Charles Hatton on 1965 champion sprinter and champion handicap female Affectionately from the 1965 American Racing Manual.
Affectionately is very fashionable with the fans, especially at the Big A, where she makes her headquarters. Usually, the crowds make her the favorite, and usually she rewards their confidence by finishing “there or thereabout.”
Mrs. Ethel D. Jacobs’ hip-swinging bay homebred daughter of Swaps and Searching gave a really smashing performance when she beat the males in the six-furlong Toboggan, winning by five lengths under 124 pounds in 1:09 2/5. This was one of seven victories she had to her credit in 15 starts at five in 1965, finishing unplaced only twice and earning $187,716.
She proved a good weight carrier when she shouldered 137 pounds and won the seven-furlong Vagrancy at the direct expense of Sought After, whom she conceded 26 pounds.
There was never a doubt of her speed and weight-carrying ability, but she likes to hear her feet rattle, and Hirsch Jacobs, very sensibly, declined to run her in the insecure going that obtained for the Spinster. Handicapped at 120 pounds for the nine furlongs of the Top Flight, she astonished many of the crowd by winning in a hand canter. The skeptics fancied she was out of her distance. Steeple Jill was second under 123, and champion Old Hat third under 127.
Speedsters Go Farther at Aqueduct
The very turning Aqueduct surface enables speed horses to carry their speed farther than they would much care to go on tracks having long stretches, and the texture of the going tends to favor horses who run “on the top.” This and the fact she was allowed to breeze on the lead a good a part of the way fomd Affectionately moving off like a fresh horse at the quarter pole and simply squandering her field.
While she could beat male sprinters, she tired into third place in Gun Bow’s Metropolitan, then finished sixth, beaten 25 lengths, in Pia Star’s Suburban.
It was plainly a mistake to expect her to beat the horses in the Handicap Triple Crown, but Jacobs required convincing.
It was sporting of him to let her take her chances, and it afforded some notion of the confidence he held in the beautifully modeled claret bay mare. He may have been a little shaken after the Suburban and later the Beldame, but he was as valorous as his charge, conceding nothing in advance. One could wish more owners were inspired by this philosophy.
It was characteristic of Jacobs to say: “I’m going to commence worrying about the weight Stymie is asked to carry when Mr. Jack Campbell starts taking the weight off him.”
Affectionately is a lovely individual of the curvaceous sprinting type. The development of her hind quarters is conspicuous, and she is balanced like a see-saw. Her deportment is all one could wish, and she is poised and placid in the paddock and on parade, though she is simply an explosion of sand at the start and has won a number of races at the very outset.
Affectionately has fielded her full measure of misfortunes. She bucked her shins distressfully at two and and on her return to competition she didn’t go smoothly at all, brushing one ankle so that she sometimes appeared unable to stride over a straw going to the post. Jacobs’ skill corrected this fault, and she now runs boldly and is quite supple and self confident. She developed a quarter crack in the early summer of 1965 and was not raced between the Suburban, July 5, and the Maskette on September 20.
“She gets ready quickly,” Jacobs has noted. She was under saddle at Saratoga in August and never was allowed to drift too far from racing fettle.
In horse racing “action is money” and Affectionately’s is the collected, continuous, drum-roll stroke of the flier. She is ever in cadence except that she seems to distrust loose or soft surfaces, much preferring courses which afford traction for her high-flying style.
Like Pia Star, Tosmah and most other very fast animals, she tends to carry her head a trifle high. She does not care much to be rated and is so prodigal of speed she does not need a foil, but she customarily wears blinkers. These alert her that she is going racing, and she digs in her plucky best when challenged.
Tosmah beat Affectionately a nose at 128 pounds each in the Maskette, the latter’s first venture in weeks. It was a full-blooded, breathtaking struggle. Neither could cope with What a Treat in the Beldame, but Affectionately did outstay the invader.
Mating Given Much Thought
The Jacobs mating list is never whimsical and the union which produced Affectionately was one the champion breeder and trainer had looked forward to making many months. In presenting Searching at the court of Swaps, he intensified the factors for speed, employing two champions in the process.
Jacobs has seemed convinced, ever since the great race mare Busher blazed across the turf horizon, that La Troienne’s is the first family of the stud book.
A magnificent looking horse bodily, Swaps carried his weight long distances. He had the sweeping, pendulistic action horses develop on those adamant and perfectly flat West Coast courses, which are rarely soft and deep because of wet weather. Most of his progeny to have raced in the East like the first six furlongs best and prefer dry going. Exceptions are Chateaugay and Primonetta, both out of Banquet Bell and both champions.
Great fillies abound in this family, and in redundancy, from earliest times to the present. Busher, Black Helen, Striking, Big Hurry, Busanda and Affectionately’s sister Priceless Gem are anything but dead branches on the family tree.
Ordinarily, it would seem madness to part with a Searching, but she is getting no younger and Jacobs has several of her daughters, and the mare now is improving the breed at George M. Humphrey’s stud.
Affectionately’s regularity and prodigious speed helped persuade voters to award her the title, but we think her ability to carry weight was the determining factor.
Jacobs is never crude but permits himself to say some rather pithy things about handicap weights, including his view that:
“The owners all want the credit for the horses when they retire them, but not many want to carry the weight and put it on record when they’ve still got them in training.
“A horse has to carry weight to be great.
“On the whole, I think the horses can carry weight better than the owners.”
Affectionately carried some weight at stud as well, producing 1970 Preakness Stakes winner and Horse of the Year Personality (by Hail to Reason of course).