11/17/2007 12:00AM

'Pirates' brings class edge

EmailSome horses need everything to go their way. If they're not on an easy lead from an outside post on a fast surface over their favorite track, forget it.

Piratesonthelake is not one of those. He's run well on fast and sloppy surfaces, dirt and synthetic, from on the pace and off the pace, and on Tuesday he will run at a different track for the fifth straight time in the $75,000 Sophomore Sprint Championship at Mountaineer Park.

Eleven were entered in the Sophomore Sprint, a six-furlong race on the Mountaineer dirt, and Piratesonthelake has been facing by far the best company. He comes off a fourth-place finish in the Select Stakes over a sloppy Monmouth strip on Breeders' Cup Day, Oct. 27, that is much better than it looks. He stalked the pace of graded winner

E Z Warrior through a wicked half-mile in 44.18 seconds. E Z Warrior held on for second, but the winner, Cobalt Blue, and third-place finisher, Appealing Spring, came from the clouds in a race that took its toll on runners who were close to the pace.

Trainer Jim DiVito sent Piratesonthelake to Monmouth off a pair of Polytrack stakes scores. Piratesonthelake came from fourth to win the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Sprint at Turfway in September, and went wire to wire in the Arlington Sprint in August, dead-heating with the older Grade 1 winner In Summation.

With speedsters like De Brandon Boy and Heezafrequentflyer in the Sophomore Sprint, Piratesonthelake should find himself in the garden spot Tuesday under Diego Sanchez, who rode him in four straight races before the Select.

Jacob's Run has improved greatly since trainer Leigh Delacour put blinkers on him four starts ago. He won a maiden race by 10 1/4 lengths at Laurel in August, took an allowance by 7 1/2 at Philadelphia in September, and finished third and second in the Gallant Bob at Philadelphia and the Sonny Hine at Laurel in his last two starts.

Jacob's Run came flying late in the Sonny Hine, and probably has the best closing punch in this race.