Joan “Jody” Phillips, whose father started prominent Darby Dan Farm, died April 21 at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. She was 83.
Phillips’ father, John W. Galbreath, founded Darby Dan outside Columbus and later transferred the major part of the operation to Lexington on property that once was part of Col. E.R. Bradley’s historic Idle Hour Stock Farm. Darby Dan quickly became a world-class operation, represented by such classic winners as Roberto, Chateaugay, Little Current, and Proud Clarion. Darby Dan was the home for such renowned stallions as Ribot, Sea-Bird II, and Graustark.
Phillips, who played a major role in the Darby Dan tradition, saw her son, John Phillips, become head of Darby Dan following the death of her brother, Daniel Galbreath, in 1995. Under the younger Phillips’ direction, Darby Dan continues to play an important role in racing and breeding.
Among the stakes winners Jody Phillips bred and/or raced alone and in partnership were grade I winners Brian's Time, Memories of Silver, Plenty of Grace, Soaring Softly, Sunshine Forever, Tribulation, and Wonder Again. Soaring Softly was voted 1999 champion grass female after winning the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT). Sunshine Forever was a champion turf male.
Brian's Time, who placed in both the 1988 Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont (gr. I) Stakes, ended up in Japan, where he became a highly successful stallion.
Jody Phillips, in partnership with her late husband, James “Wally” Phillips, campaigned homebred stakes winners Fappiano Road and Rampart Road.
Phillips devoted time to numerous organizations. At Ohio University, she served as chairman of the board of trustees and was a lifetime member of the college’s foundation. She also was a founding member of the school’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.
In addition to her son, Phillips’ survivors include daughters Dianne, Debbie, and Cindy.