05/04/2013 9:54PM

Kentucky Derby: Orb delivers for Phipps, Janney

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Tom Keyser
Ogden Mills Phipps (left) and his cousin Stuart Janney III (center) are partners in the ownership of Orb.

Sitting in the interview room at Churchill Downs on Saturday evening, Ogden Mills "Dinny" Phipps averted his gaze to watch a nearby replay of the 139th Kentucky Derby over and over. Each time, the result was the same—Orb, the homebred colt he owns in partnership with his cousin, Stuart S. Janney III, splashing home in the mud to overpower a strong field of 3-year-olds in America's most famed race.

The replay wasn't getting old, though.

"I've enjoyed every one of them," Phipps said, chuckling.

Orb delivered one of Thoroughbred racing's most prominent families the Kentucky Derby victory that had been missing from its résumé, as the Malibu Moon colt became the seventh homebred to win the race in the last 11 years.

"I think it's terrific, absolutely wonderful," Phipps said. "It's really the culmination of horse racing, and I am thrilled to be here today."

Phipps, 72, said he began attending races at Churchill Downs when his grandmother Gladys Mills Phipps was campaigning classic winner and eventual leading sire Bold Ruler in 1957. Gladys's son, Ogden Phipps—Ogden Mills Phipps's father—followed her into the game and bred nine champions, including Buckpasser, 1989 Belmont Stakes winner Easy Goer, and the unbeaten Personal Ensign. Following in those footsteps, Phipps has bred and owned five champions, including Rhythm, Inside Information, and Storm Flag Flying, a granddaughter of Personal Ensign.

Like Phipps, his cousin Janney followed his parents, who were best known for breeding and racing the brilliant but ill-fated champion Ruffian, into the sport. However, following the deaths of Stuart Jr., and Barbara Janney, their son considered stepping back from the industry. It was his uncle, Ogden Phipps, who convinced the younger Janney to remain involved with the sport, agreeing to partner with him on his horses. After Ogden Phipps died in 2002, his son, Ogden Mills, continued to campaign horses in partnership with his cousin.

"This horse's bloodline goes back to our grandmother," Janney said. "And Dinny's father was very instrumental in getting me to take over my parents' horses 20-some years ago. And so I just couldn't be more delighted that we're doing this together."

Both Phipps and Janney secured the Kentucky Derby victory that had eluded their parents. Ogden Phipps started three horses in the Kentucky Derby with a pair of runner-up finishes, including one by eventual champion Easy Goer in 1989 (that same year, Dinny Phipps sent out Awe Inspiring to finish third). Janney's parents, racing as Locust Hill Farm, finished ninth in the 1988 Derby with Private Terms.

Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, who also won his first Kentucky Derby, has been the longtime trainer for the Phipps and Janney families. He said being able to share the victory with that partnership was sweet.

"It is a huge thrill," McGaughey said. "I mean, the Phippses and Janneys have been my whole life for 20-some years now, and have really kind of given me everything I've got. I'm so appreciative to them. I'm extremely proud to be able to work with people such as this.

“To bring a day like today into all our lives is just a huge, huge thrill for me,” he added. “All I can do is just say, 'thanks' for the opportunity."