Pleasant Colony

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Pleasant Colony
SireHis Majesty
DamSun Colony
DamsireSunrise Flight
CountryUnited States
ColourDark Bay
BreederThomas Mellon Evans
OwnerBuckland Farm
TrainerJohn P. Campo
Record14: 6–3–1
Major wins
Remsen Stakes (1980)
Wood Memorial Stakes (1981)
Woodward Stakes (1981) American Triple Crown wins:
Kentucky Derby (1981)
Preakness Stakes (1981)
American Champion 3-Yr-Old Colt (1981)
Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame (1982)
Last updated on January 23, 2010

Pleasant Colony (May 4, 1978 – December 31, 2002) was a champion American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 1981 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and was named the 1981 American Champion Three-Year-Old.


A big, gangly horse standing just under seventeen hands, Pleasant Colony was a grandson of Ribot. He was bred by Wall Street financier Thomas Mellon Evans and raced under his Buckland Farm banner.[1]

Early racing career[edit]

At age two, Pleasant Colony won two of his five starts including the Remsen Stakes. At age three, in the spring of 1981 he was second in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. Pleasant Colony lost 3 of 4 races to Akureyri. He lost the Fountain of Youth Stakes and the Pilgrim Stakes besides finishing behind Akureyri in the Florida Derby. He also was defeated by Akureyri in the Remsen Stakes but was placed first through disqualification. After Pleasant Colony's fifth-place finish in March's Florida Derby, his owner dismissed his trainer and replaced him with John P. Campo.[1] Ridden by jockey Jeffrey Fell, Pleasant Colony then won April's Wood Memorial Stakes by three lengths.[1]

Triple Crown races[edit]

In the 1981 Kentucky Derby under regular jockey Jorge Velásquez, Pleasant Colony held off a powerful stretch drive by Woodchopper to win by three-quarters of a length. The expected rivalry with Woodchopper never materialized in the Preakness Stakes. Pleasant Colony came from behind to win by a length over Arkansas Derby winner Bold Ego with Woodchopper far back in eleventh place. In the third and final leg of the Triple Crown series, the Belmont Stakes, Pleasant Colony finished third to winner Summing.[1]

Later racing career[edit]

Pleasant Colony won the Grade I Woodward Stakes. After a fourth in the Marlboro Cup Invitational Handicap, and a reported leg injury, he was retired to stud duty at Buckland Farm.[1] At year's end, he was voted the Eclipse Award for Outstanding 3-Year-Old Male Horse.

As a sire[edit]

From 1982 at age 4, until 1998 at age 20, Pleasant Colony stood at Thomas Mellon Evans's Buckland Farm annex outside Lexington, Kentucky on Paris Pike near the Fayette County and Bourbon County line. He became a very significant sire, producing seventy-three stakes race winners including more than a dozen Grade I winners and the following champions:

Pleasant Colony's daughters have produced a number of Grade 1 stakes race winners. He is the damsire of Forestry, sire of The Green Monkey sold at the February 2006 Fasig-Tipton Florida auction for a world record price of $16-million. The Green Monkey had almost no success at the racetrack and is now standing at stud.

Following his owner's death in 1997, Pleasant Colony was sent to Blue Ridge Farm in Upperville, Virginia, where he died in 2002 at age 24.

After his death, Pleasant Colony returned to Buckland Farm to be buried in the primary field of Barn 4, the Broodmare Barn, in the field adjacent to the farm's main house site.

Pleasant Colony's veterinarian Dr. Janice Runkle, 27 at the time, was the first female vet ever to care for a Derby entrant or winner. Later in the summer of 1981 her body was found in a bushy beach area on the shore of Lake Michigan north of Chicago, the ruling of suicide remains controversial decades later.[1]


Pedigree of Pleasant Colony
His Majesty

bay 1968


bay 1952

Tenerani Bellini
Romanella El Greco
Barbara Burrini
Flower Bowl

bay 1952

Alibhai Hyperion
Flower Bed Beau Pere
Sun Colony

bay 1968

Sunrise Flight

drk.brn. 1959

Double Jay Balladier
Misty Morn Princequillo
Grey Flight

bay 1959

Cockrullah Nasrullah
Nalga Guatan

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Wertheim, Jon (27 April 2021). "Pleasant Colony and the Crown of Thorns". Sports Illustrated. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2 May 2021.