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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

GOING GULFSTREAM – FEB 26

We’re not going to pretend that today’s feature Grade 3 Royal Delta presents a great betting opportunity, It does not. What it does feature, however, is the seasonal debut of a newly crowned champion.

Letruska (2-5) is back and appears unbeatable by any measure. For reference, check out last season’s debut on this surface as evidence: Gulfstream Park, DEC 12, 2020, Race 4. It was her third visit to the Hallandale oval, and they haven’t beaten her yet. Too much talent, too many tools.

The only way to attack the Royal Delta as a betting proposition is the exotics, namely the exacta and the trifecta. The serious competition will come from Crazy Beautiful (4-1) who has enough talent but is also getting her season started.

She, too, likes South Florida as her victory in the Gulfstream Park Oaks last year will attest. She was second in her only other run here. Ken McPeek loves to upset the apple cart–that’s what’s enabled a lifetime profit for the barn in graded stakes.

There is a price shot in here than can help swell the exotic payouts. Second here in her first start in 10 months, Into Vanishing (12-1) was a game second and things should improve as Jonathan Thomas is 28% effective in LAY-2 scenarios.

Early speed in the short-stretch mile and a sixteenth is a good commodity to have. So is an inside draw, a switch to Junior Alvarado, and three sharp blowouts since her last, two of the bullet variety.

Highly unlikely that we will be making a straight wager, but keying Letruska on top with her two rivals here in exactas and trifecta part wheel might surprise, especially if Into Vanishing gets in the number.

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