Saturday, August 26, 2023

Shortly after Gunite won the Forego S. (G1), Gun Runner got his second Grade 1 winner on Saratoga’s Saturday card when Echo Zulu took the $500,000 Ballerina H. (G1) for her fourth career Grade 1 win and eighth overall graded stakes victory.

Echo Zulu just missed the track record with Saturday’s stellar performance. Showing her customary early speed, she battled with Goodnight Olive for most of the trip. The two were a head apart after a half-mile in :45.23. Just outside the quarter pole, Goodnight Olive got the lead for few strides, but Echo Zulu countered and re-took the top spot, In the stretch, Echo Zulu asserted herself and drew off late to win by 2 ½-lengths in 1:20.95, just two ticks off the track record, over a muddy surface.

“The development that she has shown is so much like her father Gun Runner,” said trainer Steve Asmussen. “The longer you had him, the faster he was and that’s how she’s been. As great as she ran in the Honorable Miss and coming out of her first triple-digit Beyer, your confidence was it was a prep. She’s four-for-four here at Saratoga and has another Grade One win on her resume. Obviously, she’s as fast as a horse can go.”

Echo Zulu is owned by L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC. The champion 2-year-old filly of 2021, Echo Zulu has won nine of 11 starts and earned $2,640,375. She was bred in Kentucky by Betz/J. Betz/Burns/CHNNHK/Magers/CoCo Equine/Ramsby.