Ogden Mills Phipps, owner and horse racing giant, dies at 75

AP News
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Posted: Apr 07, 2016 4:31 PM
Ogden Mills Phipps, owner and horse racing giant, dies at 75

NEW YORK (AP) — Ogden Mills "Dinny" Phipps, a prominent thoroughbred owner and breeder whose stable produced 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb, has died. He was 75.

Phipps died Wednesday night at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, The Jockey Club said Thursday. The horse racing organization, of which Phipps was once its longtime chairman, did not give a cause of death.

Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, called Phipps "a deeply committed leader, sportsman, steward and advocate for the sport he loved."

Phipps Stable ran many winners of top races, notably Orb, a horse he owned in partnership with his cousin Stuart S. Janney III.

"There is no area of American racing that was not touched — and positively so — by Mr. Phipps and his influence," Churchill Downs President Kevin Flanery said. He added that seeing Phipps in the winner's circle at the 2013 Derby will "always rank among the most wonderful moments in the recent history of the Run for the Roses and American racing."

Phipps' list of star horses was daunting. He owned and raced Successor, the champion juvenile colt of 1966; Rhythm, the champion 2-year-old colt of 1989 and 1990 Travers winner; Inside Information, the champion older filly or mare of 1995; Storm Flag Flying, the 2-year-old filly champion of 2002; and Smuggler, the 3-year-old filly champion of 2005.

Craig Fravel, Breeders' Cup president and CEO, said Phipps' accomplishments as a breeder and owner were unmatched.

"We are indebted to Dinny for his numerous contributions to what is right about our game and for speaking out when we fell short," he said.

Phipps was chairman of The Jockey Club from 1983 to 2015, the longest service in that post in an organization dating to 1894. The group's main responsibility is to maintain the stud book of American horses and ensure the welfare of thoroughbreds in North America.

Phipps also was chairman of the New York Racing Association from 1976 to 1983. On Saturday, he will be honored at Aqueduct Racetrack.

"He was a giant of a man, both in life and in the industry," said Michael J. Del Giudice, Vice-Chairman of NYRA's Board of Directors. "On behalf of the entire NYRA board, we extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones."

In a speech in Paris in 2014, Phipps spoke of his devotion to racing.

"Quite simply, I see it as a way of giving back to a sport that has provided me with so much enjoyment," he said. "That was probably passed on to me from my dad, and I try to instill that sense of responsibility and commitment in my kids."

Phipps also was a financier of considerable standing. From 1976 to 1994, he was chairman of the Board of Bessemer Trust, the private bank and investment adviser established by the Phipps family in 1907. He was chairman of Bessemer Securities Corp. from 1982 until 1994. He served on the two boards until he retired in 2015.

Phipps was the great-grandson of Henry Phipps, the partner of the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. He was also the grandson of Henry Carnegie Phipps and Gladys Livingston Mills Phipps; and the son of Lillian Bostwick Phipps, who died in 1987, and Ogden Phipps, who died in 2002.

Phipps was born in New York and lived in Palm Beach, Florida. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Andrea; children Kayce, Kelley, Lilly, Daisy, Samantha and Ogden; and 24 grandchildren. His sister, Cynthia Phipps, died in 2007.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.