08/06/2013 3:01PM

Del Mar: Kinsale King retired to life of stable pony

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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.

Judy Maass Gadwood More than 1 year ago
Carl you are a kind and gentle man. We love you and Kinsale King... oh, yes and Ruben! Thank you for sharing KK with us. We look forward to his new career. By the way, I received my "Wish's Derby" book in the mail today :-) Love it!!
commenting More than 1 year ago
Following in the hoof steps of the great Lava Man. He'll be an awesome coach, I'm sure.
Ann Maree More than 1 year ago
A very happy lady just posted elsewhere that Carl helped her to get a horse from his barn, retiring him to a lovely life as her companion horse. In his short career, he has won at Dubai in a Grade 1 race, written a book, and helped to ensure a happy retirement to two of his former trainees. Hope he's around a long, long time and has much more success to come. He deserves it and all of the horses in his barn are very lucky to have him as their trainer. You go, Carl!
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
So...this story is soon to be behind a pay wall and labeled as a "DRF Plus Preview of a Stable Pony"?
Cindy Quick More than 1 year ago
Responsible owners & trainers rule!!!!
Heidi Kruckenberg More than 1 year ago
High Hoof to you Carl!!! Finally, some good news. King will love his new role as Coach.
JoJo Zumwalt More than 1 year ago
Brilliant! Carl you are one of the good guys. King will love his retirement and I'm wishing you both all the very best and many Happy Trails together. Cheers for Kinsale King we will remember all his victories and hope to see more of him as he transitions into his new career.
Casey Phillips More than 1 year ago
Carl, you have always taken care of King and he has taken care of you. I'm so happy his owner agrees that you two belong together from here on out. I can't wait to see him teach the "new kids" how to become a champ!!! You are what is GOOD about racing. We need more GOOD people. Owners, trainers- take care of your horses, and they'll be there for you!
Olivia Austen More than 1 year ago
Thank you Mr. O'Callaghan for doing the right thing for Kinsale King.
martymar . More than 1 year ago
I like news like this, way too many sad news about horse racing recently