RIP Slew City Slew, Ultimate Breed-to-Race Stallion

(By Avalyn Hunter)

Calling a horse a "breed-to-race sire" might be damning him with faint praise in the commercial market. But for the small owner-breeder looking for a reliable source of winners, there is no higher praise. In the vocabulary of the latter, a breed-to-race sire represents value for the money invested in a stud fee, promising soundness, honesty, and a good chance of getting a horse able to earn its keep.

Few horses have fit that description better than the late Slew City Slew, who died of old age April 3 at Airdrie Stud. While best known as the sire of the popular and versatile California-based gelding Lava Man—the first horse to win grade I races on dirt, turf, and synthetic surfaces—Slew City Slew was a stallion for Everyman. To date, Slew City Slew has 931 foals of racing age: 581 of those foals are winners and 55 are stakes winners. He could get runners on any surface, out of just about anything. And every now and then, he could come up with a horse with real class—all for a stud fee that peaked at $6,000. In his final season 2011, his advertised fee was just $2,500.

A plain, workmanlike horse with the dark bay or brown coat sported by so many of Seattle Slew's progeny, Slew City Slew was "just plain folks" despite his regal heritage and his own racing talent, which was enough to make him a multiple grade I winner in a career spanning four seasons and 42 starts. As good-natured as he was tough and sound, he was about as trustworthy as a stallion can be around farm visitors and children, making him a valuable ambassador for his breed as well as an asset to it. That's about as much as you can ask of any horse, and it is to be hoped that in his final crops—his 2011 crop numbered 13 and he had at least one foal born in 2012—at least one more runner will emerge who will do the "old man" proud and keep the memory of an honest, hard-knocking racehorse and sire fresh and green.


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Linda in Texas

No one will disagree with you Avalyn, not a single person, especially those of us who loved his sire. Have found many a race horse with Slew City Slew in their pedigree. At least we know he had a wonderful life and made it so for those around him. Yes indeed, Slew City Slew, rest in peace and run with your father in those beautiful meadows somewhere in the

wild blue yonder.  

10 Apr 2013 6:12 PM
Karen in Indiana

He will be missed. Brilliance may be nice, but there are too many stallions retired to stud after just a few races because of soundness issues. Slew City Slew was a sire who had a solid race record and passed on talent and durability.

The two who I hope will follow in his footsteps are Einstein and Bold Chieftain. Both had long, distinguished careers that were highlighted by soundness and versatility.

10 Apr 2013 9:20 PM

Loved the horse.  I visited him each time I came to Kentucky to see Dad, Seattle Slew...which was quite often.  He was a bit smaller than his sire, but had that look of determination.  Just wished his son, Lava Man, had not been a gelding.  He could have carried on that branch of the Slew blood line.  RIP!

11 Apr 2013 8:19 AM

We had a nice colt from him One of his last! We named him after slew, two city slew! We lost track and have not been able to find him. Would love to know we're this colt landed , long live the history behind that family! Mike and Val

11 Apr 2013 3:24 PM
joe c.

I traveled to Baltimore and the Pimlico Special in 1989 just to see him.  He didn't win that day, but I snapped more pics of Slew City than winner Blushing John.

12 Apr 2013 7:11 PM

I have owned a Slew City Slew "puppy" for 8 1/2 years since his retirement due to injury at 6 yrs. Like Slew, "Glory" exemplifies the personality and determination of his daddy.  He goes out of his way to be safe for all that come near be they cat, dog, horse, and even people! At 15, still loves a "race" although now only against himself but always from the heart.  He embodies his sire's makeup both inside and out.  We thank and honor "Slew City" regularly for being himself and producing yet another "winner!"

22 Apr 2013 7:56 PM

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