Friday, November 20, 2009

Fitting end for Bobby Frankel

In what has been a week of crushing news, a ray of joy glimmers. And a little irony shines down with it.

The late Bobby Frankel went out a winner. And in a twist on the longtime conditioner's old nickname, the winning filly was bought from the race by new connections.

Life by R R, the last horse ever entered in the name of Hall of Fame trainer Robert J. Frankel -- who died Monday of leukemia -- took the field gate-to-wire on Wednesday under Alex Solis in a race at Hollywood Park. She was saddled and officially ran under the name of Frankel's assistant trainer, Humberto Ascanio, but entries for the race were due on Sunday, the day before Frankel died, so Frankel's name was originally on the entry.

A 68-year-old Brooklyn native, Frankel early in his career earned the nickname "King of the Claimers" for his ability to improve on horses picked up on the claim. And his last entrant, Life by R R, a 3-year-old filly by Domestic Dispute, was claimed herself from her victorious race; trainer Doug O'Neill bought her for a partnership at a tag of $25,000.

It's outcomes like this that make me believe those folks who say that everything happens for a reason. I suppose you can look at any occurrence, roll it around in your mind, and come up with additional meanings not visible on the surface and perhaps only attached to that happening because you thought hard enough to make it so.

But then that's sort of what life's all about, isn't it? Taking what has been, thinking it over really well, considering its lessons or message, and fitting it into the puzzle of what will become.

Bobby Frankel started at the bottom and worked his way to the top. He deserved to go out a winner. And it is most fitting that victory came with a horse running for a tag; the last one entered by the late King of the Claimers.

Long live the king.

1 comment:

  1. I look at the fact that Doug O'Neill was involved in the last of Frankel's horses and wonder at the fact that Frankel directed all donations after his death to horse rescue. Conscience?


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