04/02/2002 1:00AM

New generation bears family tradition

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LAS VEGAS - Two-year-olds began racing last month at two and three furlongs, but the pace will pick up significantly this month with the opening of Keeneland, and, next month, Belmont Park. So it seems only fitting for a review of the Phipps family juveniles. The Phipps family is truly the last of Thoroughbred racing's great dynasties, and although it has been a while since their heyday of the 1960's, they continue to be a force.

It was commonplace to see either the purple and yellow silks of Wheatley Stable (Mrs. Henry Carnegie Phipps) or the black and cherry silks of her son, Ogden Phipps, winning the majority of important 2-year-old stakes and many championships during the 1960's.

In 1963, Tosmah was voted champion 2-year-old filly by Daily Racing Form, but the Thoroughbred Racing Association selected Castle Forbes from Wheatley Stable. Joining the Phippses' elite broodmare band, Castle Forbes produced a Hopeful Stakes winner, Irish Castle, the sire of Bold Forbes.

The Phippses' 2-year-olds reigned supreme from 1964 through 1967 with four champion colts: Bold Lad, Buckpasser, Successor (Bold Lad's full brother), and Vitriolic. Bold Lad, Successor, and Vitriolic were by Wheatley stallion Bold Ruler, while Buckpasser was by Tom Fool. Bold Lad was such an outstanding juvenile that he was honored at 130 pounds in the Experimental Handicap, the first colt to reach that lofty plateau since Native Dancer, in 1952. Since 1964, only five 2-year-olds were weighted above the standard 126 pounds - Silent Screen (128), Secretariat (129), Foolish Pleasure (127), Devil's Bag (128), and Arazi (130).

The Phipps family swept juvenile colt and filly championships in 1964 (with Bold Lad and Queen Empress) and again in 1967 (with Vitriolic and Queen of the Stage). Reviewer, winner of the Sapling Stakes in 1968, looked like the Phippses' next 2-year-old champion until he got hurt and finished second behind eventual champion Top Knight in the Hopeful Stakes.

Since the 1960's, the Phippses have bred and raced three juvenile champions, Numbered Account (from Buckpasser's first crop), 1971's champion 2-year-old filly, and Easy Goer, champion 2-year-old colt of 1988, and Rhythm, 2-year-old champion of 1989.

Introducing fresh bloodlines to their elite broodmare band was a major reason for the Phippses' success. In addition to acquiring mares from other exceptional female families, they also bred to a variety of new stallions every year. Their current crop of 2-year-olds are by a diverse group of stallions, such as A.P. Indy, Benny the Dip, Pulpit, Seeking the Gold, and Storm Cat, as well as a couple of colts from the first crop of Coronado's Quest.

One filly who should attract plenty of attention is Possibility, a daughter of A.P. Indy out of undefeated champion Personal Ensign. As a broodmare, Personal Ensign produced Grade I stakes winners Miner's Mark, My Flag, and Traditionally, as well as stakes-placed Our Emblem. Personal Ensign almost died trying to deliver her 1998 Mr. Prospector foal, and it took her more than a year to recover from infections and surgery. She was not bred in 1998 and was bred to A.P. Indy in 1999, producing Possibility in 2000.

The Phipps 2-year-old crop includes these promising horses.

Fillies:

Disrupt (Deputy Minister-Dispute, by Danzig). Stakes-winning dam full sister to Adjudicating and half-sister to Time for a Change.

Good Talk (Private Terms-Freedom of Speech, by Danzig). Half-sister to Finder's Fee. Second dam is stakes winner Fantastic Find.

Possibility (A.P. Indy-Personal Ensign, by Private Account) Half-sister to Miner's Mark, My Flag, Traditionally and Our Emblem.

Preaching (Pulpit-Our Country Place, by Pleasant Colony). Half-sister to Country Hideaway and dam is a half-sister to champion Sky Beauty.

Smoothly (Benny the Dip-Highest Regard, by Gallant Romeo). Half-sister to stakes winners Awe Inspiring and Recognizable.

So Brilliant (A.P. Indy-Get Lucky, by Mr. Prospector). Full sister to stakes winner, Accelerator. Second dam is a stakes winner, Dance Number.

Storm Flag Flying (Storm Cat-My Flag, by Easy Goer). Dam was second in Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and third in Belmont Stakes.

Colts:

Actor (Seeking the Gold-Recognizable, by Seattle Slew). Dam is a three-quarter sister to Awe Inspiring

A Great Team (A.P. Indy-Pennant Champion, by Mr. Prospector). Dam is a full sister to Miner's Mark, Traditionally, and Our Emblem and half to My Flag.

Devil's Cowboy (Devil's Bag-For Kicks, by Topsider). Dam is a half-sister to Versailles Treaty.

Devious (Danzig-Inside Information, by Private Account). Dam champion older mare and half-sister to stakes winner, Educated Risk.

Highlighted (Coronado's Quest-Private Light, by Private Account). Female family of champion Kona Gold and stakes winners Caller One and Cassidy.

Negotiation (Coronado's Quest-Versailles Treaty, by Danzig). Half-brother to stakes winner Saarland out of multiple stakes-winning dam.

Private Ambition (Private Terms-Extravagant Woman, by Alydar). Half-sister to Living Vicariously. Female family produced Goodbye Halo, Mining, Wavering Monarch.

Sailaway (Our Emblem-Infinite, by Majestic Light). Third dam is legendary broodmare, Grey Flight, who produced nine stakes winners.

Well Worth It (Seeking the Gold-Oh What a Dance, by Nijinsky II). Full brother to Heavenly Prize, Hunting Hard. Dam full to Dancing Spree, Dancing All Night.

(Unnamed) (Devil's Bag-Duty Dance, by Nijinsky II). Half-brother to Party Manners. Dam is a turf stakes winner.