Letruska's unlikely start in life was matched by an unlikely opening to her racing career. Bred and owned by German Larrea Mota-Velasco (who campaigns St. George Stable in the United States), Letruska began her racing career in Mexico, not exactly what one would expect for a future Eclipse Award winner. What would be expected is that a filly with that kind of inherent talent would be head and shoulders above her contemporaries on that circuit, and indeed she was. She won six straight races in 2018-2019 including the Clasico Esmeralda and Clasico Diamante---both accounted Grade 1 races in Mexico---and then went to represent Mexico at the 2019 Copa Internacional del Caribe Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Running against males, she won that race as well and was named the Mexican champion 3-year-old filly of 2019.
Even top-class Mexican form does not necessarily translate to championship form or anything close to it in the United States, but trainer Fausto Gutierrez (who was Mexico's champion trainer for 10 consecutive years) was confident that Letruska could make the transition. Continuing to race at Gulfstream, she won the 2020 Added Elegance Stakes and the Rampart Stakes (USA-G3). Later in the year, she went to the Saratoga meeting and was successful there as well, capturing the Shuvee Stakes (USA-G3).
Letruska continued at the same level in January 2021, scoring an easy victory in the Houston Ladies Classic (USA-G3). Then Gutierrez decided it was time to send her against the best of the older female division and took her to Oaklawn Park. 2020 Longines Kentucky Oaks (USA-G1) winner Shedaresthedevil, who would win two more Grade 1 stakes in 2021, beat Letruska a head in the Azeri Stakes (USA-G2). The narrow defeat appeared to whet Letruska's zest for combat, for she stepped up in her next race, the Apple Blossom Handicap (USA-G1), to outduel two-time American champion Monomoy Girl by a nose, with 2020 American champion 3-year-old filly Swiss Skydiver (herself a Grade 1 winner in 2021) further back.
For the rest of the year, Letruska made it plain that the torch had been passed to her as the queen of American racing. A painful loss in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (USA-G1) as the result of a pace meltdown was certainly a disappointment, but it did nothing to diminish the luster of a year in which the mare had won six graded stakes, four of them at the Grade 1 level. She defeated every major contender in the division; she won her Grade 1 races at four different tracks (Oaklawn, Saratoga, Belmont, and Keeneland); and the only thing she did not do that might have burnished her name still brighter was to take on top males. That last does not appear to be in the cards for 2022, as Gutierrez has already stated that Letruska will not compete outside her division, but the fact that she will be back at all to defend her crown is a blessing in a game in which too many stars are gone too soon. She is expected to make her first start of 2022 on February 26 in the Royal Delta Stakes (USA-G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Letruska is the fifth foal of Grade 2-placed Magic Appeal, whose full brother J P's Gusto won the 2010 Del Mar Futurity (USA-G1) and two other graded stakes during his juvenile season. Previous to Letruska, Magic Appeal had produced Grade 1-placed listed stakes winner Trigger Warning (by Candy Ride) and listed stakes-placed American Doll (by Tiznow). Three foals of racing age following the champion have done nothing to distinguish themselves, but Magic Appeal has a 2020 colt by Arrogate and a 2021 filly by Malibu Moon waiting in the wings and was bred to Curlin for 2022.
Magic Appeal is out of listed stakes winner Call Me Magic (by multiple juvenile Grade 2 winner Caller I.D.), whose broodmare credits also include stakes-placed Kid Majic (by Lemon Drop Lid), dam of 2015 Bessarabian Stakes (CAN-G2) winner Miss Mischief (by Into Mischief), and Magical Mist (by Congaree), dam of multiple stakes winner Swagger Jagger (by Crown of Thorns). Produced from Malibu Magic, an Encino half sister to 1989 Santa Anita Oaks (USA-G1) winner Imaginary Lady (by Marfa), Call Me Magic traces back to the 1936 mare Duplication (Diavolo x Double Time, by Sir Gallahad III), whose stakes-winning half sister Alablue (by Blue Larkspur) is the ancestress of a great American family that includes American champions Revidere and Classic Empire as well as the important stallions Boldnesian and Harlan's Holiday.