A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Bobby Frankel began his equine career as a hot walker at Belmont and Aqueduct. His first victory as a trainer came in November 1966 at Aqueduct. Throughout the next 43 years, Frankel trained 3,654 winners for purses of $227,947,775. At the time of his death in 2009, Frankel ranked second all time in North American earnings and 14th in victories.
In 1972, Frankel moved his operation to California where that same year he set a record with 60 winners at the Hollywood Park meeting. He was that meet’s leading trainer eight more times and achieved the same feat at Santa Anita (5), Oak Tree (6) and Del Mar (4). He trained 10 Eclipse Champions and won the Eclipse Award for training five times.
Although he failed to produce any Breeders’ Cup victories in his first 38 starts, Frankel eventually trained six Breeders’ Cup winners, including Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Ghostzapper. Frankel’s best season came in 1993 when he trained 25 Grade 1 stakes winners, led American trainers in money won and won the Eclipse Award. He led all trainers in earnings three times (1993, 2002 and 2003).
Frankel’s most significant horses include Ghostzapper, Bertrando, Possibly Perfect, Wandesta, Marquetry, Intercontinental, Medaglia d’Oro, Ventura, Empire Maker, Ryafan, Squirtle Squirt, Aldebaran, Ginger Punch, Skimming, Sightseek, Exbourne, Pay the Butler, Toussard, Val des Bois, Tinner’s Way, Peace Rules, Leroidesanimaux, Stardom Bound, and Linda’s Chief.
Frankel won numerous stakes races multiple times, including the Pacific Classic (6), Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (6), Eddie Read Handicap (7), Santa Anita Handicap (3), Woodward Stakes (4), Santa Ana Handicap (7), Yellow Ribbon Stakes (5), Arlington Handicap (4), Forego Handicap (4), Whitney Handicap (2), and the Matriarch Stakes (8). His international victories included the Japan Cup, the E.P. Taylor Stakes and the Queen’s Plate.