Frank Coppola Jr.
Frank Coppola Jr.
Ballston Spa, NY
Birthplace: Teaneck, NJ
Birth Date: 12/6/59
Colors: L Blu-WH-BR
Frank Coppola Jr. took to harness racing like a duck does to water, following the example of his horseman father, Frank Sr. The younger Frank was jogging horses by age ten and drove his first pari-mutuel race at Saratoga as a junior in high school. He graduated in 1977 and worked as assistant trainer for Howard Parker (at Saratoga) and Steve Dennis (at the Meadowlands), returning to buy half his father’s stable in 1980. Frank was awarded the Johnny Page for best young driver that same year.
Frank has become an extremely hot catch-driver over the past decade, finishing in the top “five” in the driver Standings consistently since 1985. Frank was voted ‘Horseman of the Year’ in 1987, ‘88, ‘92, ‘93, ‘98 ‘99, and 2001 . He took time off in 2005 and part of 2006 to spend more time at home and to take a break. Frank, with the help of his wife Eileen, (married in 1989) trained a potent stable in 1993.
Frank reached the 4,000-win plateau on Thursday, Sept. 25th, 2008 while guiding Lola Palooza through the wire first in the tenth race $7,000 fillies and mares non- winners pace at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway in a time of 1:55.
Frank etched his name in the Saratoga record books when he prevailed with 8 wins on the 13-race matinee card to eclipse previous one-day win mark of seven, co-held by Hall of Fame drivers Bill O’Donnell and Tony Morgan. On Sunday, December 14, 2008 he won the record for driving wins in a single season with 317. Frank was voted 2009 Driver and Horseman of the Year, and broke the track's all-time record for most wins by a driver at Saratoga with 341 wins. In 2010, Frank tied for USHWA's Horseman of the Year Award.
On October 22, 2015 Frank reached the 5,000 lifetime win milestone, driving Diamond Tough in the third race. Of this achievement he said, "Getting to my 5,000th win has always been a goal of mine. I'm happy to have done it here at Saratoga with family and friends around me to help me celebrate." Of all drivers registered with the USTA, Frank is only the 101st to achieve 5,000 wins.
| Year || Starts ||1st ||2nd ||3rd ||UDR ||Purses |
| 2014 ||942 ||116 ||130 ||106 ||.237 ||$823,148 |
| 2013 ||53 ||2 ||5 ||9 ||.147 ||$30,074 |
| 2011 ||8 ||2 ||0 ||1 ||.292 ||$11,900 |
| 2010 ||1517 ||257 ||206 ||191 ||.287 ||$1,786,287 |