Round Table (horse)

Round Table (April 6, 1954 – June 13, 1987) was an American Thoroughbred Hall of Fame racehorse. He is considered the greatest turf horse in American racing history.

Round Table
Round Table USA).jpg
GrandsirePrince Rose
DamKnight's Daughter
DamsireSir Cosmo
CountryUnited States
BreederClaiborne Farm
OwnerClaiborne Farm
Kerr Stable
TrainerMoody Jolley
William Molter
Record66: 43-8-5
Major wins
Breeders' Futurity Stakes (1956)
Blue Grass Stakes (1957)
Hollywood Gold Cup (1957)
American Derby (1957)
Cinema Handicap (1957)
Westerner Stakes (1957)
United Nations Handicap (1957, 1959)
Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (1957, 1958)
Argonaut Handicap (1958)
Strub Series (1958)
San Antonio Handicap (1958)
Santa Anita Handicap (1958)
Agua Caliente Handicap (1958)
Gulfstream Park Handicap (1958)
Arlington Handicap (1958, 1959)
San Marcos Handicap (1959)
Arlington Citation Handicap (1959)
Stars and Stripes Handicap (1959)
Manhattan Handicap (1959)
U.S. Champion Turf Horse
(1957, 1958, 1959)
U.S. Champion Male Handicap Horse
TRA U.S. Champion Male Handicap Horse (1959)
American Horse of the Year (1958)
Leading sire in North America (1972)
United States Racing Hall of Fame inductee (1972)
#17 - Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century
Round Table Stakes at Arlington Park


Round Table was foaled at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky, on the night of April 6, 1954.[1] Bold Ruler was foaled at the same farm, on the same night, and both stallions won American Horse of the Year honors in their respective careers, returning to Claiborne to stand at stud. He was trained by Moody Jolley.

Racing careerEdit

Round Table's most significant win as a two-year-old came in October 1956, when he won the Breeders' Futurity Stakes at Keeneland Race Course. On February 9, 1957, Claiborne Farm owner Arthur B. Hancock, Jr. sold Round Table after his second start of the three-year-old season to Oklahoma oilman Travis M. Kerr. The sale agreement included Round Table standing at stud at Claiborne when his racing career was over with Claiborne receiving twenty percent of his breeding income.[2]

Racing at age three, with Kerr having hired William Molter as his trainer, Round Table won the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in track record time. He then finished third to Calumet Farm's Iron Liege in the Kentucky Derby, with the heavily favored Bold Ruler finishing 4th. After the Derby, Round Table was shipped back to race in California, where he won eleven consecutive races, several of which later became Grade I stakes races. He was the leading money winner of 1957 and won the first of his three straight U.S. Champion Turf Horse titles.

In 1958, Round Table dominated American Thoroughbred racing. He began the year by capturing the races that are now known as the Strub Series at Santa Anita Park, becoming the first horse to win the Malibu Stakes, the San Fernando Stakes and the Santa Anita Maturity, now the Strub Stakes. He ended the season as the winner of every racing award available to him, including Horse of the Year.[3]

Five years old in 1959, he won 9 of his 14 races and his third Champion Turf Horse title. His lifetime earnings were $1,749,869, and he was the third American Thoroughbred to earn more than a million dollars, after Citation and Nashua. Of his 66 starts, he won 43, placed in 8 and showed in 5, and set or equaled 14 track records during his career, including one world record and two U.S. records.

Stud recordEdit

Retired at the end of the 1959 racing season to stand at stud at Claiborne Farm, Round Table was the leading sire in North America in 1972. He sired 83 stakes winners including He's A Smoothie, Baldric, Apalachee, Artaius, Cellini, Advocator, Flirting Around, King's Bishop, and Poker,[4] who was the damsire of two Hall of Fame inductees, Seattle Slew and Silver Charm. His daughter Isolt was the dam of Sir Tristram whose progeny earned him 17 official Leading Australasian sire premierships, plus nine broodmare sire titles.

Among his descendants are Horse of the Year winners A.P. Indy[5] and Mineshaft.[6] His worldwide reputation both in racing and as a sire was so great that when Queen Elizabeth II visited Kentucky in 1984, she asked to see the 30-year-old horse. Her father, King George VI, bred Round Table's dam, Knight's Daughter.[7]

Round Table died at the age of 33 on June 13, 1987. He is buried in the equine cemetery at Claiborne Farm.


  • McEvoy, John. Round Table: Thoroughbred Legends (2002) Eclipse Press ISBN 1-58150-072-6
  • Round Table's pedigree, earnings and racing stats
  • Round Table at the United states' National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
  • Round Table and the United Nations
  • Video profile at YouTube of Round Table
  1. ^ Spiletta42. "Round Table: 1958 Horse of the Year". Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  2. ^ Thoroughbred Champions: Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century. Blood-Horse. 1999. p. 76. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  3. ^ "Round Table is Selected Horse of the Year". Washington Observer. 1958-11-26. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
  4. ^ "Round Table Offspring". Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  5. ^ "Ap Indy Horse Pedigree". 2011-04-08. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  6. ^ "Mineshaft Horse Pedigree". Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  7. ^ "Round Table - Champion on turf and in hearts - Horse Racing Forum - TVG". Retrieved 2012-04-14.