Admiralty Pier defied the odds to win his debut at 11-1 for owners Hoolie Racing Stable, LLC and Bruce Lunsford with a commanding 4 ¾-length score under Luis Contreras.

The effort was so impressive that trainer Barb Minshall brought the Kentucky-bred gelding back in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes where he finished third, despite ducking in down the lane, when defeated less than a length by Untamed Domain who went on to finish second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

“He had always trained like a good horse. He’s a horse with a lot of talent and the best thing I like about him is how much he’s matured from two to three,” Minshall said. “In his first few races he was pretty green, but he’s all over that now as far as his maturity and really progressed. Usually, good horses do that.”

Following the Summer Stakes, Admiralty Pier took his talents to Keeneland where he landed fourth, defeated less than two lengths, in the off-the-turf Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes won by Canadian-bred Kentucky Derby contender Flameaway.

The English Channel—Full Steam Ahead chestnut missed by a narrow nose upon returning home to Woodbine in November in a three-horse photo with stakes-placed Sable Island and the stakes-winning Piven. Buoyed by the effort, Admiralty Pier completed his campaign by winning a stretch battle with Pipers Warrior to take the Display Stakes.

The Display Stakes score, over the Woodbine Tapeta, demonstrated a mark of class as his trainer quickly pointed out that he’s a different animal on the green.

“He’s just gotten better and better. He’s just a young, learning horse. I still think he’s better on the turf,” Minshall said following the Display. “I think he’s going to move up lengths and lengths on the turf, but he’s just getting better all the time.”

With a history of competing against stakes winners and racelines littered with close finishes, Minshall knows that Admiralty Pier is battle ready and full of heart. In fact, Canada’s newly minted three-year-old champ made his season debut when third in the Grade 3 Transylvania and will make his next start on Kentucky Derby day when he competes in the Grade 2 American Turf.