(Edited New York Racing Association press release)
When Stormy Shay won for the first time in eight starts at Aqueduct Feb. 12, her 2¼-length victory in the maiden claiming race might have gone relatively unnoticed – except for the colors she carried into the winner’s circle. Aboard the 3-year-old filly, jockey Fernando Jara wore the same yellow-and-black silks as Stormy Shay’s broodmare sire, 1977 Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year Seattle Slew.
Although Slew’s owners have run horses in New York in the interim under different stable names, owners Karen and Mickey Taylor estimated it was the first time in 25 years that the Triple Crown champion’s colors have reached the winner’s circle in New York.
“The last horse who carried those silks and won in New York probably was Tax Dodge, in 1985 or thereabouts,” said Mickey Taylor from the couple’s home in Ketchum, Idaho. “It’s been a long time.”
The Taylors, who campaigned 1983 champion 3-year-old and 1984 older male Slew o’ Gold and others in partnership with Jim and Sally Hill as Equusequity Stable and also raced horses with actor Albert Finney, currently have two horses in New York: Stormy Shay, who is by Stormy Atlantic and out of the Seattle Slew mare Sashaying Slew, and Viable, a 4-year-old gelded son of Vindication, a son of Seattle Slew.
Both are with John Hertler, who trained Slew o’ Gold for the Taylors and Hills as a 4-year-old.
Seattle Slew, who died in 2002, won three races at Aqueduct in his Hall of Fame career: the 1977 Wood Memorial (gr. I) en route to his becoming the only horse to win the Triple Crown while undefeated, the Stuyvesant (gr. III) in 1978, and an allowance race.
“It was really nice to have a winner in New York,” said Karen Taylor, whose last winner in New York was Peeping Tom, carrying Finney’s colors in a maiden claiming race at Aqueduct on March 24, 2000. “We have a beautiful painting of Seattle Slew at home, and before the race I looked at it and said, ‘It’s good to see your colors there again’.”