Miner's Mark, a grade I-winning son of Mr. Prospector out of the legendary Personal Ensign, was euthanized April 30 at Blue Ridge Farm near Middleburg, Va. He was 23.
Bred and raced by Ogden Phipps, Miner's Mark was trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, who will send out Stuart Janney III and the Phipps Stable's Orb in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
On the track, Miner's Mark won six of 18 starts, placed six times, and earned $967,170.
At 3, he got his shot on the Triple Crown trail and ran third in the Jim Beam Stakes (gr. II; now Spiral) at Turfway Park behind eventual Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Prairie Bayou. Miner's Mark was given a bit of a rest, then returned to win the nine-furlong Colin Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park in early June. After a runner-up effort in the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) he topped Virginia Rapids by a neck in the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course. Miner's Mark then ran third behind the Derby-winning Sea Hero in the grade I Travers Stakes.
After a poor effort in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I), Miner's Mark was part of a magical day for McGaughey by capturing the 1 1/4-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I). Of six graded stakes on the Oct. 16, 1993 card at Belmont Park, McGaughey won five, capped by Miner's Mark's nose win over Colonial Affair.
Miner's Mark was shipped to Southern California for the Breeders' Cup but was a disappointing 12th in the Classic (gr. I). He returned to the track at 4 but failed to win in four starts.
Miner's Mark was the first foal out of Personal Ensign, Phipps' grand undefeated racehorse and blue hen producer. The daughter of Private Account—Grecian Banner, by Hoist the Flag, was perfect in 16 starts, culminating with a historic victory in the 1988 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), considered by many to have been the greatest race in the history of the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Miner's Mark is a full brother to the grade I-placed Our Emblem, sire of the 2002 Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem, and a half brother to four-time grade I winner My Flag, who is the dam of 2002 champion 2-year-old filly Storm Flag Flying.
Retired to stud, Miner's Mark began his career at Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky., with a fee of $20,000. Standing for Phipps and Lane's End owner William S. Farish, Miner's Mark was there for five seasons. In 2001-02 he stood at Dunhill Stud near Reddick, Fla. In 2003 Miner's Mark was moved to Pin Oak Lane Farm near New Freedom, Pa. He then was moved to Blue Ridge Farm in 2004.
Miner's Mark is the sire of 325 foals from nine crops. He was the sire of 10 stakes winners including grade II winner Call Me Up and grade III winner Undermine.