Letruska (inside) © Eclipse Sportswire
St. George Stable’s Letruska, the probable favorite for the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) next Saturday, and Roadrunner Racing, William Strauss, Boat Racing, LLC and Gainesway Stable’s Hot Rod Charlie, a leading contender for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), turned in works over a fast main track at Del Mar Saturday morning.
Letruska, trained by Fausto Gutierrez, worked 5f in 1:01.20 and shortly afterward, Hot Rod Charlie worked 7f in company in 1:26.80 for trainer Doug O’Neill.
Letruska was scheduled to work on her own, but she picked up some company on the backstretch.
“I was not planning on company; it was not ideal,” said Roger Horgan, who was aboard Letruska who stayed to the inside of her unexpected companion. “She did relax. I was a bit concerned, but she switched off and let her do it on her own. I was very proud of her the way she relaxed.”
Gutierrez said Letruska handled the track well, noting that she has handled every track well in a 2021 campaign that has taken her to six tracks previously.
Shortly after Letruska finished, Hot Rod Charlie appeared on the scene working in company with Khantaro d’Oro, a 2-year-old maiden. Del Mar clockers caught Hot Rod Charlie in :47.80 for the half-mile, 1:00.20 for 5f, 1:13 for 6f and 1:26.80 for the seven-eighths
“I thought the work was visually impressive,” O’Neill said. “Charlie sat off his workmate and when Flavien (Prat) called on him, he responded well. He galloped out good and his energy was very high.”
O’Neill also sent out Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) pre-entrant Mackinnon to work 6f on the main track in 1:14.80.
Nine other Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants worked: Ain’t Easy (Juvenile Fillies) 5f in 1:01, Desert Dawn (Juvenile Fillies) 5f in 1:00.60, Helens Well (IRE) (Juvenile Fillies Turf) 5f in 1:00.60, Oviatt Class (TVG Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance) 5f in :59.60 in company, Proud Emma (Filly & Mare Sprint) 5f in :59.80 with Prat aboard, Aloha West (Qatar Racing Sprint) 4f in :47.20, Channel Maker (Longines Turf) 4f in :48.40, Chaos Theory (Turf Sprint) 4f in :48.20 and Horologist (Longines Distaff) 4f in :49.60.