Going Out A Winner

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 19, 2009 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

All of us would like to remembered as a winner. The things we do, the people we touch, and those we leave behind. Very few in the sporting arena have a walk off homer, a dunk at the buzzer, or a birdie on the 18th. But for Bobby Frankel, it was an exclamation point to an extraordinary career.

Life by RR was the last horse entered in Bobby Frankel’s name. Alex Solis had the honor of the mount, and it would be the last time we would see his name on the entry form. The horse actually was saddled in his assistant’s name Humberto Ascenio. He had been with Frankel for thirty years.

Solis jumped on the hook, and went wire to wire to wrap up his last entry as a winner. Frankel had lived for 68 years, and he brought great excitement to the game. He was quiet, and could be a tough customer all in one. He loved his dogs, and all living things. This was a long haul from the streets of Brooklyn as a kid, who would become “King of the Claimers.”

I loved the story of how Frankel took to hot walking just so he could get into the track. He ran his $40 bucks into $3,000, and made the big bet of the day. It scored, and he took the money home to his mom… She was so happy, and then had to ask him where he got all of that money.  He had just laughed when she thought he had robbed a bank… That was a day in the life of a winner.  Not judged by money, but how he treated all of those around him. The money was just paper. But the people around him are what counted.

I heard stories where he would talk to all that came upon him and wanted to talk horses. He took the time. He cared, and it showed in every facet of his life.

I have had the opportunity to have watched him ply his trade. He did it with class, and treated everyone around him with respect. Now, that is the definition of a winner. I wish I would have watched his last race. It does not matter if I would have thrown down a sentimental $10 to win, or if it lost. Bobby Frankel was already a winner in many ways. But, to go out with a trip to the winner’s circle was just a little reminder of what he did in racing. So long, Bobby…Life well done……