Sunday, March 30, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 30, 2008 . . . Jockey John McKee hit the 1,000 career-win mark Sunday 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 McKee grew up in Hamersville, Ohio, a small town east of Cincinnati. His first win came May 27, 2002, aboard Storm Cup at River Downs, and he also earned his first stakes win that year at the Ohio track, guiding Waist Gunner John to take 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 next moved his tack to Kentucky, where in the fall of 2002 he was Turfway’s leading rider and second among riders at Churchill Downs. 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. He earned his second Turfway title in 2007 as leading rider for the Holiday 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 (G2) at Churchill Downs. Among his standout mounts are Greater Good, winner of the 2004 Kentucky Cup Juvenile (G3), 2004 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), 2005 Rebel (G3) and 2005 Southwest Stakes; Grand Reward, winner of the 2005 Oaklawn Handicap (G2); Lady Joanne, winner of the 2006 Golden Rod (G2); and Lawyer Ron, whom he rode to victories in the 2006 Southwest Stakes, Risen Star (G3), Rebel (G3), Arkansas Derby (G2), and St. Louis Derby.
Racing resumes Wednesday and Thursday at Turfway, the last two days of the Winter/Spring Meet.