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My Heart goes out to This Ones For Phil

This Ones For Phil 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

 

I wrote the article below nearly four years ago. My father has since made a full recovery from his brush with death, and Candice, Kendra, and I are looking forward to his next visit on Saturday. Now I am worried about the horse that joined my father as the subject of that piece. I fear what will become of This Ones For Phil. Since being claimed from owners Paul Pompa Jr., Jack Mandato and Michael Dubb in May by Midwest Thoroughbreds, This Ones For Phil has run twice, and the results have not been good.


On July 24 at Delaware Park, the seven-year-old gelding made his first start for trainer Jamie Ness, and trailed every step around in a $40,000 optional claimer as the 11-10 favorite. Today, he ran for a tag of just $16,000 in a claiming sprint at Laurel Park. In this race, he did show a little speed, but had no real drive to compete, and came home 7th in the 8-horse field as the 3-1 second choice. Unclaimed, it’s hard to know where This Ones For Phil may turn up next.

 


An earner of more than three-quarters of a million, This Ones For Phil has won several stakes in his career, and I will not soon forget the afternoon he battled future Sprint Champion, Big Drama, down the stretch of Gulfstream Park in the Grade 2 Swale Stakes. That day back in 2009, when the talented pair ran the seven furlongs in a stakes record time of 1:20.88, Big Drama got to the wire just ahead, but This Ones For Phil was declared the winner because of interference. It was a great race. The future was bright for the grandson of Unbridled.

 


Now his future is murky and uncertain. He would seem to me to be a horse who has more than earned a retirement, and a dignified existence after racing. Wouldn’t you agree?


*******************

 

One of the fastest three-year-olds of 2009 returns to stakes racing this Saturday at Calder in the Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap. This Ones For Phil, winner of the Sunshine Millions Dash and the Swale Stakes, had been away from the races since the Spring, before returning after nearly six months to win a sharp allowance at Laurel. Trained by Rick Dutrow, the chestnut son of Untuttable flourished for Dutrow in Florida last Winter. I expect This Ones For Phil, a gelding, to be a major player in the big sprints of 2010 and possibly for years to come, but today’s column is not about This Ones For Phil the racehorse.


This Ones For Phil. This column is for my Dad, Phil Zipse.


My father nearly passed away on Sunday. Fortunately, he was already at the hospital with symptoms, when his heart stopped. He was revived and diagnosed in need of bypass surgery. Sunday afternoon he underwent quadruple bypass surgery and is currently in the early stages of recovery. The prognosis is good. At this time, I can not put into words what suddenly, almost losing him felt like. Nor am I skilled enough a writer to completely explain what he means to me, so instead, I will tell you a little about our connection together with horses.


The original Zipse at the Track, my father instilled a love of horses and racing into his two sons. My brother and I were good athletes and Dad always spent time to help us improve at certain sports. We were both pitchers and I can’t tell you how many times he got into a catcher’s crouch for us, but it was the trips to the racetrack that I remember best. Because of my Dad, we went all the time. He would rarely ever go without his two boys. Many of my best childhood memories, were at Belmont, Saratoga or Monmouth Park. I love racing today, as does my brother, solely because of Phil Zipse. I remember Secretariat, Sham, and Stop the Music. I remember Forego, Wajima, and Ruffian. These horses ran when I was very young and I remember them because of my Dad.


My father did not become a fan until his late teens, but he made sure to teach his sons at a young age. He taught us how to read the Daily Racing Form. He taught us how to appreciate the horses physical attributes in the paddock. He taught us how to dismiss the underlay and how to spot the live longshot. He taught us how to appreciate the great athletes in motion through our eyes and our ears (he used to love to take us to the far turn for the day’s final race for the sound of the horses spinning out of the turn). Most of all, though he always made it special. Although we went to the races hundreds of times in my youth, It was always an event. I cherish those times.


When he was part of a small partnership that owned broodmares, we would make the long drive to the New York farm to visit and get to know our Explodent mares. Feeding carrots to a racehorse that we owned was something that small child will never forget. We never bred any stakes winners, but seeing one of our mares’ daughters win a state bred allowance race at Belmont was amazing.


To this day, horse racing is a mutual bond for the Zipse men. Something we will always have in common and something that will always bring us together in ways that I am sure many families will never know. It can be a catalyst for a family get together or just an opportunity for an extra phone call. I thank my Dad for all of this. Horse racing is only one of the things, I have to be thankful for from my father, but it is a big one.


I ask my readers, if they have any well wishes or prayers to spare, please send them on to my Dad. And to my Dad…I love you and I will forever be grateful for everything you have given me, and continue to give me throughout my lifetime. I know that you will recover and be back to yourself in no time. Get well soon Dad. 

 

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Older Comments about My Heart goes out to This Ones For Phil...

A once proud and talented stakes winner is now a seven-year-old gelding not competitive in a $15k claimer at Laurel. Image is more important than reality, though, so all I can do is hope for the safety of This Ones For Phil, destined for cheap races at Tampa Bay Downs to pad the winning stats of owner and trainer.
Thanks for clarifying, Donna Keen, and thanks as well for your wonderful work at RMR!
Donnakeen and Vicki Morgan. Thank you for the updates and corrections. Glad this horse will be fine and he landed into a very good situation.
Very sweet, Brian. Brought tears. Hope you have a wonderful visit with your dad.
This Horse Fan Page is for just this kind of horse. Everyone who reads my fan page lets put a couple of bucks together and if many of the fans of Horse Racing Nation do the same we could get This Ones For Phil a good forever home. These owners that collect the cash and provide no resting place for the blue collar horses that do all the grunt would have my ever lasting contempt. Yes it is a business, but most businesses have a pension plan and since horses have no say in the matter I think a pension plan for horses should be non optional. I am willing to help if you are fans. Lets make this one for Phil.
  • DonnaKeen1 · Let me give you a list of the 20 horses he has place through Remember Me Rescue if you believe that. Please google Rich Papiese before you make such accusasions. He turns these horses out at his own farm until they are ready to go to placement organizations and then funds them while they are their. He is the exception to the rule for sure. · 318 days ago
My name is Donna Keen, Remember Me Rescue. I have never met the owner of Midwest TB personally. But let me tell you what I do know. He is the only owner I know that does not allow ANY of his horses to be placed by trainers. Every horse after they retire goes to his personal farm in Florida for let down or rehab time before he places them with a rescue/placement organization. He not only donates the horses but gives enough money with each horse to pay for their expenses while they are being retrained. I have nothing but respect for this organization. They will not run a horse if he is unfit for racing, and when a horse is ready he will be retired. Just becuase a horse has fell off form does not mean he is unhappy with his track life or unsound. Please do a little research on Midwest and Rich Papiese, you will find he is a generous man who loves horses and horse racing. I can tell you about all of the things he has done for RMR and we have never even met him.
I beg to differ. Midwest Thoroughbreds does a fabulous job placing their horses after their careers are over. If this horse shows he doesn't want to run anymore, Midwest WILL do the right thing and place him either with Remember Me or another TB organization they work with. I have personally helped place over 20 Midwest runners since June. I wish all owners took care of their horses as well as Midwest at retirement.
Contact the owners and offer to take him....or keep you in mind if they do not know what to do with him...adoption is a great recourse
why dont u claim him
He's more than welcome to come to Colorado and live here with 2 other OTTBs and a mini pony.
I don't understand how we have trouble filling racing cards at many tracks because we don't have enough horses, but we have too many horses to provide them with a safe and secure home after their racing days. I have always believed that every breeder should contribute to a fund to provide decent retirements homes for all thoroughbreds. Is there any way that the Exceller fund that took Double Platinum could be contacted to help him?
Both nice pieces, Brian. I hope that someone with some extra real estate and loves horses can give him a nice home, and so many more like him. Its sad that we don't have anything set up for retired race horses, regardless of how they performed on the track....especially when former NFL players can win a lawsuit against the league after they've earned millions of dollars in salaries, endorsements and pensions from their bumps and bruises received on the playing field.
Thanks, Brian, I did not read your original 2009 post about your Dad and I know what a tremendous influence he has been in your life. I lost my Dad 30 years ago right around this time when he was 57. He would love what we do at HRN and I still miss him. I'm so glad you have your Dad. I hope I get to meet him one day!
Brian i know the horse well. This past spring he was in the barn of Rudy Rodriguez, Phil was a morning workout partner of Vyjacks,when he was prepping for the Triple Crown preps.When Vyjack had his huge 5F work prior to the Gotham,It was Phil that worked with him.I know Rudy always liked this horse and thought he always gave it his all. Unfortunately,he is now in what i call "The Factory" .That is when they go thru the assembly line.
Yes, I do agree with you Brian. This One's for Phil deserves better.

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