A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kenny and Sue McPeek creating mobile app
to entertain racing fans, reclaim fan base


Special to KyForward

 

Sue and Kenny McPeek are deeply entrenched in Kentucky Thoroughbred racing. A shared concern about its future motivated them to develop a high-tech, innovative mobile application they hope will be part of the solution.

 

Horse Races NOW is a mobile app designed to entertain horse racing fans around the world, reach out and broaden the fan base – and give back to the industry in a meaningful way. The project has been in the works for several years – and is very near a launch.

 

“This iPhone app is dedicated to fan participation and viewer proliferation of horse racing worldwide,” said Kenny, “It’s like having the program for every racetrack in the palm of your hand.”

 

With the mobile app, which is free for a limited time, fans will be able to:

 

• Experience the excitement of live video on an iPhone, on demand
• View live races or e replays of favorite or memorable races
• Look at archived races for up to two years
• Check entries or results from last week’s races
• Follow the action of favorite tracks, horses, trainers or jockeys
• Receive push notifications on their favorites just before post time and never miss a race again.

 

 

Sue and Kenny McPeek are well-known in racing circles, sharing a reputation for knowledgeable hands-on experience and a determination to do it right – and their way.

 

Sue McPeek’s love for horses drew her to the racing industry – from a degree in wildlife biology at Colorado State University. She has worked at both the farm and racetrack division for Lane’s End Farm, as a professional showman at sales for Three Chimney’s Farm and as a freelance equine photographer.

 

Lexingtonian Kenny McPeek graduated from UK with a business finance degree and followed his heart to racing, earning his trainer’s license in the mid-‘80s.

 

Today, Kenny manages over 180 horses and spends time looking for “diamonds in the rough” at yearling and 2-year-old-in-training sales. His system must work, as he has selected the likes of Curlin, Einstein, Repent, Take Charge Lady and Tejano Run.

 

In a story published in KyForward in January (view story), McPeek explained the “Rule of Five” for first-time investors in the game of Thoroughbred racing: Your first horse will run, and that’s as much as you can hope for. The second will refuse to run. The third’s career will end early because of an injury. The fourth will show some promise and be a lot of fun. The fifth will be the magical competitor that helps you forget you ever invested in the first four.

 

“I’m still looking for that 5th horse,” says Kenny, with a smile.

 

In fact, in his career, he has won over 120 stakes, 50 graded, and has trained over 1,200 winners and counting, earning over $50 million in purses. Details can be found at www.McpeekRacing.com

 

The McPeeks are in the process of signing up racetracks that will participate in their mobile app program. New racetracks are added every day.

 

“The number of horse-racing fans has decreased,” Kenny McPeek said in a letter to horsemen. No longer the #1 spectator sport in the U.S., racing has reached a low point on the public’s list of entertainment diversions.

 

“But you and I are mutually passionate about our sport, the love for the horses, and their care and well-being.”

 

The entire industry must be focused on expanding the fan base, he says.

 

Kenny McPeek has worked closely with The Jockey Club Technology Services and Equibase to design the program, to bring the convenience of live racing to the “consciousness and fingertips” of fans – and potential fans.

 

“Many people are interested not only in wagering but also in the beauty of the horse, the pageantry of the races and the multitude of human interest stories that are generated from the sport,” he said.

 

Horse Racing Now is not a wagering app – it’s an entertainment app. It is designed with links to wagering sites for those interested in placing a wager.

 

“We believe it’s the coolest horse racing app ever,” said McPeek.

 

The McPeeks are also determined to help the industry philanthropically. They will give back a portion of the income ultimately derived from the app to the racetracks and horsemen in the form of a purse supplement, thus “supporting an industry that provides jobs for many,” said Kenny McPeek.

 

“Industry-wide cooperation involved in the development of this iPhone app has been challenging, but we are determined to include the signal of every racetrack in the country and eventually every signal around the world,” he says, pointing out that developing a new fan base would improve the economics of racing while benefiting the aftercare of our retiring equine athletes.

 

“If everyone works together the sport of horse racing will regain its strength and place in the hearts and minds of fans worldwide,” Kenny said.

 

As they continue to develop industry and racetrack buy-in, the McPeeks also maintain a positive, move-along attitude that has been their own personal philosophy throughout their long association with Kentucky’s signature industry.

 

For more information please visit www.HorseRacesNow.com


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