Kentucky-bred Letruska, the reigning Champion Older Mare, won the Apple Blossom H. (G1) at Oaklawn Park on April 23, and in the process joined some elite company. With the victory, the St. George Stable homebred joined Hall of Famers Paseana (ARG), Azeri, and Zenyatta as just the fourth horse in the race’s history to win more than one edition of the prestigious race.
Ridden by Jose Ortiz, Letruska, who captured the Apple Blossom in 2021, broke sharply once again and showed the way through early fractions of :23 3/5 and :47 1/5. Ce Ce, who captured the Apple Blossom in 2020, tried to engage Letruska around the far turn but subsequently lost second in the end to Clairiere. Shrugging off all her rivals, Letruska powered home to a 1 ¼-length score, stopping the clock for the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42 1/5.
“This horse is different,” winning trainer Fausto Gutierrez said. “To win the Apple Blossom twice is great. This was a handicap, and now we’re giving weight; you have to remember that. When we won the Apple Blossom last year, Monomoy (Girl) was giving us weight. She ran great. All the time I’m nervous with these races. She’s come back in good form, and now we’re thinking about the next race.”
A 6-year-old daughter of Super Saver out of the Successful Appeal mare Magic Appeal, Letruska now owns a record of 25-19-1-1 and she has banked $2,948,529. Prior to the Apple Blossom, Letruska made her seasonal debut a winning one in the Royal Delta S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park.