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Happy 30th anniversary, Slew

Billy Turner still gets stopped by people wanting to reminisce about a remarkable day - June 11, 1977 - when the colt he had masterfully trained, Seattle Slew, thundered around the mud at Belmont Park and became the first, and only, unbeaten Triple Crown winner at 9-0.

By DAVE SCHEIBER
Published April 29, 2007


Billy Turner still gets stopped by people wanting to reminisce about a remarkable day - June 11, 1977 - when the colt he had masterfully trained, Seattle Slew, thundered around the mud at Belmont Park and became the first, and only, unbeaten Triple Crown winner at 9-0.

"It amazes me, because it's 30 years later, and there are people I've never met before and they'll come up and comment about Slew, " says Turner, who still trains horses at the Elmont, N.Y., track. "In his era, he got more press coverage than any horse ever."

The son of Bold Reasoning got plenty when he beat Run Dusty Run by 13/4 lengths in the Kentucky Derby, outdueled the speedy Cormorant to win the Preakness by 11/2 lengths, then dominated the eight-horse field in some of the muddiest conditions Belmont has ever seen, beating Run Dusty Run by 4 lengths.

"Slew was unique, " Turner says, "He showed more intensity and more insanity to run than any horse I've seen. I watched some of that in Ruffian two years earlier. She was a great filly, but Slew was tougher as a colt. He had the same kind of energy, except a little more insanity to run. All I had to do was keep him under control, do as little as possible through the Triple Crown and keep him from overexerting himself. You don't see that very often in horses since then."