You may have heard of Carl O'Callaghan's "Irish River Dance in Dubai" after his trainee, Kinsale King, won the G1 Golden Shaheen. That celebration was the culmination of 20 years of hard work and a lifelong dream, which began with Carl coming to the United States from Ireland when he was 15 years old.
Starting first at a stud farm in upstate New York, it wasn’t long before he found himself at Belmont Park. He worked for trainer John Kimmel for 7 years, starting from the ground up and learning all aspects of the business. He then moved to the barn of Todd Pletcher, where he regularly galloped such top horses as Scat Daddy, Forest Danger, Cotton Blossom and Bandini.
Then the American dream brought him west yet again. He moved to California in 2007, where he spent 2 years as an excercise rider and assistant trainer before opening his own stable with a mere 5 horses in the spring of 2009. But it was Kinsale King, a horse given to him in June 2009, that sent his career soaring.
HIs dreams became reality when he trained Kinsale King to win the G3 Vernon Underwood at Hollywood Park in December 2009, the G2 Palos Verdes at Santa Anita in January 2010, and ultimately the $2 million dollar, G1 Golden Shaheen at Meydan Race Course in Dubai in March 2010. The globe trotting “King” then ran 3rd in the Golden Jubilee on turf at Royal Ascot in June 2010, and he provided Carl with his first Breeders’ Cup runner in 2010 as well.
Carl and O’Callaghan Racing Stables currently train 20 horses at their Hollywood Park base, and have many young ones on the farm waiting to get there. Carl is very hands on with his horses, and likes his operation at a reasonable size so he can pay attention to each and every one of his trainees, and have time for the owners as well. The Lounge is always open, so come on by for a Guinness. And you never know, he might even play his guitar and sing a song for you.