05/02/2013 1:39PM

Miner’s Mark, Grade 1 winner and sire, dead at 23


Miner’s Mark, who beat Colonial Affair by a nose to win the 1993 Jockey Club Gold Cup, was euthanized on April 30 at Blue Ridge Farm in Upperville, Va., his caretaker Patricia Ramey confirmed Thursday.

The Mr. Prospector horse was 23 and had been at Blue Ridge since 2004. Before that, he stood at Lane’s End in Kentucky, Dunhill Stud in Florida, and Pin Oak Lane in Pennsylvania.

“He had an old, old stifle injury that just started taking too much out of him,” Ramey said. “But he was full of piss and vinegar, and he had a good life. He had a lot of spirit and was really feisty.”

A homebred for Ogden Phipps and trained by Shug McGaughey, Miner’s Mark won the Jockey Club Gold Cup and a pair of other graded races in 1993, scoring a 5 1/2-length tally in the Colin Stakes before beating Virginia Rapids and Colonial Affair in the Jim Dandy. He also was second behind Cherokee Run in the Dwyer and third in Sea Hero’s Travers and in Prairie Bayou’s Jim Beam Stakes that year. He retired with six wins from 18 starts and earnings of $967,160.

Miner’s Mark was a popular runner partly because of his regal pedigree. He was the much-anticipated first foal out of the great racemare Personal Ensign, the undefeated 1988 champion older female. She went on to produce Miner’s Mark’s full siblings, Grade 1 winner Traditionally and Grade 1-placed Our Emblem, and his half-sibling My Flag, a four-time Grade 1 winner by Easy Goer. Personal Ensign was named Broodmare of the Year in 1996.

At stud, Miner’s Mark sired graded stakes winners Call Me Up and Undermine and stakes winners Miner’s Prize and Miner’s Trick, among others. He also got the Brazilian champion juvenile filly Medalha Milagrosa. He has progeny earnings of more than $12.7 million.

Miner’s Mark was cremated, and his ashes have been buried at Blue Ridge Farm, Ramey said.