At first blush, British-bred Treasure Beach, who stands for $10,000 at Pleasant Acres in Morriston, Florida, seems out of place in the state. He’s by Galileo out of Honorine, by Mark of Esteem, and is a product of the great Sadler’s Wells/Darshaan cross noted for turf stamina. He ran true to his pedigree, winning, among other races, the 12F G1 Irish Derby, and he wouldn’t be out of place in Kentucky where several young foreign-bred and/or -raced stallions have taken up duty lately, notably Galileo’s two G1-winning sons Noble Mission and Magician. But Florida?
Florida has long had a reputation of producing fast early horses and its sire ranks have historically been populated by stallions with pedigrees and race records made to order for the job. But there have been exceptions to the norm and some results that have been perhaps unexpected for those not associated with the horses in question.
The late Charlie DiLibero, for example, stood two stallions, An Eldorado and Lawmaker, at his DiLibero Farm in the ’70s and ’80s that like Treasure Beach seemed out of place in Florida. An Eldorado, an unplaced foal of 1975, was by the turf/stamina sire Vaguely Noble, a European import at Gainesway, from the influential broodmare Ole Liz, the dam of two turf stakes winners. Ole Liz’s daughters were particularly noted for getting high-class runners and many of them were turf horses, too. Lawmaker, a G3 winner in Europe at 2 in 1980, was by the top turf horse and older runner Round Table, also a noted sire of turf horses, from Greek Victress, by Victoria Park. Both horses, rather surprisingly, became prolific and celebrated sires of dirt 2-year-olds for DiLibero.
Sovereign Dancer, European G3-placed at 4 in 1979, came from France to Jaime Carrion’s The Oaks in Florida and became an even bigger sensation. By Northern Dancer — the greatest source of European classic turf horses at the time — Sovereign Dancer was out of the Bold Ruler mare Bold Princess and was a half-brother to the multiple G1 turf winner Intrepid Hero. Sovereign Dancer got the Preakness winner Gate Dancer from his first crop and was syndicated in 1986 to stand the 1987 season at Lane’s End in Kentucky.
Treasure Beach, who began stud duty at Joe and Helen Barbazon’s Pleasant Acres in 2014, is most reminiscent of Gil Campbell’s Irish-bred G2 winner Sword Dance, a foal of 1984 who stood at his Stonehedge South near Williston, Florida, and was a longtime leading sire in the state. By Nijinsky — the last English Triple Crown winner and a celebrated sire of turf horses — Sword Dance was from Rosa Mundi, by Secretariat, and from the family of Sadler’s Wells and Nureyev. Among others, Sword Dance got the G2 dirt winner and millionaire Blazing Sword and the G1 Arlington Million winner Marlin, both bred by Campbell.
Treasure Beach, who also won the Arlington Million, doesn’t have the female family of Sword Dance, but he has a race record that’s better and one good enough to rival any horse in the state — even the country, for that matter. Altogether, Treasure Beach won five of 22 starts and earned more than $2.4 million racing from 2 to 5 in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East.