(Echo Zulu / Photos by Holly M. Smith)
From the Churchill Downs Media Team:
L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ multiple Grade I winner Echo Zulu headlines a field of six filly and mare sprinters that were entered for Memorial Day’s 20th running of the $225,000 Winning Colors Stakes (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
Echo Zulu, who is set to make the first start of her 4-year-old season, also was entered in Monday’s $100,000 Memorial Day Sprint at Lone Star Park.
The Winning Colors Stakes is the featured eighth race on Monday’s nine-race program with a post time of 4:22 p.m. First post is 12:45 p.m.
Campaigned by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Echo Zulu was the Champion 2-year-old Filly in 2021 following victories in the Spinaway (GI), Frizzette (GI) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI). As a 3-year-old, Asmussen kept Echo Zulu on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks where she was victorious in the TwinSpires.comFair Grounds Oaks (GII) prior to her fourth-place effort in the Lognines Kentucky Oaks (GI).
The daughter of Gun Runner went to the sidelines following the Oaks but returned in the seven-furlong Dogwood Stakes (GIII) at Churchill Downs where easily defeated four rivals by 5 ¼ lengths. Asmussen kept Echo Zulu around one turn in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (GI) and was the runner-up toGoodnight Olive.
Jockey Florent Geroux, who had a storied career aboard Echo Zulu’s sire Gun Runner, will have the call for the first time in the Winning Colors and break from post position No. 5.
Echo Zulu’s Winning Colors rivals include Boone Family Trust and Tillema Family Trust’s multiple stakes winner Marissa’s Lady and Jacks or Better Farm’s speedy Florida-bred stakes winner Spirit Wind.
Here is the complete field for the Winning Colors from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Spirit Wind (Brian Hernandez Jr., Ralph Nicks); Scarlet Stripe (Jareth Loveberry, Whit Beckman); Marissa’s Lady (Rafael Bejarano, Bill Morey); Last Leaf (Corey Lanerie, Eddie Kenneally); Echo Zulu (Geroux, Asmussen); and Fire On Time (Martin Garcia, Dale Romans).
Monday is Military Appreciation Day at Churchill Downs where active and retired military will receive free general admission with their military I.D. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.ChurchillDowns.com.
SPARKLE BLUE TABBED AS SLIGHT 7-2 FAVORITE IN KEERTANA
Augustin Stable and Catherine Peake’s Grade III winner Sparkle Blue was made the 7-2 morning line favorite against 11 other filly and mare turf marathoners that entered Saturday’s 10th running of the $225,000 Keertana Stakes (Listed) at Churchill Downs.
The 1 ½-mile Keertana will go as Race 10 of 11 with a post time of 5:26 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post is 12:45 p.m.
Trained by Graham Motion, Sparkle Blue recorded the most prominent victory of her nine-race stand three starts ago when she defeated California Angel by 2 ½ lengths in the Valley View (GIII) at Keeneland. The daughter of Hard Spun capped her 3-year-old season with a narrow third-place finish behind Rhea Moonand School Dance in the American Oaks (GI) at Santa Anita.
In her first start of her 4-year-old season, Sparkle Blue finished sixth in the Modesty (GIII) on Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs.
Sparkle Blue will be ridden by Vince Cheminaud from post No. 10.
Here is the complete field for the Keertana from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds):Lady Arsinoe (Julien Leparoux, Bill Mott, 12-1); Quality Star (Joe Talamo, Paulo Lobo, 10-1); Under One Sky (Gerardo Corrales, Juan Cano, 20-1); Sinfiltre (Luis Saez, Todd Pletcher, 9-2); Miss Yearwood (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes, 6-1); Exit Soul (Florent Geroux, Michael McCarthy, 5-1); Lovely Princess (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek, 5-1); I’m So Sorry (Jareth Loveberry, Brian Lynch, 15-1); Talbeyah (IRE) (Cristian Torres, Mark Casse, 12-1); Sparkle Blue (Cheminaud, Motion, 7-2); Implosion (Rey Gutierrez, Steve Margolis, 30-1); and Viburnum (Adam Beschizza, Kelsey Danner, 12-1).
‘CHURCHILL DOWNS TODAY’ AIRS ONE-HOUR PRIOR TO RACING
Horseplayers can get the latest expert advice and a preview of the day’s card by watching “Churchill Downs Today” one hour prior to first post.
Join Joe Kristufek, Scott Shapiro and Kaitlin Free as the trio will handicap the program, give crucial ticket-structure advice and inside information for horseplayers betting the racing program.
Churchill Downs Today will be shown on www.TwinSpires.com, the Churchill Downs LIVE app on Smart TVs and Twitter via @ChurchillDowns.
‘AMERICA’S DAY AT THE RACES’ TV SCHEDULE
Fans can watch racing from Churchill Downs on “America’s Day at the Races” on the Fox Sports family of networks. Here is this week’s TV schedule:
- Thursday 3-8:30 p.m., FS2
- Friday: 12:30-5:30 p.m., FS2
- Saturday: 12:30-6 p.m., FS2
- Sunday: 12:30-4:30 p.m., FS1 | 4:30-5:30 p.m., FS2
- Monday: 12:30-6 p.m., FS2
DOWN THE STRETCH – Thursday’s eight-race card had a $7,236 carryover in the 20-cent Derby City 6 Jackpot that spanned Races 3-8. First post was 5 p.m. … “Inside Churchill Downs” will return Friday from 6-7 p.m. on ESPN 680/105.7. The one-hour program will recap the Preakness Stakes (GI) and look ahead to the Memorial Day weekend at Churchill Downs. Those outside the Louisville area can listen online atwww.espnlouisville.com. … Trainer Neil Howard is set to start his first horse in nearly one year when FirstPlayer makes his career debut Saturday in Race 11. Owned and bred by Carl Hurst and retired trainer Buff Bradley, First Player is by the former Bradley-trained The Player. First Player is Howard’s lone horse he has in training. The veteran conditioner now works as the assistant to Paul McGee. … Thursday and Friday’s rail setting on the Matt Winn Turf Course will be in Lane 4, 36 feet from the inside. Saturday-Monday the rail will be in Lane 2, 12 feet from the inside. … Local jockeys Tyler Gaffalione, Rey Gutierrez, Ricardo Santana Jr. and Cristian Torres were all scheduled to ride Monday at Lone Star Park. … Jockey Corey Lanerie began Thursday needing 21 wins to reach 5,000 career-victories. The veteran rider was named on nine horses Thursday-Saturday. Entries for Sunday and Monday were being drawn Thursday.
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