Slew of Damascus dazzled 20 years ago at Yakima Meadows

29 Mar

Remember when Yakima Meadows, the Central Washington racetrack, was up and running?

Well, 20 years ago this weekend (March 28, 1993), one of the fastest Thoroughbred races took place in the Pacific Northwest.

Slew of Damascus - bloodhorseSlew of Damascus, making his stakes debut in career start No. 15, cruised around the dirt oval with Gary Baze in the irons, crushing his rivals by 7 1/4 lengths in the Yakima Mile. The 5-year-old finished the $50,000 race in 1:33 flat.

That recorded 1-mile time was the fastest ever run at YM – the old record was 1:35 1/5 set by Turbulator in 1970. Sky Jack in 2003 tied the 1:33 mark (fastest in state history) in the Longacres Mile held at Emerald Downs.

Slew of Damascus paid $4.60 to win for trainer Tom Bevan. Sneakin Jake finished a distant second and Total Tempo (8/5) rounded out the top three.

The Tennessee-bred was owned by the partnership of George Losh of Gig Harbor, Edris Harbeston of Bellevue and Vic Naccarato of Yakima. They paid $4,500 for the horse that broke his maiden in his second career start at Longacres in 1991.

That was just the beginning of an amazing career by a runner who started his racing in Washington.

Slew cupSlew of Damascus would shine 12 times in stakes races held up-and-down the West coast (1993-97).

His signature victory came in the Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup on July 2, 1994. ”If I lived another 100 years and owned another 1,000 horses, I’d never find another one like this one,” Losh said before leaving for (the Gold Cup) California.

Craig Roberts was the trainer of Slew of Damascus for the $750,000 race and was ridden by Gary Stevens. Slew of Damascus (8-1), whose silks were yellow, with red Washington apples, controlled the pace for a ¾ length front-running score. The Wicked North (3/5 favorite) checked in a distant fourth.

He ended his career winning 16 races from 48 starts with nine seconds and earned $1.4 million in purse money.

Slew Of Damascus record

He won stakes races at Yakima Meadows (1), Golden Gate (3), Del Mar (1), Bay Meadows (4), Hollywood Park (2) and Emerald Downs (1).

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One Response to “Slew of Damascus dazzled 20 years ago at Yakima Meadows”

  1. mlblogsballsandstrikes March 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    I am new to horse racing, but winning 16 of 48 races is amazing, though 48 races seems a short career. What happened to this horse?

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