Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!
(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)
Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.
And what better way to start your week, then by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?
So let’s get started this week by talking about one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, Seattle Slew.
In the forty third episode of The Simpsons, Lisa’s Pony (Season 03, Episode 08), Homer disappoints Lisa by failing to get Lisa a saxophone reed in time for the school talent show.
Lisa calls Homer at work: “Dad, I broke my last saxophone reed, and I need you to get me a new one.”
Homer: “Uh, isn’t this the kind of thing your mother’s better at?”
Lisa: “I called her; she’s not home. I also tried Mr. Flanders, Aunt Patty, Aunt Selma, Dr. Hibbert, Reverend Lovejoy, and that nice man who caught the snake in our basement.”
In order to make up for his epic fail, Homer goes beyond his means and purchases Lisa the one thing she has always wanted: a pony.
Homer: “Madam, I want a pony for my little girl and I care not the price.”
Millicent: “Excellent. See that stunning creature over there? He was sired by Seattle Slew. His likeness graces a stamp in Tanzania.”
Homer: “I will take it.”
Millicent: “Mr. Simpson, do you have $500,000?”
Homer writes out a check for $500,000.
Millicent: “A check postdated for A.D. 2050? Mr. Simpson, our prices start at five thousand dollars. Cash.”
Homer: “Isn’t there a pound where you can pick up cheap ponies that ran away from home?”
Millicent: “I most certainly hope not.”
While he can’t afford the pony sired by Seattle Slew, with a little help from Mr. Burns, Homer does purchase another much cheaper pony for Lisa. Lisa is surprised by the pony in a classic movie scene reminiscent of The Godfather.
However, the pony, who Lisa names Princess, proves to be far more expensive than Homer first thought. So Homer takes a second job at the Kwik-E-Mart to afford the pony and keep Lisa happy.
Homer: “I work from midnight to eight, come home, sleep for five minutes, eat breakfast, sleep six more minutes, shower, then I have ten minutes to bask in Lisa’s love, then I’m off to the power plant, fresh as a daisy.”
But have you ever wondered who Seattle Slew is?
Seattle Slew was an American Thoroughbred race horse born on February 15, 1974. He was bred by Ben S. Castleman, a Kentucky racing commissioner, and was foaled at White Horse Acres near Lexington, Kentucky.
Seattle Slew (February 15, 1974 – May 7, 2002)
Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown in 1977, becoming the tenth of thirteen horses to accomplish the feat. He was the first of only two horses to have won the Triple Crown while having been undefeated in any previous race (later joined by the second race horse Justify, who won the Triple Crown in 2018 and who is actually descended from Seattle Slew).
Here is his performance at all 17 of his races:
(If you don’t remember what a furlong is, be sure to check out Super Safi’s Monday Morning Math Mayhem 29 on Imperial Units for Lengths)
In 17 races, Seattle Slew won 14 races. He finished second by a neck in his 13th race and second by a nose in his 16th race. His only poor performance was a 4th place finish by 16 lengths in his 10th race. His jockey for the first 13 races was Jean Cruguet, followed by Angel Cordero Jr. for the last 4 races.
Post-racing, Seattle Slew sired 1,103 named foals, of which 537 (48.7%) were winners and 111 (10.1%) were stakes winners. Seattle Slew underwent spinal fusion surgery at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital for a neurological condition in 2000, followed by a second surgery in 2002. On May 7, 2002, 25 years to the day after he won the Kentucky Derby, Seattle Slew died in his sleep at age 28. He was buried whole at Hill ‘n’ Dale, the highest honour for a winning race horse, with his favorite blanket and a bag of peppermints.
Now that we’ve learned more about one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.
What’s your favourite Simpsons horse episode? What about your favourite Simpsons sports figure reference? Were you familiar with Seattle Slew? Who’s your favourite racehorse? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.