Until Personal Ensign came along, this family did not seem to get much attention. And even now, her sons are tossed aside with early abandon. This year, we discovered the true worth of Personal Ensign. She is, in order, an unbeaten champion; a Broodmare of the Year who foaled a champion filly and the dam of a classic stallion (Our Emblem), sire of this year’s Kentucky Derby winner, War Emblem. That is one heck of a mare, no matter how you slice it.
But when you add other kin from this family like her full brother Personal Flag, plus Vanity winner *Dulcia; multiple G1 winner *Bastonero II; G1 winner Different and Luisant (Arg), a stakes winner in both the U.S. and Argentina, then you have quite a deep family. Keep in mind that there are other stakes horses in their native Argentina, too, like Caprice De Dieu (Arg), a champion at two, and Dandie (Arg), a Group 1 winner. The whole picture is quite a classy and unique family with something of an affinity for superior racing fillies.
The Personal Ensign branch of the family first came to the U.S. when Michael G. Phipps, cousin of Ogden Phipps, bought a colt by Aristophanes named *Dorileo as a yearling. *Dorileo did well for Michael and Ogden then purchased his full sister, *Dorine, who was the leading money-winner of her sex in Argentina upon her retirement.
*Dorine had already produced five foals in Argentina and she produced four more for Ogden Phipps, including stakes winners Our Hero and Climbing High and the winning Hoist the Flag mare Grecian Banner, dam of Personal Ensign and Personal Flag. Grecian Banner died in 1988 after producing seven foals. In addition to Personal Ensign and Personal Flag, she got their stakes producing full sister Private Colors and the winning Reviewer mare Wise Viewer, who produced a three-quarter brother to Personal Ensign, et. Al. named Take Account.
Perhaps the most important thing about the horses from this family is that they are bred on the same double Lady Juror cross as *Forli (Aristophanes/Advocate) and Lord At War (Aristophanes/Petition). Personal Ensign/Lord At War came together in the pedigree of War Emblem to create a double classic winner. These are natural crosses to classy speed and are a sound and unique way to inbreed to rather different strains which should, therefore, be acknowledged. With so much Northern Dance and Raise Native blood out there, it is a good thing to know of different types of successful crosses with an “outcrossed” feel.
While Brocade is the only Reine-de-Course from her family, Dona Ines is accompanied by Grecian Banner; Personal Ensign; Donnetta; and Desafiada. We have a feeling that Personal Ensign’s group, at the very least, will be around for a long time to come.
The Dona Ines article originally appeared in Pedlines #76. In a later addition Ellene noted that “…we do not feel we gave enough credit to *Dorine, whose branch of the family has prospered in Argentina. Ours is a world brought much closer these days by shuttling and we can no longer ignore other parts of the planet. Thus, to give *Dorine her due, we also welcome her to the Reine-de-Course list.