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  Winter Quarters for the Flamingo's!     

Hialeah ParkHialeah Logo

Hialeah Park is located in the town of Hialeah, which is about twelve miles from downtown Miami. Going back to the glory days that started in the forties Hialeah was quite the facility. It featured a one and one eight mile dirt oval, with an inner turf course, the grandstand was open air with a climate controlled clubhouse. The grandstand seated 13,000, the clubhouse 7,000, which included the Citation Room for indoor dining and the Flamingo Terrace for outdoor dining on the finish line. Hialeah could house 1,500 horses.

The facility was adorned with lush gardens and vegetation, it also had an  aviary for tropical birds and an aquarium that featured rare coral reef fish. The crowning glory is the flock of Flamingos that call Hialeah home. Once each racing day they would take flight around the facility, before returning to the infield lake. Hialeah was open year round back then. Today it is still open year round, but that probably has more to do with the casino it now runs. Hialeah still maintains much of it's original beauty and the Flamingos still fly during live race dates.          

Looking more like something out of "Great Expectations" than a site listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, Hialeah Park waits for the wrecking ball. Like other historic tracks on the east coast it too will soon be a mall, or a condo site.

Hialeah ParkFlamingo Day

Forced by deregulation of Florida racing dates Hialeah lost it's premier Winter dates, it was then unable to compete with Gulfstream and Calder. On May 22, 2001 soon after the Flamingos did their last fly by a filly named Cheeky Miss crossed the finish line to end another chapter in American racing history.

First turf course in United States 1933. Racinos have brought Hialeah back from the dead, in 2010 the storied Miami track which boosted a 23 purse value and hosted some of Americas premier races was re-opened as a Quarter Horse venue.

Not quite the glory days but Hialeah returned in 2011 and racing is scheduled for 2012. The best news of all, the Flamingos are still flying! 

In 2012 Hialeah closed out it's third year of quarter horse racing. Alex Baldilez Jr. was a runaway winner with the riding crown. Another notable event in 2012 was Hialeah's attempt to get back in the thoroughbred game. unable to gain any concessions from Calder or Gulfstream the plan was shelved.

If you think it's strange to watch quarter horses at Hialeah, imagine the first patrons back in 1922 who walked through the doors of the first dog racing track in the United States. The track didn't convert to horses until three years later.

In 2013 it looked like Hialeah was entertaining the idea of getting back into the thoroughbred business, but already having suffered a devastating loss to Gulfstream Park that put them out of business, they decided to stick to quarter horses and let Calder and Gulfstream fight it out for now.