Jockey John McKee reached the 1,000 career-win mark March 30 when he guided Bid Made to a 5 1/4-length score in the eighth race at Turfway Park.
The son of former jockey David McKee, the 26-year-old rider grew up in Hamersville, Ohio, a small town east of Cincinnati. McKee's first win came May 27, 2002, aboard Storm Cup at River Downs. He also earned his first stakes win that year at the Ohio track, guiding Waist Gunner John to the Buckeye Native Stakes. McKee finished the 2002 River Downs meet as leading rider, in the process breaking Steve Cauthen’s 1976 record for most wins by an apprentice.
McKee moved his tack to Kentucky, where in the fall of 2002 he was Turfway’s leading rider. He finished 2002 as an Eclipse Award finalist for outstanding apprentice. In 2004 he added leading rider titles at Oaklawn and the Churchill Downs fall meet.
Included in McKee’s win total to date are 42 stakes victories, including 11 graded events. He earned his first graded win in the 2003 Firecracker Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. He rode Lawyer Ron to victory in the 2006 Arkansas Derby (gr. II).