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MintHillFarm
Nov. 16, 2009, 09:28 AM
From The Blood Horse:
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who had been battling leukemia for most of the year, died peacefully at his home in Pacific Palisades, Calif., early Monday morning Nov. 16,he was 68.

Very sad...great horseman and trainer. My sympathies to his family and friends.

haligator
Nov. 16, 2009, 09:34 AM
Hi All,
So, so sad. I know this was coming but it still hurts. Condolences to all who knew him and kept him going.

Hallie
Hallie I. McEvoy
Racing Dreams, LLC

Glimmerglass
Nov. 16, 2009, 09:49 AM
It's a shame to read this even though as Hallie said the formal news wasn't good as of late. He was one heck of a trainer and he'll be missed for that. Rest in Peace.

MintHillFarm
Nov. 16, 2009, 10:09 AM
He will really be missed. I hope he was able to enjoy Medaglia d’Oro's success as a sire this year....

caffeinated
Nov. 16, 2009, 10:20 AM
Wow, he really was a true horseman, right up until the end. My condolences to his family and friends.

Mara
Nov. 16, 2009, 10:31 AM
There are no words. . .I didn't even know he was ill, though he hasn't been in the spotlight much this year.

Never one to pull any punches or mince words, he was nonetheless a stand-up horseman.

RIP.

danceronice
Nov. 16, 2009, 11:45 AM
There are no words. . .I didn't even know he was ill, though he hasn't been in the spotlight much this year.

RIP.

This. I'm gobsmacked. Not everyone's cup of tea, certainly, but a true horseman, may he RIP.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 16, 2009, 12:15 PM
Does anyone know the details of how he got into training? From what I understand he was a Jewish kid from NY city and didn't come from a horsey background.

Jewish Journal April 2003 - "Trainer Saddles Up to Run for the Roses" (http://www.jewishjournal.com/community_briefs/article/trainer_saddles_up_to_run_for_the_roses_20030501/)


Bobby Frankel grew up in New York, a streetwise teenager first attracted to area harness and thoroughbred tracks as a gambler. He applied those handicapping skills and a sharp eye for horses into a training career that has catapulted him to the top of his profession.

After graduation from Far Rockaway High School, Frankel attended C.W. Post College for one day. The only post on his mind was post time for the first race at Belmont or Aqueduct. Not surprisingly, one of his early role models was Buddy Jacobson, a winning but irreverent trainer who set the New York establishment on its head.

An equine Einstein, Frankel learned quickly, and by the time he settled in California, had already acquired the nickname, "King of the Claimers," for his ability to claim horses out of cheaper races and improve them dramatically. Admirers and rivals alike shook their heads in awe at Frankel's unmatched talents in measuring the value of a horse, recognizing what distance would best suit him and knowing how easy or hard to train him to maximize his potential.

As for his former training mentor:

Howard "Buddy" Jacobson (http://www.horseraceinsider.com/blog.php/west-coast-wash/11182008-a-snowy-day-at-attica/) - while claiming to be innocent of murder - died in Attica State Prison May 1989.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 16, 2009, 12:27 PM
A larger article on him from ESPN/DRF's Jay Privman 11-16-09 (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/news/story?id=4659654)


Frankel was known as a bit of a grouch, one who complained long and loud when he saw something wrong. He could be playful and witty one moment, a pit bull the next. But his outspokenness was born of a sincere passion for the game, and his gruff exterior masked a man who would get choked up when misfortune befell one of his horses or his dogs.

In 2007, Frankel missed the Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park because his Australian shepherd dog Happy was near death. He would get emotional talking about the horses to whom he grew close, such as Exbourne or the filly Sightseek. He once complained about fans of the Detroit Red Wings throwing octopuses onto the ice.

"I mean, they're living things," he said.

Mara
Nov. 16, 2009, 12:49 PM
Eddie Neloy was also a mentor, I believe.

farmgirl88
Nov. 16, 2009, 12:59 PM
how terribly sad. what a trainer; what a horseman. there really are no words. He was Bobby and i really don't think anyone compares to such a horseman of class.

How kind of him to ask for donations to old friends and CANTER. We really need more trainers like him in this industry. he really truly cared about his horses; he was a blessing.

He will be greatly missed. :no:

JER
Nov. 16, 2009, 02:50 PM
Who could forget Bobby Frankel after Sightseek's final race?


A short while earlier, he had stunned a small gathering of reporters when he began wiping away tears and becoming almost too choked up to speak. After so many winner's circle appearances and encounters with the media over the past several years, the normally reserved Frankel had been exposed. His barricade had come crumbling down right before everyone's eyes. "I can't help it; I worry about her," Frankel said. "She's going home safe. That's the main thing."


(The Blood-Horse "Why there will be no Breeders Cup for Sightseek" (http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/24768/countdown-to-the-cup-why-there-will-be-no-breeders-cup-for-sightseek))

Kaleigh007
Nov. 16, 2009, 02:53 PM
I guess we have all chosen to forget the horses of his who tested positive for morphine and bute and the fact that he would stand over his farriers making sure they trimmed them way down and cut the bruises away (cause thats how I like them done) so that the horses would walk away like they were on crushed glass(saw with my own eyes) or that he bragged once of having 36 horses in his barn and could only count one of them as being sound and that his theory was "that most horses are unsound anyways"(heard with my own ears)...ummm sorry people definately not a great horsemen in my eyes [edit]. Guess you have to be a groom,hotwalker or rider to know the real stories.

cloudyandcallie
Nov. 16, 2009, 02:57 PM
I always thought he was a great trainer and good to his horses.
And it is wonderful he wants contributions to help ottbs.

He grew up with a guy I knew who moved to Atlanta, both worked at the tracks in NY when they were young.

cloudyandcallie
Nov. 16, 2009, 02:58 PM
I guess we have all chosen to forget the horses of his who tested positive for morphine and bute and the fact that he would stand over his farriers making sure they trimmed them way down and cut the bruises away (cause thats how I like them done) so that the horses would walk away like they were on crushed glass(saw with my own eyes) or that he bragged once of having 36 horses in his barn and could only count one of them as being sound and that his theory was "that most horses are unsound anyways"(heard with my own ears)...ummm sorry people definately not a great horsemen in my eyes [edit].

oops! I only knew his public persona.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 16, 2009, 03:15 PM
Curious bits to his record:

In 2003, Frankel won 25 Grade or Group One races, a single-season world record that still stands.

His first training title for a meet came at Saratoga in 1970 and while he'd win 30 different such titles oddly that one back in 1970 was the only Spa meet title he ever won.

Inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1995.

moonriverfarm
Nov. 16, 2009, 03:36 PM
Hard to believe the same man who cut hooves down like that would cry over a dog's death. Guess we never really know a person, do we?

DickHertz
Nov. 16, 2009, 04:00 PM
If I'm not mistaken, the CHRB dismissed the charges against Frankel because the levels in the horses were so minutely low that it couldn't possibly help the horse. Maybe someone can verify.

I did not know Frankel and perhaps, Kayleigh, you knew him at a point in time where he was the way you said, but people can change, can't they?

Kaleigh007
Nov. 16, 2009, 04:35 PM
Dick, I come from the school of thought that a leopard never changes it's spots. Bobby was the same person I knew frm the 80's and there are plenty out there just like him...don't even get me going on that :no:

Horseforthecourse
Nov. 16, 2009, 08:30 PM
[edit]

Kaleigh, you stated your opinion, and now I'm stating mine.

Although I did not know the man personally, I do know some people who did over the years and told me a lot of stories about him.

And you need to be put in your place here.

He did not have the farriers quick the horses. No horseman wants this practice as it makes the horse lame. When horses are first shod, especially with TBs who sometimes have very sensitive feet and soles, they are often tender walking away from the farrier. Some more so than others. Most horses are 'unsound'. That means that most of them do have a problem or two that need careful managing. Also, a lot of times, vets will cut a hoof down to the bruise and drain the area. I'm also not sure how many positives he has come up with, but they weren't with Ginger Punch, Ghostzapper, and all the other GI winners that he has trained over the years. Where was the bute with them?

No matter what you may think of him, you can't be lucky enough to accomplish what he did with horses in his lifetime without also being darn good at it.

From the stories that I heard, he was arrogant and sometimes didn't treat his staff the best, but everyone has good and bad parts to them. And he loved his animals. I remember when he cried about his filly that spooked, flipped over the rail, and had to be euthanized. That wasn't fake.

You bashing the man here after he just lost his battle with a devastating disease speaks a lot more about you than it does him. It wasn't enough for you that he died in pain from an awful disease. Please, for the respect of others, don't continue to be tactless and downright cruel. Let the man rest in peace. I know I'll remember him for being a great trainer no matter the other things that I know about him. You certainly can't change my opinion of him, and I'm sure you won't change anyone else's on here either.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 16, 2009, 08:45 PM
The wide praise for Bobby Frankel goes well beyond just The BloodHorse ...

Frankel Remembered Fondly by Fair Grounds Horsemen‎ (http://www.neworleans.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=262289&Itemid=578)


“He was a great horseman and was unique in his training,” said trainer Al Stall Jr., who stabled near Frankel’s barn at Saratoga. “He trained his horses one morning at a time and he wasn’t afraid to change things midstream, the same morning even, and it worked. His horses looked wonderful on the racetrack. They were nice horses to start, of course, but they sure always looked the part.


Stall’s assistant, Pam Fitzgerald, galloped many of Frankel’s graded stakes winners, including Tinners Way and Possibly Perfect, during three years she worked for him in California in the mid-1990s. “He was really sharp and sometimes he’d let you believe that he wasn’t paying attention but he always knew what you were doing,” Fitzgerald said.

“He was generous with people that needed help,” she added, remembering that Frankel once helped pay for an exercise rider’s rehab treatment. “He could be gruff, but he had a soft side, too.”

LA Times: Bobby Frankel ... (http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-bobby-frankel17-2009nov17,0,2869764.column)


"In my eyes, he and Charlie Whittingham were the benchmarks," trainer Ron Ellis said. "I guarantee there wasn't anybody who claimed as many horses and made them stakes winners. He moved everything up that he got his hands on."


"The thing I'll remember is that he has help in his barn that have been there for 20, 25 and 30 years," said Ron Anderson, the agent for jockey Garrett Gomez. "You don't have that in any business anymore. He employed grooms for dozens and dozens of years because he was so kind and thoughtful. He also came off as a hard, brazen type, but the biggest secret in horse racing was how soft and warm he was."

Jay Hovdey "No choice but to rise to the top" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/108986.html)


"In claiming, you've got egos involved," he told me in a 1995 interview. "I knew how that was. And the horses were the alter ego. People weren't thinking of them as animals who feel pain. I'd see guys lose a horse and clapping because somebody else got stuck with a bad horse, or a horse breaks his leg and somebody claims him, and they're giving each other high fives. That's the worst. I didn't feel like being part of that any more."


There are a few everlasting images that we decide upon to remember the iconic personalities. ...

Frankel, just 68, could have lived another 30 years, winning whatever he wanted to, saying whatever came into his mind, and still for me he would always be the Bobby I saw walking aimlessly through the Santa Anita Park paddock gardens late on the afternoon of March 18, 1984.

His fine filly Sweet Diane had just been killed on the first turn of the Santa Ana Handicap. She had fallen over High Haven, who broke her leg, and in falling Sweet Diane snapped her neck. Like that, she was gone. For occasions of random horror there can be no consolation. Frankel, tough guy, was walking alone, weeping like a child. After that, everything about him made sense.

I haven't read in the dozens of tributes from people - rival trainers, ex clients, even writers who likely were hits by his gruff character - who have said a bad word about the man in terms of his character as a trainer.

summerly
Nov. 16, 2009, 08:52 PM
I have worked for Bobby, I galloped for him in for an extended period of time and spent lots of hours in his barn as my husband was his assistant for over three years! I too saw with my own eyes and seen first hand how he managed his horses and saw nothing like what has been posted to discredit him! He loved his horses and treated them like gold! He was very generous to his staff and people who didn't even work for him! Ask Dottie his bookkeeper all the people who received checks from him weekly just because! I know this for a fact! He doesn't deserve any negativity in my eyes! Just to rest in peace with Happy!!!!

VirginiaBred
Nov. 16, 2009, 09:22 PM
Wow. Knew this was coming, but still.....


Rest in peace.

summerhorse
Nov. 16, 2009, 09:43 PM
Why would anyone want to SORE a racehorse??? Like they aren't hurting themselves enough on their own anyway? Makes no sense

Linny
Nov. 16, 2009, 09:59 PM
When Bobby was in the claiming game, I'm sure I did some of the things trainers do to throw off those who would claim of of them. That said...

I did know Bobby, though not well and saw how his horses were managed. If anything wasn't perfect, they scratched. I was told that Bobby expected alot from his staff, but that they were among the best treated in the game. He had assistants and grooms that worked for him for years. He staked his grooms very well. When Chad Brown went out on his own, Bobby encouraged the Wests to support him with horses, even though some of them came from his own shedrow. Chad continued to reach out to Bobby and always got honest answers.
I am told that the reason that Prince Khalid Abdullah (owner of Juddmonte) came to the Breeders' Cup was because he knew he'd never again see Bobby alive. Theirs was an "classic odd couple" pairing. The Jewish kid from NYC and the Saudi prince won hundreds of stakes races together, including Breeders' Cup and American Classics.
I saw Bobby appear about to cry discussing Flute and Sightseek. Nothing made him smile like his sweet dog, Happy.

Lauruffian
Nov. 17, 2009, 09:55 AM
[edit]

What we do know for certain is Bobby Frankel was human, flawed, and absolutely brilliant at what he did. His absence in this sport is a large one, and it will be felt by many for years and years to come.

I hope he now is in a pain-free place of peace. Godspeed, Bobby.

Timex
Nov. 17, 2009, 10:15 AM
My condolences to Bobby's family and friends. I had a feeling that the time was drawing near...what a shame.

JER
Nov. 17, 2009, 11:13 AM
Frankel bred/owned/trained the 2008 Hollywood Gold Cup winner Mast Track -- who won in track-record time.

An impressive achievement.

summerly
Nov. 17, 2009, 11:29 AM
Mast Track's full brother just sold as a weanling at Keeneland for 95K. THe husband wanted him....

Jumphigh83
Nov. 17, 2009, 11:53 AM
The man was an arrogant jerk. Just do a brief search, you all said so YOURSELVES! Sad when anyone dies but the false memories are a bit much. All sympathies to those who actually did love him and will miss him.

Moderator 1
Nov. 17, 2009, 01:47 PM
We've removed/edited some comments. It's understandable that different people will have different memories and points of view regarding someone who's died and we're willing to provide some leeway to share those perspectives.

This is a memorial thread, however, so even moreso than normal, reserving a level of respect for the deceased and his/her family is expected if you choose to express negative opinions.

If there's an interest in debating the specifics of a given public figure's record or reputation with each other further--within the parameters of our posting guidelines--please do so in another thread.

Thanks,
Mod 1

Himbo
Nov. 17, 2009, 01:52 PM
Ok Glimmerglass thanks for your input!

kcmel
Nov. 17, 2009, 03:19 PM
So sad, one of my favorite trainers. Rest in peace.

FairWeather
Nov. 17, 2009, 03:52 PM
The man was an arrogant jerk. Just do a brief search, you all said so YOURSELVES! Sad when anyone dies but the false memories are a bit much.
Wow, some seriously classless posts here. If you want to kick a person when they are dead? Amazing, striking view into your life.

I wonder what they'll say when you're dead.

The man was human, and people are mourning his loss--regardless of how some of you feel about him. He's dead, he leaves a big hole in the heart of racing and many will miss him. If you won't, then why bother to post.

Disgusting displays of humans here.

Barnfairy
Nov. 17, 2009, 04:29 PM
In the Blood Horse today:

More Than Horses -- by Lenny Shulman:

"Bobby Frankel was not for everybody. I was crazy about him... (http://cs.bloodhorse.com/blogs/finalturn/archive/2009/11/17/more-than-horses-by-lenny-shulman.aspx)

InWhyCee Redux
Nov. 17, 2009, 04:47 PM
For his book "The Wrong Horse" — a great collection of essays on racing —William Murray wrote an interesting and balanced article about Bobby Frankel. I'd recommend it to fans (of which I am one) and non-fans alike.

Pronzini
Nov. 17, 2009, 04:58 PM
Frankel was a complex man--not quite the saint of some of the eulogies but no devil either. He was a consummate horseman and as deeply flawed as the rest of us.

May he rest in peace.

kcmel
Nov. 17, 2009, 06:26 PM
I have worked for Bobby, I galloped for him in for an extended period of time and spent lots of hours in his barn as my husband was his assistant for over three years! I too saw with my own eyes and seen first hand how he managed his horses and saw nothing like what has been posted to discredit him! He loved his horses and treated them like gold! He was very generous to his staff and people who didn't even work for him! Ask Dottie his bookkeeper all the people who received checks from him weekly just because! I know this for a fact! He doesn't deserve any negativity in my eyes! Just to rest in peace with Happy!!!!

Thank you Summerly for posting this. All the negativity is really sad. I still remember him crying after Sightseek's last race. He really seemed to care about his horses, and his staff as well, according to most reports. He was a true horseman and will be truly missed.

foundationmare
Nov. 17, 2009, 09:40 PM
Amen Pronzini!

judybigredpony
Nov. 18, 2009, 06:40 AM
My understanding was he was completely estranged from his daughter Bethany and had no hand in her upbringing...her words...

And how can you drain a buise...its a bruise not a hematoma or abcess????

His record stands on its own.

Toadie's mom
Nov. 18, 2009, 01:43 PM
I'm glad I read this thread AFTER the Mods. cleaned it up.

I didn't know Mr. Frankel either, but a good friend of mine did. She never had a bad word to say about him, and she's someone in the thick of things in the "industry". I always admired him. Couldn't wait to see one of his horses in the paddock, because I knew it would be turned out "to the nines"!

summerly
Nov. 18, 2009, 05:51 PM
Congrats to Humberto, Frankel's longtime assistant(understatement of the year, something like 30 years...wow) Just saddled his first winner in his own name, from the Frankel barn. I'm sure Bobby is smiling down on you! Good job in a trying time!

Pronzini
Nov. 29, 2009, 10:14 AM
This has really touched me.


"He called me up and I got the feeling it was the goodbye phone call," Juddmonte manager Garrett O'Rourke said. "He told me that he was scared and what he was going to do, not take anymore of the transfusions. Then he paused - that chokes anyone up - and he said, `Talk to Humberto (Frankel assistant Humberto Ascanio), we're still going with Ventura, right? Just tell him two easy half-miles and she will be there.'
"He knew he was going in days, and still it was that important to him."
http://www.dailynews.com/sports/ci_13887733

Las Olas
Nov. 29, 2009, 11:14 AM
Dick, I come from the school of thought that a leopard never changes it's spots. Bobby was the same person I knew frm the 80's and there are plenty out there just like him...don't even get me going on that :no:

Sounds to me like you are only envious of someone who has worked hard to achieve a level of success that you apparently have not. Let me know when you are gasping your last breath so I can happily blog about what a hateful, abusive person you were. Your comments have been completely inappropriate and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Kaleigh007
Nov. 29, 2009, 11:35 AM
Not ashamed at all actually. I knew the guy, didn't just read about him in Bloodhorse or some other publication.

Pronzini
Nov. 29, 2009, 12:20 PM
Not ashamed at all actually. I knew the guy, didn't just read about him in Bloodhorse or some other publication.

You really think you are the only one in this thread who can say that? ;)

Barnfairy
Nov. 29, 2009, 12:59 PM
Not ashamed at all actually. Well that's just the trouble. You should be ashamed for having comported yourself so disgracefully. If I thought you had any taste or class I'd be embarrassed for you. In disparaging a dead man you have done nothing but expose your own cowardice.

Las Olas
Nov. 29, 2009, 01:21 PM
Not ashamed at all actually. I knew the guy, didn't just read about him in Bloodhorse or some other publication.

You certainly are not the only one on this board who knew the man. And, regardless of my personal opinions of my dealings with him, I would not show the total lack of proper upbringing that you have in insulting a person who has just passed away. Not only should you be ashamed of yourself, but so should the people that raised you.

Las Olas
Nov. 29, 2009, 01:29 PM
Ventura performed a fitting tribute to her ex trainer today, hacked up easily in the G1 Matriarch stakes at Hollywood.

What a nice tribute. I wonder if they will leave horses with Ascanio long term?

FatDinah
Nov. 29, 2009, 03:43 PM
Humberto had a double for Frankel: His horse won the Citation Mile, too,