With the highly anticipated clash between champions Swiss Skydiver and Monomoy Girl taking place in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park on April 17, the $1 million event figured to be decided by a Kentucky-bred. After the dust settled, however, it was Kentucky-bred Letruska springing the mild upset and getting the best of her chief rivals.
With Irad Ortiz Jr. riding for trainer Fausto Gutierrez, Letruska led the field in the first turn. She showed the way down the backstretch and then in a thrilling stretch duel, the St. George’s Stable homebred gave up the lead to Monomoy Girl in the stretch but fought back bravely to get her nose back in front at the wire. In turning back the champion, Letruska covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.14. It was 6 ½ lengths back to Swiss Skydiver in third.
Letruska is a 5-year-old daughter of Super Saver out of the Successful Appeal mare Magic Appeal. She began her career in Mexico where she won a Grade 1 and relocated back home late in 2019. She had finished second to last year’s Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Shedaresthedevil in the Azeri Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn in March.