Fair Grounds: Four New Hall of Fame Members

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI
Four new members have been elected to the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame: Dapper Delegate, the 1965 Louisiana Derby winner; Bobby Frankel, the only trainer to have won all four of Fair Grounds’ marquee season-ending stakes races; J.R. Smith Sr., trainer of several Fair Ground stakes winners, including 1967 Louisiana Derby hero Ask the Fare; and Al Stall Jr., conditioner of more than a dozen Fair Grounds stakes winners and twice the track’s leading trainer. The 2012 class will be inducted in a winner’s circle ceremony during the races on Fair Grounds Hall of Fame Day, March 10.


Dapper Delegate – owned by Dorothy Brown, trained by Alcee Richard – was a Bay Colt by Porterhouse, out of Monkeyaires. The colt won the 1965 Lecomte Stakes by eight lengths and went on to win that year’s Louisiana Derby by three lengths, topping a Brown-owned exacta with stablemate Doctor Brocato. One of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby in 1965, Dapper Delegate developed colic before the race and never made it to post. He died in New York of a respiratory ailment later that year. Overall, he compiled a record of 18-6-2-4 and earned $57,390 in two seasons.


Frankel was one of the most successful trainers in the history of thoroughbred racing. Born in Brooklyn in 1941, Frankel was a top trainer for 40 years. He began training in 1966 and won his first race that same year. For nine years, Frankel’s barn won at least $10 million eight times. His career record was 3,652 races from 17,657 starters. Frankel won the Eclipse Award as top trainer five times and his horses won 11 Eclipse Awards. At Fair Grounds, Frankel won all four of the track’s season-ending marquee races: the Louisiana Derby (High Limit and Peace Rules), the Fair Grounds Oaks (Pampered Star), the New Orleans Handicap (Badge of Silver and Peace Rules) and the Mervin H. Muniz Memorial Handicap (Proudinsky twice).


Smith trained some 40 stakes winners. He began his training career as a teenager at Beulah Park in the 1950s and shifted to Chicago in the mid-1960s. He won a dozen local training titles, winning six at Sportsman’s Park, five at Hawthorne, and one at Arlington Park. Smith claimed Recoup the Cash during the 1993 Arlington meet for $15,000 and won eight stakes with the gelding for owner Richard E. Trebat, four of which were graded. Later that decade, Smith made another big claim for Trebat, taking Chicago Six for $18,000 in 1999 and winning nine stakes with him. Smith also trained millionaire Royal Glint for a time, plus Charming Alibi, who he claimed for $7,500 and saddled to multiple stakes wins. Smith’s major Fair Grounds stakes wins include the 1967 Louisiana Derby (Ask the Fare), the 1974 Whirlaway (Tom Tulle), the 1974 Fair Grounds Oaks (Bold Rosie), the 1984 Colonel Bradley (Dugan Knight) and the 1988 Colonel Bradley (Zuppardo’s Love).


Stall grew up in a racing family – his father and his grandfather were breeders and owners. His father, Albert M. Stall, is a member of the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame and was chairman of the Louisiana Racing Commission for 28 years until retiring in 2004. Stall worked with racehorses at tracks throughout his teenage years during school vacations and while a college student. Among his employers was Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg and six-time Fair Grounds leading trainer Frank Brothers. Stall’s most famous charge was 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Champion Older Horse Blame, bred and owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider. He trains Louisiana legend Star Guitar, winner of a record five Louisiana Champions Day races. Stall became the primary trainer for Claiborne Farm in 2007 when his former mentor Brothers retired from training. He also trains horses for the Claiborne-Adele Dilschneider partnerships and horses that Dilschneider breeds and runs in her own name, such as Super Derby winner Apart. At Fair Grounds, Stall has won or shared two training titles (1997-1998, outright, and 1998-1999, tied with Tom Amoss) and has won more than a dozen stakes, including the inaugural Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap and two other graded races in 1998 with Joyeux Danseur. His other Fair Grounds stakes winners were Daylight Ridge, King Roller, Moonlight Dancer, Raspberry Wine, Tighantuir, Top Seed, Total, Up Dip and Wild Lightning. Stall is currently second in this season’s Fair Grounds standings with 18 wins and a 32% win percentage.


The official Fair Grounds Hall of Fame induction will take place in a winner’s circle ceremony between races on March 10, a day that also features two stakes named for Fair Grounds Hall of Fame members, the Black Gold Stakes and the Allen “Black Cat” Lacombe Memorial Handicap.


The 2012 class of the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame was elected by a vote of the 12-member Fair Grounds Hall of Fame Committee, comprised of Jason Boulet, racing secretary; Mike Diliberto, head clocker and morning line oddsmaker; Tom Early, Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association; Peter Finney, The Times-Picayune; Bob Fortus, The Times-Picayune; Eric Halstrom, vice president and general manager; Bryan Krantz, former Fair Grounds owner; Angus Lind, WVUE Fox-8; Jim Mulvihill, communications and pari-mutuel marketing manager; Ramon Muniz, paddock judge; Gary Palmisano, clocker; and Sandra Salmen, horsemen’s relations.




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