David Jacobson was in his teens when his father sent him to work with Bobby Frankel at Santa Anita four decades ago. Now he’s here from the East Coast with a string of his own for the marquee Winter Meet that starts Saturday.
Jacobson has a multitude of memories of Frankel, who will be honored Sunday with the running of the Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes, named for the late Hall of Fame trainer who died Nov. 16, 2009, at the age of 68.
“I wish I had a horse to run in there, but I don’t,” Jacobson said. “Bobby was really good to me and very close with my father back in the day. It brings back memories when I see his picture hanging at Clockers’ Corner. Frankel was a trendsetter.”
David’s father was Hall of Fame trainer Buddy Jacobson, who died in May 1989 at 58.
Multiple graded stakes winner Salutos Amigos is among the horses Jacobson has at Santa Anita. He is scheduled to run in the Grade III Midnight Lute Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs on the main track Jan. 2.
“I came out here for the weather and the free coffee,” Jacobson said, joshing about the hot cups of java now available gratis at Clockers’ Corner. “Seriously, the racing looks good and I have some horses that fit.
“I was at Santa Anita in the 70s as an assistant with Bobby when my father sent me out here, and I’ve had fond memories of Santa Anita ever since. (Santa Anita Racing Director) Mike (Lakow) approached me and I decided to give it a shot and see what goes. Right now I’ve got 15 horses here and another 10 coming at the beginning of the year.”
Trainer Eddie Truman, who turns 69 on Jan. 23, was excited to see Jacobson back at The Great Race Place.
“I’ve known David for 40 years,” Truman said. “We both worked for Bobby way back when. David’s a good guy. I knew his dad in Florida, even rode for him in the 60s at Hialeah when he was stabled real close to our barn.
“At Santa Anita after the races, I would play volley ball with David’s brother, Douglas, who works for him now.
“Like most of us, I’ve got many memories of Frankel. I respected him so much. He was a genius. He knew his horses and we really worked well together. He was really good to me; he respected my opinion.
“But I’d wonder why he did some of the things he did and ask myself, ‘Why’s he doing that?’ but it worked. He just knew what to do.”
LA BREA TIMING GOOD FOR RATTATAPTAP
Trainer Phil D’Amato, who finished with a flourish at the recent Los Alamitos meet, hopes to continue on a roll when he sends out Rattataptap in the Grade I La Brea Stakes for three-year-old fillies at seven furlongs, one of four graded stakes on opening day, including the Malibu for three-year-olds at seven furlongs.
“She’s doing well,” D’Amato said of the gray daughter of top sire Tapit, winner of a one-mile allowance race at Del Mar Nov. 21 by 4 ½ lengths. “The timing is right for the La Brea.
“We’re backing up from two turns to one. Hopefully we can get the money in a Grade I.”
The La Brea: Birdatthewire, Mike Smith, 6-1; Hot City Girl, Jose Ortiz, 3-1; Cavorting, Irad Ortiz Jr., 5-2; Maybellene, Rafael Bejarano, 15-1; Lily Pod, Mario Gutierrez, 20-1; Ben’s Duchess, Joe Talamo, 3-1; Rattataptap, Tyler Baze, 12-1; Pleasant Tales, James Graham, 20-1; Moyo Honey, Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1; and Finest City, Gary Stevens, 8-1.
Source: Santa Anita Park