The Mackin family from Louisville takes a shot at the Kentucky Derby with Smile Happy

Smile Happy - Kentucky Derby
Smile Happy - Kentucky Derby(Coady Photography/Churchill Downs)
Published: May. 5, 2022 at 9:31 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Horse racing is a family affair and event for the Mackin clan.

Leo Mackin got into the horse business in 1991, and now 31 years later, his five kids will walk over with Smile Happy for Kentucky Derby 148

“I don’t know whether it was my mom or dad came up with the Lucky Seven stable and we kept the horses and we’ve been running as Lucky Seven stable ever since,” Mike Mackin said.

“The Mackin family, in particular deserves this,” trainer Ken McPeek said. “They’ve been at it a long time, you know, they’ve lost their mother and father in the last several years, which, they were an important part of the Lucky Seven, they were two of the Lucky Seven, and I think it’d be fantastic.”

Mike Mackin, his three brothers and sister are carrying on the tradition.

They paid $185,000 for the son of Runhappy, and when Mattress magnate Jim McIngvale tried to buy in, the decision was an easy one.

“We’ve got enough owners, we’ve got a big family,” Mackin said he responded.

A family that consists of five Mackin kids, 18 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. They are in metal sales manufacturing and have plants in Sellersburg and New Albany in Indiana and in 19 states from Anchorage, Alaska to Jacksonville, Florida.

Their horse won his two starts as a two-year-old and has been second twice this year, second last time out to Zandon in the Blue Grass Stakes.

McPeek says that was just a tune up, the first Saturday in May has always been the goal.

“If we pull this off, we’re kind of, we’re local legends aren’t we?” McPeek said.

“When my father and I got started in the horse racing business 31 years ago, you always think, one day maybe we’ll get to the Kentucky Derby, but it’s all about just coming out here with family and friends and getting your picture taken in the winners circle whether it be a $10,000 dollar claimer or the Kentucky Derby,” Mackin said.

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