Ken McPeek, trading places within racing industry.

Ken McPeek, trading places within racing industry.

Associated Press

Trading Places: Trainer McPeek to Become Agent

Trainer Ken McPeek, who conditioned grade I winners Harlan's Holiday, Take Charge Lady, Sarava, and Hard Buck during his 20-year career, is leaving the training game effective July 1 to become a bloodstock agent and advisor.

In a statement released through Churchill Downs' communications department, McPeek said he was taking a "hiatus" from training and did not rule out a return to that career in the future.

McPeek, 42, a native of Lexington, Ky., said the more than 100 horses currently under his care will be transferred to other trainers and his present assistants. He said he will continue to advise on the direction of some of those horses' careers and will advise some of the owners who are his current clients.

"I greatly enjoy the challenge of finding a top-class racehorse," McPeek said in the statement. "I plan on attending all of the major auctions, with a particular focus on the yearling and South American markets. I believe that if you wisely invest an owner's money in the types of horses with which they can be successful, then our sport is a truly great game. Most owners have great faith in the abilities of their trainers and, with my change in focus, I will have more time to assist those owners in selecting the horses that make up their stables.

"Most of you will continue to see me at the races and sales, but in the role of advisor and agent rather than trainer," McPeek continued. "So this is not a goodbye as much as change of direction. My passion for horse racing remains as strong as ever and, if the correct opportunity presents itself, I would not rule out a return to training in the future. Only time will tell. I would like to thank all of those that have supported my team during my training career. I will see you at the races."

McPeek said he has trained 82 stakes winners to date and EquineLine statistics show he has 767 winners from 5,294 starters, with stable earnings of more than $28.5 million. In 2005, McPeek has won 10 races from 122 starts and earnings of $748,106.