A knack for finding talent at bargain prices and developing those young horses and bringing new owners into the racing has enabled McPeek to rise to the top levels of the sport.
The best example of McPeek's skill at picking out good, young Thoroughbreds is Curlin. McPeek purchased the colt for $57,000 and turned him over to his assistant when he took a sabbatical from training. Curlin was sold after showing great ability early in his career and went on to be a two-time Horse of the Year and the leading money winner in North American racing history with more than $10 million in earnings. McPeek bought Noble's Promise for $10,000 as a weanling and he has won a Grade 1, a Grade 3 and earned more than $1 million.
Born in Arkansas and raised in Lexington, Ky., McPeek is a 1984 graduate of the University of Kentucky. He went to New York to interview for a job as a stockbroker, but instead took a job as a hotwalker for trainer Shug McGaughey. Since opening his own stable in 1985, he has trained over 1,200 winners and his horses have earned more than $50 million in purses.
McPeek brought two talented horses to the 2013 Kentucky Derby with Blue Grass Stakes winner Java's War and Arkansas Derby runner-up Frac Daddy. Frac Daddy then moved on to run in the Belmont Stakes. Representing the female side of the barn, McPeek also saddled Pure Fun in the Kentucky Oaks.