SEARCHING & AFFECTIONATELY
As a young man, Hirsch Jacobs was tutored on Thoroughbred breeding by the famous horse owner Col. E. R. Bradley. Years later, Mr. Jacobs had the opportunity to buy into the most elite of the bloodlines developed by Col. Bradley's Idle Hour Farm. Ogden Phipps owned a filly named Searching, which traced to Col. Bradley's great mare La Troienne. Since he owned plenty of other representatives of that female line, Mr. Phipps was willing to sell Searching after she had failed to distinguish herself on the race track. Mr. Jacobs bought her for $15,000, a substantial price for his stable at that time. He worked with Searching, and she became a consistent stakes winner and, of course, was a potential jewel for the Bieber-Jacobs broodmare band.
Bred to the champion Swaps, Searching produced the filly Affectionately, which raced with distinction for several years in the colors of Mrs. Ethel D. Jacobs. Affectionately was a brilliant two-year-old and continued in championship form through the age of five. In a sport where 126 pounds is considered a high weight, Affectionately once carried 137 pounds and won the Vosburgh Handicap. She carried on the tradition by foaling Personality, which won the classic Preakness and was Horse of the Year for the family after Mr. Jacobs's death in 1970.
Searching also foaled the Futurity winner Priceless Gem, she, in turn, the dam of French champion Allez France. Other descendants from Searching's daughters include the 1993 Kentucky Derby winner, Sea Hero.
--Edward L. Bowen
PERSONALITY & HIGH ECHELON
Irony and sentiment are intertwined in connection to two of the most historic trophies ever won by the horses of Hirsch Jacobs. In 1970, Mr. Jacobs was gravely ill in the hospital and his son, John Jacobs, was training the family's racing stable. In one of their last conversations, the elder Mr. Jacobs urged John to fit the colt Personality with blinkers, a device that cuts down on peripheral vision and often helps horses stay more focused while racing. That last bit of horsemanship before Mr. Jacobs's death was taken to heart by John Jacobs, and that May, Personality carried Mrs. Jacobs's silks to victory in the Preakness Stakes. Despite all his years of success, Hirsch Jacobs never won one of the Triple Crown races.
Incredibly, there was more to come. Despite Personality being ill and unable to race in the last of the Triple Crown races, the Belmont Stakes, Mrs. Jacobs had a contender. High Echelon had won the Futurity the year before but was regarded as second string in the stable. John Jacobs entered him in the Belmont Stakes, and the colt came through, giving the stable a second victory in a Triple Crown race.
Personality had also won the Wood Memorial and Jersey Derby and that fall, when he came back to win the Woodward Stakes, he secured election on one major poll as Horse of the Year. That designation, too, was one that had eluded the stable despite the many years of horses such as Stymie, Promised Land, Hail to Reason, and Affectionately.
--Edward L. Bowen
IMAGE CAPTION: Searching and Affectionately, Richard Stone Reeves, print, 1967, Courtesy of Jacobs Family