Champion Slew o' Gold Euthanized at 27

Slew o' Gold, a multiple champion by Seattle Slew, was euthanized Oct. 14 at Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky.

Slew o' Gold, a multiple champion by Seattle Slew, was euthanized Oct. 14 at Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky. He was 27.

“It’s a very sad day for us,” Three Chimneys owner Robert N. Clay said in a prepared statment. “He was our very first stallion, and he stood the 1985 season here all by himself. During that season, he sired an incredible four graded or group I stakes winners--an almost unheard of accomplishment. He sired six grade/group I winners in his first two crops."

Slew o' Gold raced for Equusequity Stable, a partnership of Dr. Jim Hill and his wife, Sally, along with Mickey and Karen Taylor.

“Slew o’ Gold was truly one of the great ones, and we will be forever grateful to the Hills and the Taylors for giving us the opportunity to stand our first stallion," Clay said. "He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1992."

The Blood-Horse, in its top 100 racehorses of the 20th century, ranked Slew o' Gold 58th.

Slew o’ Gold was from the first crop by Seattle Slew out of classic producer Alluvial, by Buckpasser. His 1986 crop included French champion and English group I winner Golden Opinion, plus grade I winners Gorgeous, Awe Inspiring, Tactile. In his second crop, he sired grade I winners Thirty Six Red and Dr. Root.

Later, he sired grade I winner Dramatic Gold, who was his leading earner, at $2.5 million.

From 17 crops, Slew o’ Gold sired 28 stakes winners, a dozen of which were graded/group winners. His progeny earned close to $27 million.

Slew o’ Gold, who was pensioned in August of 2002, was euthanized due to the infirmities of old age. “It’s been well documented that Slew o’ Gold had Cushing’s disease and EPM, but he had a variety of other ailments as well,” Three Chimneys veterinarian Dr. Jim Morehead said. “Once we devised his air-conditioned stall this summer, he was quite comfortable but he was very happy last week when we finally got some cooler weather.

"Sandy (Hatfield, Three Chimneys stallion manager) commented that he practically dragged his groom to the paddock every morning last week. Indeed, on Sunday morning, he was jogging in his paddock. But Sunday afternoon he had a convergence of symptoms that told us his system was failing, and he was euthanized Sunday evening."

Slew o' Gold was buried at Three Chimneys.

“As a young horse, he was tough." Hatfield said. "He had a lot of Slew about him. But he mellowed with age, and we enjoyed each other’s company a lot the last few years. We’ll all miss him.”

Slew o’ Gold was champion 3-year-old male by virtue of his spectacular performances against older horses in the Fall Championship Series at Belmont Park. He first beat Bates Motel in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I), and then finished a neck behind Highland Blade in the Marlboro Cup Invitational Handicap (gr. I). In the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), Slew o’ Gold faced Highland Blade, John Henry, Play Fellow, Desert Wine and others and pulled away to win by three lengths.

Earlier that year, Slew o’ Gold won the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) and a division of the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I). His stakes-placings included runner-up efforts in the Belmont (gr. I) and Travers (gr. I) Stakes.

Though he experienced a stellar year, the turf filly All Along was voted Horse of the Year.

In 1984, Slew o’ Gold won the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga and returned to Belmont for the Woodward, Marlboro, and Jockey Club Gold Cup. He won all three--the Jockey Club by 9 3/4 lengths.

Slew o’ Gold ran in the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at Hollywood Park, won by Wild Again after a stretch drive in which Slew o' Gold was sandwiched between Gate Dancer on the outside and Wild Again on the inside. Wild Again finished a head in front of Gate Dancer, with Slew o’ Gold third, but Gate Dancer was taken down for interference, leaving Slew o’ Gold officially in second.

Slew o' Gold lost out to turf star John Henry for Horse of the Year, but was named champion older male.

Slew o’ Gold, who was bred by Claiborne Farm, retired with 12 wins from 21 races and earnings of $3,533,534. He first was trained by Sidney Watters Jr. and then by John Hertler.