As gifted as he was as a race caller, Sam McKee also was a star on the auction stand.
by Dave Briggs
David Reid said one of Sam McKee’s under-appreciated talents was as a long-time pedigree reader at horse sales.
“I know he was the voice of the Meadowlands and he was very instrumental in the Jug, but one of the small pieces that he did was being a pedigree reader at a lot of auctions,” said Reid, the general manager of the Tattersalls Sales Company that has held sales at the Meadowlands for many years. “He was just a pleasure to have in the auction stand and, more importantly, he was a pleasure to have for a pedigree reader for the horses that we were selling. You never had to worry because Sam would always be on top of his game. He was always there.
“He just knew the industry, inside and out. He had that golden gift — that great voice — and that gift could make rust look like gold, without even flinching. I think he was the same way with people… I don’t think people realize all of the things he did for the sport of harness racing. And, as good as he was in the industry, I’m sure he was an even better father.”
Reid said McKee was as talented as the industry has ever seen, but was an even better person.
“He was just a beautiful guy,” Reid said. “He had extreme class, was never arrogant and was very down-to-earth. Those were probably just his roots from growing up on a farm in rural Michigan. They always say, ‘You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy’ and I think that probably applies to Sam a little bit, because he was such a down-to-earth, good-natured human being.
“It’s obviously a devastating loss for his family, the Meadowlands and racing as a whole.”