08/06/2013 3:01PM

Del Mar: Kinsale King retired to life of stable pony

Barbara D. Livingston
Kinsale King, trainer Carl O'Callaghan aboard, damaged a ligament in an ankle.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Kinsale King, who won the 2010 Dubai Golden Shaheen and recently returned from a lengthy layoff to finish second in a turf sprint at Betfair Hollywood Park, was retired from racing Tuesday owing to a damaged ligament in an ankle, trainer Carl O’Callaghan said.

Kinsale King, an 8-year-old gelding, will be retrained as a stable pony, O’Callaghan said.

“He’ll have a good life,” O’Callaghan said. “He’s been very good to us. He changed my life forever. He owes us nothing.”

Kinsale King provided O’Callaghan with the biggest victory of his career when he won the Golden Shaheen, but that turned out to be his last victory. He subsequently was third in the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot in June 2010 and finished seventh in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint, but injuries limited him to just four starts in 2011, none in 2012, and just one this year. He won 6 of 16 races and $1,517,129.

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Kinsale King was second in an allowance race at Hollywood Park on June 21 in his first start in more than 21 months. O’Callaghan said he planned on running Kinsale King this month in a turf sprint stakes like the Green Flash at Del Mar or the Troy at Saratoga when the career-ending injury was detected.

“We took an ultrasound, and the ligament attached to his sesamoid looked a little cloudy, so we sent him out for an MRI and it confirmed the problem,” O’Callaghan said. “He’s got a little edema there. The ligament is stressed out. I’m glad we caught it, because it’s the kind of thing that if we had raced him or worked him he might have broke down. So I’m very thankful it was caught in time.

“Everybody at the barn is kind of down and out. We’re a small barn, and he brought us a lot of dreams. He’ll make a good pony. He likes the racetrack. He likes people.

“He changed everything for me. I wasn’t doing very good before he came along. I’ve got 25 horses now and some great owners with me.”

[DEL MAR 2013: Complete meet coverage, schedule, race replays]

Kinsale King also served as the inspiration for a children’s book O’Callaghan wrote called “Wish’s Derby,” all proceeds of which go to wishuponateen.org, which provides services for teenagers with autism-spectrum issues.