Breeders' Cup Distaff Picks: Letruska Completes a Magnificent Run ...

Beginning in 2021, Fausto Gutierrez's Letruska started a run at Sam Houton Race Park that will culminate in a win on Saturday in the Distaff. Do both our 'cappers agree?
Beginning in 2021, Fausto Gutierrez's Letruska started a run at Sam Houton Race Park that will culminate in a win on Saturday in the Distaff. Do both our 'cappers agree?
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I both love and hate the Distaff this year. I think it'll be an enthralling race but I'm finding it tough to handicap as I can make a real case for all three at the top of the betting.

J.N. and myself have put together our thoughts but surely Letruska, Malathaat and Shedaresthedevil will be our top three choices but in what order...?

Breeders' Cup Distaff 2021 Racecard

6
PP 6

Letruska

  • Weight: 124 /
  • Age: 5 /
  • Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr. /
  • Trainer: Fausto Gutierrez /
Morning Line Odds
3
PP 3

Malathaat

  • Weight: 121 /
  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: John Velazquez /
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher /
Morning Line Odds
8
PP 8

Shedaresthedevil

  • Weight: 124 /
  • Age: 4 /
  • Jockey: Florent Geroux /
  • Trainer: Brad Box /
Morning Line Odds
1
PP 1

Private Mission

  • Weight: 121 /
  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: Flavien Prat /
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert /
Morning Line Odds
2
PP 2

Royal Flag

  • Weight: 124 /
  • Age: 5 /
  • Jockey: Joel Rosario /
  • Trainer: Chad Brown /
Morning Line Odds
5
PP 5

Clairiere

  • Weight: 121 /
  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr. /
  • Trainer: Steve Asmussen /
11
PP 11

Dunbar Road

  • Weight: 124 /
  • Age: 5 /
  • Jockey: Jose Ortiz /
  • Trainer: Chad Brown /
9
PP 9

As Time Goes By

  • Weight: 124 /
  • Age: 4 /
  • Jockey: Luis Saez /
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert /
10
PP 10

Marche Lorraine

  • Weight: 124 /
  • Age: 5 /
  • Jockey: Oisin Murphy /
  • Trainer: Yoshito Yahagi /
4
PP 4

Blue Stripe

  • Weight: 124 /
  • Age: 4 /
  • Jockey: Frankie Dettori /
  • Trainer: Marcelo Polanco /
Show All Runners

Neil's Take...

I hate this race. Well I should clarify. I hate this race from a handicapping perspective but can’t wait to watch in on Saturday evening. We have three horses who all have real shots to win but which one will come through?

Letruska (#6) has been the best female horse of 2021. Six wins from seven in the calendar year at six different tracks shows that it doesn’t matter where this daughter of Super Saver runs. Her outstanding win at the Grade I Apple Blossom where she bested Monomoy Girl and Swiss Skydiver was the moment the Fausto Gutierrez trained mare announced herself at the very top of the older female division.

I’ve gone the whole week thinking I was going to bet against her and not make her my top choice. I’m sticking with that but I genuinely would not be remotely surprised if any of my top three choices win hence why I’m picking who I think will be the longest price as my top shot. All three are essential in multi-race tickets however.

My top choice will be Kentucky Oaks winner Malathaat (#3). At one point earlier in the season I would not have been shocked to see her go up against the boys either at the Belmont or even in the Classic. She had been that impressive but Todd Pletcher has kept her against the girls she only has one defeat to her name - in the CCA Oaks at Saratoga. This daughter of Curlin bounced back with victory in the Grade I Alabama but that one reversal seems to have scared the betting pools somewhat.

As for Shedaresthedevil (#8), this Brad Cox trained four-year-old is one of the most underappreciated horses for years. With six wins in her previous eight starts including the surprise victory over Swiss Skydiver and Gamine in the 2020 Kentucky Oaks, she has an impressive resume. In addition this daughter of Daredevil is the only horse to have defeated Letruska this year. No way you can write her off.

This should be a thrilling race.

Main: 3, 6, 8

Backup: None

Order of Preference: 3-6-8-9

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J.N's Take...

I truly believe that this is Letruska’s #6 race to lose. You mean to tell me that she is going to come all the way to SoCal, and give up the title this late in the game? I do not think so … Fausto Gutierrez has managed her schedule, and done things to perfection. She has the ability and fitness to see this through. I like her chances, even against Brad Cox’s Shedaresthedevil #8 and Todd Pletcher’s Malathaat #3.

Those 2 runners I personally saw up close this week, and they both looked fabulous. There is no question that they have the ability to reign supreme. I suppose that Cox’s KYOaks Champ (2020) will try to beat Gutierrez’s celebrity up front. If a speed duel ensues, one could argue that could do wonders for Pletcher’s KYOaks winner (2021). What a race we have before us! But it will not happen today, as Letruska does not backdown … let the hype machine loose!

Top Selection: 6

Backups: None

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Breeders Cup 2021
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