Only a handful of racing thoroughbreds have retired undefeated and fillies, even lesser. One of the greatest fillies ever run and never seen a defeat was Personal Ensign, a Champion American Older Female Horse raced during 1986-1988 and also continued as a distinguished broodmare recognized with the Kentucky Broodmare of the Year in 1996.
Personal Ensign was bred and owned by Ogden Phipps. She was by the famous champion sire, Private Account, whose progeny includes millionaires, out of Hoist The Flag mare, Grecian Banner.
Hoist The Flag, her damsire was a Champion Two Year Old and also a leading broodmare sire in America in 1987. In his entire career, Hoist The Flag sired American Champion Two Year Old Filly, Sensational (1976) and European Horse of the Year, Alleged (1977). He was also the dam sire of American Champion Three Year Old Filly, Sacahuista (1987) and Personal Ensign herself, who’s later go on to become #48 on the top 100 greatest thoroughbreds of American and also be inducted into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame.
As a two year old, Personal Ensign started only twice winning both. She broke her maiden in an allowance race moving forward to win her next and only other start as a two year old in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes winning it as well. Little did her connections know how she would go on to stay undefeated throughout following a fracture in her pastern bone that almost cut short her entire racing career?
After a decent layoff following her surgery, Personal Ensign returned to form winning two consecutive allowance races signifying that she was indeed, back.
She went on to win the Grade 2 Rare Perfume Stakes followed by a significant win in the Grade 1 Beldame Stakes for three year and older fillies. Personal Ensign returned as an older female in 1988 to conquer the Grade 1 Shuvee Handicap and Hempstead Handicap. She also won the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher Handicap and the Grade 1 Maskette Stakes. Another stamp of her strength and calibre was the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap win which she accomplished against a field comprising of males.
Personal Ensign added another feather to her cap by winning the Beldame Stakes twice moving on to the Breeder’s Cup Distaff. Before retiring to broodmare duties, Personal Ensign started one last time to win the Breeder’s Cup Distaff as the first undefeated American thoroughbred in a tenure that is claimed to be almost 80 years long.
As a broodmare, Personal Ensign produced Kentucky Derby winner, War Emblem’s sire, Our Emblem and also multiple graded stakes winner, My Flag who was sired by the champion thoroughbred, Easy Goer.
Personal Ensign retired with career earnings of $1.6 million with great progeny earnings.
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