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Echo Zulu Dominates Honorable Miss at Saratoga


Name the thirty second working of the $186,000 Honorable Miss Handicap (G2) a mismatch. Or a rout. A blowout would match, too.

All these phrases completely describe the efficiency turned in by the fabulously quick 4-year-old filly named Echo Zulu . 

Echo Zulu, b, 4/f

Gun Runner — Letgomyecho, by Menifee

Proprietor: L and N Racing LLC and Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC

Breeder: Betz/J. Betz/Burns/CHNNHK/Magers/CoCo Equine/Ramsby (KY)

Coach: Steven M. Asmussen

Jockey: Florent Geroux

Data offered by Equibase at time of entry.

Pedigree Notes

Gun Runner stands at Three Chimneys Farm.

Sale History

KEESEP2020 • $300,000 • Consignor: Betz Thoroughbreds, agent • Buyer: Winchell Thoroughbreds.

Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and L and N Racing, Echo Zulo ran up the score in the six-furlong race for fillies and mares aged 3 and up at Saratoga Race Course.. 

At the end, jockey Florent Geroux and Echo Zulu were 7 1/4 lengths better than second-place finisher Dr B . Who knows how much more the margin would have been if Geroux hadn’t closed her down in the final sixteenth?

“She is really fast,” Geroux said before leaving the winner’s circle. “It was very easy.”

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Echo Zulu, the 2021 Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly, validated her 2-5 odds. She took the lead almost immediately after the gates opened.

“I was extremely nervous about just getting away from there cleanly,” her Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen said. “She broke well. Very comfortable and very fast!”

Frank’s Rockette , owned by Frank Fletcher Racing Operations, was considered to be the main competition to Echo Zulu and the 6-year-old mare stuck with her down the backstretch. 

Echo Zulu, a daughter of Gun Runner   out of the Menifee mare Letgomyecho , carved out fractions of :22.02 and :44.45 and was not breaking a sweat on the humid Saratoga afternoon while in the process of dispatching Frank’s Rockette.

She was just getting started.

“She was able to set up very fast fractions and stay very nicely within herself,” Geroux said. “She had a nice rhythm at the three-eighths and she was just waiting for my cue down the lane. As soon as I pushed the gas, she responded right away.”

And it was game, set, match.

Echo Zulu basically had the stretch all to herself.

Echo Zulu wins the 2023 Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga

Photo: Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand

Echo Zulu wins the Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga Race Course

Echo Zulu’s eight wins in 10 career starts have been by a combined 40 lengths. 

Her final time was a swift 1:08.76 and she paid $2.80.

“As fast as she was when she was younger, the older the Gun Runners get, the faster they go,” Asmussen said.  “She looked beautiful coming into the stretch.”

Echo Zulu wins the 2023 Honorable Miss Handicap at SaratogaPhoto: Coglianese Photos

Echo Zulu wins the Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga Race Course

Echo Zulu improved to three wins in as many starts at Saratoga. Her first two starts were the first of her career. She broke her maiden by 5 1/2 lengths on July 15, 2021, and then won the Spinaway Stakes (G1) by four during her championship season.

“I think it’s that simple: she’s extremely fast,” Asmussen said. “She’s doing it quicker than they are.”

This was the second straight race that Geroux has been aboard Echo Zulu.

“I have been lucky to ride some very good horses in the past few years,” he said. “I can count on one hand the special ones I have and she is one of them.”

Dr B, owned by Cash is King and LC Racing, won the race for second for Irad Ortiz Jr. and trainer Butch Reid.

“(Echo Zulu) kept going,” Ortiz said. “She ran big.”

Then it was two lengths back to Frank’s Rockette for jockey Junior Alvarado and Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.

Rodney G. Lundock’s Maryquitecontrary  was fourth for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey and jockey Luca Panici.

This won’t be the last time Saratoga gets to see Echo Zulu. Asmussen said she is expected to run in the $500,000 Ballerina Handicap (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 26 on the Travers Stakes (G1) card.

Video: Honorable Miss H. (G2)


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