Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Glowing Tribute

Maybe it’s not the first thing you see when you enter the “backyard” at Saratoga, but when your eyes find the paddock, it’s powerful. The beautiful bronze of the 1993 Kentucky Derby/Travers winner, Sea Hero, is a majestic tribute to the horse and his owner/breeder Paul Mellon. Or maybe “glowing tribute”, would be a better description.

Bred in Virginia, by his owner’s Rokeby Stable, Sea Hero was by Polish Navy ( by Danzig) out of Glowing Tribute, (by Graustark). With Sea Hero, winning the Kentucky Derby, Paul Mellon became the only owner to ever win the 3 Classics, the Kentucky Derby, The Epsom Derby and the Prix de l’Arc de Triumph.

Sea Hero’s dam, Glowing Tribute was a multiple stakes winner on grass ( including The Diana at Saratoga) and the 1993 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year. In addition to Sea Hero, Glowing Tribute had 6 additional stakes winners, including Hero’s Honor, Glowing Honor, ( who won the Diana TWICE) Mackie and Coronation Cup.

Another “tribute” to Mr. Mellon at Saratoga, is the Mellon Turf Course. One of three separate courses at the oval, the “Mellon” is the OUTER turf course and is one mile and 98 feet.

When I see Sea Hero in the paddock this year, I will be reminded of the incredible tribute that this is, and how significant Paul Mellon and his racing dynasty was to our sport. In addition, as important as Mr. Mellon was to horse racing, I think horse racing was very important to Paul Mellon. Click here, to read the entire original poem entitled "Thoroughbreds", by Paul Mellon.

In his own words:

"Though some may think and I'll agree

That only God can make a tree,

Before God thought of trees, it's said,

His mind was on the Thoroughbred."


  1. Of all the great ones to have raced at Saratoga over the many decades. It had to be Sea Hero who got a statue in his honor! Go figure.

    But Mellon and (trainer Mack) Miller was quite the team when I was first starting out. These were true horse people and sportsmen. We could use a few more of them in modern racing.

  2. Hi Knight Sky,
    You know, I used to think that way too,but maybe it was done more for Mr. Mellon, than anything else, and I'm OK with that. He was a giant in the industry, and in the modern day, those types are few and far between. Plus there's only been a handful of Derby Winners that have gone on to win the Travers.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Classic......... enough said....

  4. I also have vivid and fond memories of Paul Mellon's presence at Saratoga - those distinctive colors, the thrill of seeing Rokeby Stables and Mack Miller in the program (meaning their horse was an automatic "use") and, of course, the Glowing Honor-Wooing-Love You By Heart Diana in 1989.

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