Eclipse Award-winning trainer Bobby Frankel.

Eclipse Award-winning trainer Bobby Frankel.

Graded Stakes Winners Cap Frankel's Banner Year

With solid favorites in three races at the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park last Oct. 27, trainer Bobby Frankel was odds-on to break his 0-for-36 winless streak on racing's big day.

Frankel managed to eke out a single victory in the Breeders' Cup, with Squirtle Squirt, in what he described as a "terrible day" as a whole. But the failures on Breeders' Cup Day eventually will fade. The incredible year Frankel had in 2001 will not.

It was a year in which his earnings of $14,987,446 took second billing to his remarkable string of graded stakes victories. It was impressive enough that he saddled 13 horses to win 18 grade I stakes, but what was really remarkable was that 16 of those grade I stakes came in the last six months of the year--three each in July, August, September, and October, and two each in November and December.

In all, Frankel won 49 stakes in 2001, 37 of them graded. In the two competitive, high-profile summer meets, he captured six stakes at Saratoga and six at Del Mar, with 10 of the 12 being graded stakes.

Although his pride and joy in 2001 was Flute, winner of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and Alabama Stakes (gr. I), he dominated the older horse division, saddling Aptitude, Lido Palace, and Skimming to grade I victories in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Whitney Handicap, Woodward, Pacific Classic, and Hollywood Gold Cup. b