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Sysonby

Sysonby for web.jpg

Sysonby (NMR Collection)
Sysonby
Induction Year: 
1956
Foaled: 
1902
Breeder: 
Marcus Daly
Owner: 
James R. Keene
Trainer: 
James G. Rowe, Sr.
Sire: 
Melton
Dam: 
Optime
Damsire: 
Orme
Career Years: 
1904-1905
Starts: 
15
First: 
14
Second: 
0
Third: 
1
Earnings: 
$184,438.00

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Bio

A small bay colt owned by James R. Keene, Sysonby demonstrated his tremendous class at the outset of his career with a 10-length victory in his inaugural start. The wins continued throughout 1904 and 1905 — 14 victories and only one blemish among 15 starts — earning the son of Melton a reputation as one of the finest racehorses of the early 20th century.

 

Sysonby was bred by Marcus Daly, who purchased his dam, Optime, in England and had her bred to Melton, winner of the 1885 English Derby and St. Leger. Upon Daly’s death in 1901, the horses at his Apperfield Stud in England were brought to the United States and auctioned at Sheepshead Bay on Oct. 1, 1901. Keene purchased Optime in foal to Melton for $6,000 and shipped her to his Castleton Farm near Lexington, Ky., where Sysonby was foaled in Feb. 7, 1902.

 

Trained by James Rowe, Sr., Sysonby followed his maiden victory with a four-length score in the $15,000 Brighton Junior Stakes. He then won both the $6,000 Flash Stakes and $13,000 Saratoga Special by 10 lengths each. In his next start, the Futurity at Sheepshead Bay, Sysonby suffered his lone career defeat, finishing third to the great filly Artful. Sysonby did not appear to be in top form for the Futurity and it was widely reported he was drugged by one of his grooms. Sysonby returned to his winning ways three weeks later with a three-length victory in the Junior Champion Stakes for his fifth and final win of the year.  

 

As a 3-year-old in 1905, Sysonby won all nine of his races. His only true challenge was his first race when he finished in a dead heat with 5-year-old Race King in the Metropolitan Handicap on the opening day of the new Belmont Park. Sysonby gave the older horse 10 pounds in the race.

 

Following his season debut, Sysonby reeled off victories in the Tidal Stakes, Commonwealth Handicap, Lawrence Realization, Iroquois Stakes, Brighton Derby, Great Republic Stakes, Century Stakes and Annual Champion Stakes.

 

While training for a 4-year-old campaign, Sysonby developed bleeding sores, which were thought to be caused by a liver infection. He failed to respond to treatment and died on June 17, 1906 in his stall at Sheepshead Bay. It was reported that 4,000 people attended his burial the next day in front of the Keene stables. Sysonby’s body was later exhumed and put on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

 

Horse