Updated on 09/16/2011 7:25AM

O'Callaghan's many-splendored triple

Lone Star Park
O'Callaghan with Jorge Chavez after winning the May 11 Lone Star Derby with Wiseman's Ferry.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - With the Preakness dominating the racing landscape last weekend, the feats of trainer Niall O'Callaghan were relegated to little more than footnotes.

That's a shame, because on most any other weekend, O'Callaghan's achievements would have merited many accolades. By winning two major stakes at two different racetracks - giving him three major wins at three different tracks over an eight-day period - O'Callaghan not only had the most successful streak of his 12-year training career, but also pulled off something few trainers ever accomplish.

Monday night, having finally found an hour to kick back and savor his whirlwind weekend, the Irish-born O'Callaghan said he was exhausted and euphoric - but prepared for more of the same.

"I'm dead," he said between bites of salmon and snap peas at Molly Malone's, the Irish pub-restaurant that his younger brother, Tadgh, co-owns and manages in an old and trendy Louisville neighborhood. "But the adrenaline of winning keeps you going."

O'Callaghan, who turned 39 Tuesday, began his remarkable streak May 11, when he flew to Texas to saddle galloped to an easy win in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup.

As if he needed anything else to go his way, O'Callaghan was back Sunday at his Churchill Downs base to give Pat Day a leg up on Forget the Judge in an allowance race. The colt won at $26, an extraordinary mutuel for a Pat Day winner at Churchill.

"Can you believe that, Pat Day at 12-1?" O'Callaghan said.

The fact he won three stakes does not surprise him. But that they "were all right together, one after another, that's the big thing about it," he said. "The fact it all happened so fast was unbelievable."

The streak reminds O'Callaghan of a similar run that helped establish him in the higher echelon of North American trainers. In a period of less than four months in 1992 - less than two years after he went out on his own following five years under trainer Tom Skiffington - O'Callaghan won the Pan American and Bowling Green with Wall Street Dancer; the Lafayette and Jersey Derby with American Chance; and the Michigan Mile with Classic Seven.

"That really helped me get started," he said.

O'Callaghan is always quick to mention his top assistant, Jennifer Brown, and his advisers with the Ragozin sheets, Len Friedman and Jake Haddad, as people who deserve "lots of credit. Jennifer has been with me seven or eight years, and she can tell me everything I need to know about a horse because she gets on them every day. Len and Jake are always helping me find the right spots. That's an extremely important aspect to winning these stakes, finding the right race for your horse."

Beyond all that, one cannot help but conclude that charisma and a tireless work ethic have been the most instrumental factors for O'Callaghan, whose horses have earned nearly $20 million since he began training in 1990. Long known for an outgoing demeanor and infectious sense of humor, he has accumulated some of the most sought-after clients in racing today, including Gary Tanaka, Stonerside, Arthur Hancock, Morton Fink, and Henry Pabst.

Because he runs a large public stable - he currently has 28 horses at Churchill and another 20 at High Point, a training facility some 30 miles northeast of Louisville - there are ceaseless demands on O'Callaghan's time.

"Some days I'll end up staying at the barn until 3 or 4 in the afternoon," he said. "There are so many things that go on behind the scenes that most people don't know about. The phone rings, and it might be a vet, a blacksmith, a jockey's agent, anyone. There's an incredible amount of detail you have to deal with."

Such are the burdens that most big-time trainers have to bear. O'Callaghan, who has never married, is more than willing to pay the price. He said he shares the joys of his triumphs with his clients, staff, and a handful of close friends.

"I'm so busy with my work that I just haven't had enough time for someone special in my life," he said.

Predictably, he is driven to continue the kind of phenomenal success that "guys like [Bobby] Frankel, [Bob] Baffert, and [Wayne] Lukas have," he said. "What I did last weekend, they do all the time."

His chances should come soon enough. Wiseman's Ferry, who has the kind of speed to run early with War Emblem, is a candidate for the Belmont Stakes, although O'Callaghan is not ready to commit him. Chamrousse could show up next in any variety of spots, with the June 7 Acorn at Belmont a possibility. Hail the Chief most likely will run in the June 15 Stephen Foster at Churchill, a $750,000, Grade 1 race that O'Callaghan won last year with Guided Tour.

"We'll try to pick out the best spot for all of them," said O'Callaghan. "Like we always do."