Though he passed away from lymphoma November 16, 2009, legendary Hall
of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel’s influence is still felt in the Betfair
Hollywood Park rider colony.
Rafael Bejarano, who reached the 3,000 winner milestone Saturday
with a victory astride Ondine, came to Betfair Hollywood Park in 2007
specifically to ride first-call for Frankel.
That same year, then 17-year-old apprentice Joe Talamo took a detour
from a one-week stay in New York to head west at the behest of Frankel.
The hot bug boy from Louisiana was all set to put down roots in the
Big Apple when Frankel convinced him to make the move. Talamo didn’t
even have a place to live at the time, so he stayed at Frankel’s West
Los Angeles home.
Just 11 days after Frankel’s death, Talamo was at the controls of
Fluke, who scored an emotional victory in the Grade I Citation Handicap
for new trainer and longtime Frankel assistant Humberto Ascanio.
In the Citation winner’s circle, Talamo was quoted as saying; “This
is very emotional for me. Bobby’s the one who brought me out here. If
it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here.”
Heading into Sunday’s card, Bejarano and Talamo are atop the standings with 17 and 13 victories, respectively.