7:12 am by co-admin in Horse
The best two juveniles in the country in 1976 were similar only in that they were bought as yearlings at Keeneland for the proverbial song: Seattle Slew for $17,500 and Royal Ski for $20,500. The resemblance ended there. Royal Ski and another useful colt, Run Dusty Run, each won six of nine starts that year and could be separated only by earnings,, Royal Ski topping all juveniles with $309,704. At the end of his 2-year-old year, Seattle Slew had started only three times, winning a maiden race at six furlongs, an allowance race at seven, and then the Champagne Stakes at a mile, but it was enough to win him an Eclipse Award.
Moving to Florida for winter racing, Seattle Slew continued on his incredible journey. His first start in early March at Hialeah was an allowance race at seven furlongs, which he won by nine lengths. This facile victory was to be followed by the Flamingo Stakes, his first test around two turns at a mile and an eighth. So far, his pattern of racing had been simply blazing to the front immediately after the start and widening the lead at every pole, a tactic that many thought would be his downfall at the greater distances. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Against 12 optimistic contestants, he immediately took a commanding lead and the further they went, the more the optimism hopes of his rivals dwindled. He won by four lengths, eased up in the last furlong.
With his sights firmly set upon the Kentucky Derby, it was believed by trainer Billy Turner that the nine-furlong Wood Memorial in New York would be an ideal prep. Again, taking the lead early and widening it in mid-race, he won by a diminishing 3 and one-quarter lengths.
Fueled by the stated opinion of Jean Cruguet, Slew’s French-born jockey, that Turner was not doing enough with the horse, skeptics in racing circles still doubted his ability to get the distance of 10 furlongs in the Derby. Some horsemen were critical of Cruguet. In his book, “Seattle Slew,” published as part of the Thoroughbred Legends series, Dan Mearns quoted one New York trainer as saying:, “Two minutes is a long time to go without the Frenchman making a mistake.”
But Nevertheless, having won his six lifetime starts unchallenged, Seattle Slew had become a household name, and the public believed that he was a superstar. “‘Slewmania’ was virulent and widespread condition,” wrote Joe Hirsch of the Daily Racing Form.
Any perceived shortcomings of either the horse or the jockey were soon put to rest by another brilliant performance in the race. After a poor start, Slew, pulling Cruguet out of the saddle, bulled his way between horses and took command by the middle of the clubhouse turn. Still under restraint, he contended for the lead down the backstretch and held off all challengers around the far turn. Turning for home, he opened a comfortable lead and was only mildly challenged through the stretch by Run Dusty Run, who finished second, beaten a little less than two lengths.
Seattle Slew justified the “Slewmania”; there was no doubt left in anyone’s mind that he was the best 3-year-old in the country, by far. He repeated his performance two weeks later in the Preakness, and only the Belmont Stakes at a mile and a half would raise the slightest doubt about his supremacy over any distance. But once again, taking the lead immediately and holding off any challenge with complete authority, he galloped to a four-length victory; he was, the only unbeaten winner of the Triple Crown.
The initial plan after the Belmont was to give Slew a rest until the fall races, but acquiescing to overtures from the management of Hollywood Park, he was shipped at the last minute to California for the 10-furlong Swaps Stakes at the last minute. Perhaps he was unprepared for the race, a possibility since Turner was having difficulties with some of the owners and did not accompany the horse. In any event, it was a disaster and Slew’s first loss, when he showed nothing of his ability, finishing fourth, beaten 16 lengths by J. O. Tobin, a horse he had beaten easily in the Kentucky Derby.
After the Swaps, Slew’s connections decided to honor a commitment to take him to Seattle, the city for which he was named and the area in which two of the owners, Mickey and Karen Taylor, lived. A parade and festivities at the track did much for Longacres, but little for the horse. It was his last public appearance for the year, primarily due to a minor respiratory infection. Regardless, voters elected awarded him Eclipse Awards for Horse of the Year, and Best Three-year-old for. Eclipse Awards By the end of the year, the Taylors and co-owners Dr. Jim and Sally Hill decided that Doug Peterson should replace Turner, who was experiencing personal problems.
Seattle Slew was shipped to winter quarters in Florida where he was prepared for his 1978 4-year-old racing campaign. In January, however, he was stricken by an undiagnosed illness that almost took his life. For two interminable weeks he was confined to his stall with a raging temperature, nursed day and night by Hill. When he finally recovered the Florida racing season was over, but to defray some future risk, the horse was syndicated for $12 million on the basis of 40 shares at $300,000 each, the highest valuation ever placed upon a horse at that time. The Hills and Taylors retained control of him for the remainder of his racing career.
Finally, back in New York, he made his first start winning a seven-furlong allowance race, and then in August another similar race at Saratoga. After a brief delay due to a minor injury to a hock, he shipped to New Jersey’s Meadowlands only to be beaten a neck by Dr. Patches in the nine-furlong Paterson Handicap, finishing second but giving the winner 14 lbs. The inevitable debates as to whether he had returned to his original form were rampant. Cruguet, ever vocal and smarting in defeat, was critical of the way the horse was prepared and said that it was doubtful he would win the upcoming Marlborough Cup. Since he had clearly lost confidence in the horse, Cruguet was replaced with by Dr. Patches’ rider, Angel Cordero, who had ridden Dr. Patches.
From that point on, the condition of Seattle Slew became a mute point. Continuing to race with his indomitable speed he swept the Marlborough Cup at nine furlongs, beating that year’s Triple Crown winner, Affirmed, by three lengths. He came back to win the 10-furlong Woodward at the expense of Exceller, who was arguably America’s best stayer, having earned more than a $1 million at greater distances. It was only the distance of 12 furlongs that gave Exceller the advantage he needed in the rematch to out-nod Slew by a nose in a desperate finish, in the Jockey Club Gold Cup,. to out-nod Slew by a nose in a desperate finish Still not done, Slew came back in his final start to easily win the nine-furlong Stuyvesant Handicap by almost four lengths under a 134 pounds.
Retired to stud in 1979 in Kentucky, he was still covering mares in the breeding season of 2001 at the age of 27, and later in that year was honored with his 100th stakes winner.
Oldies, but Goodies!
Lewisham Council’s homes provider has been fined after a meter reader broke her jaw and smashed most of her teeth in a fall into an unprotected flood pit cellar beneath a block of flats.
A nationwide removals firm has been fined for safety failings after a worker broke his leg whilst moving machinery at a site in Bedford.
A Dagenham-based firm has been sentenced after a worker severed a finger and seriously injured two others on a badly-guarded cutting block capable of 10,000 cuts per minute.
A Staffordshire kitchen fitter has been fined after he carried out illegal gas work and put families’ lives at risk.
Subscribe for free news and updates, by email or RSS, on a wide range of health and safety topics and industries – all for free.
What's the dilly, yo?
cerita-cerita dari Rio
digitaLmbuL’s FiLes Authors