Proctor Knott (horse)

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Proctor Knott
Sire Luke Blackburn
Dam Tallapaloosa
Damsire Great Tom
Sex Gelding
Foaled 1886
Country United States
Colour Chestnut
Breeder Belle Meade Stud
Owner George Scoogan and Samuel W. Bryant
Trainer Samuel W. Bryant
Record 26:11-6-4
Earnings $80,350
Major wins
Futurity Stakes (1888)
Junior Champion Stakes (1888)
American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt (1888)

Proctor Knott (foaled 1886 in Tennessee) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse gelding. His sire was the Hall of Famer Luke Blackburn, and his dam Tallapaloosa. He was bred by Belle Meade Stud and like his father, who had been named for the then-current governor of Kentucky, he was named for Governor J. Proctor Knott. He was owned during his racing career by George Scoogan and Sam Bryant.

Racing career[edit]

Trained by co-owner, Captain Samuel W. Bryant, Proctor Knott had a career racing record of 26 starts, 11 wins, 6 seconds and 4 thirds, earning $80,350. In 1888, as a juvenile, he won the Junior Champion Stakes and the inaugural running of Futurity Stakes, which at the time was the richest race ever run in North America with a purse of $45,375,[1] depending on which source you believe. He is listed by Thoroughbred Heritage as American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse of 1888. During his three-year-old campaign, Proctor Knott finished second in the Kentucky Derby as the 1-2 favorite behind Spokane. Proctor Knott false started twice, ran off and almost unseated his rider, according to the official comments,[2] then raced wide and lost in a contested finish. He also ran second in the Omnibus Stakes at Monmouth Park behind Longstreet, the 1891 American Horse of the Year and son of the great Longfellow. He also ran second in the Clark Handicap, where the finishers came in just as they had in the Kentucky Derby.[3][4][5]

Proctor Knott vs. Salvator[edit]

Salvator, a member of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, never defeated Proctor Knott. In Salvator's first start, the Junior Champion Stakes at Coney Island, Proctor Knott won while Salvator came in third. Three weeks later, their rivalry was renewed in the Futurity, where Proctor Knott again won. After this race, Proctor Knott was given time off, while Salvator continued to race and won four more stakes. Their next and final meeting was in the Omnibus Stakes. While neither of them won, Proctor Knott placed ahead of Salvator. Salvator never lost again in seven more races, while Proctor Knott won only two of his final nine races.


Proctor Knott died on the morning of August 6, 1891. The Proctor Knott Handicap was won in 1921 by Black Servant, a son of Black Toney. The race was conducted at Churchill Downs between 1920 and 1921.


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