04/01/2002 1:00AM

Seattle Slew to Hill 'n' Dale


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Seattle Slew, the 1977 Triple Crown winner who is recovering from spine surgery, has moved from his longtime home at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky., to John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington.

Seattle Slew's syndicate manager, Mickey Taylor, announced the 28-year-old Seattle Slew's relocation Sunday in a letter to shareholders in the stallion.

"I believe that it is in Slew's best interest to be in a setting which allows him to be more isolated from mares coming to the breeding shed. Hill 'n' Dale provides that opportunity," Taylor wrote

Seattle Slew, who had stood at Three Chimneys since 1985, arrived at Hill 'n' Dale at 6 a.m. on Monday morning. His longtime groom, Tom Wade, also has relocated with him.

Seattle Slew - sire of such champions as A.P. Indy, Slew o' Gold, Surfside, Swale, and many others - underwent surgery on March 2 to correct arthritic changes in his vertebrae that had pressed on his spinal cord, causing him to lose coordination.

That was the second such surgery for Seattle Slew, who underwent the same procedure in a different area of his spine in April 2000.

In his letter to shareholders, Taylor said that Seattle Slew is progressing from his surgery and that the lead surgeon, Dr. Barrie Grant, has recommended "short walks" for the horse.

"Due to his proximity to the Three Chimneys breeding shed and my concern in keeping him quiet, I have decided to move him to Hill 'n' Dale Farm," Taylor wrote.

Taylor also thanked Three Chimneys for its "attention and devotion" to the stallion.

Hill 'n' Dale owner Sikura said that Taylor and his wife, Karen, had approached him about taking Seattle Slew, and that he agreed to board the stallion whether or not Seattle Slew could ever return to active stud duty.

"Taking this horse was not a business decision," Sikura said. "I felt an obligation that if they thought this would be in the best interest of the horse, then I would do what I could for the horse. I didn't make the decision based on whether the horse would ever breed again, and we didn't discuss that."