical Park Oaks, in which she set a keen early pace before tiring to finish 13th. The Kentucky-bred filly rebounded while returning to dirt and coming off a 3 ½-month layoff to capture an April 16 allowance at Oaklawn Park. “She was incredible off the layoff," Gutierrez said. "She ran a very high [speed] figure. She ran against very nice competition, fillies who have run in stakes.”
Letruska set a solid early pace and drew away to a 2 ¼-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile allowance in which the runner-up was Todd Pletcher-trained Nonna Madeline, a multiple graded stakes-placed filly who is also entered in the Added Elegance.
Letruska came back on April 30 and sustained her first loss on dirt at Oaklawn, tiring to third after setting a pressured pace in a mile allowance won by multiple graded-stakes winner Blamed.
The second time she ran at Oaklawn, it was just 14 days after the first,” Gutierrez said. “It was like a stakes. Out of seven who ran six won stakes.”
Emisael Jaramillo, who was aboard for the Copa Invitacional del Caribe victory, will be back Saturday aboard Letruska, who will carry 126 pounds, four more than Nonna Madeline.
Teresa Viola Racing Stables and St. Elias Stable’s Nonna Madeline is set to make her first start since finishing second behind Letruska on April 16. The 4-year-old daughter of Candy Ride had previously finished third in the Gr. II Inside Information and fourth in the Gr. III Hurricane Bertie after winning an allowance after a 14-month layoff during Gulfstream’s Championship Meet.
dgard Zayas is slated to ride Nonna Madeline for the first time.
Ken Copenhaver’s Queen Nekia will seek to rebound from a 10th-place finish in the April 18 Gr. I Apple Blossom at Oaklawn. The 5-year-old daughter of Harlington had previously finished third at Gulfstream in the Gr. II Royal Delta, beaten three-quarters of a length by Cookie Dough. Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. gave the call aboard Queen Nekia to Samy Camacho.
Irv Cowan’s Remarkable Soul, Steve Dwoskin’s Helping Lisa D., Starship Stables and Dwoskin’s Starship Bonita, Magic Stables LLC and Cairoli Racing Stable’s Bella Ciao, and My Purple Haze Stables LLC’s Heiressall, round out the field
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