Looking Back

This month in mid-atlantic thoroughbred history! For Looking Back archives click here.

Legendary trainer Hirsch Jacobs died a few months before the 1970 classics, but his family gave him full credit when homebreds Personality won the Preakness and High Echelon the Belmont Stakes. “He bred three generations back of that horse,” said his oldest son, head trainer John Jacobs, about Personality, a product of homebred champions Hail to Reason and Affectionately.

The classic duo were raised at 280-acre Stymie Manor in Monkton, Md., the only farm Hirsch Jacobs ever owned, which he purchased in the late 1940s from money earned by his great handicap horse, former claimer Stymie. The family was making arrangements to sell the farm and all the horses that fall, and syndicate Personality and High Echelon.

For decades Jacobs’ horses – bred in partnership with Isidor Bieber – were foaled in Kentucky and shipped as weanlings to Maryland, where they would stay until Jacobs picked them up to go to the track at 2. Among the current crop of yearlings was a full-sister to Personality; a half-sister to High Echelon by Bold Ruler; a filly out of Affectionately’s stakes-winning half-sister Priceless Gem; and a Hail to Reason filly out of Stymie’s daughter Lipstick.

High Echelon’s little sister never raced and produced one foal, who never won; Personality’s sister never raced or produced a foal. Priceless Gem’s filly was a minor winner (the mare’s next foal was the great French champion Allez France). Lipstick’s foal, Hail to Beauty, made her mark. She never started, but her stakes-winning daughter Stick to Beauty produced 17 starters, including champion Gold Beauty, who in turn produced champion Dayjur and Grade 1 winner Maplejinsky, the dam of Hall of Famer Sky Beauty.

  • Editor Snowden Carter was moved by the plight of Stymie Manor manager Bill Albright, who was repeatedly chased out of the Pimlico stable area when trying to park on Preakness day and missed the race. Wrote Carter: “Albright raised the Preakness winner. So what chance for the little guy? It’s the little guy who makes the whole game possible. We should bend over backwards to please him – maybe even take a page out of the Monmouth Park book.” Monmouth offered programs to patrons each week during the summer: Dawn Patrol and handicapping seminars, both free of charge, and a buffet breakfast (only charge for the food) during which racing personalities were interviewed. Carter concluded: “That’s a policy worth applauding.”

  • Ten yearlings, representing half of Allaire duPont’s Woodstock Farm 1969 foal crop, were purchased for resale at Saratoga by Virginia horseman L. Clay Camp. It was the first in a three-year marketing agreement. The yearlings were being prepped at Camp’s Glenmore Farm in Charlottesville, Va., and included a colt from the first crop of Buckpasser and fillies by Graustark and Nearctic.

    Sold were future stakes winners Explodent and Home Guard.

  • Although two months behind schedule, construction on the new 1-mile Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Pa., was progressing rapidly. General manager Barclay Odell said the steelwork for the grandstand was nearing completion and concrete was being poured daily at the 614-acre site in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. It was expected to be completed for a late fall meet.

    Penn National opened two years later on Aug. 30, 1972.

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