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Regally-bred Pirate the first TDN Rising Star for Omaha Beach

July 15, 2023

Pirate glides to a debut MdSpWt win at Saratoga on July 15 - Susie Raisher/NYRA

Pirate glides to a debut MdSpWt win at Saratoga on July 15 – Susie Raisher/NYRA

Pirate lived up to the pre-race hype with a flashy three-length debut victory in a $105,000 maiden special weight race Saturday at Saratoga.

The dark bay 2-year-old colt was named a TDN Rising Star for the effort, a first for his sire Omaha Beach, who now has four First-Crop winners and is the only freshman sire with a pair of stakes horses.

Pirate broke sharply in the 5 ½-furlong contest and held a narrow lead over Arteta after a quarter-mile in :22.26. Just Steel joined the top duo on the turn, but after a brief tussle, Pirate shot clear at the top of the stretch and quickly opened up a lead he would not relinquish. He was going along very easily in the final sixteenth and stopped the timer in 1:04.89 on a fast track.

“He got away alertly, but they put a lot of pressure on him early,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “I thought it was a good performance and very professional like he’s been since we got him.”

Pirate was acquired by his owners Harrell Ventures and Starlight Racing for $350,000 out of the 2022 Keeneland September Yearling sale.

Bred in Kentucky by Peter Blum Thoroughbreds LLC, Pirate is a half-brother to this year’s Preakness S. (G1) winner National Treasure, as well as recent Iowa Sprint S. winner Ultimate.

“Todd makes all those decisions, but wouldn’t you think the Hopeful (G1, Sept. 4) would be next, especially with the way he won?” Jack Wolf, principal of Starlight, said when asked about Pirate’s next start. “It certainly looks like a possibility.”