On This Day...
Photo: Jim Raftery - Turfotos
Buckpasser on the rail winning the Chicken Flamingo.
March 3, 1966
The Chicken Flamingo

Bettors can put up with a lot. But a betless exhibition race featuring fan favorite Buckpasser was too much for Hialeah bettors and fans to handle.

Especially since there would have been seven betting interests.

The entry of Buckpasser and Stupendous in the March 3 Flamingo Stakes at Hialeah appeared unbeatable. Hialeah certainly thought so. Expecting a huge minus pool, the track canceled all betting--win, place, and show.

Well, Buckpasser made a show of it, nipping Abe's Hope by a nose under Bill Shoemaker. Stupendous wasn't even close.

The booing, which had begun during the post parade, continued up to the time the race started. It stopped during the running of the race, then was in full force during the winner's circle ceremony. Hialeah board chairman Gene Mori Sr. declined to show up for the ceremonies and offered the lamest excuse possible--"There is too much emphasis on the betting and not enough on the sport."

It wasn't long before that running of the Flamingo, Buckpasser's 11th win in 14 starts, had the adjective "Chicken" attached to it.

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