War Echo Heads Saturday's Pelleteri
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ War Echo, heroine of last year’s Grade III Silverbulletday Stakes in New Orleans before injury took her out of Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks consideration, looms as the solid 8-5 morning line choice for Saturday’s featured $60,000 Pelleteri Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16-miles over the Crescent City oval.
Conditioned by Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen, War Echo was sidelined until a fourth-place finish in Belmont’s Cat Chat Stakes last September, a $64,000 overnight event that prepped her for an impressive three-length tally in an allowance race at Churchill Nov. 19.
Following that win under the Twin Spires, War Echo journeyed to her winter home at Fair Grounds and captured the inaugural running of the $96,000 Daily Racing Form Distaff by three-and-a-half lengths in her most recent trip to the post on Dec. 19. Regular rider Shaun Bridgmohan returns in the irons in the Pelleteri.
Capable of providing strong competition for War Echo is Du-Zee Stable’s Bubbler, who nosed out the favored Never Retreat in Fair Grounds’ $57,000 Marie Krantz Memorial in her last start Jan. 30. Bubbler, a daughter of Distorted Humor trained by Bret Calhoun, is undefeated on the main track with her lone loss recorded in the $60,000 Furl Sail Handicap Jan. 2 over Fair Grounds’ Stall-Wilson turf course. Jockey Eddie Martin Jr. retains the mount aboard the 5-2 second choice in the morning line.
Coteau Grove Farms’ Clear Sailing, undefeated in two starts at the local oval by a combined win margin of 13 lengths, is coupled in the wagering with that same ownership’s Speightstown Belle at 4-1 in the Pelleteri morning line and cannot be discounted.
From the rail out, the Pelleteri field with jockeys assigned consists of Fighter Wing, Corey Lanerie; Martin’s Bay, Francisco Torres; Mayhaw, Carlos Gonzalez; Zhou, James Graham; War Echo, Shaun Bridgmohan; Speightstown Belle, Robby Albarado; Bubbler, Eddie Martin Jr.; and Clear Sailing, Shane Sellers.