01/04/2007 1:00AM

Thor's Echo sold to Maktoums


ARCADIA, Calif. - Thor's Echo, who emerged as the front-runner for the Eclipse Award as champion sprinter by virtue of his victories in the Breeders' Cup Sprint and De Francis Dash in November, has been sold to the Maktoum family of Dubai, according to Pablo Suarez, who owned Thor's Echo along with Royce Jaime.

The deal had been in the works for a month, since Thor's Echo won the De Francis Dash on Nov. 25 at Laurel Park. But it was finalized on Thursday, Suarez said.

"It's a bittersweet kind of thing," Suarez said. "You get these kinds of horses, you always dream of having one of this caliber, and you achieve something you never thought you'd achieve, so it's hard. I'm getting kind of emotional talking about it. But I've got to treat it as a business. I've got a wife and four kids. I've got to think about all that stuff. I love what he did for us. We kept saying, 'No, no, no' to the offers, but it got to the point where we couldn't say no any more."

Suarez would not disclose the purchase price.

One agent involved in the sale said Thor's Echo was purchased by Sheikh Rashid al-Maktoum, the son of Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai. Sheikh Rashid, who races under the stable name Zabeel Racing, owned Henny Hughes, who along with Thor's Echo and Discreet Cat is a finalist for the 2006 Eclipse Award as champion sprinter.

Thor's Echo, 5, is a California-bred gelding by Swiss Yodeler who has won 5 times in 18 starts and has earned $2,372,990.

Thor's Echo has been in Kentucky since the De Francis Dash. He is expected to be flown to Dubai later this month to take aim at the March 31 Dubai Golden Shaheen, in which he finished second last year while trained by Doug O'Neill.

The Maktoum family the past two years has made a number of purchases of top-class American-based runners, including Choctaw Nation, Discreet Cat, Henny Hughes, Minefield, Stellar Jayne, and Zada Belle.

Tenfold to stretch out

Tenfold, who defeated maidens sprinting on opening day Dec. 26 for trainer Bob Baffert, is going to go two turns next time. Where and when that might be, Baffert said he has yet to decide. But in the meantime, Tenfold remained sharp by working five furlongs here at Santa Anita on Thursday morning in 58.60 seconds, the fastest time of 52 works at the distance.

A possible spot for Tenfold is the Grade 2, $150,000 San Rafael Stakes at one mile on Jan. 13.

"I'm not sure yet if he'll run there," Baffert said. "He's nominated to everything out there."

Baffert also on Thursday worked Midnight Lute, who finished third in the Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26. He went six furlongs in 1:11.40.

Blue Grass Stakes winner Sinister Minister, who has not raced since Del Mar, worked six furlongs in 1:12.40 for Baffert. He has been plagued by foot problems.

That's an Outrage passes San Pasqual

That's an Outrage, a candidate for Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap, was not entered in the race by trainer Mike Puhich, who said he was looking for an easier spot.

"There's an allowance race for him in the next condition book," Puhich said. "I think that's the best move."

The San Pasqual drew seven entrants. Puhich said he would have reconsidered if the field were smaller.

That's an Outrage was sixth in a second-level allowance at Hollywood Park in his last start. He has won just twice in 32 starts, and his second win came via disqualification on May 25. He has not crossed the wire first since defeating maidens in October 2003.

* Fans of the HBO show "Entourage" will have a hunch bet in Saturday's sixth race on the colt Tsetse Fly, who is owned by the Little Red Feather syndicate and is trained by Don Chatlos. Tsetse Fly, 3, was named for the code words the character Ari Gold had with his assistant while trying to covertly start a new talent agency.

* Downthedustyroad and Point Ashley left California for Kentucky on Wednesday, where they are scheduled to be sold later this month. Both are owned by Ahmed Zayat, and were trained by Baffert. Downthedustyroad won last week's La Brea Stakes. Point Ashley has not raced since finishing second in the Oak Leaf Stakes three months ago.

* Baffert also said good-bye to Da Stoops, who finished fourth in the Malibu in his career finale. He flew to Kentucky, where he will enter stud this spring at Stonewall Farm.

* Boboman, the winner of the Hollywood Turf Cup, worked seven furlongs in 1:27 on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track surface on Thursday morning.

* Stormello, the Hollywood Futurity winner, breezed a half-mile in 48.20 seconds for trainer Bill Currin at Hollywood.

* Also working a half-mile on Thursday at Hollywood was Obrigado, the Hollywood Derby runner-up, who was timed in 51.20 for trainer Neil Drysdale.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen