The American thoroughbred Seattle Slew was the 10th racehorse to ever win the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. But what differentiates Seattle Slew from the rest of this elite group is that, to this day, he is still the only horse to ever capture the Triple Crown without a single defeat.
Seattle Slew captured the Triple Crown in 1977 with impressive victories at the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Aside from these wins, Seattle Slew also notched several major victories, including the Champagne Stakes (1976), Wood Memorial Stakes (1977), Flamingo Stakes (1977), Marlboro Cup (1978), Woodward Stakes (1978) and Stuyvesant Handicap (1978).
Seattle Slew was also honored with the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year in 1977. He was also the US Champion among two-year-old colts in 1976, US Champion for three-year-old colts in 1977 and US Champion for Older Male Horses in 1978.
Another surprising thing about Seattle Slew is that, unlike other impressive thoroughbred racehorses, the Slew did not have the muscular physique or overwhelming energy and stamina that characterized other great horses. On the contrary, Seattle Slew was not much to look at as a yearling.
Seattle Slew was born on February 1974, a time when potential thoroughbred champions were sold for hundereds of thousands of dollars. On July 1975, Seattle Slew was purchased for only $17,500. In fact, he was bought by two couples who were neophytes to the racing game, the Taylors and the Hills. The Taylors, a logger named Mickey and a stewardess named Karen, remarked that they went over their budget to buy the horse. Fortunately for them, the other owner, a veterinarian named Jim Hill insisted on buying this particular horse. It turned out to be a great bargain that would change their lives.
Incidentally, the name Seattle Slew was chosen because the Taylors lived in Seattle while the Hills were from Florida, which they described as a "slewly" place.
The new owners turned over their horse to trainer Billy Turner, who is given much credit with turn Seattle Slew into a champion. In the beginning, Turner notice that the horse ran rather clumsily because one of his front feet was curved outward, which is why he was sold for such a low price. Turner event nicknamed his clumsy horse as Baby Huey. But after intensive training, Turner was able to fix Seattle Slew's running stance and, surprisingly, discovered that the horse had blazing speed.
From the very first time Seattle Slew ran a race in September 1976, Seattle Slew would set a blistering pace, the likes of which had rarely been seen before. Between 1976 and 1977, he would win his first six races, including the three races that comprised the Triple Crown. Overall, Seattle Slew would win 14 of his 17 races and amassed career earnings of over $1.2 million.
Seattle Slew's exploits also landed him in ninth place in the "Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century" list compiled by Blood-Horse magazine.
At stud, Seattle Slew would also be awarded as the leading broodmare sire in North America in 1995 and 1996.