Trainer Michael Dickinson’s Two Wins at Colonial Tuesday Serve as Preps for the Virginia Derby, Oaks 

(NEW KENT, VA —- 8/10/2021) —- With just two starts this year heading into action Tuesday at Colonial Downs, trainer Michael Dickinson doubled his 2021 output and reached the winners circle with both horses he entered —- Gallagher’s Stud’s Search the Truth, and Goldmark Farm and Arthur Applegate’s Belle Belisa — in respective $50,000 maiden special weights, the latter for fillies. The pair marked Dickinson’s first starters in New Kent since 2007.

Joe Rocco Jr. led Search the Truth to victory in an August 10 maiden special weight (Coady Photography).

Search the Truth went gate-to-wire in the 1 1/8th miles third race turf contest, though the 3-year-old Tourist colt led by just a head at the halfway point in a field of six. Dickinson’s charge opened up by five at the top of the stretch then powered even farther away from the field en route to a 11 1/2 length triumph in 1:50.07. Leading rider Joe Rocco Jr. directed the winner, who returned $3.80. In his only prior start a month ago at Delaware Park, Search for Truth finished second in a similar race over soft turf.

Jockey Joe Rocco Jr. chats after Search the Truth’s with with trainer Michael Dickinson.

The route Belle Belisa took to victory could not have been different. She was making her first career start in a field of 11 at the same 1 1/8 miles distance on turf. The 3-year-old Lope de Vega Irish-bred settled two-wide in the early stages and was ninth at the half though just 4 1/4 lengths behind frontrunning Trinity Queen. She trailed by three at the head of the stretch, came far outside and surged past Pruning who took over the lead, then held off fast closing runner-up Silky Warrior. The winner crossed in 1:50.65 one length the best.

Charlie Marquez guided Bella Belisa to victory in the maiden special weight for fillies. (Coady Photography)

“She’s very rare,” Dickinson about Bella Belisa. “She’s always in a rush to get everywhere. You take her to the paddock in the morning, she’s in a rush. You go back to the paddock to take her out, and she’s in a rush. Whatever she’s doing, she’s in a rush. And she’s difficult. But she can run.”

Jockey Marquez making a stretch move with Bella Belisa. (Coady Photography)

This won’t be the last time fans will see the Dickinson pair at Colonial this meet. He said Bella Belisa will return for the Virginia Oaks and he hopes Search the Truth will be ready for the New Kent County Virginia Derby. Both stakes will be contested at the same 1 1/8 miles distance on Tuesday August 31.