Kauai King

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Kauai King
SireNative Dancer
DamSweep In
FoaledApril 3, 1963
DiedJanuary 24, 1989(1989-01-24) (aged 25)
ColourDark Bay
BreederPine Brook Farm
OwnerFord Stable. Silks: White, Blue Diamonds & Braces, Blue Sleeves, Blue & White Cap
TrainerHenry Forrest
Record16: 9-2-1
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)
  • 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)
Last updated on June 1, 2016

Kauai King (April 3, 1963 – January 24, 1989) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse was foaled on April 3, 1963 at Sagamore Farm in Glyndon, Maryland. His sire was Native Dancer and his dam was Sweep In. In 1966, Kauai King won the first two legs of the U.S. Triple Crown. To date, Kauai King is one of only two horses born in Maryland to have crossed the Kentucky Derby finish line first, but 1968 winner Dancer's Image was later stripped of his title, leaving Kauai King as the only official Maryland-bred winner of the Derby.

Racing career[edit]

Ridden by jockey Don Brumfield, Kauai King won the 1966 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes but finished 4th in the Belmont Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack, 2 lengths behind the winner, Amberoid. On June 16, the colt was sold to a horse breeding syndicate for a then record price of $2,520,000.

Other top 3-year-olds in 1966 included Graustark and 1965 Champion 2-Year-Old Colt Buckpasser. The undefeated Graustark's racing career ended with a broken coffin bone in the Blue Grass Stakes, and an injury kept Buckpasser out of the Triple Crown races. Even after Kauai King's wins in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, there was much speculation as to which was the better horse. On June 27, 1966, Kauai King (against the advice of his trainer, Henry Forrest) and Buckpasser met in the Arlington Classic. Kauai King's racing career came to an end when he pulled a ligament in his leg during the race. Following the announcement of his career-ending injury, he was retired to stand at stud at Alfred G. Vanderbilt II's Sagamore Farm in Glyndon, Maryland. Kauai King is still one of only two dual Classic winners ever bred in Maryland (the other is Cloverbrook in 1877) and one of only nine to win a Triple Crown race.


Kauai King proved less than successful as a sire. Near the end of 1971, he was shipped to stand at stud in England. He remained there until 1973. He then was sent to a breeding farm in Japan where he died on January 24, 1989.


Pedigree of Kauai King
Native Dancer

ch. 1950


brown 1942

Unbreakable Sickle
Blue Grass
Black Polly Polymelian
Black Queen

gray 1943

Discovery Display
Miyako John P Grier
La Chica
Sweep In

bay 1942


bay 1927

Blandford Swynford
Malva Charles O'Malley
Wild Arum

bay 1925

Sweep Ben Brush
Pink Domino
Celesta Sempronius