Pleasant Colony

Pleasant Colony (May 4, 1978 – December 31, 2002) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the first two legs of the 1981 American Triple Crown: the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

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


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.

Early racing careerEdit

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. Ridden by jockey Jeffrey Fell, Pleasant Colony then won April's Wood Memorial Stakes by three lengths.

Triple Crown racesEdit

In the 1981 Kentucky Derby under regular jockey Jorge Velasquez, 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.

Later racing careerEdit

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

As a sireEdit

From 1982 to 1998, Pleasant Colony stood at Thomas Mellon Evans's historic Buckland Farm in Warrenton, Virginia. 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 Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky. Somehow in 2000 he was found in horrible conditions, very underweight and was brought to the KY Horse Park where he was given proper care. In 2000, he was pensioned and sent to Blue Ridge Farm in Upperville, Virginia, where he died in 2002 at age 24.

Pleasant Colony returned to Buckland Farm, now owned by the Blake family, after his death and is buried on the farm overlooking the fields where his mares were.


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


  • Pleasant Colony's pedigree and racing stats
  • 2003 Churchill Downs story on Pleasant Colony and trainer John Campo
  • Pleasant Colony's Kentucky Derby
  • Henriques, Diana B. The White Sharks of Wall Street: Thomas Mellon Evans & the Original Corporate Raiders (2000) Scribner ISBN 978-0-684-83399-6