• The Maryland-bred gelding Time to Bid recorded his 49th career victory at Laurel in the fall of his 12-year-old season, and remained in training in 1988 to aim for number 50. The son of Jig Time was special to G. Steven McKonly, who got his first win as owner with the chestnut gelding in November 1986, lost him a few starts later, and recently claimed him back.
McKonly noted that although no one could be sure how long the old campaigner would continue, “It is said that the horse knows his way around the barn so well that if he had hands, he could probably saddle himself up.”
Stakes placed earlier in his career, Time to Bid had racked up 176 starts and earned close to $240,000 while averaging 16 starts a year for 11 years, the majority in the claiming ranks.
Time to Bid got his 50th win on April 2, 1988, at Charles Town and was immediately retired by McKonly. The gelding had finished third or better in 118 of 179 starts and earned $241,247. He is the last North American runner to reach the 50-win milestone.
• Two members of the Phipps family having a profound impact in the region died in the fall of 1988.
Barbara Phipps Janney died on the last day of November at her Glyndon, Md., home. She was 76. Mrs. Janney, an accomplished rider and foxhunting enthusiast, would be forever linked, as the co-breeder and owner with her husband, Stuart S. Janney Jr., with the great filly Ruffian, who raced under the cherry and white silks of the Janneys’ Locust Hill Farm. Mrs. Janney was the daughter of Henry Carnegie Phipps and Gladys Mills Phipps. Her mother’s powerful Wheatley Stable raced the likes of champions Bold Ruler, Misty Morn and High Voltage.
Three days earlier, Mrs. Janney’s sister-in-law, Lillian Bostwick Phipps, died at 81 at her home in Summerville, S.C. Mrs. Phipps, wife of Mrs. Janney’s brother Ogden Phipps, campaigned Hall of Fame steeplechasers Neji and Oedipus as well as additional champion jumpers Ancestor, Mako, Top Bid and Straight and True. A longtime client of Maryland-based trainer D. Michael “Mikey” Smithwick, Mrs. Phipps was leading steeplechase owner 11 times.
• The 3-year-old filly Angelina County captured three stakes in a five-week span, capped by the Grade 3 Honey Bee Handicap at the Meadowlands Nov. 28. Bred and owned by Carey K. Miller, wife of prominent Washington, D.C., attorney Herbert “Jack” Miller, Angelina County was a daughter of Rollicking and Cleverness, and named for an area in Texas where many of Carey Miller’s friends and family lived. “Everyone in Angelina County, Texas, is both clever and rollicking,” explained Miller.
Angelina County won five stakes that season and was named champion Maryland-bred 3-year-old filly. She became a foundation broodmare for the Millers’ Millrace Farm, producing three stakes horses, including fillies Holiday Ball and Ribbon Cane, both multiple stakes winners for the Millers, as was Holiday Ball’s daughter Saxet Heights.