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 1972
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) American Classic 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 was born in Williston, Florida. He was one of the top three three-year-old colts of his time.

Owned by John L. Greer and trained by LeRoy Jolley, who had previously been partners in the colt Ridan, Foolish Pleasure was undefeated as a two-year-old. In 1975, at age three, he won the Flamingo Stakes, Wood Memorial Stakes, and Kentucky Derby. Although heavily favored to win, he finished second to longshots in both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

He was racing at the same time as Ruffian, the "Queen of the Fillies," who had won all ten of her races, including the Fillies' Triple Crown. In July 1975, a match race was arranged between the horses. They had the same jockey—Jacinto Vásquez, who chose to ride Ruffian, with Braulio Baeza taking over on Foolish Pleasure. This race became a highly publicized "battle of the sexes" contest, similar to the tennis matches between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs that occurred at about the same time. Thousands of fans gathered at the track, and the race was televised. While on the lead, Ruffian broke the sesamoid bones in her leg. She continued to run, further damaging her leg, for another hundred yards. Post-surgery, she did even further damage to herself in panic and had to be euthanized. It was several more years before other owners and trainers risked entering females into the Kentucky Derby and other male-dominated races.

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.