War Echo Brings Back Memories with Silverbulletday Win
NEW ORLEANS, La (February 7, 2009) - For the second year in a row, a 3-year-old offspring of the mare Wild Vision landed in the winner's circle on Louisiana Derby Preview Day at Fair Grounds.
A year ago, it was Pyro who made a last-to-first move to win the Risen Star Stakes, and Saturday, War Echo got up late to capture the $150,000 Grade III Silverbulletday Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
War Echo, who like Pyro sports the maroon and white colors of Winchell Thoroughbreds, overtook stablemate Four Gifts in the final sixteenth and went on to a 1 1/2-length victory. She covered the mile and a sixteenth in 1:45.20.
The rest of Pyro's connections - Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan - also were in the War Echo winner's circle.
"She settled nicely today," said Asmussen, who saddled the Silverbulletday winner for the third time in five years. "She's Pyro's (three-quarters) sister and is gorgeous physically. She can be pretty aggressive, but today, she settled."
Said Bridgmohan: "She ran great. She was so composed today. When I asked her at the top of the stretch, she gave me what she had."
War Echo was making her 3-year-old debut Saturday after a pair of starts in graded company to end her juvenile campaign. She finished second in the Grade II Golden Rod on Nov. 29 at Churchill Downs and fourth in the Grade I Frizette in October at Belmont Park.
War Echo increased her career earnings to $164,597 with her second win from five starts and paid $11.20, $5.40 and $3.40. Four Gifts returned $4 and $2.60, while 1.10-1 favorite Just Jenda was another 7 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $2.20 to show.
War Tigress, who led the field through early fractions of 23.61 and 47.37, finished fifth in the field of eight.
The Silverbulletday is the final local prep for the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks on March 14.
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation's third-oldest Thoroughbred racing facility, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and nine off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. Fair Grounds' 137th Thoroughbred season will run from Nov. 14, 2008, through March 29, 2009, and its inaugural Quarter Horse meet was conducted from Aug. 20-24, 2008. Information about Fair Grounds can be found on the Internet at www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.