03/17/2003 12:00AM

Blue Burner sold, leaves U.S.


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Blue Burner, a 4-year-old son of French Deputy, has been sold by George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable and shipped to Dubai, where he will make his next start in the $6 million Dubai World Cup on March 29.

The sale was confirmed by Steinbrenner, but the purchase price was not disclosed. The deal was brokered through a bloodstock agent, and neither Steinbrenner nor his farm manager, Mike Boyd, could identify the new owner. "All I know for sure is that the horse was going to Saudi Arabia, and we were told he would not run in this country," said Boyd.

Blue Burner is believed to have been purchased by Mustafa Fustok in the interests of Prince Mitaab of Saudi Arabia, according to a friend of the Fustok family.

Blue Burner, a homebred, won 4 of 9 starts for Steinbrenner. He finished second behind Harlan's Holiday in the Florida Derby and third in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park last winter.

Trainer Bill Mott was forced to stop on Blue Burner after the colt chipped a knee finishing 11th in the 2002 Kentucky Derby. Blue Burner launched his comeback with a head victory over Puzzlement under third-level allowance conditions at Gulfstream on Jan. 25. He finished fifth in the Donn Handicap, his last start for Steinbrenner.

Mott said he had been asked by Blue Burner's new connections if he would run the horse for them in Dubai.

"I haven't decided if I'm going over yet," Mott said Sunday. "I also have to make arrangements for a rider. At this time we have nobody committed to the mount."