Phil Sims
Trainer Bios

Phil Sims

Born: September 26, 1961 in Flemingsburg, Ky.

Record at Keeneland

Total Wins: 55

Stakes Wins: 2

Career Firsts

First Grade 1 Win: 2009 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland with Hot Cha Cha

First Stakes Win: 1983 Addy Boy Handicap at Keystone with Brother George

First Graded Stakes Win: 2009 Bourbonette (G3) at Turfway Park with Hot Cha Cha

First Career Win: Dec. 13, 1981, at Latonia with Bodash

At Keeneland

First Keeneland winner came during the 1986 Spring Meet.

First Keeneland stakes win was the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) with Hot Cha Cha. That performance gave Sims the first Grade 1 victory of his career.

Won the 2014 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) with Don’t Tell Sophia.


Stable is based year-round at Keeneland.

North American career earnings exceed $12 million with 473 wins through Dec. 3, 2018.

2017 earnings were $631,397 with 19 wins.

2016 earnings were $672,781 with 26 wins, including the Wise Dan (G2) with Pleuven (FR).

2015 earnings were $296,398 with nine wins.

2014 earnings were $1,449,644 with 18 wins, highlighted by Don’t Tell Sophia’s victories in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) at Keeneland and Chilukki (G2) at Churchill Downs.

Sims trained Don’t Tell Sophia and co-owned her with Jerry Naimy. After winning the 2014 Juddmonte Spinster (G1), Don’t Tell Sophia ran second in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). At Keeneland's 2015 November Breeding Stock Sale, they sold Don't Tell Sophia, in foal to Medaglia d'Oro, for $1.2 million to Katsumi Yoshida of Japan.

Won four stakes with Hot Cha Cha: 2009 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland, Pucker Up (G3) at Arlington and Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway and 2010 Early Times Mint Julep (G3) at Churchill. Hot Cha Cha was his first starter in the Breeders' Cup World Championships.



Phil grew up on his family’s farm in Flemingsburg, Ky., northeast of Lexington. The farm was mainly a cattle and tobacco operation, and the family dabbled in Thoroughbred breeding.

“My father had broodmares when I was a teenager, and we’d race a few fillies now and then,” Phil told Steve Klein of Daily Racing Form in 2007. “Some of the young fillies didn’t get in foal, so I started training them, a couple at a time and it snow balled from there.”

Phil, who attended the University of Kentucky, sent out his first starter in 1980 and won his first race the next year.