Hall of Fame


david r. magee

Year of Induction: 
Year of Birth: 
Election Into Living Hall of Fame: 

Dave Magee was born in Green Bay Wisconsin on December 4, 1953. He got his start in harness racing by training horses for his grandfather. He began driving on the Wisconsin fair circuit (racing for $200 and a blanket). Magee made his first Chicago stand as a groom for his uncle, Elwood. He then went to Quad City Downs, East Moline, Illinois where he soon became the leading driver. An accident, while at that track, sent him to Chicago to recover. While there, he decided to race at the Chicago tracks. He is now considered the Chicagoland driving "King," having captured numerous driving titles at Maywood Park, Hawthorne and Sportman's Park. Last year, Magee again ranked among the leading drivers on the Chicago circuit.

One of his best horses, over the years, was Brandenburg, whom he drove to most of his $360,377 1986 earnings. In 1994, Magee enjoyed several memorable drives behind Illinois Horse of the Year, Without Reproach. Their biggest victory came with a 1:55 clocking in the $206,500 Pete Langley Memorial Final on Super Night at Sportsman's Park. Magee also drove Without Reproach to a 1:50 score in the $39,000 Illinois State Fair Final.

The top horse for Dave Magee in 1999 was Dreamaster. The two-year-old trotting colt had eight wins in 13 season's starts, with earnings of $228,729. The twosome captured the $95,000 American-National as well as a $61,200 Bluegrass division, the $47,662 Kentucky Sires Stakes (in a personal best time of 1:57.1), and the $40,000 Hayes Memorial. Dreamaster and Magee also combined for a third place showing in the $396,000 Valley Victory final, finishing third, just three-quarters of a length behind Fast Photo, the race winner. Other outstanding horses Magee has piloted include Chairmanoftheboard, Anniecrombie, Keystone Raider, Artsplace, Continentalvictory, Artiscape and Island Fantasy.

In 1994 Dave Magee was named the Harness Tracks of America Driver of the Year. The following year, he was chosen to represent the United States in the World Driving Championship. He came away the winner. As of 1999, David Magee has racked up 46,333 starts, 8,363 firsts, 6,703 seconds and 6,059 thirds. His Universal Driver Rating is .304 and he has won over $61 million in purses. Dave Magee became a member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2000.

Published in the Harness Racing Museum's 2001 Souvenir Journal