Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II)
(gr. II , 9f ,)
(DK B/ h,
Dixie Union Illicit , by Mr. Prospector
BPhipps Stable, KY.; OPhipps Stable; TClaude R. McGaughey III
Join in the Dance
(DK B/ h,
Sky Mesa Dance Darling , by Devil's Bag
BThe Answer LLC, KY.; OBallis, Jake, Lewis R., Swinbank, R., Ballis, R. and Swinbank, William; TTodd A. Pletcher
Runaway Groom Hasty Appeal , by World Appeal
BLuis de Hechavarria, FL.; OBlahut, Donald, Avila, Dennis, Johnson, Dave and Machowsky, Michael; TMichael Machowsky
Dixie Union enjoyed a fine Labor Day weekend when three of his offspringÑDixie Band, Hot Dixie Chick, and Gone AstrayÑwon graded stakes. While Dixie Band won the Sept. 5 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III), Hot Dixie Chick prevailed in the Sept. 6 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, and Phipps Stable homebred Gone Astray was on track for a convincing 91Ú4-length victory in the Sept. 7 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II).
It was the first stakes win for Gone Astray, a dark bay or brown son of Dixie Union who finished second in both the June 20 CoronadoÕs Quest Stakes at Monmouth Park and the Aug. 2 Curlin Stakes last out at Saratoga. With the Pennsylvania Derby now under his belt, Gone Astray boasts an overall record of 3-3-2 from 11 starts and earnings of $764,657.
Gone Astray was bred for success by Ogden Mills ÒDinnyÓ Phipps from the Mr. Prospector mare Illicit, who is a daughter of the champion Private Account mare Inside Information. Also campaigned as a Phipps homebred, Inside Information, who is a half-sister to millionaire Educated Risk (by Mr. Prospector), captured the 1995 BreedersÕ Cup Distaff and three other grade I races en route to being voted that yearÕs top older female.
Illicit is a half-sister to another Phipps champion homebred, Smuggler. The Unbridled filly won the 2005 Coaching Club American Oaks and Mother Goose Stakes (both gr. I) the year she was named champion 3-year-old filly.
Phipps, who is a director of Bessemer Trust, has a long and storied association with Thoroughbred racing, starting with his grandmother, Gladys Mills Phipps, and continued by his father, Ogden Phipps.
The Phipps family owned nine national or Eclipse Award champions, including Buckpasser, Easy Goer, and Personal Ensign. Carrying on his fatherÕs success, Dinny Phipps has raced three other Eclipse champions in addition to Inside Information and Smuggler: Storm Flag Flying, Rhythm, and Successor.
The Phippses have been longtime clients of the Hancock familyÕs Claiborne Farm. Gone Astray is a fifth generation Phipps homebred raised at the Paris, Ky.-based operation.
Illicit, who also produced the group III-placed GiantÕs Causeway mare Contentious, delivered a filly by Langfuhr Jan. 30. She is carrying a full sibling to Gone Astray on a Feb. 27 cover date.
Dixie Union is the sire of 31 stakes winners. Among his 10 stakes winners of 2009 is Sept. 6 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) winner Hot Dixie Chick. Dixie Union stood the 2009 season for $35,000 at Will FarishÕs LaneÕs End Farm near Versailles, Ky.ÑE.M.