Bobby Frankel passed away on Monday following a lengthy battle against lymphoma. Frankel was a legendary trainer who built himself up to be one of the best of the business after starting at the bottom of the barrel. He was inducted into the Racing Hall Of Fame in 1995.
Believe it or not, that honor came before he won a single Breeders' Cup race. His first Cup win came in the Breeders' Cup Sprint with Squirtle Squirt, fittingly at Belmont Park in New York, where he was born in 1941. Frankel won the Eclipse Award as the country's top trainer five times. His major successes came on the grass, as he was able to win just about every major turf race on the continent.
His lone failing came in not winning the biggest racing prize of them all, the Kentucky Derby. His best opportunity came in 2003 with Empire Maker and Peace Rules. That duo ran 2nd and 3rd, respectively, behind Funny Cide. Empire Maker did manage to score Frankel a Triple Crown race victory though. Five weeks after the Derby disappointment, Empire Maker scored a Belmont Stakes triumph in the slop and denied the "gutsy gelding" a Triple Crown.
In recent years, Frankel was well-connected through his association with Juddmonte Farms, for whom he trained many runners. Frankel's horses won 3,654 races and earned over $220,000,000 in purse money. Bobby Frankel was 68 years old.