Remembering The Legend of Frankel
December 22, 2012 06:56am

October 20th, 2012 marked the end. The end of a journey. The end of a once in a lifetime champion. October 20th marked the day that the world's greatest racehorse ran his final race, remaining undefeated and securing his place in history. He is Frankel.


On October 20th, 2012 in England the undefeated racing sensation of Frankel stepped onto the racetrack for the final time soon to face the toughest challenge of his career, running against the likes of Cirrus des Aigles and Nathaniel and over turf softer than he ever had before. He sure did not disappoint when he sailed home for the fourteenth time in fourteen races. The journey of the greatest racehorse we have seen since we entered this century ended on the 20th of October. He has secured his place among history and among some of the greatest athletes ever to grace racetracks before him. I believe he will carry his greatness with him to stud. I believe he will be an amazing sire, just like his father Galileo. 


We will have to wait and see until this magnificent animal's offspring touch down on the racing scene in 2016, trying to accomplish the seemingly impossible feat of equaling their father's greatness.


October 20th, 2012 marked the end of an amazing fairy tale and the start of a new beginning.


-Averie Elizabeth 


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Older Comments about Remembering The Legend of Frankel...

^should read "couldn't^
All group1 or grade1 aren't equal. For instance many a grade1 that Game On Dude ran in and won on the west coast were grade3s in Nebraska. As for not showing up, after his weakness was exposed they could find both a rabbit and a closer of championship caliber to test him as they did Dr. Fager.
Having only gained an interest in turf this past year I don't have enough depth to determine Frankel's place among the best turf horses ever. I have a question which I don't have an answer for myself and was hoping for some opinions. Where do those of you who do have this depth place Frankel? One more if it's not to much. Having already stated my lack of depth I still have an opinion and question. How would Gio Ponti and Twice Over in their prime compare to the best horses faced by Frankel.I realize as time passes it gets harder but to the best your ability. Please just turf horses as comparing turf to dirt is impossible as we all know. I look forward to replies, thanks. Have a Merry Christmas and a nice holiday season everyone.
  • MarcelloMarocco · Icyhotboo- I would rank Frankel Top ten all time. I would say he is around the #7 IMO for Flat racing on Turf. Behind horses like1) Nijinsky,2) Seabird,3) Ribot, 4)Phar lap, 5)Kincsem,6) Sea The Stars, 7) Frankel,8) Brigadier Gerard 9) Dancing Brave, 10)Mill Reef. · 2432 days ago
Can't knock a horse who won 10 Group 1 races in just 14 career starts. Anyone doubting his competition should direct their criticism at the connections of those other contenders who didn't show up to race against him.
Thanks footlick, I must leave for family day #2, I do enjoy getting together though.
Have family obligations now. I'll be back tonight. Have a great day to all!!
Thanks cocoa2. You are right that there does need to be a single governing body that looks out for and unifies racing. And, we need either established private breeding operations or stud farms who are primarily breeding to race. At the moment the breeding is where it is because of the demand for horses who are going to make a quick return on people's investments. What is needed, imo, are people who want to race their horses and do not look at them as just an investment to make money and then sell. That is why the older families were so important and some of the legendary stud farms were so important because they were breeding to race and then to stand the horse and breed to that sire. The breed was important to them, not just the investment and return. Once we get back to that way of thinking, maybe we will start breeding horses with more stamina and well-rounded pedigrees. There is no simple answer unfortunately. Money talks and the people investing in the thoroughbred want a quick return and then capitalize on it. As far as corruption, it will always be here. As long as there is power and money there will be corruption. We hve to make sure tht the people on the governing body care about racing and the thoroughbred. But, we will never get rid of corruption. It is here to stay.
Thank you, footlick, you too. Of course I count Japan and also Australia as well as South Africa. What we need is those big operations, Calumet, Claiborne, the stations that care where the horses go. I wish there was a way to make the yearling sales less prominent. If it didn't completely annihilate jobs and the racing industry it would be a good idea. Or starting point, rather. Now as ever we need one center racing association. It should dictate bans and abuses, and all tracks in America must be a member. Almost like a racing congress. How, then, do we keep it form being corrupt? We don't need another NYRA. Opinions on a center racing association that dictates all connected to racing Thoroughbreds?
Have a good Holiday season cocoa2.
cocoa2- If you are talking about turf horses, the law of averages would make it highly probably that we had. But overall, and I am talking about turf horses, they have had a better product. We have used their bloodlines, they have used ours. If you count Japan, the foreign horse has more stamina and runs unmedicated. Our horses have less stamina and runs medicated. If they can take our bloodlines and breed horses with stamina who do not need to run on meds, then so could we. They have adapted our bloodlines to their needs. I would be confident that the World has better turf horses than we do on the whole. But, as I said, as long as we only play in our own back yard where our horses can run on tight tracks and stay medicated and make the World come here, it is not reciprocal. We have become much less of a force in Dubai, and we make less and less trips to Japan. We have become so insular, that I'm not sure, other than the BC, that we can compete on the World Stage anywhere but here. Hopefully that will change, but as long as our horses are bred for speed instead of stamina and we have permissive medication rules, we will only be a big fish here.
Tom Rolfe was a nice horse. He was 6th in Seabird's Arc. One of the best performances of an American horse. carry Back was tenth, but beaten only 5 lengths. For many years top owners in America had two stables going: one in Europe and one in America. In this context, I think of the Whitneys, the Mellons, the Phipps etc. few American owners do this anymore. The Ramsey's are ones that come to mind. Of course, you Have George Strawbridge who left American racing because of the drug issues to race exclusively in Europe.
Colin comes to mine first, lol, but I believe it was Njinsky.
should be one race, not pone-lol.
icy- I will answer you briefly for the moment. IMHO, Frankel would maybe be in the top 10, at 9th or 10th, or even the top 20. I think he was a brilliant animal. His consistency to put up high Timeform ratings made him unique. A Timeform rating, as well as a Racing Post rating is for pone race, not a career. Frankel strung together an amazing amount of high Timeform ratings. He was ultra consistent andwon his races with ease. There are others who I feel were just better even though they do not have the ratings. That is why this is such a subjective topic. Have a great Holiday, icy!
When is the last time we sent a high class horse over to Europe to run? There are enough races with big purses to warrant a trip. But it never happens. We just always demand they come here. We also demand they run on dirt. it is always what we want that is supposed to be done. But, dirt racing is a minority in the world. You think N/A horses get shortchanged. It is because they run on dirt primarily. When we start to send our turf horses to the rest of the world and prove that our horses can compete on the World level without meds, then maybe more respect will come. But as long as we stay in our medicated backyard and continue to tell the world they have to come here to race, we will get wht we get. I know this will not be a popular view, but I think it is the view of the world. Medications and dirt have made the US thoroughbred's reputation. In Europe, every Euro that comes to the US and wins on Lasix is called "juiced up". A win without meds is considered much more legitimate. Many Euros who win here with meds cannot win back in Europe. It all reflects on our thoroughbred. They race American bred thoroughbreds, and race them without meds. They do not understand the widespread use of meds when they don't need to use them on raceday. Anyway, this is just more rambling by me and it is Christmas and we all have better things to do! Merry Christmas, Laz
I'm not foolish enough to think the world has better horses than Canada and the United States (by saying america you include Argentina and Brazil). I agree, Ribot is my #2. Can we agree, however, that America was better than England several times in the last century?
Laz- because most of the world races on turf, dirt horses are a minority. The world races on turf. The US races on dirt. As you jsut said Cigar was not good on turf, why would making all horses come here and race us on dirt be fair or make sense. All you can say for sure is that there are great dirt horses and great turf horses. In the past, when we were importing thoroughbreds all our bloodlines were European and those horses adapted to dirt. Would they have been better on turf? We will never know. I certainly do feel that there are horses who can run on both equally well and those who cannot. Also remember that this N/A breeds for the most part were sired by horses who made their name in Europe, had bloodlines that Europeans favored or were bred by breeders who knew they had horses who would excel in Europe. It would be nice to think that those horses would have been equally good on dirt, but I doubt it. It would be be nice to think that Ribot would have been equally as great on dirt as he sired many, many dirt horses. But we will never know. I personally believe he would have been a match for any horse on any surface. To me, he would be the Euro to give Secretariat all he could have handled. But, it is only conjecture. Also, just as we found ways to make the European bloodlines work on dirt, the Euros found ways to make American bloodlines work on turf. If I remember correctly, they were the first to prove that a Mr Prospector could route an could run on turf. I don't discount the American thoroughbred on turf, but it is always the same with the American fan, "Come over here and prove it".
Hey Footlick and everyone else, all the best during the Christmas/Holiday season and in the New Year. In answer to your question, Footlick, without Frankel and Cigar meeting on a surface that would be favored by both, there is no conclusive way of comparing the two, only conjecture. That’s why I said in a hypothetical situation and that’s why we cannot definitively say one way or the other which one was best. One commonality is their winning streaks. IMO horses that have lengthily winning streaks win those races not necessarily because they are the fastest, but primarily because of class. They might win some races by large margins and others by a nose, but the truth is they always win and often by exerting just enough energy to get to the line first. Both horses are deep in class. In support of the American horses, it always seems to be about turf. Let all those horses from whatever country they are racing in come over to America and run on dirt. I don’t think they would be nearly as successful. It is obviously the same when American horses ship overseas and race or turf. However, IMHO if all American bred horses raced exclusively on turf we would be able to compete with the best from any nation. In the past there have been many successful N/A breds that have campaigned to the highest level on turf, horses like Dancing Brave, Mill Reef, Alleged, Nijinsky, Never Say Die, Youth, Allez France, Dahlia, Royal Anthem, El Gran Senor, Sir Ivor, Trempolino, The Minstrel, etc.
What commonality would you use in order to effectively and fairly compare an American dirt horse to a European turf horse? How do you decide who showed the most ability? Time? Winning margins? How many times they were eased up at the finish? Losses? There is nothing that can be fairly compared. You cannot compare times. You cannot compare margins of victory. The dynamics of European racing and American racing are not similar. Everything would be subjective and would come down to who your favorite was. Just another argument in the wings. But that was not my point at all. American dirt horses shipping to Dubai for big money running against European turf horses in a dirt race shows nothing but that they knew it would be easy pickings, imho. I know many people might think that there was a challenge somewhere in that, but the race was taylor made for American horses to win. Sheikh Mohammed needed American participation to get the event off the ground, and he courted that. Now, Japanese, European, Hong Kong, Australian and South African participation is strong. Hence, also imho, the change to Tapeta. Just look at the American reaction when 2 European milers ran 1-2 in our BCC when it was on Pro-Ride. Anyway, it really doesn't matter in the end. Everyone will believe what they want. I've rambled on for too long about this. Have a good Holiday, Laz and everyone else.
We all know that Cigar was terrible on turf (1 for 11) and was exceptional on dirt. Both Cigar and Frankel would never run against each other while both were on their preferred of best surface. However, I wonder if we had a (hypothetical-theoretical race), if Cigar’s ability on dirt would match or exceed Frankel’s ability on turf, and vice versa. Sounds confusing but you know what I mean.

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