Tag: dallas stewart

By Jennie Rees, Eclipse Award-winning freelance writer


As great as the unbeaten Hall of Fame filly Personal Ensign was on the racetrack, she was as memorable as a broodmare, an extremely rare combination.

Now, six years after Personal Ensign’s death, she could play a role in Saturday’s $500,000 Indiana Derby at Indiana Grand. Seeking Blame, who comes into the 1 1/16-mile, Grade II stakes off a strong maiden victory at Churchill Downs, is a son of Personal Ensign’s daughter Title Seeker.

Personal Ensign thrilled the racing world when, after rebounding from a potentially career-ending hind leg fracture at age 2, she got up on the last stride in the mud to beat Kentucky Derby heroine Winning Colors by a nose in the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Distaff. It remains one of the Breeders’ Cup’s most memorable races and allowed Personal Ensign to retire 13 for 13.

She was equally influential as a mom and grandma, producing two-time Grade I winner My Flag, who in turn produced the champion filly Storm Flag Flying — marking three generations of Breeders’ Cup winners. Personal Ensign also gave birth to Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Miner’s Mark, Grade I Oaklawn Handicap winner Traditionally and Our Emblem, a useful horse best known as the sire of 2002 Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem.

Personal Ensign’s nine foals to race all proved winners for owner-breeder Ogden Phipps and his family. Title Seeker, by 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, did not race and instead was sold as a 3-year-old at Keeneland’s November sale for $1.7 million to Charles Fipke, the geologist who helped found Canada’s first diamond mine. Title Seeker already has produced a graded-stakes winner in Seeking the Title.