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Frank O'Neill

Frank O'Neill
Induction Year: 
1956

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Bio

Frank O'Neill rode in America and Europe during the first third of this century. A complete race record is not available for him.

   Frank O'Neill was born in Kansas and began his racing career at his father's track in St. Louis. O'Neill was exercising horses by age 10 and won his first race in 1901. Two years later he was riding in New York.

   O'Neill's American career was comparatively brief but very successful. When he began riding in New York in 1903 he won the Brooklyn with Irish Lad and the Travers with Ada Nay. Over the next two years he piloted Beldame to victories in the Alabama, Carter, Gazelle, Saratoga Cup, and Suburban and took Roseben to victory in the Manhattan carrying 147 pounds. By 1908 pressure from anti-gambling lobbyists had intensified and caused many tracks to close. Faced with this assault on their livelihood, O'Neill joined other well-known jockeys and trainers by leaving America to ride in Europe.

   O'Neill was leading rider in France 11 times over the next 14 years. He won many of the most important stakes in France and England, including the French and the English Derbys, the Ascot Gold Cup and the Prix de Paris. He considered Prince Palatine winner of the 1911 St. Leger and the 1912 Ascot Gold Cup his best mount.

   Frank O'Neill was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1956.

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