Friday, November 05, 2021

Gun Runner’s first crop had a terrific showing during Friday’s Breeders’ Cup, topped by Echo Zulu’s scintillating performance in the Juvenile Fillies (G1).

The Juvenile Fillies drew just six horses, possibly due to Echo Zulu’s impressive record that included clear victories in both the Frizette S. (G1) and Spinaway S. (G1).

The bay filly went right to the front for jockey Joel Rosario, who guided her through an easy half-mile in :47.01. Her closest pursuer, Tarabi, gave way midway on the turn, and Echo Zulu opened up through the stretch to win eased up by 5 ¼-lengths in 1:42.24 for the 1 1/16-miles on the fast main track.

“She means so much to us and the fact that she is from the first crop of Gun Runner, everything that he did for us, it’s surreal that we’re back here at Del Mar for the second Breeders’ Cup when his crowning moment was the Breeders’ Cup here in 2017,” said Racing Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who conditioned Gun Runner and trains Echo Zulu. “She’s just done everything right from the first time we got her. And for her to win in such an authoritative fashion in such an excellent time stands for a true champion.”

Echo Zulu has now earned $1,480,000 for owners L and N Racing & Winchell Thoroughbreds, the latter who owned Gun Runner. The win virtually assured he being named champion 2-year-old filly.

Later on the card, Gun Runner’s 2-year-old colt Pappacap was a gallant second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) to likely champion Corniche. Pappacap, owned and bred by Rustlewood Farm, upped his earnings to $576,000.

Friday’s results solidified Gun Runner’s hold on the top spot on the First-Crop sire list, pushing his progeny earnings past the $3 million mark.