When Ken McPeek won his first horse race as a trainer, I was there. McPeek had invited me and a mutual friend to River Downs because his horse Final Destroyer had a big shot.
That was in 1985. McPeek hasn’t stopped winning races since, topped by classic victories in the Belmont Stakes and Travers.
Now McPeek is pursuing a new venture that he hopes will build more interest in the sport he loves. The project is a new horse racing app, Horse Races Now, that will be unique to the industry.
“It’s like having a racing program for every racetrack, every day, for life in your pocket,” McPeek said.
I may not do justice to all the bells and whistles this marvelous app offers, so I suggest going to the website, horseracesnow.com, for a demonstration video and full details. You also can text the word “horse” and “84700” on your smartphone for more details.
I do know that this app offers the ability to watch live video from participating racetracks and race replays, which alone is well worth having on your iPhone or Android phone.
Horse Races Now offers a system in which you can program alerts for your favorite jockeys, trainers, horses and racetracks. You’ll be notified on entries, results, replays, charts and workouts.
With alerts for call to the post and at the gate, you will have a hard time missing a race that you want to watch.
McPeek has invested a lot of his time and money into this startup project. He said it is growing rapidly with almost 100,000 users in 119 countries to date.
In an industry that is incredibly fragmented, McPeek is trying to pull people and companies together to promote horse racing.
I hope he succeeds, because I am all for doing things to cater to new fans. Being on platforms that younger demos are using is a good way to increase exposure.
This is what McPeek does in his spare time. As for his full-time job of horse trainer, he is getting his best runners ready for the Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 1 and 2 at Santa Anita Park.
He has four potential Breeders’ Cup starters: Golden Ticket (Classic); Flashy American (Distaff); Atigun (Marathon); and Rosalind (Juvenile Fillies). So, to say the least, this man is staying busy.
■ BOYD QUALIFIER — A live money one-day qualifier for the 2014 Horseplayer World Series is scheduled for Sept. 20 at all Boyd Gaming property race books, Gold Coast, Orleans, Sam’s Town and Suncoast.
■ RIDE ON CURLIN — If you were offered $1 million for something you bought for $25,000, would you sell? The owners of Ride On Curlin rejected that much for their 2-year-old colt before Saturday’s Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs. Trainer Billy Gowan told the Louisville Courier-Journal he recommended accepting the offer. Ride On Curlin ended up fourth in the Iroquois.
Richard Eng’s horse racing column is published Friday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @richeng4propick.