Racing lost one of its finest people when Hall Of Fame trainer Mack Miller passed away last week at the age of 89. Miller's most famous victory came in 1993 when he finally got his long-awaited Kentucky Derby victory with Sea Hero. That Derby win was not only the first for Miller, but also the first for owner Paul Mellon and the first for jockey Jerry Bailey.
Mellon owned Rokeby Stables, which had become renowned worldover for their Thoroughbred exploits. Rokeby owned Mill Reef, who won both the Epsom Derby and the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe in 1971. Miller took over as the Rokeby trainer in the mid-1970s and the pair proved to be quite successful. Miller would be inducted into the Horse Racing Hall Of Fame in 1987 for his excellent work throughout his training career, which started in 1950, with horses like Snow Knight and Fit To Fight, who is the last horse to win the New York Handicap Triple Crown (Metropolitan, Suburban and Brooklyn) in 1984. Fit To Fight would join a nice horse named Kelso on the list of Handicap Triple winners.
However, the 1993 Derby is the bit of nostalgia that capped off Miller's career. He finally won the Roses after 43 years as a trainer. He eventually retired from training two years after the historic Derby win. To watch the 1993 Kentucky Derby, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geL5IHZKAmQ.
Tune in again this week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!