On This Day...
Photo: Jim Raftery - Turfotos
Top Knight After Winning the Flamingo.
March 4, 1969
Top Knight in the Flamingo

Top Knight, the champion juvenile male of 1968, took charge of the East Coast division with a triumph in the Flamingo Stakes at Hialeah.

Top Knight's juvenile championship came by way of consecutive wins in the Hopeful, Futurity, and Champagne Stakes in New York. Sent to Florida to prepare for the 1969 Kentucky Derby, Top Knight started out by finishing first in a division of the Bahamas Stakes at Hialeah in early February. Unfortunately for owner Steve Wilson, Top Knight had caused a commotion around the far turn and was disqualified and placed third.

Top Knight returned two weeks later for the Everglades Stakes at 1 1/8 miles, but couldn't catch Arts and Letters and finished second, with Al Hattab and Ack Ack third and fourth, respectively.

Top Knight had carried 10 pounds more than Arts and Letters, but things evened out in the March 4 Flamingo at 1 1/8 miles. All 12 contestants toted 122 pounds, and it was Top Knight catching Arts and Letters in the final furlong to win by two lengths. Top Knight stayed in the Sunshine State, and Wilson set his sights on the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.

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