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November 4, 2006

Royce Jamine

Doug O'Neill

Pablo Suarez


ERIC WING: Okay. We are live again here in the interview with the happy connections. Thor's Echo, the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Trainer, Doug O'Neill, the larger of the two people in the middle.
Doug, if you would, would you please introduce us to the other individuals up there with you.
DOUG O'NEILL: My sidekick, Daniel, and then we got Pablo Suarez, my left and Royce Jamie to my right. They're half owners of Thor's Echo.
ERIC WING: This is obviously a world class sprinter. He was second in the Golden Shaheen in Dubai. Did any of you feel that maybe you weren't getting your due respect coming into this race?
DOUG O'NEILL: I think -- you guys want to answer that.
ROYCE JAMIE: We knew he was doing so well he was going to run a huge race today. We were just {hoping} that was good enough, and it sure was.
ERIC WING: Corey Nakatani is riding Aragorn in the Breeders' Cup Mile. He can't join us right now.
What did you think of the job Corey did, given the circumstances of that one post?
PABLO SUAREZ: I'll take this one. We were up in the stands, and we were just the whole time we drew the one hole, we were kind of bumped. We've going to have to use it little bit earlier. We kind of got excited. We got the rail. The rail is alive.
And as Corey's going down the back side, he starts going to the other side, and we, meaning a group were yelling "Stay on the rail, stay on the rail."
He went around him. I asked Corey when he got off the horse. Pablo, I had so much horse, if I stayed on the rail, I would have run over the other horses. He was very, very live and very happy.
ERIC WING: This is Doug's second win on the day, first in Breeders' Cup action. Can you talk, is the gelding, so retirement is not an issue, at least not anytime soon. Future plans for Thor's Echo?
DOUG O'NEILL: We'll have to get the racing stakes calendar out and take a look at it. You know, it wasn't that long ago that this was so farfetched to be thinking we would be here, you know. He ran his eyeballs out in Dubai and came out of it a pretty tired horse and pretty body sore and just got to thank Dr. Ted Simpton, Dr. Joe Dowd. They were very instrumental in diagnosis. Basically there was nothing major wrong with him, but just to give him time. And Royce and Jamie are always for doing the right thing. Just lot of great strategizing and encouraging us. We don't really look like brain surgeons, but I think we did a good job of getting him here and just very, very happy.
ERIC WING: Any questions from down here or upstairs for Mr. O'Neill?

Q. This is for trainer, Doug O'Neill. We all know Henny Hughes did not run his race. That does not in any way detract {for} a minute with what you did. Now, given the way you won and given the way your horse raced, you would think even if Henny Hughes had been a hundred percent, this race would not have been different.
DOUG O'NEILL: I don't know. If Henny Hughes would have ran his race, he would have been very tough to beat. He's been so impressive and like Trevor Demman also said. These guys aren't machines. Thor's Echo had a few of those. Hopefully Henny Hughes came out of it fine and somewhere down the road we can hookup again and see what happens.

Q. Doug, can you talk please about how you found this horse in the first place. And second part of the question, with Lava Man getting all the headlines, was this guy just under the radar and were you expecting this big a run?
DOUG O'NEILL: The first part of the question, he's actually stabled in the same barn as us and Hollywood Park with Mike Harrington, and he ran really impressive in a maiden race and found out he's for sale. And like I always do, I called Dennis and said "Hey, am I going to embarrass myself and Royce and Pablo about this one.
Dennis gave the two thumbs up. Royce and Pablo both studied the video and pedigree, and as far as him being overshadowed, you know, the workout with Mike Welsh and Jay Prim and watching the horses work at Keeneland, he was so impressive that day. I was a little bit shocked at his price, but, you know, again, this horse had a lot of -- I think -- how many races has he had this year, not many. Two? That was his third.
Maybe you guys can talk about that.
PABLO SUAREZ: 6th, I think.
DOUG O'NEILL: Seems like his third.
ERIC WING: Doug, they're wondering what your son's name is and how old?
DOUG O'NEILL: Sammy Sosa, a weird thing. He's not -- this is Daniel. Daniel Robert.
DOUG O'NEILL: He's four.
He's not gelding.
ERIC WING: Lastly, Doug, you said that he was a little worse for the wear maybe after the Dubai trip. He only ran twice after that. His most recent race was a pretty big effort just behind Bordonaro. Were you concerned at all about him trying to replicate that effort? Was that a concern for you running in the Ancient Title?
DOUG O'NEILL: I think so. Lot of our barn is claiming horses, and we run a lot of these guys three and four weeks, and that's where I've got to thank Dr. Ted and Joe that I didn't rush him right after Dubai and really listen to them to get all three of us to really be patient and do the right thing. And so, you know, I can't remember what exactly you asked me, but it just -- incredible team effort.
ROYCE JAMIE: The last minute we decided to go. The race didn't fill.
DOUG O'NEILL: We had him entered in an allowance race. We were just shocked how well he ran.
ROYCE JAMIE: If we don't run in the Ancient Title, we're not here.
ERIC WING: Any more questions from down here? Congratulations to all of you.

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