Seattle Slew

Seattle Slew License Plate Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) Foundation is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its specialty Seattle Slew license plate. Since its release on May 1, 2017, the number of Kentuckians who have chosen to use the plate has continued to increase annually. From each purchase and renewal of the plate, $10 is donated to the KEEP Foundation to be used for educational initiatives related to the state's horse industry. To date, funding from the license plate has totaled nearly $140,000. The KEEP Foundation's Seattle Slew specialty license plate would not...

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This Side Up: Two Very Different Lives, One Passion

No matter what privileges or disadvantages we take into the starting gate, and no matter how many circuits we get to run, all of us ultimately pull up at the same finishing line. But it is not just that humbling reckoning, reached within days of each other, that united Billy Turner and Josephine Abercrombie. Their lives, though wildly contrasting, were animated by the same bond of vitality that sustains many who grieve them. "Mrs. A.", as she was known to those blessed by her friendship or patronage, embraced the extraordinary...

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Billy Turner, Trainer of Seattle Slew, Passes Away

William H. "Billy" Turner, the trainer of the 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, passed away peacefully in cancer hospice care at his home in Reddick, Florida Friday evening, Dec. 31, according to a press release from Pavla Nygaard at the Ocala Jockey Club. He was 81 years old. Turner was born February 29, 1940, in Rochester New York, and grew up riding and fox hunting in Pennsylvania's horse country. He began his career as a steeplechase jockey as a teenager under trainer Burley Cocks. He rode for five years,...

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Slew Trainer Turner Enters Home Hospice Care

Billy Turner, who called the shots on the career of 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, was to enter home hospice care Dec. 27 as he continues to wage a battle against cancer, which has spread to his lungs. According to a GoFundMe page created by horse owner and breeder Pavla Nygaard, Turner, 81, was diagnosed with prostate cancer about two years ago, which spread to and weakened his bones. According to the GoFundMe page, Turner was admitted to the hospital Dec. 17 with shortness of breath and fluid aspirated...

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Fasig-Tipton July Launches Yearling Season

The 2021 yearling season kicks off with Fasig-Tipton's July Sale Tuesday at the Newtown Paddocks in Lexington, Kentucky. With just under 350 yearlings cataloged for the single-session auction, the July sale, which had swelled to as many as 550-600 horses over a decade ago, appears to have found its sweet spot--both in volume and the type of offerings--in recent times. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the July Sale was cancelled last season, with the horses merged into the re-routed Saratoga Select and NY-bred sales held in Kentucky in September. "It...

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Body & Soul: Hey Sport, How Ya Doin'?

Your correspondent distinctly remembers interviewing a youngish financial guru over lunch at The Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel on Central Park West. It was in 1977, and it was shortly after Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown, something one doesn't forget. What sticks in our mind, however, was not the interview. Rather he went on a rave about "Slew" after our chat uncovered a mutual obsession with the sport. We tossed out that he might be judged a "freak" by blue-blooded observers, upon which my tablemate provocatively opined that,...

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Doug Peterson's Son Wins in MLB Debut

David Peterson, the son of Doug Peterson, who trained Seattle Slew during his 4-year-old year, had a night to remember Tuesday as he was the winning pitcher in his MLB debut. Peterson, 24, led the Mets to an 8-3 win over the lowly Boston Red Sox. "This is one of the greatest days of my life," Peterson said. "This is something I've wanted to do since I was a little kid, and to go out there and make my first major league start, we got the win and I couldn't...

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Despite Many Hardships, Billy Turner Tries to Stay Optimistic

Seattle Slew's trainer left the racetrack in 2016, moved to Florida and settled in for what he had thought would be a quiet retirement. It may have started out that way, but in late April Billy Turner's life started to come apart. Living at the Ocala Jockey Club in Reddick, Florida, Turner suffered a freakish injury that caused him to break his neck. That was bad enough, but it was only one part of the story. While being treated in the hospital, it was discovered that he had prostate cancer...

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Fund Established to Support Billy Turner

A GoFundMe account has been established to support retired trainer Billy Turner who suffered a broken neck in an accident last month. Turner, who trained Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, needs full-time nursing home care and a wheelchair. He will eventually need home care and physical therapy. For more information or to donate, click here.

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Seattle Slew The Choice In Virtual Derby

There won't be a real GI Kentucky Derby Saturday, but there will be a pretend one--a really interesting pretend one. Working with the firm Inspired Entertainment, Churchill Downs will present the Kentucky Derby Triple Crown Showdown. It's a virtual race that will pit the 13 Triple Crown winners against one another. Data algorithms, including historical handicapping information about each horse, will be used to decide the outcome. The virtual Derby will air on NBC and fans can go online at to submit their picks and make contributions to charities...

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Secretariat Favored in KY Derby: Triple Crown Showdown

Secretariat has been established as the horse to beat in Saturday's Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown by odds maker Mike Battaglia. The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown is an animated race created by Inspired Entertainment Inc. using computer-generated imagery that will feature the 13 past Triple Crown winners in a 1 1/4-mile race at Churchill Downs. The virtual race will air around 5:45 p.m. as part of NBC's broadcast of "The First Saturday In May: American  Pharoah's Run to the Triple Crown" Saturday from 3-6 p.m. Secretariat landed post position...

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Who's Your Favorite Horse? Bob Fierro

BOB FIERRO, DATA TRACK Favorite: I was a 12-year-old from Queens who was a horrible athletic prospect, but who loved racehorses. When a t.v. station broadcast the Bluegrass S. at Keeneland won by a diminutive colt named Round Table who scorched his way to a track record, he pierced his way into my heart. I checked his pedigree and decided he was the best-named horse ever (*Princequillo--*Knight's Daughter, c'mon!) because he came along when I was in school wallowing with joy through the Arthurian legend. However, I was devastated when...

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