Success builds on success, and for Ocala Stud’s Awesome Slew, he has significant success to build upon. Florida’s champion freshman sire in 2022 and champion second-crop sire in 2023, Awesome Slew is currently atop the third-crop sire list and fifth among all Florida sires, thanks in no small part to his 3-year-old son Hades.

On Feb. 3, Hades upended a field that included champion 2-year-old male Fierceness to win the Holy Bull Stakes (Grade 3), and he is slated to put his unbeaten record on the line in the Florida Derby (Grade 1) on March 30.

Hades is one of 33 winners sired by Awesome Slew from 80 foals aged three and over eighteen of those winners broke their maidens as 2-year-olds. Those juvenile winners include Awesome Strong, who swept the FTBOA Florida Sire series for 2-year-old males in 2022. Since the beginning of 2024, Awesome Slew has been represented by eight winners (Hades included) as well as stakes-placed Louie the Sun King.

Awesome Slew has also done well at the 2-year-olds-in-training sales, Florida’s signature market. Last year, the stallion sent 19 head to the ring where 18 sold for an average of $76,261. They included Head of the Class, a colt that went for $700,000 at the May Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale after working an eighth-mile in ten seconds flat. Hades is his best-known sale graduate having gone for $130,000 at the 2023 Ocala Breeders’ Sales April sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Awesome Slew has the bloodlines for both racing and stallion success. He is by 1998 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1)-winner Awesome Again, whose son Awesome of Course also had sire success in Florida, begetting 2010 American champion 2-year-old filly Awesome Feather among others.  A half-brother to stakes winner He’s Bankable (by Arch) and to Grade 3-placed Souper Lucky (by Giant’s Causeway), Awesome Slew is out of Grade 2-placed stakes winner Slewfoundmoney (by Seeking the Gold), a full sister to 2005 Kent Breeders’ Cup Stakes (G3)-winner Seeking Slew and a half-sister to 2004 Bold Ruler Handicap (G3)-winner Canadian Frontier (by Gone West). Slewfoundmoney, in turn, is out of the Seattle Slew mare Borodislew, a multiple Grade 2-winner and a half sister to Italian Group 3-winner Breath of Love (by Mutakddim).

Awesome Slew did his part to uphold the family reputation, winning the 2016 Smarty Jones Stakes (G3) at three plus the Commonwealth Stakes (G3) and Ack Ack Stakes (G3) at four. He placed in nine other graded races, including the 2017 Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and two other Grade 1 events.

“Awesome Slew is everything you look for in a stallion,” says Ocala Stud’s David O’Farrell. “He’s a good-looking, good-sized horse with good substance and bone, and he stamps his foals with that size and good legs. We’re really happy here with what he’s been putting out, and I believe he has a bright future.”

Awesome Slew is standing the 2024 season for $4,000 stands and nurses.

Return to the March 18 issue of Wire to Wire