Kenneth McPeek

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Kenneth McPeek
Occupation Trainer
Born August 2, 1962
Fort Chaffee, Arkansas
Career wins ongoing
Major racing wins

Breeders' Futurity Stakes (1994)
Widener Handicap (1997)
Tampa Bay Derby (1999)
Alcibiades Stakes (2000, 2001)
Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (2001)
Ashland Stakes (2002)
Dogwood Stakes (2002)
Florida Derby (2002)
Blue Grass Stakes (2002)
Louisiana Derby (2002)
Spinster Stakes (2002, 2003)
Sir Barton Stakes (2003)
Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Turf Stakes
(2004, 2005)
Delta Jackpot Stakes (2006)
Commonwealth Turf Stakes (2008)
Golden Rod Stakes (2010)
Travers Stakes (2012)

American Classic Race wins:
Belmont Stakes (2002)
Racing awards
Big Sport of Turfdom Award (2002)
Significant horses
Tejano Run, Harlan's Holiday, Sarava, Einstein, Take Charge Lady, Repent, Hard Buck (BRZ), She's A Devil Due, Dream Empress, Prince Arch, Noble's Promise, Kathmanblu, Rogue Romance, Curlin

Kenneth G. McPeek (born August 2, 1962 in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse trainer.

Life and career[edit]

Kenny McPeek headshot

Kenneth G. "Kenny" McPeek was born August 2, 1962 in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. He graduated from Tates Creek High School and then the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. In 1985 McPeek applied for and receibed his trainer's license in Kentucky and won his first race soon after. The most important race of his career was the 2002 Belmont Stakes, when Sarava, trained by McPeek and considered a longshot, won. This race was considered McPeek's big break. That year, he and wife Sue were voted the Big Sport of Turfdom Award by the Turf Publicists of America.

McPeek serves on the Boards of the UK Agricultural Equine Program and TOBA - Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. He is a member of the NYRA Equine Veterinary Medical Director Search Committee.[1]

Major horses[edit]

McPeek has trained a number of successful racehorses. In 2002, he won the Belmont Stakes with Sarava. He has won back-to-back Spinster Stakes' with Take Charge Lady in 2002 & 2003 and back-to-back Gulfstream Park Breeder’s Cup Handicaps with Hard Buck (BRZ) & Prince Arch in 2004 & 2005. Other Grade 1 victories include the Florida Derby, Ashland Stakes, Blue Grass Stakes, Dixiana Breeders Futurity and the Darley Alcibiades Stakes three times in his career.[2] He has also trained all time leading North American money earner Curlin, Dream Empress, Tejano Run, Golden Ticket, Harlan’s Holiday, Hard Buck (BRZ), Java's War, Pure Fun, Repent, Take Charge Lady, Salty Strike, Sweet Talker, Leah's Secret, She’s A Devil Due, Wild Desert, Einstein, Prince Arch, Noble's Promise, Kathmanblu and Rogue Romance, among others. McPeek has won more than 159 stakes in his career, with over 45 of them graded and in 2009, he surpassed 1000 winners.

McPeek currently races primarily at Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Oaklawn Park and Saratoga, as well as keeping a division at his Magdalena Farm in Lexington.

Graded Wins[edit]

Kenny McPeek -- 2002 Belmont Stakes win with Sarava

Training facilities[edit]

McPeek purchased a 115-acre farm named Pillar Stud, in Lexington, Kentucky which he renamed Magdalena Farm.[3] The 1959 Kentucky Derby winner Tomy Lee is buried on the grounds. McPeek had a golf course designer oversee the layout of the 115-acre training setup and 1 1/2-mile training track, which has up and down hill runs. The track is mostly turf, but a section on the outside of the track is polytrack so McPeek can work horses all year round.[3] With the help of expert advice from Dr. A J Powell of the University of Kentucky, and Dr. Todd Bunnell of SePro Corporation, the course has been seeded with high quality grass. There are sections of Riviera Bermuda and Ultimate Fescue which allows for choosing the type of grass horses train on each day. The Riviera Bermuda was sewn at 100 pounds per acre and the Ultimate Fescue at 400 pounds per acre, giving the course a high grass density which helps cushion the impact of the horse's training regime.[4] The farm consists of 23 turnout paddocks, 63 stalls, and a 2 mile European grass gallop used for training during the warmer months. The farm office is the control center for the racing stable that McPeek manages year round. Currently, the farm has over 150 horses that are either racing, training, or being broken to saddle. The farm also handles mares and foals, as well as layups, thereby covering all stages of a horse's career.[5]

Mobile app[edit]

Main article: Horse Races Now

McPeek has developed a mobile app to provide comprehensive horse racing video and data for new fans and veteran horseplayers, called Horse Races Now.[6] He reported that he came up with the idea for a horse racing app while watching CNBC's Planet of the Apps, a one-hour program that explored the explosion of mobile technology, specifically through phone applications.[7] "During the show, I Googled 'horse racing apps' and there weren't any. I kind of politicked around and checked with some people to see if this was something that was happening. Long and short, I ended up doing it on my own because I just felt like it needed to be done."[8]

McPeek launched Horse Races Now on March 27, 2012,[8] and three years later, McPeek reported in a radio interview that the app had been downloaded over 300,000 times.[9]


  1. ^ "About Kenny McPeek". Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Kenneth McPeek at the NTRA "Kenneth McPeek at the NTRA". National Thouroughbred Racing Association. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Chapman, Ric (23 February 2006). "Kenny McPeek to Return to Training". Blood-Horse. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "Magdelena". Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "Magdalena History" (PDF). McPeek Racing. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "Horse Races NOW! App Launched". Blood-Horse Publications. April 4, 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  7. ^ John Clay (April 28, 2013). "McPeek joins the app business". Lexington Herald-Leader (Louisville, KY: Lexington Herald-Leader). Retrieved October 29, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Robert Yates (February 22, 2014). "Trainer offers app to give fans a hand". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock, AR: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette). Retrieved October 29, 2014 – via (subscription required (help)). 
  9. ^ "Equine Forum". Horse Racing Radio Network. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.