Echo Zulu

Echo Zulu Returns To Winning Ways in Dogwood

Reigning champion 2-year-old filly and 'TDN Rising Star' Echo Zulu made it five stakes wins on Saturday for her sire Gun Runner with a dominant performance in the GIII Dogwood S. under the lights at Churchill Downs. Last seen tasting defeat for the first time when a tiring fourth behind Secret Oath (Arrogate) in the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks over this track, the $300,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase was off at 51 cents on the dollar to return to winning ways and did just that. Away quickest of all from...

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Echo Zulu Latest to Show Best of Bill Betz

Bill Betz won't forget the first day he worked on the farm he now calls home. Dr. McGee's son never even got out of his car, just told the college kid to start out front and work his way up. "Back then they had those weed-eaters with a motor you strapped onto your back," Betz recalls. "Weighed about 40lbs. So 7:00 a.m., I started weeding down the front of the farm. Get to 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., I don't see anybody. I'm thinking, 'Boy, people really...

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Echo Zulu Heads to Kentucky for More Tests

Echo Zulu (Gun Runner), last year's champion 2-year-old filly, will be sent to Kentucky for additional tests after being scratched behind the gate before Saturday's GI Acorn S. at Belmont Park. The filly was scratched by the track veterinarian due to lameness in her left foreleg, but X-rays taken Saturday were all clean, according to trainer Steve Asmussen. "She is giving us all the signs that we want to see," said Scott Blasi, assistant to Asmussen, who added that the filly will be shipped to Kentucky for a full evaluation...

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All Matareya in Four-Horse Acorn After Echo Zulu Scratched at Gate

ELMONT, NY - With the late-arriving crowd still filing in as John Imbriale announced champion Echo Zulu (Gun Runner) as a stunning late scratch at the gate, Godolphin homebred Matareya (Pioneerof the Nile) showed no mercy on her three remaining rivals going a one-turn mile in Saturday's GI Acorn S. at Belmont Park. Matareya broke like a shot beneath Flavien Prat and led through an opening quarter in an easy :23.39. In cruise control and increasing her advantage as the quartet hit the quarter pole, Matareya was hand ridden down...

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Prat in a New York State of Mind for Belmont Stakes Day

ELMONT, NY - There will be a capped crowd of 50,000 on hand for Saturday's blockbuster GI Belmont Stakes program. Nobody will have a better seat in the house all day than jockey Flavien Prat. The 29-year-old Frenchman will be aboard 2-1 morning-line favorite 'TDN Rising Star' We the People (Constitution) in the final leg of the Triple Crown. He will also pilot unbeaten sensation and fellow 'Rising Star' Flightline (Tapit) in the prestigious GI Hill 'N' Dale Metropolitan H. Both will exit from post one. WinStar Farm, Bobby Flay,...

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Juju's Map Much the Best in 3-Year-Old Debut

4th-Churchill Downs, $134,897, Alw (NW2$X)/Opt. Clm ($62,500), 5-6, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m, 1:43.35, ft, 4 3/4 lengths. JUJU'S MAP (f, 3, Liam's Map--Nagambie, by Flatter), back in action after six month freshening, was the 1-2 favorite off a juvenile campaign that included a win in the GI Darley Alcibiades S. Oct. 9 and a placing behind champion 2-year-old filly Echo Zulu (Gun Runner) in the GI NetJets Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 5 at Del Mar. Racing for the first time as a 3-year-old with Lasix, Juju's Map was off...

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Storming Into the Oaks

LOUISVILLE, KY - Not even some very unsettled weather can spoil this GI Longines Kentucky Oaks day. Arguably the best field ever assembled for the Oaks, any of the following 'big four' are worthy of top billing. Nest (Curlin) was given the slight nod at 5-2 on Mike Battaglia's morning-line, and she is certainly a deserving favorite. Campaigned in partnership by Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House, Nest has won her two starts for Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher this season by a combined margin of 14 1/4...

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OpenStable Launched to Engage Derby Fans

The sports marketing and technology startup OpenLocker, Inc. has launched OpenStable marketplace, a fan-friendly blockchain platform designed to engage a new generation of Thoroughbred racing fans. The Legendary Racing Prospects Collection of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) will initially include GI Kentucky Derby contender Epicenter and GI Kentucky Oaks hopeful Echo Zulu. OpenLocker is looking to expand its Bone Yard Huskyz Club for sports fans at the University of Connecticut with a platform which allows racing fans to become part of an exclusive community. "We are excited to bring together the technology...

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Sentient Jet Returns as Derby Partner

Sentient Jet is back for a seventh year as a corporate partner of the Kentucky Derby and Oaks and Churchill Downs and the private aviation company will team up with Derby contender Epicenter and Oaks hopeful Echo Zulu. Both horses will wear Sentient Jet branded blankets. "The Kentucky Derby is tradition at Sentient Jet which is why we are excited to be partnering with Winchell Thoroughbreds once again in supporting Epicenter and Echo Zulu come Oaks and Derby Day. Under the training of Steve Asmussen, we are confident they will...

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Nest Favored at 5-2 in Kentucky Oaks for the Ages

LOUISVILLE, KY - Just how deep is the 14-horse field assembled for Friday's GI Kentucky Oaks? Unbeaten champion 2-year-old filly and 'TDN Rising Star' Echo Zulu (Gun Runner), a game front-running winner by a nose while making her sophomore debut in the GII Fair Grounds Oaks, was installed as the third choice on Mike Battaglia's Kentucky Oaks morning-line at 4-1. Last term's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies heroine, a $300,000 Keeneland September Yearling graduate, was assigned post seven at Monday afternoon's draw held at Churchill Downs. "She trains like...

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Epicenter Puts in Final Derby Work

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Epicenter (Not This Time) put in his final work ahead of next week's GI Kentucky Derby with a five-furlong drill in 1:01.00 (3/6) at Churchill Downs Sunday. Over a muddy track, exercise rider Roberto Howell piloted the GII Louisiana Derby winner through splits of :12.60, :24.40, :36.20, :48.40 and he galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.80. "Honestly I have so much confidence in Epicenter right now I don't think you could overdo it [with a horse like him]," trainer Steve Asmussen Sunday. "He has taken a lot of...

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Sunday's Derby Doings

Trainer Steve Asmussen sent his GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks hopefuls out to work at Churchill Downs Sunday morning. Winchell Thoroughbreds' Derby contender Epicenter (Not This Time) worked six furlongs in 1:12.20 (3/4), while Oaks hopeful Echo Zulu (Gun Runner) went the same distance in a bullet 1:11.80 (1/4). With exercise rider Wilson Fabian in the saddle, Echo Zulu broke to the inside of regular workmate King Ottoman (Curlin), who was ridden by former jockey Eddie Martin, Jr. Echo Zulu worked through eighth-mile fractions of :12.20, :23.80, :35.60...

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