Wings of Grace, dam of champion Soaring Softly and grade I winner Plenty of Grace, died Feb. 12 from foaling complications at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington. The 25-year-old mare lost her Repriced offspring prior to the difficulties.
"She was a fine, old mare," said Wayne Sweezey, co-managing partner of Darby Dan with John Phillips. "We were going to pension her after this foaling season."
Millionaire Soaring Softy, whose big win came in the inaugural Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) the year she was 1999 female turf champion, raced for John Phillips and his mother, Jody, in the name Phillips Racing Partnership. The daughter of Kris S. won three other graded stakes that year, including the Flower Bowl Invitational Handicap (gr. I).
Jody Phillips' father, John Galbreath, founded Darby Dan, and he and his wife bred Wings of Grace. A granddaughter of Darby Dan stallion Graustark, Wings of Grace (Key to the Mint--Far Beyond, by Nijinsky II) won six of 20 races, including the 1981 Boiling Springs Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Meadowlands, and earned $121,157. She was retired from racing in 1982 and produced her first foal the following year.
Wings of Grace produced 16 foals, including seven winners. Plenty of Grace, by Darby Dan stallion Roberto, captured the 1990 Yellow Ribbon Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) as a 3-year-old and several other graded stakes during her career. Another daughter of Wings of Grace, Jody G.. is the dam of three stakes winners, two of which are graded.
Soaring Softly, Plenty of Grace, and Jody G. are members of the Darby Dan broodmare band. Soaring Softly is in foal to Seeking the Gold and is booked to Gone West. Plenty of Grace is barren and will be bred to Elusive Quality. Jody G. is in foal to Kingmambo and is booked to farm stallion Behrens.
Wings of Grace will be buried at Darby Dan.