By US Racing Team
Without a doubt, Letruska is clearly the one to beat in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) on Saturday at Del Mar. The 5-year-old daughter of Super Saver (2010 Kentucky Derby winner) is a deserving 8-5 morning-line favorite in a field of 11 fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles.
The competition will be as tough as it gets with top challengers including Shedaresthedevil, Malathaat, Clairiere, a pair of Bob Baffert entries (Private Mission, As Time Goes By) and a pair of Chad Brown entries (Royal Flag, Dunbar Road).
There’s been and upset or two before in the Distaff – Spain at 55-1 in 2000 and even Blue Prize at 8-1 with a surprise win over even-money favorite Midnight Bisou in 2019 come to mind.
We asked our usracing.com contributors to pick the 1-2-3 finishers in Distaff, and the top choice is – who else? – Letruska, with a few nods to Shedaresthedevil.
Here’s the winning picks breakdown: Letruska (5); Shedaresthedevil (2); Malathaat (1).
“Horseplayers will try to beat Letruska, but they’d have to be out of their minds to have any confidence in doing so. She’s perfect for a reason and without an off day she’s unbeatable here.” – Margaret Ransom
“Her speed figures in her recent races don’t jump off the chart, but speed figures don’t measure heart, grit and determination. She’s got all three.” – John Furgele
“Malathaat rates in fifth while pressure from Private Mission, Horologist and Shedaresthedevil wears down front-running Letruska. Malathaat grinds past Shedaresthedevil at the sixteenth pole and edges clear.” – Ed McNamara
“Letruska has been the standout in the division all year. She did just enough to win her final prep and there’s plenty left in the tank for one more win to add to her long list of victories in 2021.” – Noel Michaels
“Letruska is the class of the field and can repel any early pressure. Royal Flag and Shedaresthedevil are there in the unlikely event the early pace fails.” – Ray Wallin
“Let’s not forget this 4-year-old filly has a sterling resume, too, and a win over Letruska.” – Jenny Kellner
“Looks like the right distance for a champion-in-the-making to put an exclamation point on her 2021 campaign – Letruska has won her last three at the 1 1/8-mile Distaff distance.” – Richard Rosenblatt
“She’s had an amazing year and I have enjoyed watching her. And that’s why she’ll win!” – Charlie Garth
|1||Private Mission||8-1||Bob Baffert||Flavien Prat|
|2||Royal Flag||8-1||Chad Brown||Joel Rosario|
|3||Malathaat||4-1||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher|
|4||Blue Stripe (ARG)||30-1||Lafranco Dettori||Marcelo Polanco|
|5||Clairiere||12-1||Ricardo Santa Ana,Jr||Steven Asmussen|
|6||Letruska||8-5||Fausto Gutierrez||Irad Ortiz, Jr.|
|7||Horologist||30-1||William Mott||Junior Alvarado|
|8||Shedaresthedevil||4-1||Brad Cox||Florent Geroux|
|9||As Time Goes By||15-1||Bob Baffert||Luis Saez|
|10||Marche Lorraine (JPN)||30-1||Yoshito Yahagi||Oisin Murphy|
|11||Dunbar Road||15-1||Chad Brown||Jose L. Ortiz|
The writing team at US Racing is comprised of both full-time and part-time contributors with expertise in various aspects of the Sport of Kings.