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HRN Original Blog:
Maryland's Own GQ

Handicapping Contest to Help Wounded Warriors

Wounded Warriors

Recently the horse racing industry has stepped up their game to get more involved with thoroughbreds post-racing career. In the past, the industry turned a blind eye to our equine heroes who provided thousands of fans countless thrills while on the track. In 2013, that attitude has dramatically changed.

In April I visited with and wrote a blog about retired thoroughbreds that Betty McCue retrains to be Jumpers (aka Show horses), with the help of a handful of enthusiastic teenagers. Many others in the media have brought our attention to the benefits of therapeutic riding, which opens a pathway of healing for children and adults dealing with physical, mental and/or emotional challenges.

This past week HRTV aired a special presentation, Saratoga War Horse, about how our military veterans who suffer from PTSD are realizing an extraordinary sense of healing through retired thoroughbred horses.

To honor our veterans, especially our wounded warriors this Veteran’s Day weekend, Frank Vespe at TheRacingBiz.com is conducting "Handicap for the Heroes” contest. Last month Frank spearheaded a similar contest to benefit a fallen Maryland-based exercise rider, Jose Villegas, who is paralyzed from the waist down due to a training accident. That effort raised more than $700, with the majority coming from folks in Maryland. It is my hope that with more support nationwide, “Handicap for the Heroes” can easily double the previous effort.

Click here for more information about the contest.

Don’t let the fact that yours truly won the previous contest scare you away from entering “Handicap for the Heroes”. After all, this blind squirrel cannot get lucky again, can I? This contest isn't about winning. It’s about your awareness and support of those who fought to protect our freedom.

This Veteran’s Day, thank a vet for the sacrifices made to serve his/her country. 


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                Meet Gary Quill

  I am the most passionate person on the planet when it comes to thoroughbred horse racing! One sunny summer day in 1964 at Timonium Race Track is where my Dad and mentor introduced me to “The Sport of Kings”. Since that day, I have had the pleasure to visit over 40 different tracks across North America. Though an IT professional by trade, I’ve had a part-time gig with the Maryland Jockey Club since 1988.

here are thousands of rail-birds who claim to be great handicappers. Well, I don’t claim to be the best… just the most passionate and one that won’t tout “chalk”. Like a savvy stock broker, I look for value and often find it. Unlike the talking heads on horse racing television networks and the dozens of websites featuring handicapper’s opinions, I’m ACCOUNTABLE. That is, good or bad, you’ll always know how my previously posted picks performed along with a running record of my BEST BET and LONGSHOT Play of the Day selections for Maryland tracks (Laurel and Pimlico) at TheRacingBiz, see "The GQ Approach".

   In addition to focusing on the Maryland thoroughbred racing circuit, each year I follow the Derby Trail and post “GQ’s Derby Double Dozen” in early February. 

   My personal mission is to rejuvenate interest in thoroughbred horse racing. Being able to share my energy, thoughts and opinions on this sport via HRN will certainly help the cause.


"I lost $2 at Santa Anita and I've spent $3 million trying to get it back." - Mickey Rooney

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