Go for Gin, the horse who won the 1994 Kentucky Derby and was the race’s oldest living winner, has died at age 31.
Go For Gin died Tuesday, March 8th, of heart failure at the Kentucky Horse Park, according to their web site. Since retiring from stud in June 2011, he had resided there.
The Kentucky-bred son of Cormorant and Never Knock by Stage Door Johnny, trained by Nick Zito, won five times with seven seconds and two thirds in 19 starts. He earned over $1.380 million throughout his career, and his descendants have made more than $16.5 million.
Go For Gin started the 120th Derby from the No. 8 post on a sloppy track, but was ahead by the half-mile point on the way to a two-length triumph over Strodes Creek. After breaking poorly from the No Yarrow finished 12th, having broken sharpish from the fourth post.
McCarron was saddened to learn of the horse’s passing, publicly saying, “My memories of him giving me a second Kentucky Derby victory will remain indelible in my heart for as long as I live. Rest in peace, my old pal.”
Go For Gin finished second to Tabasco Cat in both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes by three-fourths and two lengths respectively.
Kentucky Horse Park executive director Lee Carter expressed his sadness at the loss of Go For Gin, who he called ambassador for the park. G will be laid to rest in a ceremony at the Memorial Walk of Champions, with a public memorial service to be held at a later date.