Trainer Kenny McPeek has joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance in support of the Horseracing Integrity Act, which would standardize medication rules in American racing by appointing an independent, non-governmental agency to oversee regulations, testing and enforcement and align the United States with international standards on race-day medication.
After nearly 35 years of training Thoroughbreds, McPeek is fast approaching a career milestone of 200 stakes wins. Currently, he has 195 stakes wins, with over 40 of them graded. Most notable victories came in 2002, with the Belmont Stakes winner Sarava and back-to-back Spinster Stakes with Take Charge Lady in 2002 and 2003.
McPeek's stable is likely to garner much interest in the coming months with two top 3-year-olds on the Kentucky Derby trail: Signalman and Harvey Wallbanger. Signalman won the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs and finished third in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile, while, Harvey Wallbanger went from last to first in winning the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
According to a recent article, McPeek won more races (19) in 2018 with horses off Lasix than any other trainer in the United States. He also led all trainers with 15 stakes placed finishes with horses off Lasix.
He serves on the boards of the University of Kentucky Agricultural Equine Program and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA). He is a member of the NYRA Equine Veterinary Medical Director Search Committee.
In a statement to the Water Hay Oats Alliance, McPeek shared the following:
“As a horseman who has been fortunate to participate in racing in many countries, I firmly believe we need to bring uniformity to American racing which will meet international standards. The world is getting smaller and we need to be a leader in clean sport and uniformity, not a follower.
“I've had good success winning without Lasix, especially fillies like Daddys Lil Darling, Pure Fun, and Princess Warrior to name a few. I particularly feel strongly that the Graded stakes we run in North America should be run without race day medication. Having trained lower quality horses early in my career and continuing to have claiming horses today, I recognize there are horses that need help. However at the upper levels of the sport we should be aware that these horses should be on a level playing field with the rest of the world horse industry.
“Standards are set for many international jurisdictions and for our Graded stakes to adapt would be something I wish to see one day sooner than later. WHOA is working to make that happen through the passage of the Horseracing Integrity Act and I'm in agreement that it is a worthy cause. ”
The Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) is a grassroots movement of like-minded individuals who support the passage of federal legislation to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport of horse racing. The appointment of an independent anti-doping program run by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will resolve the problem of widespread drug use in American racing and put U.S. racing jurisdictions in step with international standards.
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