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Frank Tagariello, 79, dies
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - by John Berry

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Pompano Beach, FL---Longtime horseman Frank Tagariello, 79, passed away on March 20, 2017.

Born in Mineola, New York on May 18, 1937, “Tags,” as he was affectional known, was a star athlete at Farmingdale High School, excelling in football and track.

He began his career under the tutelage of Joe Adamo and also worked for Eddie Cobb, George Sholty and Stanley Dancer before opening his public stable in 1965.

When Pompano Park was in its infancy, Tagariello found success with horses like Yankee Sis, Frontier Marshall and Leroy Hanover—mostly $2,000 claimers—but, as “Tags” once said, “In this business, you start at the bottom rung on the ladder and take a step at a time. If you work hard enough, you can climb the steps of the ladder pretty quickly, but when guys like Sholty and Dancer and Haughton are campaigning, it’s very tough to get to the top rung.”

Tagariello and his tan, brown and white colors reached the winner’s circle on 746 occasions during his career as a driver with much of his success coming on the tough New York circuit at Roosevelt Raceway and Yonkers.

In the 1980s, he drove exclusively for prominent owners Benjamin and Gertrude Schaefer with Adventura’s Eagle, Laura’s Champ, Effervescent and Rambling Warren among the campaigners under his care.

During his “prime,” Tagariello often worked the day-night shift, traveling by helicopter with Herve Filion from the Meadowlands to Roosevelt or Freehold to the New York tracks.

He also sat back of Bossman Lobell, and Fulla Napoleon during a career which he has enjoyed for nearly a lifetime.

His most recent success was with the outstanding trotter V Eight, a son of Royal Prestige, who he trained from August 1994 to October 2002, compiling 42 wins and well over $300,000 in bounty.

Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey recalled mR. Tagariello with fondness saying, “he was a very good horsemen and, even more important, a wonderful gentleman.”

In recent years, “Tags” spent much of his time in the friendly confines of Hoosier Park to be closer to family.

“People ask me all the time if, with all the ups and downs in this business, if I would change anything and, to tell you the honest truth, with the amazing people I have met over my lifetime, I can honestly say that ‘I wouldn’t change a thing.’”

Services for mR. Tagariello will be private.

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