- The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
-To An Athlete Dying Young, by A.E. Housman
This morning, trainer Bobby Frankel died from "complications of lymphoma" or "complications of leukemia", depending on the source. In the real world (read: not horse racing), I deal with them both on a daily basis. And I'm sad.
I didn't know Bobby Frankel. I never met Bobby Frankel. The closest I ever got to Bobby Frankel was when Ghostzapper won the 2004 Breeders' Cup Classic in my backyard, at Lone Star Park in 2004. He was probably meandering somewhere around the Winner's Circle while I was busy trying to cash in my winning trifecta and get one last beer before I would have to stand in line for another "potty break" before driving home.
His horses would win for me. How many times would I see, 'Frankel, Robert' listed as the trainer and say to myself, "That's good enough for me!"
There has been numerous tributes to Bobby Frankel throughout the internet. Amidst all the condolences on his Facebook Wall, Beverly Kenney indicates,
Bobby Frankel requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Old Friends Retirement Home, the Grayson Foundation, and CANTER, an organization to find homes for retired horses.
It should be noted that Beverly Kenney "only shares certain information with everyone" (read: I cannot verify Bobby Frankel final wishes ... but it's a GREAT idea anyway, so if you want to do something to honor Bobby Frankel's memory, that's a pretty good start: Old Friends, Grayson Foundation, and CANTER. And while I'm am it, I'll toss in my personal favorite organization, Remember Me Rescue).
Rest in peace, Bobby Frankel; 68 was too young ... my good ol' Irish grandma lived to be 100 ... you were too young, Bobby ....
Ghostzapper photo credit: Paul Thompson, Flikr ... Fantastic photo!