Hialeah Park's Famous Flamingos Are a Sunshine State Symbol

    By Scott Barnett

    In 1934, Joseph Widener imported the first flock of flamingos from Cuba to inhabit the infield lake at Hialeah Park. Since their introduction, these exotic, colorful birds have become a widely recognized trademark of Hialeah Park and South Florida. The flamingos frequently have been used as the backdrop for major feature films and TV shows, including the opening of the hit show Miami Vice and the feature films The Champ and the hit Let It Ride.

    The colony was hatched and raised all at the race track. In fact, Hialeah Park is the only place the species has been successfully reproduced outside its wild state. For that reason, the infield area of the racetrack was deemed a National Audubon Sanctuary.

    Oh, and if you get to talk to V.P. of operations Dennis Testa, ask him about the secret to that success — specifically, the women's stockings and plaster of paris. Watch the video. You'll see.