Foolish Pleasure

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Foolish Pleasure
Sire What a Pleasure
Grandsire Bold Ruler
Dam Fool Me Not
Damsire Tom Fool
Sex Stallion
Foaled 23 March 1972
Died November 2, 1994(1994-11-02) (aged 22)
Country United States
Colour Bay
Breeder Waldemar Farms, Inc.
Owner John L. Greer
Trainer LeRoy Jolley
Record 26: 16-4-3
Earnings $1,216,705
Major wins

Champagne Stakes (1974)
Hopeful Stakes (1974)
Tremont Stakes (1974)
Cowdin Stakes (1974)
Flamingo Stakes (1975)
Wood Memorial Stakes (1975)
Donn Handicap (1976)
Suburban Handicap (1976)
Arlington Golden Invitational Handicap (1976)

Triple Crown Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (1975)
U.S. Champion 2-Yr-Old Colt (1974)
United States Racing Hall of Fame (1995)
#97 - Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century
Foolish Pleasure Stakes at Calder Race Course
Last updated on September 30, 2008

Foolish Pleasure (March 23, 1972 – November 2, 1994) was an American bay Thoroughbred race horse who won the 1975 Kentucky Derby.


Foolish Pleasure was a bay horse bred at Williston, Florida by Waldemar Farms, Inc. He was owned by John L. Greer and trained by LeRoy Jolley, who had previously been partners in the colt Ridan. He was sired by What A Pleasure who won the Hopeful Stakes in 1967 before becoming a successful breeding stallion. His dam Fool-Me-Not was descended from the British broodmare Becti (foaled 1929) who was the female-line ancestor of many major winner including Mrs McArdy, Borgia and Boreal.[1]

Racing career[edit]

Foolish Pleasure was undefeated as a two-year-old. In 1975, at age three, he won the Flamingo Stakes, Wood Memorial Stakes before contesting the Kentucky Derby. Ridden by Jacinto Vásquez he raced well off the pace on the inside before making a forward move approaching the final turn. He was switched to the outside in the straight and produced a strong late burst to win from Avatar.[2]

Although heavily favored to win, he finished second to Master Derby in the Preakness. He then finished runner-up to Avatar in the Belmont Stakes.

In July 1975, a match race was arranged between the Foolish Pleasure and the unbeaten filly Ruffian. Vásquez chose to ride Ruffian, with Braulio Baeza taking over on Foolish Pleasure. While on the lead, Ruffian broke down, allowing Foolish Pleasure to win unchallenged. Today, he is mostly remembered as the one who killed Ruffian, though he did nothing.

Foolish Pleasure remained in training as a four-year-old and won the Donn Handicap and the Suburban Handicap.


In November 1994, almost 20 years after winning the Kentucky Derby, Foolish Pleasure was brought to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University. He had developed severe laminitis in all four feet. Despite all treatment efforts, he had to be euthanized.

Foolish Pleasure was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1995. In the Blood-Horse magazine ranking of the top 100 U.S. thoroughbred champions of the 20th Century, he was ranked #97.


Pedigree of Foolish Pleasure (USA), bay horse, 1972[3]
What A Pleasure (USA)
Bold Ruler (USA)
Nasrullah Nearco
Mumtaz Begum
Miss Disco Discovery
Grey Flight (USA)
Mahmoud Blenheim
Mah Mahal
Planetoid Ariel
La Chica
Fool-Me-Not (USA)
Tom Fool (USA)
Menow Pharamond
Gaga Bull Dog
Cuadrilla (FR)
Tourbillon Ksar
Boullabaisse Blenheim
Becti (Family: 14-b)[1]
  • Foolish Pleasure was inbred 4 × 4 to Blenheim, meaning that this stallion appears twice in the fourth generation of his pedigree.


  1. ^ a b "Admiration - Family 14-b". Thoroughbred Bloodlines. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  2. ^ "1975 Kentucky Derby". 
  3. ^ "Foolish Pleasure pedigree". Equineline.