By Mint Julep


Kauai King Before and Beyond the Kentucky Derby

kauai king kentucky derby winner 1966

Key Takeaways

In 1963, Kauai King was born at Sagamore Farm and quickly rose to fame by winning both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1966. Even though he excelled on the track, Kauai King faced challenges with his breeding career. As a result, he relocated to stand for breeding first in England and then later in Japan.

Kauai King’s impressive achievements led him to be honored with induction into the Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame in 2016. His legacy lives on as a dual Classic winner with an outstanding racing background.

Early Life and Family Background

Kauai King was born on April 3, 1963 at Sagamore Farm in Glyndon, Maryland. He came from a line of famous racehorses with Native Dancer as his father and Sweep In as his mother. As soon as he stepped onto the track for the first time, it was clear that Kauai King had something special.

In his early days, Kauai King quickly became known as a strong competitor on the racetrack. Fans and other racers alike were impressed by his speed and agility that made him stand out from the rest. It was exciting to watch him charge towards victory with every race he ran.

The year 1966 was a turning point in Kauai King’s career when he won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes races—a remarkable achievement that made him famous in horse racing circles. With skilled jockeys like Don Brumfield guiding him, Kauai King dominated every track he raced on.

After sustaining an injury during his final racing season in 1967, Kauai King gracefully transitioned into retirement and began a new chapter as a stallion—passing down his exceptional lineage to future champion horses. His impact lives on through not only his offspring but also through the lasting memories of all who witnessed his greatness both on and off the track.

In essence,Kauai King’s story is an enduring example of what can be accomplished through hard work,determination,and natural talent.His journey from humble beginnings at Sagamore Farm to becoming one of American Thoroughbred Racing’s most beloved figures is etched into history.A testament to sheer excellence embodied,a gallant spirit eternalized—one cannot help but admire how this magnificent creature left an indelible mark upon horseracing lore,capturing hearts far beyond mere spectators.Experiencing such grace,power,and finesse personified within one extraordinary being truly reminds us why we are captivated by these majestic animals—forever chasing dreams painted in hoofbeats echoing across time.””

Racing Career

In 1966, Kauai King, with jockey Don Brumfield at the reins, won both the prestigious Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Born in Maryland, this remarkable horse captured hearts with his speed and determination on the racetrack. Despite placing fourth in the Belmont Stakes that year, he left a lasting legacy as a dual classic winner in horse racing history.

Kauai King’s victory at Churchill Downs made him one of only two horses from Maryland to win the esteemed Kentucky Derby officially. This achievement was solidified when another competitor lost their title due to disqualification, emphasizing Kauai King’s exceptional talent and resilience under pressure. His thrilling performances not only displayed his skill but also established him as a top contender among elite racehorses of his time.

The partnership between Kauai King and Don Brumfield showcased synergy on the track, where their combined abilities led them to triumph in some of horse racing’s most renowned events. Their wins resonated throughout the sport, inspiring fans globally and leaving an enduring impact on racing history. As they raced down those iconic tracks, Kauai King embodied grace under fire while Brumfield expertly guided him towards success with each stride.

Looking back now at Kauai King’s journey through the Triple Crown races serves as proof of unwavering spirit and relentless pursuit for excellence in equine competition. Although he narrowly missed achieving glory at Belmont Park that year, his accomplishments remain legendary within racing circles—a symbol of determination amidst fierce competition. The captivating tale of Kauai King continues to enthrall enthusiasts today with its mix of excitement, victories, near misses—ultimately enshrining him as a true icon of horseracing legend.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends’ Impact


  1. Inspiring future generations of fans who love racehorses
  2. Presenting the vibrant history and customs of horse racing
  3. Creating buzz and enthusiasm for the sport
  4. Showcasing the skill and commitment of horses and jockeys alike
  5. Keeping alive the stories of legendary figures in racing


  1. May steal the spotlight from current achievements in the racing world
  2. Can set up unrealistic expectations for today’s competitors
  3. Risks glorifying past eras without recognizing their complexities
  4. Might create a limited focus on just a few legends, ignoring other significant contributions
  5. Could result in comparisons that downplay the unique qualities of each era

Triple Crown Contender

Kauai King’s impressive wins in the first two races of the U.S. Triple Crown marked him as a top contender for the prestigious title. His strong racing lineage, which includes sire Native Dancer and grandsire Polynesian, played a crucial role in his success on the racetrack.

In 1966 at Churchill Downs, Kauai King started off with a bang by winning the Kentucky Derby with jockey Don Brumfield expertly guiding him to victory. He then continued his winning streak at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, where he triumphed in the Preakness Stakes showcasing remarkable speed and stamina.

Excitement grew around Kauai King as he set his sights on Belmont Park in New York for the Belmont Stakes. Despite facing tough competition and enduring a challenging race day, his courageous effort earned him an admirable fourth-place finish.

Although Kauai King narrowly missed out on achieving Triple Crown greatness by falling short at Belmont, his outstanding performances throughout that memorable season solidified his reputation as one of horse racing’s most respected competitors.

Retirement and Stud Career

After retiring from the racetrack, Kauai King shifted gears to focus on breeding. Despite his successful racing career, he faced challenges as a sire in his post-racing days. Instead of winning races himself, Kauai King now aimed to produce future champions through breeding but struggled to find success in this new role.

Kauai King traveled across continents, starting at stud in England before eventually moving to Japan. His journey showcased not only his strength and abilities but also highlighted how influential he was globally in thoroughbred horse racing.

As time went by, newer stars emerged on the track, causing Kauai King’s name to fade from the spotlight. However, those who were aware of his significant contributions during races and later as a stallion continued to hold him in high regard for what he brought to the sport.

When Kauai King passed away on January 24th, 1989 it marked an end of an era and underlined that even after physically leaving us; legends like him continue inspiring generations with their legacy – forever leaving their mark both in history books and hearts with each stride they took towards greatness.

Kauai King: Racing Royalty in the Making

Attribute Information
Name Kauai King
Sire Native Dancer
Grandsire Polynesian
Dam Sweep In
Damsire Blenheim
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1963
Country United States
Color Dark Bay
Breeder Pine Brook Farm
Owner Ford Stable (Mike Ford). Silks: White, Blue Diamonds & Braces, Blue Sleeves, Blue & White Cap
Trainer Henry Forrest
Record 16: 9-2-1
Earnings $381,397
Major wins Prince George’s Stakes (1966)
Governor’s Gold Cup (1966)
Fountain of Youth Stakes (1966)American Triple Crown wins:
Kentucky Derby (1966)
Preakness Stakes (1966)
Honors Maryland-bred champion 3-year-old, 1966
Maryland-bred Horse of the Year, 1966
Inducted into the Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame, April 27, 2016 (Fifty year anniversary of winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness)

Hall of Fame Induction

Kauai King had a remarkable career that reached its peak with prestigious awards, such as being named the best 3-year-old champion bred in Maryland and winning Horse of the Year honors in 1966. These accomplishments firmly established him as a top competitor on the racetrack, displaying his exceptional skills and unyielding determination that captured fans worldwide.

Recognized for his outstanding achievements, Kauai King was honored by being inducted into the Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame on April 27th, 2016. This historic event marked fifty years since his incredible victories at both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes—a fitting tribute to a true racing icon whose legacy continues to inspire generations within the equestrian community.

The induction ceremony showcased Kauai King’s lasting impact on thoroughbred racing history. His dominance went beyond just winning races; it represented resilience, excellence, and an unwavering commitment to greatness that echoed far beyond individual competitions or seasons.

As enthusiasts look back on Kauai King’s legendary career today, they remember not only his wins but also moments of sheer brilliance that defined an era. His journey from humble beginnings to becoming a revered figure in horse racing illustrates what can be accomplished through hard work, passion, and belief in one’s abilities—truly embodying sportsmanship and success against all odds.

Legacy Beyond Racing

Kauai King left a lasting impact that reached far beyond his successful racing career. He was born and raised in Maryland, proudly holding the title as one of only two dual Classic winners bred in the state. His wins in prestigious races like the Prince George’s Stakes and Governor’s Gold Cup not only displayed his incredible talent but also cemented his status among horse racing legends.

While Kauai King wowed audiences with his speed and elegance on the racetrack, it was his enduring influence that truly made him stand out. A beloved figure in thoroughbred racing, he inspired numerous fans to chase their dreams and strive for greatness. Even after retiring from competition, Kauai King continued to capture hearts with his majestic presence and unwavering spirit, leaving a lasting impression on all who had the privilege of meeting him.

Beyond just being a star on the track, Kauai King’s impact reverberated throughout the breeding industry, shaping future generations of champion horses. His remarkable lineage continues to shine through descendants who carry forward his legacy by excelling in competitions worldwide. Through their victories and achievements, these offspring honor Kauai King’s exceptional abilities while creating new paths of excellence in tribute to him.

In every hoofbeat resonates a reminder of Kauai King’s extraordinary journey – from modest beginnings to becoming a radiant star that illuminated both tracks and hearts alike. His story serves as proof of perseverance, passion, and unyielding determination – qualities that go beyond mere athleticism or winning races. With each stride towards glory he took , he didn’t just leave behind hoofprints; rather , he imprinted upon history an unforgettable tale of courage and tenacity that will forever echo through time like thunderous applause at Churchill Downs on Derby day.”

Legendary Tales of Kauai King’s Racing Legacy

  1. The Epic Story of Kauai King’s Racing Triumph:
  2. In 1966, Kauai King became the first horse bred in Hawaii to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby, showcasing the state’s exceptional racing talent for all to see.
  3. Despite his track record of success, Kauai King encountered challenges like injuries and setbacks during his career – obstacles he bravely conquered with grit and determination.
  4. By clinching victory at the Kentucky Derby, Kauai King opened doors for other Hawaiian-bred horses to compete at elite levels in horse racing, leaving an indelible mark on the sport.
  5. More than just a champion on the racetrack, Kauai King captured hearts worldwide with his unwavering spirit and tenacity both on and off course.
  6. The enduring legacy of Kauai King continues to captivate horse racing fans across generations – a testament to resilience and the enchantment that this sport holds for enthusiasts everywhere.

Pedigree Analysis

Kauai King comes from a long line of top-notch ancestors like Native Dancer and Polynesian. These famous horses passed down their speed, stamina, and spirit through the generations, resulting in Kauai King having a special bloodline that made him stand out in the world of Thoroughbred racing.

The fact that he inherited traits from such iconic relatives played a big role in turning Kauai King into an impressive competitor on many racetracks. His family tree wasn’t just a list of names; it was more like a guide to greatness for him, leading him to victories that cemented his place in racing history.

As Kauai King raced across America’s tracks, you could feel the echoes of past champions within him. Spectators were amazed by his skills as he ran – each win paying tribute to his prestigious lineage while also adding new chapters to his already remarkable story.

Kauai King didn’t just participate in races; he embodied living history—a proof of the strength and grandeur found within an exceptional pedigree. His successes weren’t only about personal accomplishments but were also part of a tale written by legendary victors who may be gone but continue their legacy through descendants like him.

Unique Accomplishments

Kauai King had a remarkable career in horse racing, showcasing exceptional talent and determination on the track. Earning an impressive $381,397 only begins to highlight his prowess during races. He achieved notable victories like the Fountain of Youth Stakes, as well as triumphs at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 1966, establishing himself as a true champion.

His wins were not just fleeting moments of glory but significant milestones that cemented his name in thoroughbred racing history. The Kentucky Derby victory was a standout achievement for Kauai King, solidifying him as one of the elite few who conquered America’s most prestigious horse race. His success inspired fans and fellow competitors alike across generations.

Beyond his on-track feats, Kauai King’s legacy lives on through his impact on future generations of racehorses. After retirement, he passed down not only genes but also an unwavering spirit embodying true sportsmanship and excellence. Descendants carrying his lineage continue to grace racetracks worldwide, serving as living tributes to their illustrious sire.

The echoes of Kauai King’s victories still resonate within the hallowed grounds where he once raced towards greatness. Each stride wasn’t merely about speed or distance covered; it was about surpassing limits and pushing boundaries—a lesson extending beyond horseracing itself. Immortalized in memory more than just a fast steed—Kauai King symbolizes dedication personified in equine form.

In every hoofbeat heard across Churchill Downs or Pimlico Race Course during those historic races back in ’66 lies an echo from yesteryears—an echo proudly proclaiming: “Here raced Kauai King.” Time may pass with new champions gracing these sacred tracks; however there will always be something special about this gallant bay colt who captured hearts with each stride—a legend forever galloping through eternity’s fields.


1. What were some of Kauai King’s most notable victories during his racing career?

Kauai King showed off his incredible talent and dominance on the track by winning both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in 1966. These victories were among his most impressive achievements during his racing career.

2. How did Kauai King perform in the Kentucky Derby and what set him apart from other contenders?

In 1966, Kauai King made history by winning both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in the same year. This impressive feat highlighted his remarkable speed, endurance, and adaptability. Just like Citation before him, Kauai King showed that he was a true champion on the race track.

3. What was Kauai King’s impact on the world of horse racing beyond his wins on the track?

Kauai King didn’t just win races – he also made a huge mark on the world of horse racing by producing outstanding offspring that carried on his legacy of excellence in the sport. His influential stud career left a lasting impact that went far beyond his victories on the track.

4. Can you elaborate on Kauai King’s stud career and the legacy he left through his offspring?

Kauai King passed down his amazing speed and endurance to his children during his stud career. His offspring carried on his impressive legacy by achieving victories on the racetrack and influencing the bloodlines of upcoming champions.

5. How did Kauai King influence the breeding and training practices in thoroughbred racing during his time?

Kauai King changed the game in horse racing with his blazing speed, incredible endurance, and ability to adapt on the track. His remarkable performances pushed the boundaries of what a racehorse could accomplish, influencing how horses were bred and trained for generations to come.

6. What makes Kauai King a standout figure in the history of horse racing, particularly in relation to his contemporaries?

Kauai King stands out in horse racing history because of his amazing ability to perform well in different events, impressive Triple Crown showings, and successful stud career. He is remembered for making a lasting impact and leaving behind a strong legacy that sets him apart from other horses of his time.