First-crop sires: Omaha Beach runners hit targets from Del Mar to France
Since our opening salvo on Omaha Beach’s juveniles, the freshman sire has added four more winners, for a total of 11, and increased his tally of stakes performers. Let’s catch up with his recent stakes results before focusing on his latest progeny in the win column.
Pirate, Triple Espresso earn notable black-type
Omaha Beach had representatives in both of Saratoga’s premier races for two-year-olds, the Sept. 4 Hopeful (G1) and Sept. 3 Spinaway (G1). Pirate became his sire’s first runner to earn a Grade 1 placing when finishing third in the Hopeful, while Alys Beach closed for fourth in the Spinaway. Both experienced scenarios quite different from their initial outings.
Pirate, who had leveraged speed from the rail in his front-running debut, was dealt a different hand in the Hopeful from the far outside post 10. The Todd Pletcher pupil found himself well off the fast pace, and he covered extra ground out wide before churning on for the bronze medal. In the Spinaway, Alys Beach likewise raced much further back than in her debut for Tom Amoss. Instead of punching from a couple of lengths off the leaders, Alys Beach dropped more than 13 lengths behind in last, and she belatedly rallied to round out the superfecta.
Omaha Beach’s most eye-catching stakes performer was Triple Espresso, runner-up in his career debut in the Sept. 9 Kitten’s Joy S. on the Colonial Downs turf. Lagging well behind a slow pace after a tardy start, the 2.70-1 chance woke up down the stretch and steamed home with a 102 Brisnet Late Pace rating. He rapidly closed the gap on the victorious Tok Tok, who was not stopping with a final sixteenth in 6.20 seconds, to just 1 1/4 lengths.
Trained by Pletcher for Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables, Triple Espresso was purchased for $350,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. The well-named colt is out of Natural Rush, an Indian Charlie mare who is also responsible for Canadian Grade 3-placed stakes winner Wyatt’s Town. Natural Rush is herself a half to multiple stakes scorer and Grade 3-placed Ravi’s Song, both daughters of multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Lu Ravi, an A.P. Indy mare from the immediate family of champion Halfbridled.
Hot Beach, the breakthrough stakes winner for Omaha Beach when capturing the Ellis Park Debutante, regressed to third in Saturday’s Pocahontas (G3) at Churchill Downs. The first scoring race on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks, the Pocahontas witnessed a power-packed display from V V’s Dream, by fellow freshman sire Mitole. Hot Beach was never going to contain her, but she might well have been second if she’d stuck to her usual tactics. A fast start from the outside post put her on the lead here, and she ended up being the hunted rather than the hunter.
With Pirate and Triple Espresso joining Hot Beach and Omaha Beach’s initial stakes-placers – Irish Group 3-placed Launch and Debutante S. third Easy Red – the stallion now boasts five juveniles with black-type. He continues to lead all North American-based freshmen in the number of black-type runners.
Debut winners at Del Mar, Colonial, and Saint-Cloud
Sandy Bottom won well in her 5 1/2-furlong premiere on closing day at Del Mar. A 3.10-1 chance from the barn of Michael McCarthy, she was astutely handled by Umberto Rispoli, who let her find her feet after getting bumped at the start. Sandy Bottom responded by going through her gears efficiently, and putting her head in front as they reached the opening quarter in :21.92. It was all straightforward from there, as she established separation from the field and widened her advantage to 3 1/2 lengths in 1:04.77.
Bred by her sire’s home of Spendthrift Farm and sold for $145,000 at Keeneland September, Sandy Bottom is the first foal from Starlit Daydream, by the Into Mischief stallion Can the Man. The mare is a three-quarter sister to Grade 3-winning sprinter Gas Station Sushi (by Into Mischief) and a half to Miss Costa Rica, the third-placer in the 2020 Chandelier (G2). Sandy Bottom is bred along similar lines to Miss Costa Rica, who is also by a son of War Front, Hit It a Bomb.
Omaha Beach had an earlier Del Mar winner in Charge for Gold, who scored at first asking Aug. 24 as a 5.20-1 shot. Trained by Philip Oviedo, the $60,000 OBS April juvenile stalked in a turf sprint maiden and drove to a 1 1/2-length decision in :58.28 for five grassy furlongs.
Charge for Gold is a half-brother to turf stakes-placed Discovered; their dam, the Hennessy mare Gasp, comes from the family of Catholic Boy, who turned a cross-surface double in the 2018 Belmont Derby (G1) and Travers (G1).
Betsylicious likewise won first up sprinting, in her case on the dirt at Colonial Downs Sept. 8. Out of the multiple graded winner Miss Behaviour, the runner-up in the 2014 Test (G1), Betsylicious vied for the early lead before asserting under good handling by Jevian Toledo. The Gerard Ochoa filly covered six furlongs in 1:10.88 as the even-money second choice, toppling the 4-5 Lou Anna by a tidy length.
On Sept. 11, Omaha Beach recorded his first winner abroad when Talentuoso landed a newcomers’ event at Saint-Cloud. The Kentucky-bred was exported after selling for $285,000 at OBS March, and joined trainer Fabrice Chappet.
Nestled in a ground-saving spot behind the pacesetter, the gray shifted out into the clear for Christophe Soumillon and reeled off a penultimate furlong in :11.02, according to france-galop.com, to strike the front. Talentuoso was kept on task to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths while completing about 6 1/2 furlongs on the good-to-soft course in 1:19.99.
H. Guy Bloodstock purchase Talentuoso won impressively on debut today at Saint-Cloud with @CSoumillon on board for trainer @ChappetRacing . The Omaha Beach @spendthriftfarm colt was purchased from @eddiewoods2yos at @OBSSales. Well done to Blu Racing & partners. pic.twitter.com/2W6AuMkyI5— hubert guy (@haguybms) September 11, 2023
Talentuoso is the first registered foal from the Scat Daddy mare Back to Basics, who is a half-sister to Grade 3 hero and multiple Grade 1-placed Calculator. Further back, this is the family of $2.7 million-earner Firenze Fire as well as Broodmare of the Year Oatsee, dam of Shackleford, Lady Joanne, et al.
Knocking on the door
The Brad Cox-trained Dive Bomber was a clear second to General Partner in his second try at Saratoga, notching a 96 Brisnet Speed rating.
Reverend Moon, just edged in a Saratoga turf sprint maiden, will try again in a six-furlong affair at Aqueduct (ninth race on Sept. 22). He could ultimately benefit from a stretch-out for Christophe Clement.
E J Won the Cup has placed second in both starts so far for Doug O’Neill, most recently to the promising Slider at Del Mar.
Pletcher’s Caitlinhergrtness was beaten all of a length in third after arguing the pace in her Spa debut.