Saturday, February 7, 2009

War Echo scores in Silverbulletday

Photo: War Echo, under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, pulled away late to win the Silverbulletday Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds.
Lynn Roberts photo

by Myra Lewyn

War Echo wore down stablemate Four Gifts in the in the final sixteenth and posted her first graded stakes victory with a clear win in the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes (G3) on Saturday at Fair Grounds.

A three-quarter sister to last year’s Risen Star Stakes (G3) and Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Pyro, War Echo was under a tight hold in sixth under Shaun Bridgmohan as War Tigress set the tempo through six furlongs in a pedestrian 1:12.64.

Four Gifts tracked under Robby Albarado from fifth early and moved into third through three-quarters of a mile. Southern Yankee collared War Tigress and gained a brief lead in upper stretch but was soon overhauled by Four Gifts, who opened a two-length lead in early stretch.

Bridgmohan guided a keen War Echo into ideal striking position on the outside entering the long stretch at the New Orleans track, and she moved into second place, two lengths behind Four Gifts. She readily responded to Bridgmohan’s cue, steadily reeled in Four Gifts, and shook free to a 1½-length triumph.

War Echo covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.20 on a track rated as fast. Four Gifts held on for second, with 11-to-10 favorite Just Jenda another 7¾ length back in third in the eight-horse field.

Bridgmohan is the regular rider of both Four Gifts and War Echo, who are trained by Steve Asmussen. Bridgmohan piloted Heiligbrodt Racing Stables’ Four Gifts, the 2.90-to-1 second wagering choice in the Silverbulletday, to victory in the lucrative Boyd’s Gaming Delta Princess Powered by Stakes (G3) to cap her juvenile season on December 5. He also was aboard for her third-place finish to Just Jenda in the Tiffany Lass Stakes on January 10 at Fair Grounds in her 2009 opener.

Bridgmohan also was at the reins when Winchell Thoroughbreds’s homebred War Echo won her second career start by 4 ¾ lengths last summer at Belmont Park and for her third-place finish in the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) on November 29 at Churchill Downs in her start prior to the Silverbulletday. His decision to stick with the Tapit filly paid off.

“She ran great,” Bridgmohan said. “She was so composed today. When I asked her at the top of the stretch, she gave me what she had.”

Kentucky-bred War Echo, who is out of the winning Wild Again mare Wild Vision, has won two of five career starts and earned $164,597.

For an Equibase chart, click here.