Echo Zulu Punches Ticket To Juvenile Fillies With Dramatic Frizette Win

Heavily-favored Echo Zulu validated horseplayers’ faith in her, taking the Grade 1 Frizette by daylight at Belmont Park on Oct. 3. The undefeated Steve Asmussen trainee set a blistering pace under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr., grabbing the lead out of the gate and setting fractions of :22.38, :45.98, and 1:10.40. She ignored closing bids from Gerrymander and Magic Circle through the sandy Belmont turn and hitting a new gear in the stretch, drawing away decisively to win by 7 1/4 lengths.

Gerrymander was second, followed by A Mo Reay. The victory grants Echo Zulu a berth in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Owned by L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds, Echo Zulu is now three for three, coming to this effort off a win in the G1 Spinaway at Saratoga.

The final time for the mile was 1:35.12.

Echo Zulu was bred in Kentucky by Betz/J. Betz/Burns/CHNNHK/Magers/CoCo Equine/Ramsby. She is the daughter of Gun Runner and Menifee mare Letgomyecho. She was a $300,000 yearling at last year’s Keeneland September sale, where Betz Thoroughbreds sold her to Winchell Thoroughbreds.

Echo Zulu went off at odds of 1-5 and paid $2.70, $2.30, and $2.10. See the full chart here.

G1 Frizette Quotes
A “Win and You’re In” event for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

Steve Asmussen, winning trainer of Echo Zulu (No. 6, $2.70*): “It’s amazing. She’s a special filly and she’s by Gun Runner. How much better can it get? She’s better than good.

“She’s a Spinaway and a Frizette winner. That’s elite company. I’m proud of her. Good energy though the wire. She didn’t stagger in there and she set honest fractions.”

On his concern regarding the quick fractions: “I was [concerned]; very much so. I watched the race from up the stretch, a long ways across to the backside – [and they went] 22 and 1, 45 and change. Obviously, there was pressure from her outside. But the first thing Ricardo [Santana, Jr.] said when he came back was he couldn’t believe how relaxed she was. He said her ears were up and she was relaxed and within herself.”

On going to the front: “We’re not going to not let her be who she is. I feel very strongly about be who you are. Don’t show up and re-invent yourself. I thought there was nothing but speed in the race. I was very concerned with it and the Maclean’s Music filly of Todd’s [Pletcher-trained No. 7, Jester Calls Nojoy] and how fast she is, but when you’re the favorite you make them make adjustments around you.”

On trying two turns for the first time in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 5 at Del Mar: “The filly obviously has a tremendous amount of ability and I think the big jump is to get to this level. The Spinaway and the Frizette – that sort of foundation and doing it multiple times gives you a tremendous amount of confidence. My worry was the Spinaway off one 5 1/2-furlong race with the [lack of] seasoning. The Spinaway and Frizette have eased all those tensions, now it’s just up to how fast everybody is.”

Ricardo Santana, Jr., winning jockey aboard Echo Zulu (No. 6): “She’s special. She broke her maiden and we never expected she was ready first time out in Saratoga. How she did it [shows] she has some ability and she proved it today.

“She broke good and was waiting for the company. When the company got to her, she took off again. She’s really special.”

On the fast fractions: “It felt like I was walking, how she was doing it. She was really impressive for a two-year old.”

On his confidence level at the quarter pole: “I had a lot of horse. I never needed to ask her that’s how much horse I had.”

Joel Rosario, jockey aboard runner-up Gerrymander (No. 8): “I was sitting in a good spot, but she was just second best.”


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