McKee Has Shot to Break Cauthen's River Record

A new kid on the block is threatening Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen's 26-year-old record of 109 victories as an apprentice at River Downs.

Apprentice jockey John McKee won his first race at River Downs aboard Storm Cup on May 27. In only three months, the Ohio native has made a serious impression. Through Aug. 27, McKee had won 101 races at the meet, only eight shy of Cauthen's record.

Cauthen, who won the 1978 Triple Crown with Affirmed and later had success in Europe, won his first race at River Downs aboard Red Pipe on May 17, 1976.

"I'm not out to break any records, just ride as many winners as I can for the people who put me up," said McKee, a former high school wrestler.

McKee's agent is Eddie Campbell, who also handled Cauthen's book at River Downs in 1976.

The River Downs meet ends Sept. 2. Closing weekend is highlighted by the $100,000 Pepsi Bassinet Stakes for 2-year-old fillies Aug. 31, and the $200,000 Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes for 2-year-olds on closing day.