The Legacy of Ogden Phipps and the 2022 Girl Rush

June 8, 2022

By Kate Richards

Ogden Phipps would have loved this year’s version of his namesake race.
Seven racemares, each with pedigrees, wily trainers, pilots and personable connections, will contest the mile 1/16, 8.5 furlongs on the June 11 Belmont Stakes under card. Three races brought this field together: The Apple Blossom Handicap, The Ruffian and the unusually named Keeneland ‘DoubleDogDare’. Moreover, most of the talented field has faced each other. Returning Ogden Phipps ‘21 champion LETRUSKA (Super Saver), CLARIERE (Curlin) and CECE (Elusive Quality) ran first, second and third, respectively in the Apple Blossom. Chad Brown’s SEARCH RESULTS (Flatter) and ROYAL FLAG (Candy Ride) went one and two in the Belmont-based Ruffian Stakes. MALATHATT (Curlin) bested the 2021 winner BONNY SOUTH (Munnings) in the 2022 Double Dog Dare.

His son, Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps was quoted in a Sydney, Australia obituary, upon the senior Phipps’ death in 2002.
“Horse racing was his first love…he loved his horses for a long period of time. What he like to do was develop a filly, have her race well on the track and then go back to the farm and produce something he could watch.” (Sydney Morning Herald, April,2002)

The race named the ‘Ogden Phipps Stakes’ in 2002, honoring the grand-son of the Bessemer Trust founder and Andrew Carnegie partner, Henry Phipps. Ogden Phipps, his children and their children have played a significant role in the service to and the growth of, the American sport of thoroughbred racing. Surnames like Janney, Mills and Guest alongside Phipps are notable connections in the form of Ruffian, Bold Ruler, Easy Goer, Personal Ensign and Buck Passer that were some of over 250 stakes winners that can be called homebreds. Would for an unlucky coin toss with Christopher Chenery, a chestnut colt that became SECRETARIAT would have been saddled under the jockey’s black and red silks of the Phipps barn.

To understand the dedication of the Phipps family to racing, one begins with the tenacity and vision of the founder of the family fortune, Henry Phipps. As is true today, the 1800’s media, then cartoonists and novelists, found models for their characters among the industrial titans and their children. Charles Dana Gibson found his standard in Henry Phipps for a series involving a “Mr. Pipps”, not to be confused with Charles Dickens’ Mr. Pip. One series by Gibson had Mr. Pipp leading his daughters into the wiles of the European aristocratic culture and then reacting to his grand daughters becoming flappers rather than correct debutantes. Evidently, Mr. Phipps, shrugging off the charicature that depicted his itinerary, developed a taste for bagpipes, English racing and the Scottish countryside. One daughter, Amy, later became the principal backer of aviatrix, Amelia Earhart. Phipps also saw the future in Atlantic coastal real estate and at one time Henry and his sons owned upwards of 23 miles of coastal property stretching from Palm

Beach to Ft. Lauderdale. As one of the titans that saw philanthropy as duty, subsequent generations of the Phipps family numbering in the hundreds have continued the work of the Bessemer Foundation. Another quality that has never skipped a generation was the love of horses and most particularly, racing.

(Forbes)

The grandson and namesake of the Belmont distaff race, Ogden Phipps came into racing, directly, as a breeder and director of the Phipps’ racing efforts, after serving as a Navy Commander in World War II. Purchasing a group of thoroughbred bloodstock from fellow Palm Beacher, Col. E.R. Bradley, he became a student of pedigrees, later turning his highly tuned Navy managerial skills into service as a twenty-year chairman of the American Jockey Club. In 1959, Phipps became one of the founders of the New York Racing Association aka NYRA. Closely affiliated with Claiborne Farm, it was through his inheritance from his mother, Gladys Mills Phipps, that led to the mating of her beloved stallion, Bold Ruler, to Christopher Chenery’s mare, Something Royal, producing, in successive seasons, a filly and then a colt. The storied coin toss awarded the colt, the future Secretariat, to Chenery and Phipps got the filly. Another of Bold Ruler’s sons, called Reviewer, was later bred to Phipps’s son in law’s Native Dancer mare, Shenanigans, producing the legendary, yet tragic filly, Ruffian.

Three 2021 Eclipse award winners Malathaat (3-yr.old filly) Ce Ce (Female Sprinter) and Letruska (Older Dirt Female) and will rumble with four significant racemares in the Ogden Phipps Handicap, 2022 on Belmont Stakes Day.

Ogden Phipps would have liked this race.

Photo: NYRA Photo, Coglianese Photos

@PastTheWire Thank you for that article. I was 11yrs old watching race on TV & remember it like yesterday.Great article #GreatHorse #Ruffian

Ed Cofiño (@ItsmeEddieC) View testimonials

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