By Ray Paulick --Sometimes it's easy to forget what's important about the game. People can argue long into the night about seemingly important issues like marketing, takeout rates, or medication and drug testing, but then a remarkable talent like Seattle Slew comes along and reminds everyone that the horse is king of this sport.
By Dan Liebman -- There is a controversy over the $1-million bonus Sportsman's Park offered to a horse sweeping the track's Illinois Derby (gr. II) and one of the Triple Crown races. But no matter into whose account that million bucks goes, there is one place it should not have already gone--into the purse of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
It was nine o'clock in the morning on May 7, 2002--25 years to the day since Seattle Slew's historic victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). The great Thoroughbred gave one final look at his devoted owners, Karen and Mickey Taylor, who, as usual, were by his side. And with his eyes, he proclaimed, as the Sioux warriors used to before going to battle, "It is a good day to die."
The odds of a horse becoming a champion are huge. So are the odds of a horse becoming a prominent stallion. Now, imagine the odds of a horse becoming a great champion and a great stallion. Now, take it to its maximum. Imagine the odds of a horse becoming a truly great champion and stallion. It was those odds, which Seattle Slew beat on both the racetrack and at stud in such a commanding way, that made him such a legend.
Continued From Preceding Page
John Polston was one day shy of his 57th birthday when he received a call from Seattle Slew's co-owner Karen Taylor, informing him that the great horse he had rubbed for two years had died at 9 o'clock that morning. It was 25 years to the day since Slew's victory in the 1977 Kentucky Derby.
Joyce M. Thornton, who cared for Thoroughbreds on the New England circuit as part of the husband-and-wife team of Thornton Racing Stable, died May 14 after a bout with cancer.
Groom Tom Wade, 43, cared for and lived with Seattle Slew for more than 20 years. He shared his thoughts of the great horse with The Blood-Horse features editor Lenny Shulman.
Though not as glorious as his salad days on the racetrack, in the last two years of his life Seattle Slew again showed the mettle that made him a champion in all he endeavored.
A deal to give New York racetracks a greater share of proceeds from video lottery terminals appears to be falling apart, according to state budget negotiators.
The future of Atlantic City Race Course remains in question after the completion of its one-day program May 10, the only live date for 2002.
Preakness activity reached its peak Tuesday morning, as War Emblem, Harlan's Holiday, and Booklet worked at Churchill Downs, while Crimson Hero and U S S Tinosa tuned up at Pimlico. The accent was on light maintenance for all the workers except U S S Tinosa, who sizzled his half in :46 2/5.
Four hundred and 40 juveniles and 14 older horses have been catalogued for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June Sale of 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age.
Multiple grade I winner Fleet Renee will make her first start of year in Friday's Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap (gr. III) where she'll likely meet the likes of Canadian champion Dancethruthedawn and graded winner Atelier, along with eight other rivals.
Carl F. Pollard's Caressing, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) her championship season, has been bred to 2000 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus and pronounced in foal.
Trainer Ken McPeek said Tuesday morning that Select Stable's Take Charge Lady will not ship to Baltimore for Friday's Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II).
Trainer John Ward said Tuesday he's ready to "ambush" Saturday's Preakness field after Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) winner Booklet worked a half-mile in :48 and galloped out in five furlongs "1:02 and change" at Churchill Downs under Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day.
The board of directors of the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association on May 13 reinstated executive director Marty Maline, who had been on a paid leave of absence in connection with an internal investigation into the organization's finances.
Buyers interested in Diane Perkins Wimborne Farm dispersal can get an early look of the consignment on Starquine.com.
Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem and Harlan's Holiday, who was unplaced as the Derby favorite, both worked at Churchill Downs on Tuesday in preparation for Saturday's Preakness Stakes. Meanwhile at Pimlico, final works were turned in by Crimson Hero and U S S Tinosa.
Touch Silk, a filly by Touch Gold, established a record for the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training when she sold for $330,000 to N.W. Management Monday in Southern California.
Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds is suing a prominent Central Kentucky insurance company for negligence, fraud, and breach of contract associated with the coverage of a Storm Cat--Beautiful Bid foal and the stallion Indian Charlie.
The loss of Kentucky-bred foals for the 2002 breeding season, mainly due to mare reproductive loss syndrome of 2001, may not end up being as large as first thought, numbers from The Jockey Club show.