The Affectionately Story: Part III

Though the remarkable Searching was not a Jacobs homebred, her daughter Affectionately was, the product of the successful racing relationship between trainer Hirsch Jacobs and owner Isador Bieber. Unlike her mother, who raced twenty times without winning, Affectionately won nine of her first ten races, including three stakes races as a two-year-old, and in 1962, she was co-champion two-year-old filly. Hirsch Jacobs referred to this daughter of Swaps as “the best horse” he’d ever trained. (Then again, he said that about Hail to Reason, too.)

As did many Jacobs horses, Affectionately raced in the pink and green silks of Ethel Jacobs, and following the filly’s sixth consecutive win as a two-year-old, Ethel commented on Affectionately’s name:

“This filly is especially important to my family,” Mrs. Jacobs said. “Remember, she is the first daughter of Searching. Searching did so well for us. We were very careful in trying to name her, and we submitted about a dozen names to the Jockey Club before Affectionately was accepted.

One of the names we offered was First Lady. With all due respect to Mrs. Kennedy, we did not have her in mind. We merely wanted to stress that our horse was Searching’s first daughter.” (Nichols)

Proving that this impressive win streak as a two-year-old was no fluke, Affectionately continued her winning ways until she retired at age five; she won the Interborough Handicap in consecutive years, along with the Correction, the Vagrancy, and the Top Flight. At four, she capped a five-race win streak with a win over colts in the Vosburgh, just nine days after she beat ten boys in the Sports Page. Joseph Durso in the Times couldn’t resist employing a little feminist language when writing about her Vosburgh triumph:

Affectionately, a 4-year-old daughter of Swaps, taught eight colts never to underestimate the power of a woman when she won the Vosburgh Handicap at Aqueduct for her fifth straight success.

The battle of the sexes began in earnest at the five-sixteenths pole when Affectionately made her move against E. Day. She caught him at the quarter-pole, took first place moving into the stretch and withstood Braulio Baeza’s driving finish aboard Red Gar.

Baeza had been aboard Affectionately for that sixth consecutive win a few years prior; apparently, he did underestimate the power of a woman, or he might have been on the winner for this race, too.

Known as the “Queen of Queens,” Affectionately is ranked #81 on The Blood-Horse’s list of the top 100 race horses of the twentieth century. Altogether, Affectionately captured eighteen stakes titles, and her first foal was Personality, Horse of the Year in 1970. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989, a year after her dam.

Today’s renewal features no entrants likely to steal Affectionately’s nickname or threaten her reputation, which casts no aspersions on their accomplishments. They don’t have her breeding or her trainer, either. Let’s hope that they do have owners as devoted to them as Ethel Jacobs apparently was to her homebred, aptly-named championship mare. As Joe Durso noted, Affectionately made a lot of people happy:

Affectionately…endeared herself to people on all sides by her victory [in the Vosburgh]. Her owner collected $18,622.50 of the prize money of $28,650. Her backers collected $6.10 for $2. And her jockey, Howard Grant, who had come in from New Jersey to ride her, scored big in his one appearance of the day.

Only colts and their backers suffered.

Serves them right, I guess, for underestimating the power of this particular mare.

Durso, Joseph. “40,105 See Filly Win Fifth In Row.” New York Times. 12 Nov 1964. 17 Jan 2008.

Nichols, Joseph C. “Unbeaten Affectionately Is One of Baeza’s Four Winners at Belmont Park.” New York Times. 18 June 1962. 17 Jan 2008.

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