Proctor Knotts Hero Role: Wonder Horse of 1889 Received More Praise in Defeat Than Did Spokane in Triumph., Daily Racing Form, 1939-05-08


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PROCTOR KNOTTS HERO ROLE Wonder Horse of 1889 Received More Praise in Defeat Than Did Spokane in Triumph. LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 6.— Sixty-four Kentucky Derbys have passed into history — many of them as bright and interest-compelling in retrospect as they were in prospect. So it is the rule rather than the exception to find old-timers on this the eve of the 65th running, recounting the good or bad fortune of this or that contestant in one or another of the three score and four classic contests tucked away in the pages of turf lore. . Proctor Knott seems to be the favorite among these old-timers who seem agreed that the runner-up in the Derby of 1889 suffered the hardest luck of any horse connec-ed with the Derby. As these senior racing devotees get together to renew their Derby experiences conversation is certain to veer into the direction of Proctor Knott, defeated by Spokane after a heart-rending duel. Proctor Knott was the hero of his time, the wonder horse of that period and received more praise in defeat than did Spokane in triumph that May day in 1889. Veterans hang their heads in profound sorrow as they tell you: "It was a downright crime for Proctor Knott to suffer defeat." Just when victory appeared to be within the realm of certainty for Proctor Knott his rider failed to prevent him from bearing out entering the stretch and while losing much ground allowed Spokane to come through on the rail and virtually "steal" the race. At one stage of the contest Proctor Knott was leading by as much as five lengths and he still was in front when he swung wide entering the stretch. Near the finish Proctor Knott swerved across the track and almost to the outer rail as Tom Kileys strong urging of Spokane got him to the wire a nose in front of Proctor Knott, which was ridden by "Pike" Barnes. The same tottering veterans, keen-eyed and unforgetting, have seen the jinx pursue some of the modern participants in the blue ribbon classic, but no instance of misfortune as disheartening as Spokanes "fluke" victory over Proctor Knott.

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