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Echo Zulu Fractures Left Front Fetlock; Surgery Planned

Echo Zulu , the champion 2-year-old filly of 2021 and this summer’s Ballerina Handicap (G1) winner, sustained a biaxial sesamoid fracture of her left front fetlock while training at Santa Anita Park Oct. 13 toward an intended start in the Breeders’ Cup there early next month.

Biaxial sesamoid bone fractures—when a horse breaks both sesamoids in the same leg—are severe injuries.

Trainer Steve Asmussen forwarded to BloodHorse a text composed with his veterinarian noting that Echo Zulu had been stabilized in a Kimzey splint and would undergo fetlock arthrodesis surgery Oct. 14.

That procedure stabilizes a horse’s ankle, preventing joint movement by fusing it into a normal position for the leg. The procedure is credited with boosting survival rates.

A 4-year-old daughter of Gun Runner  , Echo Zulu is 3-for-3 this year and 9-for-11 over her career with earnings of more than $2.6 million for owners L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds.

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“As long as she stays alive, I’ll be OK,” Asmussen said via telephone. “Obviously, she’s incredibly special to all of us, and let’s keep her alive and let her be the incredible mother we all know that she will be.”

She had been the projected favorite for the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita, where another confrontation with reigning champion female sprinter and defending Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Goodnight Olive  could have materialized. Goodnight Olive was second last out to Echo Zulu in the Ballerina.

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