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Prep In Her Step

By Noah Joseph

In the early years of racing in Minnesota, few horses received more attention and praise than Hoist Her Flag. There was a good reason for such attention, for she was a constant winner on the track. An 11-time stakes winner, she often beat the best horses at Canterbury. During that time, she developed a rivalry with another constant horse named Lil Preppy. And while Hoist Her Flag received overwhelming praise and accolades, Lil Preppy was also a talented horse in her own right, and also deserves attention and respect as well.

Lil Preppy was bred in Kentucky and owned by Bill Alder, who also trained her. A daughter of Parade of Stars, Lil Preppy was an experienced runner when she came to Canterbury during its inaugural season in 1985 as a three-year-old, having competed 11 times at three different tracks during her career. Lil Preppy seemed to take a liking to the new track, as she ran eight times that year in Shakopee and never finished outside the top three, including a 2nd place finish in the Lady Slipper Stakes and a win in the Sleepy-Eye Handicap. Her rivalry with Hoist Her Flag also started that season, as they raced against each other twice, with Lil Preppy winning once.

Proving that 1985 was not a fluke, Lil Preppy began her 1986 campaign with two consecutive wins, including another score over Hoist Her Flag in the Mankato Stakes. Lil Preppy won two more times that year, including the Columbine Handicap. The results spoke for themselves; Lil Preppy was a special horse.

1987 was nearly deja vu for Lil Preppy, as her five-year-old campaign at Canterbury was virtually identical to her three-year-old season, as she once again ran eight times and never ran worse than 3rd. She did win the Charles Lindbergh Handicap, but her old foe Hoist Her Flag was ready to get her revenge. Hoist Her Flag trounced Lil Preppy in two stakes races, the Mighty Miss Handicap and the Prior Lake Handicap en route to being named the 1987 Canterbury Downs Champion Older Filly or Mare and Horse Of The Year. Despite her rival’s success, it was still a good year for Lil Preppy – 1988 also saw Lil Preppy win the Charles Lindbergh Stakes for the 2nd year in a row, defeating Hoist Her Flag in the process. But once again, Hoist Her Flag would turn the tables on Lil Preppy, this time in the Don Riley Handicap. That would be the final season Lil Preppy raced at Canterbury. She raced twice in Ohio the following year before being retired.

In her career, Lil Preppy won 11 times, with 10 of those wins coming at Canterbury, five of them in stakes races. She finished in the money 26 times from 44 career starts, and earned over $148,000. Lil Preppy definitely deserves her place in Canterbury glory.