Pleasant Colony, at Blue Ridge Farm in the spring of 2001.

Pleasant Colony, at Blue Ridge Farm in the spring of 2001.

Barbara D. Livingston

Champion and Major Sire Pleasant Colony Dead

Pleasant Colony, who won the 1981 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I), died Dec. 31 of natural causes in his paddock at George Grayson's Blue Ridge Farm near Upperville, Va. The 25-year-old Virginia-bred son of His Majesty was buried at David Blake's Buckland Farm just a short distance from the barn where he was born. Buckland at the time was owned by Thomas Mellon Evans, who campaigned Pleasant Colony as a homebred.

Pleasant Colony won the Run for the Roses from a fast-closing Woodchopper, and in the Preakness, he overtook pacesetter Bold Ego in the final furlong. His try for the Triple Crown ended with a tiring third-place effort in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Pleasant Colony's other wins that year came in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) and Woodward (gr. I) Stakes. He was retired in the fall after a fourth-place effort in the Marlboro Cup Handicap (gr. I) with six wins from 14 starts and earnings of $965,383 in two years of racing. His stakes win as a 2-year-old came in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II).

Pleasant Colony, who entered stud at the Buckland division near Lexington, became a source of stamina and soundness in pedigrees. He is represented by 73 stakes winners, including Eclipse Award winners Pleasant Tap and Pleasant Stage; multiple European champion St. Jovite, recent star Behrens, and 1993 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Colonial Affair. On the 2002 general sire list, he is ranked 26th, with progeny earnings of $4.1 million. He packs an impressive 3.49 A-EI, compared to a 2.47 CI.

As a broodmare sire, Pleasant Colony is represented by such grade I winners as the half-siblings Forestry and Cash Run. The latter won the 1999 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). Another of Pleasant Colony's maternal granddaughters, millionaire Summer Colony, is owned by Evans' son, Edward Evans. The elder Evans died in 1997.

Pleasant Colony stood for a time at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky. He was pensioned in 2000 after developing libido problems and was moved to the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington. That year, he was sent to Blue Ridge.