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Breeders' Cup 2017

Frankel Had Impact on SoCal Jockey Colony

Bobby Frankel
Photo: NTRA/Horsephotos

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.

 

 

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