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2023 Winning Colors Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Echo Zulu Back For More At 4
Echo Zulu (Coady Photography)

2023 Winning Colors Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Echo Zulu Back For More At 4

Mike previews the 2023 Winning Colors Stakes (G3) from Churchill Downs, then gives his top picks & long shots. The 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) champ Echo Zulu is back for more fun at age 4 after most recently finishing 2nd in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). Will the Steve Asmussen trainee romp, or will she have enough rust for an upset? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The press release:

L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ multiple Grade 1 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 3) 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.

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Campaigned by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Echo Zulu was the Champion 2-year-old Filly in 2021 following victories in the Spinaway (G1), Frizzette (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). As a 3-year-old, Asmussen kept Echo Zulu on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks where she was victorious in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) prior to her fourth-place effort in the Lognines Kentucky Oaks (G1).

The daughter of Gun Runner went to the sidelines following the Oaks but returned in the seven-furlong Dogwood Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs where she easily defeated four rivals by 5 ¼ lengths. Asmussen kept Echo Zulu around one turn in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) and was the runner-up to Goodnight 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):

  1. Spirit Wind (Brian Hernandez Jr., Ralph Nicks)
  2. Scarlet Stripe (Jareth Loveberry, Whit Beckman)
  3. Marissa’s Lady (Rafael Bejarano, Bill Morey)
  4. Last Leaf (Corey Lanerie, Eddie Kenneally)
  5. Echo Zulu (Geroux, Asmussen)
  6. Fire On Time (Martin Garcia, Dale Romans)