A “Slew” Of Stars In South

Seattle Slew

Seattle Slew

One of the greatest racehorses in North American history, the late Seattle Slew was one of just 11 horses in history to win the US Triple Crown – and he won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes whilst undefeated. Horse of the Year in 1977, Seattle Slew was an equally outstanding sire.

Champion Sire in USA in 1984, Seattle Slew sired 112 stakes winners – including nine official champions. Slew sired top colts and fillies alike, and his offspring included such ill-fated superstars as Landaluce, Swale and Vindication.

He left behind a number of successful sire sons, such as A P Indy, Capote, General Meeting, Slewpy and Slew City Slew. Capote’s offspring excelled in South Africa – the former Breeders Cup champion being represented by Horse Of The Year Surfing Home as well as Gr1 Sharp Cup hero Lambent Light. Capote was one of three Breeders Cup winners for his sire. Slew enjoyed such success at stud, that his stud fee reached as high as $800 000!

Seattle Slew was an equally outstanding broodmare sire with his daughters producing the likes of champions Cigar, Lemon Drop Kid and Agnes World, as well as leading sires Mutakddim and Stormy Atlantic. However, the great horses’ legacy has, for the most part, been a strictly North American affair. Seattle Slew failed to establish a dominant male line in other parts of the world, although his grandson, Bernardini, has made a bright start to his stud career in Australia. Seattle Slew had a number of sons retire to stud in South Africa.

His local representatives included Kentucky Slew, Salaadim, and Slewpendous. Between them, the trio proved less than outstanding – siring a total of just 16 stakes winners. Both Kentucky Slew and Salaadim, however, became broodmare sires of Grade One winners (African Appeal and Fez respectively). Talented racemare Grey Angel (by Kenmare) was produced by the Seattle Slew matron, Seattle Sway. The grey filly did well on the racetrack, winning 8 races – five of which were features. Grey Angel was also runner up in the Gr1 Gosforth Park F&M Challenge.

However, the “Slew” impact is becoming more dominant in local pedigrees recently. With a number of promising young stallions carrying Seattle Slew up close in their respective pedigrees, Slew could well yet prove a highly important factor in the South African thoroughbred. At the time of writing, there are six registered Seattle Slew line stallions standing at stud in South Africa. One of the top horses bred in South Africa in recent years, is former Equus Champion 2YO Colt, and Dubai sensation, Soft Falling Rain (National Assembly). The latter, a feature race winner in three different countries, is out of Garderner’s Delight – whose dam is a daughter of Seattle Slew. Soft Falling Rain (who won his first seven races) is a half-brother to impressive debut winner, and R1 000 000 yearling buy, My Nephew Eric. The latter is actually inbred to the great Seattle Slew.

Seattle Slew is also the broodmare sire of one of South Africa ’s most promising young sires – Sail From Seattle. The latter, a stakes winning son of Gone West, made a sensational start to his stud career when his first crop of 3yos produced the Gr1 Grand West Cape Guineas winner, Elusive Gold. Sail From Seattle’s first crop also includes four other stakes horses, including the Grade One performer, Tommy Gun.

Another grandson of Seattle Slew who has made a superb start to his stud career is Judpot. A son of A P Indy and the great mare Miesque, Judpot’s first crop proved so successful they earned Judpot an Equus Outstanding Stallion Award. This initial crop included twoGr1 winners – Along Came Polly and Forest Indigo, and, to date, has produced over 20 winners. Along Came Polly, last season’s Equus Champion 2YO Filly, has won or placed in four Gr1 races, and is one of 14 runners set to contest Saturday’s Gr1 Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes.

Another son of A P Indy to have made an eye catching start to his stud career, is the Clifton Stud sire, A P Answer. The latter, whose first crop are two, has had two winners from just four runners, and looks a potentially exciting addition to the KZN stallion ranks. Former Equus Champion, and globe-trotting superstar, Jay Peg is another Seattle Slew line descendant who has made a smart start to his stud career. Jay Peg, a great grandson of the 1977 Triple Crown winner, got off to a flyer with his first crop of juveniles last season including two Graded stakes winners, as well as a number of smart looking debut winners.

Jay Peg, South Africa’s all time leading money winner, also proved popular in the sale ring last year, when yearlings by the former champion fetched up to R1 150 000 and R500 000 respectively. Kingmambo has built up a smart record when mated to daughters or granddaughters of Seattle Slew. This mating has produced US Champion, and highly successful sire, Lemon Drop Kid, as well as the likes of Japanese superstar El Condor Pasa, star miler Dubai Destination (Queen Anne Stakes) and US Gr1 winner Boboman (Hollywood Turf Cup).

In South Africa , there are two promising sires bred on this potent mating. Ashaawes, whose first small crop included the classy Gr1 performer Sanshaawes (now based in Dubai) as well as the promising filly Priceless Jewel, and the well performed young sire, Mambo In Seattle (a winner in all but name of the Gr1 Travers Stakes) are both by Kingmambo out of Slew mares. Seattle Slew is also grandsire of two exceptionally well performed young local sires, Just As Well and Marchfield – and they could well add further lustre to this male line in South Africa.

An unforgettable cham-pion, Seattle Slew and his descendants are ensuring no one in South Africa will soon forget or dismiss the legacy of one of history’s greatest racehorses and sires.

– Sarah Whitelaw

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