Stymie, foaled in 1941 in Texas, was late a late arrival on the racing front despite having a pedigree to die for. His career was probably one of the most dynamic years of racing ever witnessed with more than a hundred starts in a tenure of 7 racing years. Stymie, despite all failures and shortcomings, gave to racing a number of “first time evers” and also equalled track records once he finally did make it to the serious and hard core racing tournaments.
Stymie, where he started from –
Its amazing how Stymie’s sire and dam were both out of Man o’ War’s mares Frilette and Sunset Gun. His sire Equipoise inherited a major share of his pedigree from racing legends such as Peter Pan, Fair Play, Broomstick and Commando. Nonetheless, his dam, Stop Watch was by On Watch, a Colin colt. The most handpicked pedigree one could contemplate leading to a superb galloper had to be a given.
Stymie was sold off to Hirsch Jacobs, a top conditioner of the mid 20th century, who purchased the claiming races starter when he was two, in 1943.
Stymie, steps up –
By the end of 1943, Stymie had already started in as many as 28 races having won only 4, placing and showing in 8 and 4 respectively. His prime season as a three year old too failed to make a mark. In 1944, Stymie started in 29 races winning 3 and keeping in the money in 15 other races. He had however stepped up his class and pulled a second place in Wood Memorial Stakes. He had accomplished his first array of fine races with a placing in each of them, the Flamingo Stakes, Gallant Fox Handicap and the Riggs Handicap.
Following a long layoff of almost 7 months, Stymie made it to the racing tracks once again, this time he was starting as a four year old in 1945. The layoff had its advantages; what seemed like a mediocre runner now came back to the arena with renewed confidence and stamina and a very influential predisposition. Stymie won a remarkable array of handicap races once he set off. He won the Brooklyn Handicap followed by the Riggs Handicap he had previously barely placed. He also captured the Pimlico Cup Handicap, the Saratoga Handicap and the Continental Handicap to name a few. He neatly managed to place the Suburban, Queens County and the Yonkers Handicap and maintained a presence by finishing third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Whitney Handicap. Stymie had finally arrived.
Stymie’s most momentous victories –
It should come as a surprise to any that Stymie’s five year old season was beyond doubt his best. The 1946 season comprised of 20 starts in all. Stymie won 8 and placed in the money in 11 others. The riot consisted of his first win at the Gallant Fox Handicap and the New York Handicap. He also won the Whitney Handicap with Manhattan and Edgemere Handicaps and the Saratoga Cup. Stymie stepped up his Jockey Club Gold Cup place to second this year and also kept himself in the money on the Sussex Handicap with Dixie, Suburban and Pimlico Special Handicaps.
1947 arrives and Stymie turn six. He wins the Gold Cup, Aqueduct Handicap and the Massachusetts Handicap to name a few and remains on the racing front with in the money in Jockey Club Gold, Whitney Stakes, Brooklyn Handicap and the Queens County. He won the Gallant Fox Handicap for a second consecutive time.
Stymie’s end of career, eventually as an eight year old –
Stymie raced again as a seven year old in 1948 and won 4 out of his 11 starts. He placed in the money in 5 other races. He won the Sussex Handicap for a consecutive year, along with a win at the Metropolitan Handicap. With Dixie Handicap, the Brooklyn and the Aqueduct Handicaps under his belt, he raced for the final season as an eight year old in 1949. He started in 5 races this year, placing in one and showing in two. His last race was the Monmouth Handicap that he failed to complete due to a fracture suffered during the race in his sesamoid bones in the right leg.
Historical achievements –
Stymie became the first horse to have ever touched the $900,000 mark in career winnings. Ranked number 41 by the Blood-Horse, Stymie was also the first incredibly heavily bet horse touching earnings as high as $700,000 during his six year old season race at Suffolk Downs, the Massachusetts Handicap. Stymie was also U.S. Champion Handicap Horse in 1945 and has the Stymie Handicap at Aqueduct named for him.
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