Leading sire Seattle Slew has been taken temporarily out of stallion service at Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., to undergo a neurological examination and semen analysis. Dr. Barrie Grant will condiuct the neurological exam.
The farm reported that a preliminary semen analysis shows his semen quality is comparable to that of a year ago, when he got 90.5% of his mares in foal, prior to the pregnancy losses related to mare reproductive loss syndrome. For this year's breeding season, Seattle Slew has been bred to eight mares and one is in foal.
Seattle Slew (Bold Reasoning--My Charmer, by Poker) was taken out of stallion duty in 2000 after he was found to be suffering from a compression of his spinal cord caused by arthritic changes in his vertebrae. During surgery at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington, a hole was drilled between two vertebrae and a titanium basket inserted to reduce pressure on the bone. Dr. Barrie Grant performed the surgery. That year, Seattle Slew impregnated only six of 27 mares.
Seattle Slew is the only one of the 11 Triple Crown winners to reach the 100 mark in number of stakes winners, doing so in the fall. His runners include such champions as Three Chimneys stallions Slew o' Gold and Capote as well as Horse of the Year A.P. Indy.
Slew, who was honored with a carrot cake at Three Chimneys when he turned 28 on Feb. 15, is the sole living winner of the American Triple Crown.