Monthly Archives: June 2024


Fasig-Tipton’s select yearlings sale takes place on July 9, 2024. The sale will start at 10:00 AM at the sales ring in Lexington, Kentucky. This sale marks the opening of the yearling sales season.

See the file below for all Virginia Bred and Virginia Certified horses listed in the sale.

Colonial Downs Summer Stakes Recognizes Historic Virginia-Bred Hall of Famer 

The 9-week summer thoroughbred racing season at Colonial Downs will be conducted from July 11 through September 7 with racing every Thursday through Saturday. Post time is 11:45 AM on Thursday, 4:30 PM on Friday and 1:30 PM on Saturday. The popular “Festival of Racing” program will return August 10 and feature the Grade 1 Arlington Million, Grade 2 Beverly D ($500,000 purse) and Grade 2 Secretariat Stakes ($500,000). The Million will be run at 1-1/4 miles, the Beverly D. will be contested at 1-3/16 miles and the Secretariat will cover one mile. All three races will be held on Colonial’s acclaimed Secretariat Turf Course. 

The Beverly D. has again been selected as a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf to be held November 2 at Del Mar. Festival Day is being expanded for 2024 to include four additional stakes races: the $100,000 Petramalo Mile, a one-mile dirt race for 3-year-olds and its sister race, the $100,000 Penny Chenery for fillies at seven furlongs; the $150,000 Van Clief for 3-year-olds & up at 5½ furlongs on the turf and its distaff companion event, the $150,000 Andy Guest. 

Opening weekend action will be highlighted by a new event — the Million Preview Day card — July 13 that includes three new turf stakes: the $125,000 Arlington Million Prep at 1-1/8 miles; $125,000 Beverly D. Prep over 1-1/16 miles; and the $125,000 Boston at one mile, a prep for the Secretariat. 

The inaugural Boston Stakes will be contested Saturday July 13 at Colonial Downs.

The Boston Stakes will resonate with fans locally in Central Virginia, which is home to Colonial Downs. Boston, who was bred by Richmond attorney John Wickam and foaled in nearby Henrico County, was America’s most accomplished racehorse in an era when thoroughbred racing was the nation’s most popular sport. Boston won 40 of 45 known races between 1836 and 1943 on tracks from Georgia to New. York, once in front of a crowd of 70,000. Later a renowned sire, he was an inaugural inductee into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1955. He lived from 1833-1850 

Boston is a grandson of Sir Archy and was a regal chestnut-colored horse with a white blaze on his nose. During his racing career, he was undefeated as a 4 and 5-year-old starting in 15 races. Thirty of Boston’s victories were in four-mile heats and nine were in three-milers. In the era of grueling marathon contests, Boston was in a class of his own.

Thirteen of his starts took place in Virginia including eight in Petersburg –- all of which he won. Post-racing, Boston was the leading sire in 1851, 1852 and 1853 and eventually sired 95 winners of 293 races. Among his noted progeny were Lexington and Lecomte.

To celebrate his importance to Virginia racing, the County of Henrico will dedicate a new historical marker at Boston’s foaling location this summer, soon after the inaugural Boston Stakes at Colonial.  

Wagering Available on Steeplechase Racing at Colonial Downs This Summer  

Steeplechase racing will be showcased on six different Thursdays throughout the 2024 summer racing season at Colonial Downs and for the first time in several years, pari-mutuel wagering will be offered on the entire jump slate — 18 races in all. Three jump races will be contested on the following Thursdays — July 11 (opening day), July 18, August 1, August 8, August 22 and September 5. 

Pari-mutuel wagering has been available on Virginia Gold Cup jump races for years. Douglas Lees photo.

First race each Thursday is 11:45 AM and all three will be completed in time for Colonial’s first scheduled flat race at 1:30 PM. Steeplechase riders will use the regular jockey’s room on the track’s front side and horses will saddle in the paddock. The jump races will be available to watch and wager via Colonial’s simulcast signal. In addition to regular bets, there will be an All-Steeplechase Pick-3 and two daily doubles that cover races 1-2 and 2-3.  

The first of two Colonial Downs condition books is out and available online via the track’s website. Conditions for four of the six jump days are included and feature four $50,000 maiden hurdles, a pair of $55,000 allowance hurdles and a $50,000 filly/mare maiden hurdle among others. A pair of $100,000 filly and mare stakes highlight the schedule — the Randolph D. Rouse on August 8 and the Life’s Illusion on September 5. Both will be run at the 2 ¼ miles distance. More details are available at 

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Colonial Downs Barn Area to Open June 24 in Preparation For the 2024 Thoroughbred Season

Casse returns along with multiple champion StidhamDeVaux, Desormeaux, and Clement lead the list of new trainers

Signaling the beginning of the 2024 Thoroughbred season, Colonial Downs’ barn area will open on Monday, June 24, welcoming returning conditioners, as well as newcomers who are sure to impact the standings. Training is scheduled to begin on Thursday, June 27.

Multiple leading trainer Mike Stidham and Hall of Fame conditioner Mark Casse are among the trainers preparing their string for Colonial Downs 2024 Thoroughbred Season. Casse returns after a successful debut meet where he won 10 races, including Fev Rover’s score in the Grade 1 $500,000 Beverly D., a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

“It was our first meet and we loved it,” Casse said. “(Colonial Downs) has got one of the nicest turf courses in North America. When I came in for the Beverly D, I flew in with Tyler Gaffalione, Kendrick Carmouche, and Javier (Castellano), and they all commented that this is one of the nicest turf courses they have ridden.”

Mark Casse’s Fev Rover in the Colonial Downs stable area in 2023.

A celebrated mainstay of the summer season, Karen Dennehy Godsey plans to return to Colonial Downs, coming off the most successful meet in terms of earnings of the trainer’s 11-year career.

“Colonial offers races that no other track has, especially given the Virginia-bred and Virginia-certified program,” Godsey said. “It’s quality racing. The money is good, the racing is good, and the track is gorgeous. There is no other turf course like it. Most every horse in my barn is Virginia-bred or Virginia-certified, so those races they offer level the playing field.”

Newcomers expected to stable at Colonial in 2024 include Christophe Clement, Cherie DeVaux, Jordan Blair, and Keith Desormeaux.

“After looking at the condition book, I saw they have a lot of 2-year-old races, they have a lot of 2-year-old route races, and they have plenty of turf racing,” Desormeaux said. “The surface is second to none –turf and dirt. The facility is very nice, the purses are substantial — there were many features that attracted me. Our goal does not change — we’re developing horses to run at the highest level. It’s going to be a great place to develop these young horses.”

Exiting the most successful season in the history of the racetrack, in terms of record number of races, race days, visitors, horses in competition, live bets and off-track bets, Colonial Downs’ 2024 stakes program consists of 27 races worth $5.7 million. The season will feature daily average purses of nearly $700,000.

The 27-day meet runs from Thursday, July 11 through Saturday, September 7.


Every Thursday is Thirsty Thursday with $3 domestic draft refills every Thursday with the purchase of a souvenir cup.

With a 4:30 p.m. post time, Fridays are Party at the Downs featuring happy hour beer and wine specials from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. and live entertainment in the Trackside Tent.

Opening weekend Saturday, July 13 is highlighted by the inaugural editions of the $125,000 Million Preview, $125,000 Beverly D. Preview, and the $125,000 Boston, which serves as a prep for the Secretariat Stakes. Nominations for the three stakes close Thursday, June 27.

Saturday July 13 also features a giveaway of an 18-month calendar loaded with photos of the stars of the 2023 season at Colonial Downs.

Colonial’s races will be prominently featured on FanDuel TV all season long. Additionally, FanDuel TV will be on-site for coverage of the Festival of Racing on August 10.

Racing fans are encouraged to wager on racing from Colonial Downs via, the official advance-deposit wagering service for Churchill Downs Incorporated and its family of racetracks. boasts an improved wagering experience and mobile app combining the latest technology with the ability to wager on virtually every quarter, harness and thoroughbred horse race from venues around the globe. also offers access to unmatched insight and analysis from our horse racing experts, handicappers, insiders, educators and Bloodstock Research Information Services (Brisnet).


Originally posted on 6/12/2024 at, written by Nick Hahn.

One day before Seize the Grey seized the day in the 149th running of the Preakness Stakes, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) stopped the gray.

Gray games, that is, the slot machine-like contraptions pushed by advocates as “games of skill.” Youngkin vetoed legislation that would have permitted thousands of these machines to proliferate across the state with only minimal regulation.

With his May 17 veto, Youngkin checked the advancement of a bill that could have done enormous damage to the economic model of Virginia’s thoroughbred industry, which has in the last five years become a true success story. Only an “unusual summertime session” of the Virginia General Assembly, as Graham Moomaw reports in the Virginia Mercury, would prevent Virginians from having a year to take a closer look of legalizing a form of gaming that would undercut a successful horse racing business model.

“I remain open to working with the General Assembly going forward on this subject,” Youngkin said in his veto statement.

Gray gaming machines look to the casual observer like slot machines. Advocates claim they are different because, while slots are purely games of chance – the player has no ability to affect the outcome – gray machines require players to engage with the game in various ways, which does affect the outcome.

That’s the “skill” element that advocates point to.

Opponents, including horse racing advocates, say the skill involved is minimal and exists merely to evade state law prohibiting games of chance but not games of skill. “Skill for idiots,” one player described the gray games.

Gray games proliferated in the first place because they are gray, legally speaking: they seek to exist in a gray area of the law. Then they were stymied by the state and gray machine operators – including the companies that make the machines and the bars and convenience stores that often host them – sought changes to state law to allow gray machines with very little regulation.

That irked racing advocates.

“The whole process needs to be slowed down and make sure gray gaming is good for Virgnia,” said Debbie Easter of the umbrella Virginia Equine Alliance.  “There is no path to regulation of these gray games.  There is no centralized regulation or some kind of oversight for gray gaming that would have tens of thousands of machines.”

Racing benefits from so-called historical horse racing machines (HHR), which also look like slot machines but are parimutuel in nature and use the results of prior horse races to generate winners and losers.

HHR is regulated by the Virginia Racing Commission under a set of provisions established by Virginia’s General Assembly to benefit a native industry of small business that accounts for over 5,000 jobs and has over a $500 million economic impact, according to a 2019 study.

The number of HHR terminals statewide is capped at 5,000. They’re permitted only in localities where a local referendum approved them, and in a facility licensed and regulated by the Virginia Racing Commission, designated to be away from churches, schools, and day care centers.

In addition, by law for every 100 HHR terminals in operation, the license holder – Colonial Downs – must conduct at least one day of live racing. In the last couple of years that has meant 27 days of live racing – soon to rise – with average daily purse money of over $600,000, a robust figure well above other Mid-Atlantic competitors. That generates jobs, income and multiple forms of revenue on and off the track, not to measure what horse racing brings to the souls of its participants.

“From feed, tractors, blacksmiths and trainers, we are large number of small businesses that comprise a large industry, one of the biggest in the Virginia,” Easter said.

HHR was approved by Virginia’s General Assembly in 2018 as part of the renaissance of Virginia horse racing, to restore live thoroughbred racing at Colonial Downs, which had been dormant since 2013.

The rise of gray gaming in Virginia grew out of the pandemic and was banned by the General Assembly in late 2020. After a Virginia court issued an injunction in December 2021 that voided the ban, gray gaming operated until the Virginia Supreme Court reinstated the ban once again in the fall of 2023.

Earlier this year, legislation to legalize gray gaming advanced through the General Assembly. The bill that was sent to Youngkin’s desk, SB 212, had few constraints on the machines. Though it did limit the number to four per convenience store and ten per truck stop, it did not require local referendum approval.

It also placed no statewide cap on the number of machines. It could have allowed many more machines than the 5,000 permitted HHR terminals, HHR advocates said.

That combination – a new and much more lightly regulated competitor allowed to proliferate throughout the state – led racing advocates and anti-gambling activists to fight back. Indeed, prior to the launch of HHR, racing advocates had considered and rejected a “gray games strategy,” deciding instead to enter through the front door, by working with the General Assembly.

So unbalanced was the legislation that voters in Manassas Park, who rejected off-track betting twice in its history, would have no say in the total number of gray games in their community or where they would be located.  

These issues also bothered Youngkin.

“In recent years, the Commonwealth of Virginia has authorized casinos, sports betting, and parimutuel wagering, on top of longer-standing gaming options like the Virginia Lottery, horse racing, and charitable gaming,” he wrote in his veto statement. “When it comes to additional gaming options, such as games of skill, we must proceed with a robust set of safeguards.”

After the bill initially passed, Youngkin sent it back to the General Assembly, urging the legislature to adopt several such safeguards. Those included a higher tax rate and buffer zones around existing gambling facilities. Those amendments were rejected by the Senate, leaving the Governor no choice, faced with an all or nothing situation, other than to veto.

One source estimated that gray games could take a substantial bite out of HHR, and HHR has been, for racing and the businesses and communities that benefit from it, the goose that laid the golden egg.

Credit Governor Youngkin for exercising proper oversight.

The Virginia thoroughbred industry’s economic model has worked well since the onset of HHR and Colonial Downs’s reopening in 2019. The track itself has set handle records in its last two years. The Virginia Certified Residency Program, which encourages horse owners to house their young horses in the Commonwealth, generates nearly six dollars of economic impact for each dollar of investment, according to a study.

Last August 12 the Grade 2 Secretariat Stakes – named for the greatest-ever Virginia-bred horse, arguably the greatest horse, period, of all time – took place for the first time in Secretariat’s home state, at Colonial Downs.

Before an enthusiastic crowd, buoyed by the giant Secretariat statue, the big prize went to Gigante, himself a Virginia-bred and, at 22-1 the longest shot on the board.

Gigante was bred by Ann Mudge Backer and Smitten Farm. She is the widow of longtime Virginia breeder Bill Backer, advertising exec and inspiration for the TV series Mad Men.

It was, you might say, a gigantic win: among the biggest in Virginia’s distinguished racing history. And it was only possible because of the conditions created by the presence of HHR. For the racing industry, that’s what’s at stake.

2024 Yearling Futurity – Save the Date!


Get your yearlings ready for the 2024 Yearling Futurity located at the Warrenton Horse Show Grounds in Warrenton, Virginia.

Information and entry forms to follow.

2023 Futurity Grand Champion the 2022 Filly out of Astral Favor by Vino Roso owned by Sara Miller and Timbercreek Farm, bred by Remount Thoroughbreds LLC. Pictured with Judge Brittany Russell and the VEA's Jeb Hannum.
2023 Futurity Grand Champion the 2022 Filly out of Astral Favor by Vino Roso owned by Sara Miller and Timbercreek Farm, bred by Remount Thoroughbreds LLC. Pictured with Judge Brittany Russell and the VEA’s Jeb Hannum.

“A Great Ride” as Belmont Stakes Starter Mindframe Could Cap 40 Years of Breeding

The following was written by Frank Vespe and appeared in “The Racing Biz” June 6th. Larry Johnson is a Virginia thoroughbred horse breeder and owner whose Legacy Farm is based in in Bluefield, VA. His Future Is Now, a 4-year-old Great Notion filly, broke his maiden at Colonial Downs last August and will compete in the Grade 2 Intercontinental Stakes at Saratoga June 7th. Johnson also bred Mindframe, 7-2 second favorite in Saturday’s $2 million Belmont Stakes! Frank Vespe’s article follows:

“It ain’t a science,” Larry Johnson laughed about breeding racehorses. 

Maybe not. But he said that a few days before Saturday’s Grade 1 Belmont Stakes – to be run at Saratoga this year and next – in which Mindframe, a horse he bred, is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line. The Belmont will be one day after Johnson’s homebred Future Is Now tries to live up to her name in the Grade 2 Intercontinental as the third choice.

Future Is Now returns to the Colonial Downs winners circle after an August 5, 2023 win.

Which comes two weeks after Future Is Now won Pimlico’s The Very One, in which another Johnson homebred, Hollywood Walk – who is a half to Mindframe – finished third. Also that weekend, yet another Johnson homebred, Call Another Play, finished third, just missing second, in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan. All are Maryland-breds.

Maybe it’s not a science, in other words, but it sure is a business where it pays to be in the right place at the right time.

“It’s a great ride,” Johnson said. “I don’t do this to necessarily make money. I try not to lose money. But it’s weeks like this: if this doesn’t get you going, you really ought to just go into hibernation someplace.”

Johnson sold Mindframe as a yearling, and he fetched a top bid of $600,000 from Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables. They sent him to trainer Todd Pletcher, and while Mindframe remained unraced – and even unnamed – until the first quarter of his three-year-old season, he’s made up for some lost time with two wins by a combined 20-plus lengths.

Jockey Victor Carrasco gives Future Is Now a sponge bath after a maiden special weight win at Colonial Downs.

Remarkably enough, the Constitution colt, who’s raced only twice and whose top victory came in a first-level allowance, is 7-2 on the morning line for Saturday’s Belmont. That’s lower than either the Kentucky Derby winner, Mystik Dan (5-1), or the Preakness winner Seize the Grey (8-1). Sierra Leone is the 9-5 favorite.

“My gut tells me it’s not just [trainer Todd] Pletcher [that accounts for his short odds]. It’s the brilliance that he shows,” Johnson surmised. “The way in which Mindframe ran his two races, if your project out a little bit, is brilliant. So I think there is a lot of projection going on with him.”

Mindframe is out of the Street Sense mare Walk of Stars, who won five times in her career and earned over $150,000. Among those wins were a victory in Charles Town’s Pink Ribbon Stakes and a maiden score by 30 ¼ lengths – that’s not a typo – at Timonium.

Walk of Stars has had four offspring to race, including Mindframe and the stakes-placed Hollywood Walk, who may very well become a stakes winner before the end of the turf season. By Animal Kingdom, the five-year-old mare’s third-place finish in The Very One was her best performance to date. Her value is teetering on the brink of a major increase.

For Johnson, a forensic accountant by trade, the breeding of Mindframe may not have been scientific, but it is the result – and may become the pinnacle of – a family he’s been building literally for decades. All the way back in 1986, he and James Kehoe bred Ran’s Chick to Parfaitement – Deputed Testamony’s entrymate in the 1983 Preakness – to produce Special Kell.

Special Kell won a stake for Johnson, and later he bred her to Star de Naskra, a combination that produced the four-time winner Star Kell. Bred to Street Sense, she produced Walk of Stars, the dam of Mindframe.

Mindframe won at first asking. Photo by Lauren King.

An overnight success nearly 40 years in the making, you might say.

Speaking of which: the last Maryland-bred Triple Crown race winner was Caveat, who won the 1983 Belmont, three weeks after Deputed Testamony won the Preakness while coupled to Parfaitement. That’s a streak Mindframe will try to snap Saturday.

“Whether it’s sisters or nieces or mother, it all goes back Ran’s Chick and the foal she had, Special Kell,” Johnson said. “Special Kell has just been phenomenal. She’s the great-granddam of Future Is Now, and the granddam of Mindframe. If he would achieve Grade 1 success, the influence it would have on the pedigrees of so many of my horses… it’s just overwhelming “

Walk of Stars is a half-sister to the multiple graded-placed Strike the Moon, whose wins included the 2011 Charles Town Oaks, in which she defeated the great distaff sprinter Groupie Doll. That pedigree, plus her own racing success – and Johnson’s ownership of a share of Constitution – made breeding Walk of Stars to Constitution, a multiple Grade 1 winner by Tapit, a logical decision.

Early returns, of course, are promising, so Johnson sent the mare back to Constitution for a late cover this spring. He expects to learn in the next couple of weeks whether she’s pregnant.

The story’s similar with Future Is Now. She’s by Great Notion, out of the Bernardini mare Past as Prelude. The winless Past as Prelude was out of the unraced Meadowlake mare Magical Meadow, who in turn was out of… wait for it… Special Kell.

Future is Now won The Very One. Photo by Allison Janezic.

Future Is Now showed early promise, scuffled a bit, and then really began to come around this winter at Gulfstream Park, winning an allowance race impressively before running a good second in the Captiva Island behind 7-10 favorite Stone Silent. Shipped back north to Laurel, she finished fifth against the boys in the King T. Leatherbury before winning The Very One.

Future Is Now is 8-1 on the morning line in the Intercontinental, which makes her the third choice. Pennsylvania-bred Roses for Debra, undefeated when sprinting on the turf against distaffers, is the 6-5 morning line choice.

All in all, it could make for quite a weekend, though Johnson will not be in Saratoga to witness it. “Too complicated and congested,” he said, so instead he’ll have a watch party at his Northern Virginia farm.

And though a win by Future Is Now would be no mean feat, Johnson’s eyes are pointed towards Saturday.

Future Is Now in the Colonial Downs winners circle.

“Right now I’m trying to do a little work, but all I can think about is the race call on Saturday,” he laughed, imagining Mindframe drawing away to victory. “Who knows? But Saturday at 6:45 can’t get here quick enough.”

Belmont Stakes: Virginia-Connected Antiquarian Should Be ‘Right There At The End’

The following appeared in the Paulick Report June 6, 2024.

Centennial Farms will look to double their tally in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets when they send out Antiquarian in Saturday’s 10-furlong test for 3-year-olds, at Saratoga Race Course.

Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, the $250,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase will look to follow in the footsteps of Centennial’s 1993 Belmont Stakes-winner Colonial Affair. He was conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Scotty Schulhofer and ridden to victory by future Hall of Famer Julie Krone, who became the first female jockey to win a Triple Crown race.

Antiquarian in the Fair Grounds winners circle.

Antiquarian graduated at second asking over a sloppy and sealed main track in February at Fair Grounds, earning a shot there in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby where he broke through the gate before the start. He was reloaded and endured a difficult trip when sixth, defeated four lengths by the victorious Catching Freedom.

The talented chestnut, by the Centennial Farms-campaigned Preservationist, redeemed himself last out, overcoming being bumped at the break by Deterministic before racing three-wide from third position and making a five-wide bid through the turn en route to a three-quarter length score over returning rival The Wine Steward.

Antiquarian galloped on the Oklahoma training track on Wednesday before visiting the gate for a schooling session that went off without a hitch with Don Little, Jr., president and co-owner of Centennial Farms keeping close watch.

“Right after the Louisiana Derby, the first time he went to the gate he stood there for two or three minutes and had no issues whatsoever,” recalled Little, Jr. “I think in Louisiana, when the handler cocked his head straight, he thought it was gate time and anticipated it a little bit. I’m not worried about it. He’s doing great. He’s on the right path and couldn’t be doing any better right now.”

Antiquarian (outside) works at Saratoga in preparation for the Belmont Stakes.

Antiquarian, piloted through all five starts by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, will look to become the tenth horse to complete the Peter Pan-Belmont Stakes double following Counterpoint [1951], High Gun [1954], Gallant Man [1957], Cavan [1958], Coastal [1979], Danzig Connection [1986], A.P. Indy [1992], Tonalist [2014] and last year’s winner Arcangelo.

Little, Jr. said Antiquarian’s Peter Pan score, in which he surged past The Wine Steward inside the final sixteenth, confirmed his status as a serious horse.

“It really solidified what Todd – and Johnny – had thought and told us, that he had a lot of room to grow,” Little, Jr. said. “He put it all together and it was a great performance. The neat thing about this horse is he’s very intelligent and he’s gaining from every experience.”

Centennial Farms is located next to the Middleburg Training Center in Middleburg, VA. Antiquarian earned his VTA Residency Certification here and was trained here by Paula Parsons as a yearling.

With the ongoing construction of a new and reimagined Belmont Park downstate, the Belmont Stakes will be contested at 1 1/4-miles at the Spa – but Little, Jr. noted his horse is one that may have thrived at the 12-furlong ‘Test of the Champion’ distance.

“We’ve said that right from the beginning,” Little, Jr. said. “Everyone says there’s an asterisk, but you can put an asterisk on a lot of events. The fact that this race is still a little bit longer than he’s gone will help him. I think he’ll be right there at the end.”

Centennial Farms has been involved in the highest levels of thoroughbred racing and breeding and, through the use of racing partnerships, has opened the door for many people to enjoy the sport.

Little, Jr. credits a loyal group of longtime owners as well as racing manager Dr. Stephen Carr and yearling trainer Paula Parsons for helping support and develop another potential Classic winner for Centennial. And he is hopeful that there will be more reasons to celebrate come Saturday.

“We have a very good tactician on his back,” Little, Jr. said. “Hall of Famer Johnny Velazquez has ridden him every time and he’s helped him grow every time. I think we’ll be stalking right there and be ready to run.”

Perhaps the fact that Antiquarian, who also paddock schooled Wednesday, will exit post 5 is a good omen as he will be wearing the same number that his sire sported en route to victory in the Spa’s 2019 Grade 1 Woodward.

“I hope so,” said Little, Jr., with a laugh. “Preservationist got off to a good start. He had [stakes winner] Band of Gold with Kenny McPeek and, percentage wise, his number of winners is pretty good. Airdrie breeds nice horses. We’re fortunate they took him in as a stallion and we’re hoping Saturday adds to Preservationists’ success as a stallion.”

G3 Peter Pan winner Antiquarian visited the starting gate at Saratoga on Wednesday, June 5, ahead of a start in the G1 Belmont Stakes
G3 Peter Pan winner Antiquarian visited the starting gate at Saratoga on Wednesday, June 5, ahead of a start in the G1 Belmont StakesSusie Raiser/NYRA Photo


The OBS two-year-old’s in training and horses of racing age sale is June 12-14. Under tack show takes place June 4-9 starting at 7:30am in Ocala, Florida. June 12th hips 1-350 will go to the sales ring. June 13th hips 351-700 will go to the sales ring. And concluding on June 14th hips 701-1027 and 1101-1115 will finish the sale at the ring.

Under tack show is as follows: June 4th hips 1-175; June 5th hips 176-350; June 6th hips 351-525; June 7th hips 526-700; June 8th hips 701-875; and June 9th hips 876-1027 and 1101-1115.

See the file below for all Virginia Bred and Virginia Certified horses listed in the sale.