Though he was well-sized for racing, Seattle Slew had a birth defect (a reason he was so cheap) that caused his right front foot to sway out when he ran. One of his owners said, "He looks like a crab, a bad crab". His trainer, Billy Turner took to calling him Baby Huey in his early training. But nobody denied that he was fast – faster than any of them had thought possible. The horse was taken to New York to train for his inaugural two year old racing season. That first season (1976) he won three races and was named Two Year Old of the Year.
|Seattle Slew down the stretch of|
the Kentucky Derby
|Me and my friend Mark|
Prater at Churchill Downs
|Outstanding SI cover of Slew's|
Three weeks later, probably due to over-racing, Seattle Slew’s winning streak was snapped as he finished a distant fourth in the Swaps Stakes. In spite of this loss he was acclaimed Horse of the Year for 1977. Not long after the Swaps Stakes the horse developed a respiratory infection that sidelined him for nearly a year. These days that would mean certain retirement to stud. But by May 1978 the horse had recovered and he was racing as a four year old.
|Seattle Slew winning the 1978 Marlboro Cup|
In September 1978 he helped make history by participating in the first race between Triple Crown winners when he ran in the Marlboro Cup against 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed. Both horses had only lost once in their careers. Affirmed was the favorite in the race but Slew took the lead early and held off a late charge by Affirmed to win by three lengths. You can watch the historic Marlboro Cup race here. In a rematch two races later both horses were beaten.
|Sign for Hill 'N' Dale Farm in Lexington|
In his later years the horse suffered from various ailments. On May 7, 2002, exactly 25 years after he won the Kentucky Derby, Seattle Slew died in his sleep. He was 28 years old. He is buried at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm in Lexington.
|The last known picture of an elderly |
|Beautiful spot on a very rainy day|
|Note the blogger's calling card Phillies cap|
verifying the visit