Retired trainer James J. "Jack" Phillips, 86, died April 11 at his home near Raton, N.M.
Phillips started training Quarter Horses before World War II and branched out to Thoroughbreds in the early 1950s prior to concentrating solely on Thoroughbreds starting in the early 1970s. He was a leading conditioner at La Mesa Park and other Southwest tracks.
At Hollywood Park, Phillips won the 1971 Miller High Life Premiere Handicap with Earl of Milldale and a division of the 1981 National Sprint Championship Stakes with Smokite. Smokite also won four stakes at Ak-Sar-Ben, including consecutive runnings of the Ak-Sar-Ben Handicap.
Phillips trained more than 15 stakes winners, including such rugged runners as Chatterly, a stakes winner from 1956-60, and Stake Driver, who won stakes four years in the 1970s. Phillips worked as a clocker and clerk of scales at The Downs at Albuquerque after retiring from training. He is survived by his sons, Jackie and Lory, and a daughter, Jo Ann.