Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1998The 1966 gelding did not look like a typical racehorse. He was not the lean, trim type, but neither was he the blocky, bulldog cowhorse type. Kaweah Bar was somewhere in between, but he could run.
Kaweah Bar won his first start at Bay Meadows in 1968 by 3 ½ lengths in AAA time. He won 21 stakes races, 12 of which are now graded events, and 38 races overall in his nine-year career, and was the first horse to repeat as world champion without doing it consecutive years. He earned $386,516 in his career. All told, Kaweah Bar won 12 racing championships and was the racing world champion in 1968 and 1970.
Ironically, Kaweah Bar would have made his connections richer and himself an even greater legend if he were not so ornery. At times, he was downright fractious, losing at least four $100,000 races because of his bucking and misbehavior. He especially got cranky when jockeys used the stick.
The palomino was only ornery on the racetrack. At home he ate human food and loved to drink beer straight from the can. If someone would hold the beer can tipped up, Kaweah Bar cupped his lips around the can and never spilled a drop.
Kaweah Bar was incredibly sound, running 114 times. His dam, the Go Man Go daughter Angie Miss, herself a AAA runner, produced sound and ornery foals. He was sired by Alamitos Bar during the promising stallion’s first crop.
The Hadan Livestock Company of Lockeford, California, bred the palomino gelding, but George Chittick of Long Beach bought him as an early 2-year-old and owned the horse through much of his racing career. Sold as a chariot horse following his retirement from the flat track, Kaweah Bar died in a freak trailer accident in late 1976.
Each year Los Alamitos racetrack holds the Kaweah Bar Handicap to honor the “Palomino Express.”
Kaweah Bar was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1998.