Thursday, November 04, 2021

Gun Runner, currently the leading First-Crop sire with more than $2 million in progeny earnings, will have his initial runners on Friday in the Breeders’ Cup when Echo Zulu contests the Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Pappacap the Juvenile (G1).

The Breeders’ Cup is being held at Del Mar this year, the same site that Gun Runner won the Classic (G1) in 2017 to cap off his Horse of the Year campaign.

Echo Zulu, who is undefeated with wins in the Frizette S. (G1) and Spinaway S. (G1), drew post six and is the 4-5 favorite in the field of six for the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile Fillies. A winner of her three starts by a combined 16 ¾-lengths, she will be making her first start around two turns.

Echo Zulu will also get the services of Joel Rosario for the first time in Friday’s seventh race, which runs at 6:30 pm ET.

Echo Zulu was a $300,000 Keeneland Yearling Sale purchase by L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC. She was bred by Betz/J. Betz/Burns/CHNNHK/Magers/CoCo Equine/Ramsby and is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Echo Town and Grade 3 winner J Boys Echo.

In the $2 million Juvenile, Pappacap drew post 4 with Joe Bravo aboard in the field of 11 2-year-olds. Pappacap is already proven over the Del Mar surface, winning the Best Pal S. (G2) in August. Most recently, he was a clear second in the American Pharoah S. (G1), his first two-turn outing.

The Rustlewood Farm homebred is trained by Mark Casse and has turned in some sparkling workouts in the last month, including a :47 4/5 move Oct. 29 at Santa Anita Park.

The Juvenile is race 9 at 7:50 pm ET.

In addition to Echo Zulu and Pappacap, Gun Runner is the sire of Grade 1 winner Gunite and Grade 2 winner Wicked Halo. After breeding 158 mares this year, his 2022 fee was recently announced at $125,000 S&N.