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Standout Lexington Thoroughbred Racehorse Trainer Honored at City Hall

Racehorse Kenny McPeek holding the mayor's proclamation- Mayor Linda Gorton asked for everyone to "crowd the winners circle" for the picture 07-02-24
Stu Johnson
Racehorse Kenny McPeek holding the mayor's proclamation- Mayor Linda Gorton asked for everyone to "crowd the winners circle" for the picture 07-02-24

A Lexingtonian well-steeped in the horse racing industry has been recognized at City Hall. Mayor Linda Gorton declared July second Kenny McPeek Day in Lexington.

The well-known Thoroughbred racehorse trainer made history the first weekend in May by winning the Oaks and Kentucky Derby. McPeek began his remarks with emotion saying he was baptized less than a mile away. Born outside Kentucky’s border, McPeek said his mother went to visit his father in the 101st Airborne basic training camp.

“And she said the roads were so bad when they went into Arkansas that he water broke when they got there, so I was subsequently born in Arkansas, but I have been adamant that anybody who ever asks, I’m a Lexingtonian,” said McPeek.

McPeek is also credited with coming up with the idea for the Horses Now app which includes information about results and following horses, trainers, and jockeys. Asked which is more difficult training horses or developing the app, the Tates Creek High School grad said, quote, “finding good horses to train is harder than anything.”

The horse racing industry continues to undergo modification. Next week revised rules under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority will take effect. McPeek thinks HISA is making gains.

“I think all in all I think the sport does need some alignment and I think they’re getting there slowly but surely. And I think certainly it’s not going to be a straight line. But, they’re getting there and I support them,” said McPeek.

 McPeek admitted he also does have some strong opinions of what the HISA organization hasn’t done yet. The Lexingtonian had a very successful Derby weekend in May, winning the Oaks and following it up a day later by taking the run for the roses.

And while not discounting the significance of those or any other victories, McPeek said races can also be lost and one still has those Lexington roots.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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