As one of the most historic Thoroughbred operations in the States, the Phipps family has bred and raced premium-level bloodstock for the better part of a century. But one of the best Phipps families is also one of its youngest.
Gladys Mills Phipps began her racing and breeding operation with stock from the Whitney family stud, and her son Ogden Phipps was one of three men who purchased the bloodstock from E.R. Bradley’s Idle Hour Farm after Bradley’s death more than 60 years ago.
Those bloodstock holdings propelled Wheatley Stable and the Ogden Phipps Stable to championships in racing and to a leadership position among people who breed and race Thoroughbreds.
One of the distinguishing aspects of the Phippses’ interest in the sport, however, has been that they have continued to seek out new bloodlines, to refresh and improve the ones they already possess, and not to allow their breeding and racing stock to become top-heavy with historic but nonetheless slow individuals.
So, it was not a surprise, that at the tag-end of the great bloodstock depression (1987-1992), the Phippses acquired a young prospect with a great pedigree who has become an increasingly important broodmare for the breeders and for American racing.
The young filly was Our Country Place, a 1992 daughter of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Pleasant Colony out of Alabama Stakes winner Maplejinsky. This was very high-end classic breeding, but this filly never started.
When put into the breeding band that has historically been boarded in Kentucky at Claiborne Farm, however, Our Country Place proved herself an important addition to the Phippses’ bloodstock. Of the mare’s first half-dozen foals, five were fillies, including her first foal, the G2 stakes winner Country Hideaway (Seeking the Gold), and the sixth, Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Pleasant Home (Seeking the Gold).
In between, Our Country Place produced two more fillies by the Phippses’ outstanding racehorse and sire Seeking the Gold, an unraced colt by that sire, and a nonwinning daughter of Pulpit.
Of these, the mare’s second foal Matlacha Pass has become the most important to the sport through her top-class daughter Pine Island and her current star of racing, the Dynaformer colt Point of Entry.
The latter is a bit of a departure for this family, which has gained so much fame and success through its fillies, but one of Maplejinsky’s siblings was the English Horse of the Year Dayjur, a son of Danzig and Gold Beauty with world-class speed and the most beautiful shape and quality.
The current produce record for Matlacha Pass follows: