02/26/2002 1:00AM

Seattle Slew temporarily out of stud duty

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MIAMI, Fla. - Seattle Slew, 1977's Triple Crown winner and one of the sport's influential sires, has been temporarily removed from stud duty Monday at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky.

In a letter to shareholders, Three Chimneys president Dan Rosenberg said that the 28-year-old stallion will undergo a neurological examination and semen analysis.

"A preliminary semen analysis today shows his semen quality is comparable to that of a year ago, when he got 90.5 percent of his mares in foal, prior to the pregnancy losses of MRLS (mare reproductive loss syndrome)," Rosenberg said in the shareholders' letter.

Rosenberg added that the farm expected to communicate again with shareholders within 48 hours.

In February 2000, the farm reported that Seattle Slew was showing signs of what it termed "a mild neurological deficit," which later proved to be due to arthritic changes in his vertebrae. That March, Seattle Slew's breeding schedule was scaled back due to fertility problems that farm officials later indicated were related to the neurological difficulties. Seattle Slew underwent surgery in April 2000 to correct the vertebral changes and resumed covering mares in 2001.