Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Gun Runner’s brilliant 4-year-old filly Echo Zulu thoroughly dominated the field in the Honorable Miss S. (G2) July 26 at Saratoga, cruising to a 7 ¼-length win in the six-furlong contest.

Facing just three foes, Echo Zulu went right to the front and got a contested half-mile in :44.45. She shook clear of Frank’s Rockette coming into the stretch and was all alone from then on. Despite being eased up late, she finished the distance in 1:08.76, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 112, which is tied for the top number by any horse, male or female, this year.

“I was extremely nervous about just getting away from there [the gate] cleanly,” said winning trainer Steve Asmussen. “[But] she broke well, very comfortable and very fast. She looked beautiful coming into the stretch. [Her speed] is not new. From her maiden race here, she goes along at a rate that they’re not comfortable doing. I think it’s that simple: she’s extremely fast. She really is. She’s doing it quicker than they are, easier than they are in comparison to the other horses.”

Echo Zulu, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2021, has won eight of 10 starts, seven of them in graded stakes, and earned $2,365,375 for L and N Racing LLC and Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC. She was bred by Betz/Burns/CHNNHK/Magers/CoCo Equine/Ramsby.

Asmussen said Echo Zulu would make her next start in the Aug. 26 Ballerina H. (G1) at Saratoga.

Gun Runner is the leading Third-Crop Sire and is in the top five on the 2023 General Sire list with over $9 million in progeny earnings, with nine stakes winners and 24 stakes horses.