Exotics plays for the Royal Delta Stakes on Feb. 26
Eclipse Award winner #6 Letruska (2-5) will make her six-year-old debut when leading a field of seven fillies and mares postward in Saturday’s $150,000 Royal Delta S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
The standout daughter of Super Saver picked up six graded stakes trophies in total last campaign, four being of the Grade-1 variety, and she has been training like a mare ready to run her best.
Letruska is three-for-three on the Gulfstream surface and has the running style that is tailor-made for the course. Also a champion in Mexico, the fleet bay is 17-for-23 in her career and is easily the swiftest horse in the affair if pilot Jose Ortiz opts to send her to the front early on. The Kentucky-bred will be a minuscule price on the tote board, so finding value will come in the exotics.
#2 Into Vanishing (12-1) finished a smart runner-up on the All-Weather here most recently in her first appearance since March. The lightly-raced Augustin Stable homebred has flashed potential on more than one occasion in her lifetime, and I expect the Jonathan Thomas pupil to take a big leap forward in her graded debut on Saturday.
The four-year-old filly is likely to save ground behind a sharp early tempo, prior to doing her best work in the stretch under Junior Alvarado.
#5 Key Biscayne (20-1) is three-for-three on the dirt in her career and also picks up Irad Ortiz to ride, so she has to be included in some wagers. The Juan Alvarado-trained chestnut has kept very good company on the green, and with a well-timed ride, I envision her challenging for a minor award late at a square price on this oval.
I will take a stand against #3 Crazy Beautiful (4-1), who rallied impressively to take the 2021 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) on the course. The Ken McPeek pupil is obviously full of ability but I see a pair of reasons to try and keep her out of the exotics in this spot.
First, the four-year-old will be using this event as a springboard to other races later in the season and will not be fully cranked up on Saturday. And secondly, her off-the-pace running style will have her up against it over a course that generally plays very well to early types.
Royal Delta exotics wagers
- $20 exacta 6 with 2 ($20)
- $10 exacta 6 with 5 ($10)
- $1 trifecta 6 with 2, 5 with all ($10)