04/04/2013 4:06PM

Slew City Slew, Grade 1 winner and sire of Lava Man, dies at 29


Slew City Slew, a multiple Grade 1 winner and earner of more than $1.1 million on the racetrack and a productive sire at Airdrie Stud responsible for multiple Grade 1 winner Lava Man, among others, died Thursday at the Midway, Ky., farm due to the infirmities of old age. He was 29.

“Slew will be missed by everybody here at Airdrie, as he was with us for so long and was such a wonderful character,” said Ben Henley, a member of Airdrie’s bloodstock-services staff. “He will be remembered as a sire that had a prolific number of tough, durable winners – often with long track careers like his own . . . Slew will be buried here at the farm near his paddock.”

By the legendary Seattle Slew and out of the Grade 1-winning Berkley Prince mare Weber City Miss, Slew City Slew developed into a top handicap horse at ages 4 and 5 for owners Joseph Allen and Tayhill Stable and trainer D. Wayne Lukas. He captured four stakes, three of them graded, in 1988 and finished second by a neck to Alysheba in the Grade 1 Meadowlands Cup Handicap.

In 1989, Slew City Slew won the Gulfstream Park and Oaklawn handicaps, both Grade 1’s, before retiring at the end of the year.

Slew City Slew began his stud career at Airdrie in 1990 and remained there under the care of owners Brereton and Libby Jones and staff after he was pensioned in 2011. From 20 crops of racing age, he sired 581 winners and 66 stakes winners (6 percent from 918 foals ages 3 and up) who have earned more than $46 million. He has 13 registered 2-year-olds for 2013.

Leading the list of Slew City Slew’s best foals is Lava Man, a winner of more than $5.2 million who was voted California’s Horse of the Year in 2005 and 2006. The popular gelding won 13 stakes over seven seasons, including seven Grade 1’s. Other top horses sired by Slew City Slew include 2001 Canadian Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male Win City; Grade 1 winner Sis City; Grade 2 winners City by Night, Natural Selection, Evansville Slew, Soul City Slew, and Swamp; and millionaire Maysville Slew.

“Slew’s professionalism and manners around the breeding shed were second to none,” Henley said. “He had such a kind nature that whenever we had visitors to the farm he was the type of horse that you could let young children pet and feed and he would be ever so nice to them.”