Intentionally, 1961

Charles Hatton on champion sprinter Intentionally from the 1962 American Racing Manual.


Intentionally is one of the most interesting subjects with whom we have to deal in this edition of the American Racing Manual. Not only for his brilliance as a miler, but also because of his built-in appeal as a prospective adjunct to the ranks of the nation’s progenitors. There is his line-breeding to Fair Play, who appears in the fourth removes of the tail-male ancestry of his sire Intent and dam My Recipe. And, perhaps more importantly, the fact that he comes of the marvelous Ballantrae family, through the late Jim W. Parrish’s hickory tough campaigner Escarpolette, by Fitz Herbert. As one must know, this is the family also of Equipoise, Seabiscuit and Determine. Indeed, it is because of his profound admiration for the sport’s famed “Chocolate Soldier” that Harry Isaacs bought My Recipe and from her bred Intentionally. Sentiment is not advocated in bloodstock production but we suppose that if a man is to be persuaded by his emotions he could not do better than to have an affection for Equipoise.

“Ekky’s” influence recalls that of his tail-male ancestor, Domino, though it has been less pronounced in this day of 10,000 foals per annum. Domino got only 20 foals, 11 of them fillies, in his brief stud career, and Equipoise fewer than 80 before his sudden death from a blood clot. Both were fertile but ill-fated. From Equipoise have come Shut Out, Attention, Assault, Stymie, Bolingbroke, Level Best, the list goes on. Escarpolette was a deceptively light-boned bay mare, angular and loose-eared. She did have outstanding class but she was tough and won race after race under all sorts of conditions. In respect to her durability, Escarpolette did not belie her breeding. Not only was she a granddaughter of Ballantrae, but her dam, Balancoire II, was by Meddler, whose progeny had iron constitutions. Escarpolette’s sire, Fitz Herbert, also was a strengthening influence.

Intentionally’s third dam, Perlette, was by Percentage, an astonishingly handsome red horse with a blaze by Midway from Gossip Avenue. Midway was a Ballot and was one of the best middle-distance runners of his day in Kentucky. Percentage himself was a sprinter of considerable local repute. Bred to Discovery, Perlette foaled My Recipe. This mare was no better than she should have been. Isaacs was able to buy her for the proverbial song from the Maryland breeder and racing official F. Fred Colwill. Racing secretaries could not write races too long for Intentionally’s sire, Intent, nor his maternal grandsire, Discovery. “Once around the park,” a flat mile, appears Intentionally’s best distance, however.

It speaks eloquently for Intentionally’s hardiness that he was of the top notch at 2, 3, 4 and 5, though injury shortened his 1959 campaign. As a two-year-old, he vied with First Landing and Tomy Lee for the title. At three, he raced a mile under 121 pounds in 1:33 1/5 at Washington Park, equaling Swaps’ world record. His Withers victory was one of the satisfying performances of late years from the point of view of his style of executing his commission. A muscular black colt with synchronized action, he rated amenably just off the pace to Belmont’s sweeping turn, moved inexorably to the front when his rider merely clucked to him and rolled home a lengthy winner a shade under a mile in 1:36. He was superb. He did not execute his task in the manner of a runaway but with the grace and polish of an artist. It is refreshing, in the hurley-burley of contemporary racing, to see a horse go about an assignment with the calculating aplomb and poise of a real race horse, doing everything with masterful precision.

Intentionally looks like the crack miler. He verges on 16 hands and his heavy muscular investiture and closely knit conformation announce “runner.” A black with no markings of moment he has a beautiful Arab’s head, complete to a full, bold eye, deep jowls, dished face and square muzzle. His ears set on nicely and he has usual rein length. The shoulders are not loaded, but are implemented with a thick overlay of muscle. His forearms bulge, as do his stifle and gaskin.

Intentionally’s hind leg is perpendicular. He has a broad back and is strong over the loins and across the pelvis. Like most of his predilection, he is well muscled inside the stifle, so he walks a trifle wide behind, as some of the progeny of Sickle did.

Intentionally had his misfortunes and, as a clinical report, he sometimes sported protective bandages in front. Also, he wears blinkers though he is game enough. The same was true of his kinsman, Equipoise. Freddy Hopkins has noted that “blinkers were like a shot of hop to Equipoise,” who, also incidentally, was a whip horse. Intentionally has raced without distinction on the grass and in wet weather. But he much prefers to hear his hoofs rattle. Of course, that might be said of 90 per cent of horses, who like the traction dry going affords. Intentionally, appropriately, won the Equipoise in 1960 and last year the nine-furlong Quaker City Handicap and the Sport Page, taking four of seven starts. He should make his mark in production.

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3 Responses to Intentionally, 1961

  1. Count Fleet says:

    I especially liked this description of Intentionally….who knew?!

  2. Pingback: Friar’s Carse Female Line | Boojum's Bonanza

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