July 15, 2023 - Saratoga, Race 1, Msw, USD $136,500, 5 1/2F

Pirate, C, 2, 2021 by Omaha Beach

1st Dam: Treasure, by Medaglia d'Oro
2nd Dam: Proposal, by Mt. Livermore
3rd Dam: Lady Of Choice, by Storm Bird

Owner: Harrell Ventures, LLC and Starlight Racing
Breeder: Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY)
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher

Few Todd Pletcher first-time starters fail to live up to their billing if they break as 1-5 favorites and Pirate (Omaha Beach) kept that trend rolling with a three-length win to graduate at Saratoga and become the Spa's first 2023 'TDN Rising Star' and the first for his freshman sire (by War Front).

Never under the radar, the 2-year-old half-brother to GI Preakness S. winner National Treasure (Quality Road) took all the money and quickly silenced any doubt about his inside draw with a quick beginning under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. Arteta (Take Charge Indy) joined him in a sprint to the front and the pair stayed in close quarters through opening fractions of :22.26 and :45.70. Tucked against the rail around the turn, Pirate kicked on as his rival faded back and was set down with a furlong to run. Second-time starter Just Steel (Justify), a $500,000 KEESEP yearling, chased him to the wire but was never a threat, as Pirate sailed to the easy win.

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

All things equal, Pirate will be considered for the seven-furlong GI Hopeful S. Sept. 4.

"We'll play it by ear. Normally we'd wait for the Hopeful, but we'll see how things go," said Pletcher, who saddled 'TDN Rising Star' Forte (Violence) to victory in last year's renewal.

The fourth overall winner for Omaha Beach, Pirate is a half to the aforementioned National Treasure along with Ultimate (Speightstown), SW, $362,556, recent winner of the Iowa Sprint S. Treasure is herself a half to a pair of graded-stakes performers as well as MSW Inspired (Unbridled's Song), the dam of GSP Carmel Road (Quality Road) and the dams of Vow (Union Rags), an impressive allowance winner at Horseshoe Indianapolis July 6 and Blum's Top Secret (Uncle Mo), a 5 1/2-length maiden winner at Ellis Park last month. Under the third dam is MGSW/GISP Multiple Choice (Mt. Livermore) and GI Clark H. victor Leofric (Candy Ride {Arg}). Treasure is responsible for a yearling filly by the Blum-bred Horse of the Year Authentic named Renoir and was bred to Quality Road for a full-sibling to National Treasure in 2023 but failed to produce a live foal.

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