Chief Seattle, a multiple grade I stakes-placed son of Seattle Slew, was found dead in his paddock at Lake Shore Farm near Scottsburg, Ind.
“We had fed him the night before and everything was fine,” said Gale Bess, part owner of Lake Shore. “It happened in late October.”
Chief Seattle, who was 14, was relocated to Lake Shore for the 2011 breeding season.
“He was our main stallion and was as healthy as could be,” Bess said. “He covered more than 40 mares this year. He will be greatly missed.”
Racing for William J. Betz and Philip D. Needham, Chief Seattle made a big impression at 2. He debuted at Saratoga and won by 9 3/4 lengths. After finishing fourth, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, in the Futurity Stakes (gr. I), he ran second in the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) and then was runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) to subsequent champion 2-year-old male Anees.
Following the Breeders’ Cup, Chief Seattle was bought privately by the Maktoum family’s Godolphin and sent to Dubai to prepare for the 2000 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). A fever knocked him out of the Derby picture, and he later was retired. He exited with earnings of $327,000 from his four starts while trained by John Kimmel.
Chief Seattle was scheduled to begin his stallion career at Dixiana Farm near Lexington, but instead started it at Spendthrift Farm near Lexington for a fee of $10,000. He later stood at Vinery New York and at WinRich Thoroughbreds in Indiana before ending up at Lake Shore.
Chief Seattle has sired 27 stakes horses and the earners of more than $16 million. Three of his 10 stakes winners were champions including Shillelagh Slew, who was Canada’s champion 3-year-old male of 2006. Chief Seattle also sired California grade II winners Bold Chieftain and Seafree.
Bred in Kentucky by Atwood Richards, Chief Seattle was produced from the stakes winning Icecapade mare Skatingonthinice, who is a half sister to the dam of grade I winner and successful young sire War Front .