Hialeah Park Racetrack
Backstory and Context
• 1920 Missouri cattleman James Bright and aviation pioneer
Glenn Curtis donate land for community use and help acquire building funds for
construction of public buildings, facilities and racetrack.
• 1922 First pari-mutuel greyhound track in America opened at Hialeah by Miami Kennel Club and Owen Smith, inventor of the conveyor that allowed a mechanical rabbit to move inside a circular track.
• 1924 Joseph Smoot, Bright and Curtis establish Miami Jockey Club and construct grandstand.
• 1925 On Jan. 15, Hialeah Park opens as the Miami Jockey Club.
• 1926 Great Hurricane of 1926 damages Hialeah.
• 1930 Transportation & real estate magnate Joseph Widener purchases Hialeah. Widener takes architect Lester Geisler on a tour of tracks throughout Europe and the United States to better redesign Hialeah.
• 1932 The ‘new’ Hialeah opens on Jan. 14.
• 1933 Hialeah installs totalisator system. Racing on grass begins.
• 1934 First flamingos imported from Cuba.
• 1935 Seabiscuit makes his racing debut. Black Helen wins Florida Derby.
• 1936 First photo finish camera installed.
• 1938 Glen Riddle Farm’s (Samuel D. Riddle) 1937 Triple Crown Winner War Admiral wins the Widener Handicap.
• 1946 Prime Minister of United Kingdom Sir Winston Churchill visits Hialeah Park.
• 1948 Citation wins Flamingo Stakes en route to the Triple Crown, and U.S. Horse of the Year honors.
• 1954 Vineland, New Jersey business entrepreneur Eugene Mori purchases Hialeah Park.
• 1955 Belair Stud’s (William Woodward, Sr.) Nashua wins Flamingo Stakes, en route to Preakness & Belmont. The colt is later named U.S. Champion 3 year old colt & U.S. Horse of the Year.
• 1956 A crowd of 42,366 come to see Nashua. Eddie Arcaro rides third Widener winner.
• 1957 Trainer Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons wins Flamingo Stakes with Bold Ruler, and goes on to become U.S. Champion 3 year old and U.S. Horse of The Year. Flamingo Fountain is built.
• 1960 Bill Hartack is leading jockey for fourth time in five years.
• 1961 Carry Back wins Flamingo Stakes, goes on to win Kentucky Derby & Preakness, U.S. Champion 3 year old colt.
• 1963 Woody Stephens trains his second Flamingo Stakes winner in Never Bend.
• 1964 E.P. Taylor’s (Founder of Woodbine) Northern Dancer wins Flamingo Stakes en route to Kentucky Derby & Preakness tallies. Northern Dancer is named U.S. Champion 3 Year Old Colt, and Canadian Horse of the Year. Flamingo Terrace is added by Eugene Mori.
• 1965 A statue of Citation, executed in Florence, Italy, is unveiled. It weighs 5,995 pounds and is mounted on a base of marble.
• 1969 Diane Crump becomes first female jockey at major U.S. track.
• 1972 Darby Dan Farms’ John Galbreath and associates purchase Hialeah Park
• 1974 Forego wins the first of consecutive Widener Handicaps and U.S. Horse of the Year honors.
• 1974 In the Academy Award winning film, The Godfather II, Director Frances Ford Coppola chose Hialeah Park to signify Michael Corleone’s (Al Pacino) arrival to Miami from New York.
• 1977 Real estate magnate John J. Brunetti purchases Hialeah Park.
• 1977 Seattle Slew remains undefeated winning the Flamingo Stakes and later the Triple Crown. Seattle Slew is named U.S. Champion 3 year old colt and U.S. Horse of the Year.
• 1979 On March 5th Hialeah was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
• 1979 Reigning U.S. Champion 2 year old Spectacular Bid wins Flamingo Stakes by record 12 lengths. Goes on to win Kentucky Derby, Preakness and U.S. Champion 3 year old male.
• 1980 John Henry wins Hialeah Turf Cup, and later is named U.S. Champion Turf Horse.
• 1983 Nijinsky’s Secret wins the first of consecutive Hialeah Turf Cups.
• 1986 Trainer D. Wayne Lukas wins second consecutive Flamingo Stakes with Talinum. Turkoman sets a track record in Widener Handicap.
• 1988 Hialeah is deemed eligible for designation as a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior.
• 1994 Red Oak Stable’s Enjoy The Silence sweeps all three sprint stakes for older fillies and mares – Gold Beauty, Poinciana and Christ Evert.
• 2000 Trainer Todd Pletcher wins Flamingo Stakes with Dogwood Stables’ Trippi.
• 2001 Hialeah ceases thoroughbred racing with the goal of resuming sometime in the future.
• 2009 A new era begins on Nov. 28 when Hialeah Park introduces quarter horse racing.
• 2013 Phase I of the Brunetti family’s multi million dollar revitalization of the entire 200 acre property. Grand Opening of Hialeah Park Casino, Wednesday, August 14.