June 28, 2022

Echo Zulu romps in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

Echo Zulu with Joel Rosario riding wins the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar (Photo by Horsephotos)

Echo Zulu wrapped up a division championship on Friday with an emphatic, odds-on victory in the $1.76 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Del Mar for owners L and N Racing and Ron Winchell.

Making her first start around two turns following dominating performances in the Spinaway (G1) at Saratoga and the Frizette (G1) at Belmont Park, Echo Zulu lived up to her billing as a 4-5 choice, leading from the start and winning handsomely by 5 1/2 lengths under Joel Rosario in a time of 1:42 4/5 for 1 1/16 miles over a fast track.

“She’s the fastest, let her be who she is,” said trainer Steve Asmussen, who also won the Juvenile Fillies in 2011 with My Miss Aurelia. “That’s how she got here, that’s what made her the favorite.”

Echo Zulu is from the first crop of Gun Runner, the 2017 Horse of the Year who captured the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Del Mar for Winchell and Asmussen.

“She means so much to us and the fact that she is 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,” Asmussen said.

Second choice Juju’s Map won a stretch duel with Tarabi for the place by a half-length. It was 7 3/4 lengths back to Hidden Connection, with Sequist and Desert Dawn rounding out the order of finish.

The Juvenile Fillies also served as 2022 Road to the Kentucky Oaks series prep. Echo Zulu earned 20 points, increasing her total to 30. Juju’s Map earned eight points, boosting her total to 18. Tarabi earned four points and Hidden Connections two points, increasing the latter’s total to 12.

Echo Zulu capped a 4-for-4 campaign here, and will be close to a unanimous choice as champion juvenile filly. The combined margin of victory during her career, which started at Saratoga on July 15, is 22 lengths. She’s bankrolled $1.48 million.

A $300,000 Keeneland September purchase, Echo Zulu was produced by the Grade 3-winning Letgomyecho, a daughter of Menifee who has also produced Grade 1 scorer Echo Town and Grade 3 victor J Boys Echo.