Seattle Slew, the only horse to win the Triple Crown while undefeated, died this morning at Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington, Ky.
Seattle Slew won the Kentucky Derby exactly 25 years ago — on May 7, 1977. Seattle Slew had been the last remaining Triple Crown winner, and his passing leaves the thoroughbred world without a living Triple Crown winner for the first time since Sir Barton first accomplished the feat in 1919.
Slew had recently been moved to Hill 'n' Dale from Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., following his second spinal surgery. His barn at Three Chimneys was too close to the breeding shed, causing him to become agitated when mares arrived on the farm.
"It was one of the great privileges to be around something great, a feeling that will likely never be duplicated," John Sikura, the owner of Hill 'n' Dale Farm, told racing Web site bloodhorse.com. "But with extreme reward comes extreme sadness. To be near greatness is what everyone in this business aspires to, and it happens so rarely.
"He was one in a million, and showed us there is that possibility in a game of impossibilities."