Sprint Champ Thor's Echo Back in O'Neill's Barn

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Sprint champion Thor’s Echo, a California-bred 5-year-old gelding who captured the TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) last year, has been returned to the Doug O’Neill stable at Hollywood Park after a disappointing winter in Dubai.

Purchased privately last winter by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Thor’s Echo was shipped to Dubai and transferred to trainer Seemar Satish. He finished sixth twice in six-furlong stakes in March, in the Mahab Al Shimaal and Dubai Golden Shaheen Stakes (UAE-I) at Nad Al Sheba.

Thor’s Echo returned to his old stall in the O’Neill stable late Wednesday night after a trip from the Mideast by way of New York. He was reunited with groom Alfonso Padilla, who also groomed 2005 2-year-old champion Stevie Wonderboy.

“He’s a little thin but he’s very enthusiastic to be back,” said O’Neill. “Steve Warner (his co-breeder and a track feedman) has been giving him more love than you could imagine.”

O’Neill estimated that the chestnut son of Swiss Yodeler is about two months away from a race. He said he will be pointed to a defense of his Breeders’ Cup Sprint crown at Monmouth Park in October. Thor’s Echo has earned $2,416,990.

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