Kauai King (1963-1989) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who was born on Pine Brook Farm in Maryland. His sire was Native Dancer. 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 cross the Kentucky Derby finish line first. Dancer's Image was later stripped of his title, leaving Kauai King as the only official Maryland-bred winner of the Derby.
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 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 was Native Dancer) and one of only eleven 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.
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