Seattle Slew

Author: Jana Nemeckova, published: 9th October 2018

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Seattle Slew was born in 1974 and is the youngest "foundation sire" in our list. He was a great-grandson of Bold Ruler, who led the North American leading sires' list for seven consecutive years in the 1960s, and he became one of the foundation sires of modern American thoroughbred. Bold Ruler was also the great sire of sires, but surprisingly, none of his sons was able to continue a line for more than two generations. Not even racing superstars like Secretariat and Spectacular Bid. Nowadays, Seattle Slew's branch via Boldnesian and Bold Reasoning is the only branch of former Bold Ruler's dynasty, which survived.

Line in the scheme

General overview

Seattle Slew himself was the famous Triple Crown winner in 1977 and the champion older male in 1978. You can read more about him in his profile here on the website. He was a great success at stud too, as he became the North American leading sire in 1984. His top runners included the champion three-year-old male and the champion older male Slew o'Gold, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Capote, the champion two-year-old colt Vindication, and above all, the Horse of the Year A.P. Indy.

Seattle Slew's line is still very young. Genetic impact of Seattle Slew's sons is memorable, but they were no dynasty successors. Luckily, A.P. Indy took over this role and did brilliantly. His own best sons include veteran sire Malibu Moon, the champion three-year-old colt Bernardini, or the Horse of the Year Mineshaft. Another son Pulpit finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby after winning a pair of G2 trials and retired right after. He became not only a grandsire of the double Horse of the Year California Chrome but also a sire of one of the hottest and the most successful stallions of today, Tapit.

Discussion: why the line was chosen

The fate of Bold Ruler's dynasty is a topic for broader discussion, but this isn't the right place where to do so without closer analysis. The next article about Nasrullah will be a more suitable place. Now let's accept the fact that Bold Ruler, no matter how great sire he was, was no dynasty founder after all.

Much more interesting fact is that another son of Bold Reasoning was able to establish the second surviving branch of the line. It was Super Concorde, who was born only a few days before his sire's untimely death at the age of seven. Super Concorde raced in France and became the French champion two-year-old colt in 1977. Super Concorde died very young too, at the age of only 12, but sired the Irish champion sprinter Big Shuffle. Big Shuffle led German leading sires' list six times and alternated Monsun in his early years on this position. In 2010 he was dethroned by his son Areion, who went on to lead the general sires' list three more times, including the year 2017. Areion is still active in Gestut Etzean in Germany.

This story inevitably leads to another question: if not Bold Ruler as a line, then why not Bold Reasoning himself.

First of all, Big Shuffle's branch is local so far. It can change quickly, as German horses are fashionable now and German blood base is the great alternative to traditional western bloodlines. But for now, Big Shuffle and Areion aren't international sires, and their influence is only limited.

As for Seattle Slew himself, he really separated his branch from the rest of the Nasrullah's line, and not only thanks to his success as a sire. Anybody who had seen both Seattle Slew and his sons probably knows there's something more: a specific body type and often also a color which Slew passed on to his progeny. An individual dominance is something which was always valued in a sired, and I honestly believe in the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm aware this cannot be considered a reason to elevate the branch, but it's not a thing to forget either.

As for the fourth consideration, I already explained it in the Foreword to this series. Sons of A.P. Indy are proven sires, and they brought the line into the 21st century on a highly regarded position. Tapit came along shortly after, and his first foals hit the racetrack in 2008, causing the immediate sensation. Tapit, the three-times leading sire in North America in 2014 - 2016, already established himself as one of the best sires in the world. Plus, there can be another boost once California Chrome's first foals enter the sales rings and subsequently also the racetracks.

Seattle Slew's branch isn't only "a success," it's definitely on a roll. And from every aspect, his sireline deserves separated numbers in analyses in the future years.

Branches in analysis

Seattle Slew has two types of influence in modern pedigrees. The first one includes his numerous sons, who, however, mostly turned out to be better broodmare sires. The second type is A.P. Indy and his tail-male descendants. Thus the only thing, which made sense, was to distinguish this paternal lineage as a branch of A.P. Indy.

Seattle Slew's line in pedigrees of 2018

Please note this scheme dates back to July 2018. We will update it with remaining stallions once the analysis of the 2018 racing season is complete.

Next chapter:

Nasrullah