Aiken-trained Sea Hero,  winner of 1993 Kentucky Derby, dies at age 29 1

Sea Hero, the 1993 Kentucky Derby winner who died recently, spent time at the Aiken Training Track, pictured here.

Sea Hero, who won the 1993 Kentucky Derby and was trained in Aiken, has died, the Turkish Jockey Club reported Friday.

The bay thoroughbred was 29 years old.

At the time of his death in Turkey, Sea Hero was the oldest living winner of the Run for the Roses.

Paul Mellon bred Sea Hero, who raced for Mellon’s Rokeby Stable and was trained by Mack Miller.

A son of the stallion Polish Navy, Sea Hero captured six of his 24 career races and earned $2,929,869.

In the Kentucky Derby, Sea Hero was sent off at odds of 12-1 in a field of 19 3-year-olds,

He settled in the middle of the pack early, but by the quarter pole, he had worked his way up in the pack to be just behind the leaders.

Sea Hero was running in between rivals when his jockey, Jerry Bailey, guided him through an opening on the inside in Churchill Downs’ upper stretch.

Afterward, the rallying Sea Hero found plenty of room where he could unleash his closing kick.

He scored a 2 and 1/2-length victory while completing 1 and 1/4 miles in 2:02.42 at Churchill Downs. Favored Prairie Bayou finished second, edging Wild Gale by a head.

Fourth finisher Personal Hope was only a neck behind Wild Gale at the wire.

In addition to the Kentucky Derby, Sea Hero won the 1992 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park in New York and the 1993 Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in New York.

After retiring from competition following the 1994 racing season, Sea Hero became a stallion at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky.

He got off to a slow start at stud, and the Turkish Jockey Club purchased him.

Sea Hero then was exported to Turkey for the 2000 breeding season.

Sea Hero retired from his stallion duties in 2016.

When Sea Hero was in Aiken, where Rokeby horses regularly spent the winter, he was based at the Aiken Training Track.

Go for Gin, 28, is now the oldest living Kentucky Derby winner. He captured the Run for the Roses in 1994.

​Dede Biles is the Aiken County government, business and horse industry reporter for the Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @DBethBiles.