Dr. Leon J. Hekimian, who raced in New York and bred the stakes-winning dam of two-time champion Housebuster, died Sept. 1 from throat cancer. He was 86, and is survived by his wife, Carol, and son Peter.
Hekimian, known on the racetrack as "that psychiatrist from Manhattan," enjoyed his biggest success on the racetrack in 1974 with New York stakes winners Klepto and Clear Copy. Klepto won the Bed o' Roses (gr. II) and Correction Handicaps. As a broodmare for others, Klepto gained fame as the dam of Horse of the Year Criminal Type, champion turf female Estrapade, and Italian group I winner Isopach.
Clear Copy won two graded stakes. She captured the Prioress Stakes (gr. III), with the previous year's champion 2-year-old filly Talking Picture third, and the Comely Stakes (gr. III) over subsequent champion 3-year-old filly Chris Evert, who was third.
Four years later, Clear Copy's half-brother Half High was a stakes winner for Hekimian, winning the Gravesend and Bold Ruler Handicaps.
Hekimian not only bred Housebuster's dam, Big Dreams, but also steeplechase stakes winner Double Bill. Big Dreams was four-time stakes winner and Housebuster was a two-time sprint champion.
Despite physical problems with his legs which made it difficult to get around, Hekimian enjoyed visiting the backstretch. Saturdays found him sharing cigars and ideas with the likes of trainers Frank "Pancho" Martin, Jerry Hirsch, and others. One of Hekimian's last horses during his 50 years in the sport was Movie Queen, who was trained by son Peter.