Beautiful Pleasure, voted the 1999 champion older female after winning the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I), died recently in Kentucky because of complications from laminitis. The 16-year-old Maudlin mare, a half sister to grade I winner Mecke, had produced a Medaglia d'Oro colt in February but was plagued for months by laminitis. She spent several weeks in a clinic and appeared to be on course for recovery but progressing laminitis in recent months caused her demise.
“She was afforded the ultimate of care from veterinarians and Fawn Leap Farm personnel, but her decline was progressing toward an eminent end, and it was the only humane to end her suffering,” said owner John C. Oxley, who owns Fawn Leap.
Beautiful Pleasure concluded her championship season in dramatic fashion. A 4-year-old that year she won the Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) over Banshee Breeze and Keeper Hill at Saratoga and then took the Beldame Stakes (gr. I) over Silverbulletday in Belmont Park before clinching her title with a score in the Distaff at Gulfstream Park over Banshee Breeze at Gulfstream Park.
Beautiful Pleasure also experienced a sensational 5-year-old season. She won another Personal Ensign and took the Hempstead Handicap (gr. I) and the Shuvee Handicap (gr. II), both at Belmont.
Oxley bought Florida-bred Beautiful Pleasure for $480,000 at the 1997 Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training from her breeder, Michael Sherman’s Farnsworth Farms, agent. Turned over to trainer John T. Ward Jr., Beautiful Pleasure broke her maiden that August at Saratoga by five lengths in her first start and then won the Matron Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont.
Beautiful Pleasure raced at 6 and was retired with 17 top-three finishes from 25 starts and earnings of $2,734,078. She captured 10 races and won or placed in 11 grade I events.
As a broodmare, Beautiful Pleasure produced five named foals, including Dr. Pleasure, who raced as a homebred for Oxley. Dr. Pleasure ran third in the 2006 Travers Stakes (gr. I) and placed in two other stakes during his career.
In addition to her Medaglia d’Oro colt, Beautiful Pleasure, who was produced from the Baldski mare Beautiful Bid, is the dam of two other unnamed offspring, all colts, including a Bernardini yearling.
Oxley and wife expressed their admiration in saying, “Beautiful Pleasure recorded six grade I wins over four year and a championship. It was an unsurpassable, once in a lifetime experience--the ultimate joy, one of the best mares ever.”