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HAIL TO REASON
Nearly 50 years before the dramatic tale of Barbaro played out to a spellbound public, his great-grandsire had endured an injury crisis of his own. Hail to Reason was the dominant two-year-old in the summer and autumn of 1960, racing in the colors of Ethel D. and Hirsch Jacobs's young daughter, Patrice. (Patrice Jacobs was to be involved with champion horses over many years. In 1972, she married Louis Wolfson and together the two bred and raced the Harbor View Farm home-bred Affirmed, which in 1978 became the 11th and most recent winner of the Triple Crown.)
On a fateful Sunday morning, Hail to Reason stepped on a loose horseshoe on the race track and severely fractured the sesamoid bones in the left forefoot. In those days, veterinarians were not routinely available at the race track on a Sunday morning, but Mr. Jacobs and his son John took immediate action on their own, fashioning a plaster of Paris cast for the injured leg. With later expert veterinary assistance, Hail to Reason was saved for stud duty, being one of the lucky horses that did not develop laminitis as a secondary result of the original injury. (His injury was far less complicated than that of Barbaro, which ultimately was victimized by development of laminitis.)
The saving of Hail to Reason had a profound and positive effect on the international Thoroughbred scene. He sired winners of each of America's Triple Crown races: Proud Clarion (Kentucky Derby), Personality (Preakness Stakes), and Hail to All (Belmont Stakes). Moreover, he sired Roberto, winner of the seminal event in the history of the Thoroughbred, the historic Epsom Derby in England. Roberto was just one of Hail to Reason's excellent sons which followed the sire's pattern of becoming outstanding stallions on their own. It is Roberto's son Dynaformer which in turn sired the fallen hero Barbaro.
Other important sons of Hail to Reason include Halo, sire of Kentucky Derby winners Sunny's Halo and Sunday Silence. No fewer than eight individuals in the close-up ancestry of Sunday Silence were bred or raced by Bieber-Jacobs Stable. Sunday Silence, Horse of the Year in 1989, was exported as a stallion to Japan, where his fame transcended the sport into great renown among the general public.
Thus, when Hirsch Jacobs bred the bargain mare No Third Chance to Turn-to and thereby produced Hail to Reason, it was one of the masterstrokes in his unique career.
--Edward L. Bowen
IMAGE CAPTION: Stymie, by Richard Stone Reeves, print, 1967, Courtesy of Jacobs Family