A Dark Day For Racing
The Needle & the Damage Done
Definition of a Handy Workout
Definition of a Breezing Workout
Rolling with the Wiseguys
Mucho Trabajo, Poco Dinero
The Day the Music Died Biography
Steve Cady wrote a book about Seattle Slewís racing career. One of the earliest episodes Cady documented was Seattle Slew's preparation for his racing debut.
One summer, the squirrel was in the press box at Saratoga during workout hours. The squirrel noticed trainer Billy Turner standing in the irons on his pony Steamboat, situated on the finish line. Trainer Turner was waving his arms frantically, hoping to attract jockey Jean Crugetís attention: The jet black firster from Turnerís stable Cruget now rode was traveling too fast. Turner wanted him slowed down. The horse, named Seattle Slew, was working big, smooth and a little too fast (110-1) for a youngster going six furlong for the first time. That morning, battling with taut reins to the finish line, Seattle Slew displayed the tenacity that would become his trademark. The 110-1 workout time for Seattle Slew with jockey Cruget aboard never appeared in the Daily Racing Forms workout tab the next day. An earlier 58-2 grass workout by Seattle Slew was slowed down a bit (100-2) but that didn't matter, since it was credited to Seattle Sue. Seattle Slew, by the way, never started at Saratoga that summer because of a minor setback (he'd kicked his stall and inflamed a joint).
Before 18,745 fans, Seattle Slew finally debuted at Belmont Racetrack on a Monday in the fall. His blazing workouts (110-1 & 58-2) were hidden from the public. Only three slow works were credited to Seattle Slew, 102, 48-1 and 48.
A betting client, who owned a Deli in New York, was alerted by his clocker about Seattle Slew before his debut. The client bet and got a square price, too. The general public, some of whom scan the bottom of the daily workout tabs in the Racing Form for positively highlighted workout comments, especially on maidens, read nothing about Seattle Slew's promising morning movements. Now if the general betting public had read positive glowing reviews about Seattle Slews training for his debut starting at Saratoga (e.g. Doc Hill; "Ten and one. Never seen a horse get it that easy.") from a clocker whom the betting public had developed confidence in, many fans who peruse the workouts in the Form would have bet and been thrilled to have captured Seattle Slew in his debut. Or even if they didnít wager, they would have been aware of his talents and not caught barefoot by the three misdirecting slow workouts; either way, they would have remained fans of horse racing and its clockers workout reviews forever. Instead, to me, it marks one of the days the music died.