Affectionately was the daughter of the American Horse of the Year for 1956, Swaps, out of the exceptional racing mare, Searching. Searching’s dam was Big Hurry by Black Toney and out of the best “Blue Hen” mare of them all, La Troienne. Searching’s sire was War Admiral, winner of the American Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing and whose own sire was arguably the greatest American race horse of the Twentieth Century, Man o' War.

In the Blood-Horse magazine List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century, with Affectionately’s great grand dam sire at no. 1, her dam sire at no. 13, her sire at no. 20, and Affectionately herself at no. 81, Affectionately’s heritage consists of a tradition of Thoroughbred breeding and racing at its best.

Sporting career

Foaled on April the 26th, 1960 at the farm of Dr. Charles Hagyard near Lexington, Kentucky, she was bred by the partnership of owner/trainer Hirsch Jacobs and Isidor Bieber. Jacobs, who was a Hall of Fame conditioner, said of her: “She’s the best horse I’ve ever trained.” Jacobs had trained Stymie and Hail to Reason. Campaigned under the name of Jacob’s wife, Ethel Jacobs, Affectionately won nine of her first ten starts. In the Matron Stakes she was finally beaten by Smart Deb, herself a fine filly. When Affectionately won as champion two-year-old filly in 1962, she shared the honor with Smart Deb.

At ages three and four, Affectionately was very good, winning two Interborough Handicaps, the Vosburgh, and the Correction Handicap. But when she turned five, she became the horse that put her on the list of the 100 best racehorses of the Twentieth Century. Under high weights, she took the Top Flight Handicap, the Vagrancy Handicap, as well as a number of other important stakes races. She retired sound, with eighteen stakes wins, and one of only two females to break the half million dollar mark. As a broodmare, she was just as brilliant as she was a racehorse. Her very first foal was American Horse of the Year for 1970, Personality (sharing this honor with Fort Marcy).

Affectionately died in 1979. Ten years later, she was voted into the Hall of Fame, an honor her dam Searching was accorded only the year before.


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