11/16/2006 1:00AM

BC trio pre-enter Dash


Three of the top five finishers from the Breeders' Cup Sprint two weeks ago, including winner Thor's Echo, are among 21 pre-entries for the Grade 1, $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park on Nov. 25.

The Dash headlines a Fall Festival of Racing card that features eight stakes races and more than $1 million in purses.

Thor's Echo, who upset the BC Sprint at 15-1 on Nov. 4, has been training at Keeneland and will be shipped to Laurel on Sunday. A win in the Dash would solidify the 4-year-old Thor's Echo's credentials for an Eclipse Award as champion sprinter.

Nightmare Affair, who finished third, 4 1/2 lengths behind Thor's Echo, in the BC Sprint, is expected to arrive at Laurel from Florida on Monday.

Attila's Storm, who finished a quarter-length behind Nightmare Affair as the BC Sprint's fifth-place horse, has also been nominated.

Other likely starters include Diabolical, who ran in the Preakness last May, multiple stakes winners Coach Jimi Lee and Who's the Cowboy, plus locally based Celtic Innis and Crafty Schemer.

A total of 223 horses were nominated to six stakes and a starter handicap on the undercard, highlighted by 42 2-year-olds for the $125,000 Laurel Futurity, a race won last year by the eventual Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.