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Seattle Slew - The Best Two-year-old Race Horse That Ever Lived?

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By Author: Lee Lane-Edgar
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Seattle Slew was foaled on February 15, 1974 at White Horse Acres Farm near Lexington, Kentucky. He was sired by Bold Reasoning out of My Charmer. By his first race it was clear to the racing world that he was something special.

His First Race

Seattle Slew made his maiden debut on September 20, 1976 at Belmont Park. The pundits did not make any mention of Seattle Slew as being much of a contender and his 10-1 Morning Line odds reflected that. However, at post time he eventually went off at 2.60-1 as the favorite, so certainly somebody knew something.

A bit slow out of the starting gate, he broke 10th of 12, but quickly asserted himself and soon led in the front running fashion that would characterize his running style throughout his career. He made his presence known to the racing world with a 5 length romp which the Daily Racing Form described as “easily”.

His second race

For his second race he was entered in an Allowance contest at seven furlongs again at Belmont in which he made easy work of seven rivals in a 3 ½ length win. It can be seen from the video replay that he wasn’t ...
... the quickest out of the gate, but began to distinguish himself a sixteenth of a mile out of the gate at which point he really began to pick up speed.

From that point on it was just a matter of how far and how fast. The winning margin was an easy 3 ½ length victory in a time of 122 flat.
Seattle Slew was ready to try his hoof at a stakes race and that came in the Champagne Stakes once again at Belmont, in which he was made the favorite, on the basis of the strength of his first two starts.

The Champagne Stakes

It was time for this promising talent to try stakes company, and he did not disappoint. Seattle Slew capped off his two-year old season with a dazzling 9-3/4 length triumph in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont, ending the year with a perfect 3 for 3 record.

Like his previous starts, he wasn’t the quickest out of the gate in the first 4 or 5 seconds, but by the first sixteenth of a mile, his natural speed propelled him to the lead.

Eventual runner up For the Moment stalked in second several lengths off of Slews pace and it looked as if by the three-eighths pole he was making a bit of ground against Seattle Slew as he pulled within a length and a half, but as it turned out, Slew was just cruising, running just as fast as he needed to.

Jockey Jean Cruget didn’t ask him to run until the three-sixteenths pole at which point he gave him an unnecessary crack of whip and he really took off. Seattle Slew was hand ridden the final eighth of a mile and still opened up, eventually winning in a stake’s record time of 134 and 2, breaking Count Fleet’s 34-year-old record of 134 and 4.

He was awarded the Eclipse award for champion two-year-old colt.

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