Trainer Ken McPeek posted his 1,000th career victory on May 25 when Lawrence Carroll’s Old Man Buck won the eighth race at Churchill Downs under Calvin Borel.
McPeek, a 46-year-old native of Lexington, got his first win in 1985 at River Downs with Final Destroyer.
“Now it’s on to 2,000,” McPeek said. “I’ve got a lot of people to thank from my clients to the staff. I mean, I’m just part of it. There are a lot of people who have worked really hard for me for a long time, and I appreciate it.
“Really, I think I’ve come from the bottom and worked my way up through the years. I think I’ve done more with less for a long time, and I get a lot of satisfaction out of that. (Owners) like Ray Cottrell and Roy Monroe when I was younger, and my father, have been a part of it and a big influence. We’re going to keep grinding along and we’re going to get 2,000; it’s just a matter of time. We can do that in the next 10 years.”
The Memorial Day victory was the fifth of the spring meet for McPeek and 235th overall at Churchill Downs. McPeek was the leading trainer at Churchill Downs’ 2002 fall meet.
To date, McPeek’s biggest victory came in the 2002 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) when he sent out 70-1 longshot Sarava to victory. McPeek also signed the ticket for eventual champion Curlin, purchasing the yearling for Midnight Cry for $57,000 in 2005.