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 Looking Back

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

Trainer Hirsch Jacobs shipped top handicap horse Stymie to Pimlico in November, and sent him to the post three times in 13 days. With two wins and a second in three stakes, Ethel Jacobs’ colorbearer secured national championship honors.

Stymie finished third behind Calumet Farm’s Armed in the Pimlico Special before taking on the Riggs Handicap a week later, where he battled First Fiddle, the second-place finisher in the Special. Stymie won the showdown by a neck. Six days later he dominated the 2 1⁄2-mile Pimlico Cup by 8 lengths over Calumet’s Pot o’ Luck while carrying 128 pounds.

Stymie concluded his 19-start 1945 season at Pimlico. The 4-year-old won nine times for the year, was second or third eight times, and won eight stakes.

  • Armed became Calumet Farm’s third Pimlico Special winner in the race’s nine runnings when drawing off to win by 4 lengths over First Fiddle. Earlier winners for Warren Wright’s famed stable were Whirlaway and Twilight Tear.

    The Ben Jones trainee had been first or second in 14 of 15 starts at 4, and wrapped up his year with five straight outings in Maryland, finishing second in Laurel’s Havre de Grace Handicap before winning his next four, concluding with the Pimlico Special. He would go on to be named champion handicap horse the next two years.

  • Three cases of “alleged stimulations” over the 71 days of the Laurel and Pimlico meets, and the Racing Commission’s handling and development of the cases, was casting a shadow on the sport and put in doubt whether trainers would bring their stables back to the state.

    “The Commission began issuing statements about wiping out the widespread evil, overlooking the fact that despite the fact that three cases was more than usual, it still was only three-fifth of 1 percent out of all the races run in the State since early September, which hardly indicated that the wave of stimulation was widespread,” reported Don Reed. Starting with the Pimlico Special, the Commission randomly tested horses after the races in the Pimlico paddock, which created congestion and a risk to the horses. “[The horsemen] didn’t object to the tests but they expressed the opinion that if the Commission desires to take such action, it should at least provide adequate facilities to take the tests rapidly,” noted Reed.

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