The Story of Seattle Slew's First Champion
For a few months in 1982, Landaluce was a national celebrity. In her second start, just one week after claiming her maiden, the two-year-old filly won the Hollywood Lassie Stakes by 21 lengths – a margin of victory that remains the largest ever in any race by a two-year-old at Hollywood Park. Landaluce was poised to become the next American super-horse. But those dreams ended when the two-year-old died in her stall at Santa Anita four months later, the victim of a swift and mysterious illness. Today, with the 'I Love Luce' bumper stickers long-gone, the filly has been largely forgotten.
In Landaluce: Forever a Champion, Mary Perdue tells the story of a filly whose short but meteoric racing career could have changed racing history forever. In doing so, Perdue also explores the lives and careers of the breeders, owners and trainer, as well as her famous sire, Seattle Slew. From breeder Leslie Combs, who grew Spendthrift farm into a 4,000 acre powerhouse while standing over 40 of the most prized stallions in the country, to trainer D. Wayne Lukas whose stable of racehorses have been winning races for nearly forty years, Landaluce’s brief stint at the top of the sport provides a window into racing history.
More than a mere recitation of Landaluce's accomplishments or a piece of investigative journalism probing the mystery of her death, Perdue explores how one filly captured the imagination of racing fans across the country and set the stage for another filly turned super-horse, Zenyatta, in the decades to come.
"Mary Perdue takes readers on a riveting journey not just through Landaluce's two years on earth, but across decades of horse racing history, from the Great Depression to the 1980s, from Kentucky to California, from breeding shed to euthanasia ...Perdue's work centers on one horse, but taps racing's every vein — essential reading for fans of the sport." — Tim Layden, writer-at-large at NBC Sports