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Equine Obituaries: Seattle Slew the biggest name lost in 2002.

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THE greatest thoroughbred to die in 2002 was Seattle Slew Seattle Slew

(foaled 1974) U.S. Thoroughbred racehorse. He was the first unbeaten racer ever to win the Triple Crown (1977). In his racing career of 17 races, he won 14, was second twice, and fourth once. He was retired to stud in 1978.
, the only surviving US Triple Crown winner at the time of his death in May at the age of 28.

A cheap yearling, Seattle Slew was a champion in each of the three seasons he raced. In 1977 he became the only horse to win the US Triple Crown while still unbeaten (though he was later beaten three times) and he gained his 14 victories by an average margin of nearly five lengths.

He became a legend in his own lifetime and, among American champions, only Secretariat

and Citation can be rated his superior.

Seattle Slew then proved an outstanding sire, with Slew o' Gold, Swale swale  
1. A low tract of land, especially when moist or marshy.

2. A long, narrow, usually shallow trough between ridges on a beach, running parallel to the coastline.

 and AP Indy among his sons. Throughout his life he showed supreme class.

Another great American champion, Sunday Silence, died in Japan in August aged 16 after a long battle with leg problems.

Sunday Silence met his arch-rival Easy Goer four times in 1989 and beat him into second place in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic.

Easy Goer thwarted his bid for the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes.

Sunday Silence became the world's most successful sire, dominating the stallion ranks in Japan to an even greater degree than Sadler's Wells does in Europe.

Seattle Slew and Sunday Silence were two of the four US Horses of the Year to die in the last 12 months, the others being Conquistador Cielo (1982) and Spend A Buck Spend A Buck (born 1982 in western Kentucky, died November 24, 2002 in Brazil) was an American thoroughbred race horse.

Spend A Buck was sired by Buckaroo [1] out of the dam Belle de Jour.

America also lost 1981 Kentucky Derby winner Pleasant Colony, notable sires Raja Baba (at the age of 34) and Kris S, and Left Bank, who won the Whitney Handicap in August and died after an operation for colic colic, intense pain caused by spasmodic contractions of one of the hollow organs, e.g., the stomach, intestine, gall bladder, ureter, or oviduct. The cause of colic is irritation and/or obstruction, and the irritant and/or obstruction may be a stone (as in the gall  in October.

Five English Classic winners died last year: 2,000 Guineas victors Doyoun (1988), Nashwan (1989) and Zafonic (1993), plus Bireme (1980 Oaks) and Shadayid (1991 1,000 Guineas).

Nashwan, who died in July aged 16, is the only 2,000 Guineas winner since Nijinsky to go on to victory in the Derby, and he also took the Eclipse and King George.

He is the only horse ever to win those four races in the same year, though Royal Palace won them over two seasons.

Nashwan's half-brother, 1988 King George runner-up Unfuwain, also died, as did Mozart, who had been

champion sprinter in 2001, and three Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe runners-up: ...pervier Bleu (1990), El Condor Pasa (1999) and the filly Egyptband (2000).

El Condor Pasa was Japan's greatest champion judged on the quality of his best form, for it took Montjeu to beat him in Europe's premier weight-for-age event.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 9, 2003
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