Echo Zulu Primed to Regain Winning Form in Acorn Stakes
June 09, 20221 min read
The champion filly faces four challengers in the 1-mile grade 1 $500,000 Acorn Stakes on June 11.
The 3 year-old-daughter of Gun Runner trained by Steve Asmussen has only one loss among her six career starts, having finished fourth last out in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1). Cutting back to the Acorn's one-mile distance is likely to suit last year's Eclipse champion 2-year-old filly, who has more often than not won by large margins at 1 1/16 miles or less. In her first test at a mile in the Frizette Stakes (G1) at Belmont, she won by 7 1/4 lengths and followed that performance with a 5 1/4-length win in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). The filly would win another 1 1/16-mile race after the Breeders' Cup in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), but only by a nose.
"I thought she ran great in the Oaks to miss being second by a length and off one race for the year," said Dave Fiske, Winchell's racing and bloodstock adviser. "I thought she did really well. As fast as she is, you'd have to figure she's going to be more effective around one turn."
Fiske added that coming into the Acorn, the filly appears to have lost none of her edge.
"I watched her work last week and her exercise rider couldn't have been standing any taller, any straighter in the irons. He just had hands on her withers and never moved," he said.
Echo Zulu will break from post 5 under Joel Rosario, who has been aboard regularly since the Breeders' Cup.