May 24, 2024

Job horseman Michael McGee, who received teaching titles at Churchill Downs in the 1950s and 1960s, died Aug. 20, 2022. He was 96.

Due to the fact his prolific horse trainer father (Jimmy McGee) made use of the expert surname of “McGee,” Mike chose to use the name of McGee as properly, but in no way legally modified his offered name of Francis Michael Grey. He was Born Feb 9, 1926 in Miami with that specified title. 

Michael McGee was a very first cousin to famed racing secretary Tommy Trotter. His horse racing family members traveled the sport’s nomadic circuit when expanding up in both equally Miami and Louisville, Ky. From the 1920s-1940s, McGee and his spouse and children generally invested summers racing in Delaware, New Jersey, and Chicago although racing the slide satisfies in Louisville and wintertime satisfies in Miami. 

Mainly because of his family’s sturdy heritage in horse racing, McGee chose racing as his career immediately after graduating from Notre Dame in 1948. He began as agent for jockey Nick Shuk and shortly soon after started his cherished vocation of coaching race horses. He saddled his very first winner at Charlestown Raceway in W.Va. in 1950 before entering the Military through the Korean War. He was discharged two many years later on and commenced instruction horses in Florida, Maryland, and New Jersey.

Immediately after marrying former Vogue vogue model Mary Louise Donnelly in 1953 in Miami, McGee set up a routine of racing in South Florida through wintertime followed by the spring meet up with at Churchill Downs, summertime satisfy at Arlington Park, and back again once more at Churchill in the slide. McGee and his spouse ended up blessed with 9 young children, which created touring tricky on his relatives. So, in August 1970 he resettled his family to Louisville simply because Kentucky had yr-spherical racing which afforded him household time. 

Indication up for

Among his notable racing achievements, McGee was primary trainer at Churchill Downs in the fall of 1955 and again in the spring of 1963. Mike’s very best horse, Pete’s Folly, was a 1956 Kentucky Derby contender and received major 3-yr-previous stakes races but obtained hurt prior to the Flamingo Stakes. On July 4, 1967, McGee-skilled filly Expensive Ethel tied a planet report at Miles Park following completing 4 1/2 furlongs in :50 2/5. He had further stakes winners in Bishop’s Bond and Ramona Rode. 

His portfolio of entrepreneurs all through his career included Nelson Bunker Hunt, CEO Hugh Grant of Kendall Oil, Pittsburgh Steelers proprietor Artwork Rooney, Sears president Crowdus Baker as well as other outstanding shoppers throughout the 1960s and 1970s. 

From 1975-1989, McGee centered on the sale and breeding of horses by forming “McGee Bloodstock Company” and he co-owned Ionian Farm in Ocala, Fla. He also brokered horse revenue of which he recommended a customer to get the gelding John Henry for $25,000 in 1978. John Henry subsequently gained additional than $6 Million and was Horse of 12 months, 2 times. He also brokered the sale of outstanding stakes winner No No to songwriter Burt Bacharach.

McGee is buried at Quantico Nationwide Cemetery and is survived by his spouse Mary Louise and nine small children: Priscilla of Naples FL, Christopher of Alexandria, Va., Daniel of Falls Church, Va., Robert (Vonda) of Fla, Patrick (Anila) of North Springfield, Va, Josephine (Steven) of Ft. Myer’s Fla., Michael (Helen) of Falls Church, Va., and Peter (Megan) of Manassas, Va.