Frank Costa, a New Jersey trainer for decades, passed away Aug. 3 at the age of 77.
A native of Spilanga, Italy, Costa started his career in racing as a jockey, winning with his first mount in 1953. In 1972 he won with his first starter as a trainer in a race at Monmouth Park.
Costa saddled 6,193 starters with 517 winners, 650 second-place finishers, and 680 horses that showed for earnings of $9,842,705, His last runner was sent out Nov. 19, 2011 at Monmouth.
"Frank was a New Jersey legend and a dear friend," said Bob Kulina, president of Darby Development, which operates Monmouth. "He was a fixture at Monmouth Park—one that will surely be missed."
A resident of Kenilworth, N.J., Costa was well known as the conditioner of the Close Up colt Joey P. during his 3-year-old season. Joey P., also a New Jersey legend, captured the Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) in a stakes record 1:08 1/5 for six furlongs in 2005 (since broken). He went on to start in that year's edition of the Haskell Invitational (gr. I), finishing seventh.
Final arrangements are pending.