Lord Jim - 1934
One of the remarkable attributes of the great progenitors of the standardbred is their ability to sire outstanding performers at an advanced age. The longtime premier of Walnut Hall Farm, Guy Axworthy, outdid them all by siring a Hambletonian winner at the venerable age of twenty-eight. For many years, Guy Axworthy was the undisputed king of stakes sires. Guy Axworthy had started the ball rolling for the Hambletonian by siring both the winner and runner-up in the first two Hambletonians. Thereafter three others of the get of Guy Axworthy had taken down second honors, but the victory of his son Lord Jim, from his final crop, in 1934, put Guy Axworthy again in the lead for winners, not to be surpassed until 1947 when Scotland sent out his fourth winner. Lord Jim was owned by E. L. Mefford of Columbus, Ohio, and the reinsman that brought the Guy Axworthy colt to prominence was the youngest thus far to succeed in winning the coveted classic, Dr. Hugh Parshall of Urbana, Ohio. For a period of a dozen years or so "Doc" Parshall was usually the leading race-winning driver in the United States. Lord Jim was rightly regarded as one of the best juveniles of his season. A winner early, the colt also won at Columbus, Indianapolis and Nashville and wound up by beating Bertha C. Hanover, trotting a final quarter in :29. However, Lord Jim’s Hambletonian rating was not high early in the season; the Guy Axworthy colt raced in aged events, cutting only a slight figure. The first heat of the Hambletonian found Princess Peg whipping the field from well back. The next mile "Doc" Parshall had Lord Jim on edge and the colt held off Princess Peg in 2:02¾. Muscletone, driven by Daryl Parshall, stole off to a long lead in the third and won in 2:04¼. Lord Jim moved from the three-quarters to win the fourth heat from Muscletone in 2:04¼. The colt was later sold back to Walnut Hall to emulate, if possible, the speed-siring feats of his sire. However, though a speedy and game colt trotter, Lord Jim did not make the grade in Kentucky, though siring several fast performers.
The Parshall entry finished "one-two" in a fourth heat race-off (and in the summary placing) for the smallest purse ever ($25,845) in the Hambletonian. The entry earned $17,485. The least expensive yearling ever sold at public auction to win the Hambletonian. At 34, Parshall was the youngest winning trainer/driver of that time in an era when it was commonly thought a horseman needed to be 50 years of age to be considered capable of handling a trotter. The average age of a winning driver prior to the race moving to the Meadowlands was 50. During its 17 years at the Meadowlands, the average age has lowered to 40 years old. Parshall had served notice by finishing second in the final heat in 1933. Lord Jim was the last winner by Guy Axworthy, conceived when the horse was 28-years-old, the oldest stallion ever to sire a Hambletonian winner. The mare Selka was 16 when Lord Jim was foaled. Parshall’s brother, Daryl, finished second with Muscletone in the final (after winning the controversial third heat). Muscletone would later become a great champion in European trotting, winning both the 1935 and 1937 editions of the Prix d’Amerique.