by Ed Meyer

posted on November 16, 2009 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

On July 9, 1941, Robert Frankel entered into this world not knowing what excitement he would bring, the years that would unfold, and the 119 Grade-I’s and New York Stakes to his credit. This past year, he had accumulated a small $11,702,123 in purses. He left us on the morning of November 16, and there is definitely a void that will never be filled in our sport.

This year, things had been kept pretty quiet about Bobby’s overall sickness. I am sure that many of the press and media had known, but thanks for giving this man his dignity.

I can remember a few of his runners that caught my eye and my wallet.

Champs Elysees – Winner of the Northern Dancer, and the Hollywood Turf Cup.  I loved watching this runner, and bet the horse many times.

Leroidesanimaux (king of the animals) – Looked every bit the part on many occasions. I think the Atto Mile made me a few bucks, and a true believer.

Medaglia d’Oro – Pick a race that brought you chills. I go back to the Travers in 2002 and once again, I was made a believer.

Ventura – Need I say more?

These were just a few of the many animals that came into the care of Bobby Frankel. I loved the way he never got really rattled. I think it took some years to accumulate the cool, but it showed up on big days where he would talk softly and walk over with a big horse.

This is life…. People come, and people go every day. Some we know, and some we may never get to know. The fans of racing get to know their stars by watching the big races, and how they appear on TV.  I have had the opportunity to get to know a few of the “biggies” that we watch. When they retire, or they leave us too soon, I have more of an appreciation of the fragility of life and the love of the sport my father introduced me to so many years ago.

I once saw a Peb cartoon about horses that have earned their wings and watch over the game from the heavens. I think that he will be greeted kindly.  If there is racing in the afterlife, I know Bobby Frankel will have a stable in the rows of champions.