The future is getting brighter all the time for Larry Johnson’s homebred 4-year-old filly Future Is Now. She earned her first graded stakes victory Friday, June 7 at Saratoga, taking the $200,000 Intercontinental Stakes-G2 by a head as part of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.

The daughter of Northview stallion Great Notion came into the Intercontinental in very sharp form, having most recently taken The Very One Stakes on the Black-Eyed Susan undercard at Pimlico on May 17. She went off as the 10-1 fourth choice in the 10-horse Intercontinental field, while Roses for Debra, a two-time graded stakes winner, was sent off as the overwhelming 1-2 favorite.

Future Is Now showed her usual early speed under Paco Lopez, rating just off early pacesetter Kaufymaker. After a first quarter of :21.76 and an opening half of :44.24, Lopez asked Future Is Now for her best in the stretch, and she moved to engage Kaufymaker. As they hit the eighth pole, Future Is Now wore down Kaufymaker, but soon dealt with a fresh challenge in the form of Roses for Debra, who surged on the outside. The three rivals battled in the final yards, but Future Is Now prevailed in an exciting finish. She covered 5½ furlongs over a firm grass course in 1:01.35.

The Intercontinental victory improved Future Is Now’s record on the season to 3-1-0 in six starts, with earnings of $236,930. Lifetime, the Mike Trombetta trainee has a record of 11-5-1-0, and $324,935 earned.

Future Is Now descends from Johnson’s foundation mare Ran’s Chick, purchased at auction by Johnson for $2,400 in December 1978. Her dam, the Bernardini mare Past as Prelude, is a half-sibling to six winners, including stakes winner and stakes sire Street Magician. The family includes this year’s Belmont Stakes-G1 runner-up Mindframe.

From six foals, Past as Prelude has produced five starters and three winners, including 3-year-old Call Another Play (Audible), who won the Weber City Miss in April and was third in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes-G2, and stakes-placed Continentalcongres, a 5-year-old Virginia-bred daughter of Constitution who most recently won at Laurel on June 9. She has a McKinzie 2-year-old colt named Places in My Past and delivered a full sister to Call Another Play in April.

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