Swale (horse)

Swale (April 21, 1981 – June 17, 1984) was an American thoroughbred racehorse. He is best known for winning the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes in 1984. He died eight days after his win in the latter race.

SireSeattle Slew
GrandsireBold Reasoning
FoaledApril 21, 1981[1]
DiedJune 17, 1984(1984-06-17) (aged 3)
CountryUnited States
ColourDark Bay/Brown
BreederClaiborne Farm
OwnerClaiborne Farm
Silks: Yellow, Yellow Cap
TrainerWoody Stephens
Record14: 9-2-2
Major wins
Breeders' Futurity Stakes (1983)
Belmont Futurity Stakes (1983)
Saratoga Special Stakes (1983)
Young America Stakes (1983)
Hutcheson Stakes (1984)
Florida Derby (1984)
Triple Crown race wins:
Kentucky Derby (1984)
Belmont Stakes (1984)
U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old Colt (1984)
Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame (1985)
Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park


A son of the 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, Swale was trained by Woody Stephens and ridden by Laffit Pincay, Jr., both now members of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Swale's dam, the stakes winning mare Tuerta, was born with one eye. Her name means "one-eyed" in Spanish.

Racing careerEdit

1983: two-year-old seasonEdit

At 2, Swale broke his maiden at Belmont Park on July 21, 1983. Next out, he was entered in the Saratoga Special Stakes, and in the muddy going at Saratoga Race Course, won the race with jockey Eddie Maple. After finishing third in the Hopeful Stakes at Sarartoga, Swale went undefeated the remainder of his two-year-old campaign, with wins in the Belmont Futurity Stakes, Breeders' Futurity Stakes, and Young America Stakes.

1984: three-year-old seasonEdit

At 3, Swale won the Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park by seven lengths first out. After displacing his palate in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, where he finished third, he won the Florida Derby with new rider Laffit Pincay, Jr., running the mile and one-eighth in 1:47 3/5 as he drew away from favored Dr. Carter at the end. After being upset in the sloppy going at Keeneland Race Course in the Lexington Stakes when second, Swale won the Kentucky Derby at historic Churchill Downs.[2]

The day before departing for Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes, Swale worked seven furlongs in 1:24, galloping out the mile in 1:37 1/5 at Churchill Downs, then shipped to Baltimore on Monday and worked a half-mile in a swift :46, galloping out five furlongs in :59 3/5 two days before the big race. That Saturday he ran an uncharacteristic seventh in the Preakness Stakes. Swale came back to win the longest and most gruelling of the U.S. Triple Crown races, the Belmont Stakes.[3]


On June 17, 1984, eight days after the Belmont Stakes, Swale collapsed and died en route to his stall following a bath.[4] He was buried at Claiborne Farm.

Honors and awardsEdit

Swale posthumously received the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Three-Year-Old Male Horse for 1984. He earned $1,583,660 during his two-year racing career.

The Swale Stakes, an annual Grade II stakes race for three-year-olds at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida, was named in his honor.


Pedigree of Swale (USA), bay or brown colt 1981[1]
Seattle Slew
Bold Reasoning Boldnesian Bold Ruler
Reason To Earn Hail To Reason
Sailing Home
My Charmer Poker Round Table
Fair Charmer Jet Action
Myrtle Charm
Forli Aristophanes Hyperion
Trevisa Advocate
Continue Double Jay Balladier
Courtesy Nasrullah
Highway Code


  1. ^ a b "Swale pedigree". Equineline.
  2. ^ "1984 - 2018 Kentucky Derby & Oaks - May 4 and 5, 2018 - Tickets, Events, News". www.kentuckyderby.com.
  3. ^ "The Montreal Gazette - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  4. ^ Racing With Death - The Saga of Swale Daly, Michael in New York Magazine - August 6, 1984