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On This Date in Sports May 21, 1977

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

Seattle Slew wins the Preakness Stakes in a time of 1:54.40 to remain undefeated, holding off a charge by Iron Constitution by a length and a half. Ridden by Jean Cruguet, Seattle Slew was the overwhelming favorite after cruising to victory in the Kentucky Derby. The thoroughbred would go on to win the Belmont Stakes to become the tenth horse to win Horse Racing’s Triple Crown.

Owned by Karen L. Taylor and trained by Bill Turner, Seattle Slew was among the greatest to ever run in the Triple Crown. Sired by Bold Reasoning who was mated with My Charmer, Seattle Slew was a distant cousin of the legendary Secretariat. Purchased for the relatively small fee of $17,500, the Taylors who were nicknamed the Slew Crew made their money in the lumber industry. The name Seattle Slew was chosen based on sloughs where heavy timber was carried through the City of Seattle, where the owners were from.

Ridden by Jean Cruguet, Seattle Slew broke his maiden in Belmont, winning the Maiden Special by sixth lengths on September 20, 1976. Dominating almost every race, Seattle Slew won his first six races, including the Wood Memorial to become a favorite to win the Kentucky Derby. At Churchill Downs, Seattle Slew did not disappoint, winning in a time of 2:02.20 to finish nearly two lengths ahead of Run Dusty Run, with Sanhedrin finishing in the third position.

Like the Kentucky Derby, Seattle Slew was the favorite to win the Preakness Stakes. Under ideal conditions, Seattle Slew found his toughest race in Pimlico as he dueled Cormorant most of the race. As he finally shook off Cormorant, Seattle Slew had to hold off a hard charge from Iron Constitution ridden by Jorge Velasquez down the stretch, winning by a length and a half as Run Dusty Run finished third.

With all eyes on Seattle Slew at the Belmont Stakes on June 11th, history was made in New York as he became the tenth horse to win the Triple Crown, coming just three years after Secretariat shattered all records. His run at the Belmont was basically a coronation, as Seattle Slew who had won his first three races at Belmont won by fourth lengths over Run Dusty Run in a time of 2:29.6, as Sanhedrin finished in the third place. With his unbeaten record, Seattle Slew became the first horse to never lose a race before winning the Triple Crown.

Seattle Slew would suffer his first career loss a month later in the Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park, finishing a disappointing fourth. After taking the next ten months off, Seattle Slew returned and won five of his final seven races before retiring in 1978. Seattle Slew would go on to become a valued sire, as he breeds A.P. Indy the 1992 Horse of the Year.