Grade I winner and grade I-producing sire Beau Genius was euthanized July 25 at Ballena Vista Farm due to his recent declining quality of life in the last of his 29 years.
The son of Bold Ruckus—Royal Colleen, by Viceregal, was a millionaire on the racetrack, having won marquee races throughout Canada and the United States. He won or placed in 30 of his 42 starts, including victories in the Philip H. Iselin Handicap (gr. I), Michigan Mile and One-Eighth Handicap (gr. II), Display Stakes, Churchill Downs Handicap, Deputy Minister Handicap, and others for his owner-breeder Dr. Brian Davidson.
The charisma of the Ontario-bred Beau Genius was noted early on.
"I'm staring at the best-looking foal I've ever seen," said Tommy Cosgrove, farm manager for Sovereign Farm in Canada where the chestnut was born in 1985. "I'd expect great things from him."
The final stakes win of all-time jockey great Bill Shoemaker's career was when he was aboard Beau Genius. Even Shoemaker expressed his amazement at the turn of speed felt beneath him when daylight finally appeared in deep stretch.
In 2004 Manuel Ochoa, Ballena Vista Farm manager noted, "You can spend hours out in his paddock and almost anyone could lead him over to the breeding shed. He's very kind to the mares and passes along his good temperament to the foals. Of course, he loves his treats. You name it—cookies, peppermints, carrots, candy."
Beginning his breeding career in 1991 standing in Kentucky at the Vinery, Beau Genius sired group I winner and Irish highweight Belle Genius in his first crop. Acquired by Ballena Vista Farm in the summer of 2000 to stand in 2001, he continued to sire numerous stakes winners while standing in California, including Big Macher, who won the July 27 Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar. Big Macher is a member of the stallion's final crop. Beau Genius has sired 41stakes winners to date from 19 crops.
"Beau Genius was a champion sire, a near champion racehorse, and was 100% class; he thoroughly enjoyed his breeding career, his retirement and his life of a champion. We at the farm will, the California racing community will and the entire racing industry will deeply miss the presence and influence of Beau Genius," said Don Cohn owner of Ballena Vista Farm.