09/01/2006 12:00AM

Pirates Bounty's gone but his legacy lives on

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DEL MAR, Calif. - The influence of Pirate's Bounty, a former leading stallion in California who was euthanized at the age of 31 in late August because of old age, will continue for many years.

Pirate's Bounty was retired from stud duty in 1999, at the end of a decade in which he was the state's annual leading stallion three times - 1992, 1994, and 1995. He sired the winners of more than $31.9 million, 63 stakes winners, and two Grade 1 winners - Pirate's Revenge and Private Persuasion.

Pirate's Bounty stood his entire stallion career at Marty and Pam Wygod's River Edge Farm in Buellton, Calif. He is the sire of several of the farm's prominent broodmares, including Pirate's Revenge and Private Persuasion, and of the stakes-winning mares Bountiful Native and Glass Ceiling.

"He certainly did us very well," said River Edge farm manager Russell Drake. "We raised a lot of good horses by him that were stakes winners."

Recently, Drake said, he weaned a Pirate's Revenge's foal by Smart Strike, which made him recall the stallion.

"A majority of his stakes winners were raised here," Drake said. "It was a big influence on the success we had."

Pirate's Bounty stood for $8,000 in 1996 and 1997 and for as much as $10,000 in the 1990's, Drake said. As a racehorse, he provided little evidence of his future success as a stallion.

Pirate's Bounty won 4 of 15 starts and $95,984. He had one stakes win, the $30,450 Millburn Stakes at six furlongs at the Meadowlands in 1979.

"He wasn't one of the most royally bred horses, but the thing you can't measure, you had to be around him, he was very determined and had a lot of personality," Drake said. "He probably outdid himself. He'd give you a very good-looking horse."

By Hoist the Flag, Pirate's Bounty was out of Bad Seed, by Stevward. Bad Seed, foaled in 1969, was a stakes winner who won seven races from 2 to 4.

Pirate's Bounty's first crop reached the track in 1984. He cracked the $1 million barrier in progeny earnings for the first time in 1989, and had a personal-best of $2,801,895 in 1995.

That year, Pirate's Revenge and Private Persuasion finished first and third in the Grade 1 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park. Private Persuasion won the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap later in that meeting.

Pirate's Revenge, who earned $521,025, is a full sister to two stakes winners - the geldings Echo of Yesterday ($437,750) and Carribbean Pirate ($171,450).

The sire's richest foal was Feverish, the winner of the 2000 Bayakoa Handicap who won 12 of 42 starts and earned $908,953.

Because several years have passed since he was an active sire, Pirate's Bounty is more frequently found as a broodmare stallion in the current bloodstock market. He is the broodmare sire of six yearlings in the California October yearling sale at Barretts on Oct. 3.

Even though he was 31 at the time of his death, Pirate's Bounty had active days at the farm until earlier this summer, Drake said.

"He had been going out every day to a paddock up until the last month," Drake said. "He didn't seem like he cared any more. He was starting to get where he couldn't get up and down. He was beating himself up. I went ahead and put him to sleep.

"Normally, even in his older age, he was always pretty spunky. He kind of got a little bit under the weather."