Mexican Star Letruska To Try Deeper Waters In Saratoga’s Ballerina

St. George Stable’s Letruska, a multiple Group 1 winner in Mexico and two-time stakes winner in the U.S., will face the biggest test of her career when she makes her Saratoga debut in the Grade 1, $300,000 Ballerina presented by NYRA Bets on August 8.

The seven-furlong Ballerina for fillies and mares 3 and up is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint in November at Keeneland, and is among four graded stakes on the undercard of the Grade 1, $1 million Runhappy Travers program.

Letruska, a 4-year-old daughter of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, arrived last week in Saratoga from South Florida, where she had been based at the Palm Meadows training center.

“I wanted to give her enough time to have a good adaptation,” trainer Fausto Gutierrez said. “She looks perfect. She was in Florida and there the weather conditions are very humid. Before that she was in Mexico City where the weather is a little bit similar to this. I think for any horse here, the weather is perfect for training.”

Under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr., who is signed on to ride in the Ballerina, Letruska breezed a half-mile in 47.04 seconds over Saratoga’s main track Saturday, ranking fourth of 50 horses at the distance.

“I think she likes the track,” Gutierrez said. “When she breezed she breezed very easily, like she liked it a lot. I had the impression during the workout that she was just galloping, and when I checked the time I understand she was running. She came back perfect and scoped good. She’s very, very happy and I think in very good form for this important race.”

Letruska owns nine wins from 11 career starts, winning each of her first seven in Mexico including the Group 1 Clasico Esmerelda and Group 1 Clasico Diamante last summer. Her American debut came against older males in the 1 1/4-mile Copa Invitacional del Caribe in December at Gulfstream Park, where she cruised to a front-running 4 1/4-length triumph.

Following a failed attempt on turf in the Tropical Park Oaks, Letruska was sent to Oaklawn Park for her seasonal debut and first race in 3 ½ months, leading all the way in a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance triumph with Santana up. Last out, she was a gate-to-wire winner of the one-mile Added Elegance on June 27 at Gulfstream.

“She is a racehorse with exceptional speed. It’s not easy to tell when the horses run in Mexico City, because you can’t know the quality and you can’t know the condition,” Gutierrez said. “We run high above sea level, and there is a lot of pollution. There she ran seven times and won the seven very easy in very good times.

“She won a tough allowance at Oaklawn Park after the layoff. The last race she had at Gulfstream, in my opinion, was spectacular. She ran very fast. She covered six furlongs in 1:08 and change,” he added. “This was the reason I came here. I’m sure she is ready for this level of competition.”

Gutierrez said Santana noticed a difference in Letruska in the 3 1/2 months since they were last together in Arkansas.

“He breezed her yesterday and he liked her a lot,” Gutierrez said. “She has grown up a lot and gotten stronger.”

The post Mexican Star Letruska To Try Deeper Waters In Saratoga’s Ballerina appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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