Sprint Champ Thor's Echo Coming Back to O'Neill

Last year’s champion sprinter Thor’s Echo will be returning to Southern California and trainer Doug O’Neill’s care, the conditioner’s brother, Dennis, said Wednesday.

Thor’s Echo capped off his championship season with victories in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) and DeFrancis Memorial Dash (gr. I) before being sold by owners Royce S. Jaime Racing Stable and Jesus Suarez to Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed al Maktoum. The 5-year-old California-bred gelding raced twice in Dubai this year under the care of trainer Satish Seemar without success, so the decision was made to send him back to America. He finished sixth in his last start, the $1 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) on Mar. 31.

“The said they were going to send him back when I spoke to them on Monday,” Dennis O’Neill said. “They did say he wasn’t coming on Wednesday (on the same plane as Lava Man, Spring at Last and Harvard Avenue) but that he’d be coming a couple weeks out.

“We’re obviously very, very excited to have this horse back. (Assistant trainer) Leandro (Mora) said he looked great when he saw him over there. I know his old owners will be happy to see him; Jesus (Suarez) was very upset when he left. I’m sure they’ll be out to visit him when they come by the barn.”

Seemar posted a news item on his Web site saying, “I just don’t think (Thor’s Echo) got fully acclimatised (sic). So he will go back to America now, and resume his career with Doug O’Neill.”

Thor’s Echo has earned $2,416,990 from a record of 20-5-4-5. In addition to the Breeders’ Cup and DeFrancis Dash, the chestnut son of Swiss Yodelerwon or placed in 10 other black-type events over four seasons.

Most Popular Stories