Ticker
  • Saturday's Del Mar card includes a Pick Six carryover of $77,661.Posted 4 days ago
  •  Better Lucky rolls late in the Shine Again!Posted 8 days ago
  •  Fashion Alert outduels Take Charge Brandi in the Schuylerville!Posted 11 days ago
  •  Enterprising flies late to win the Oceanside!Posted 12 days ago
  •  Belle Gallantey shocks Princess of Sylmar in the Delaware Handicap!Posted 17 days ago
  •  Finnegans Wake defeats Admiral Kitten by an eyelash in the Arlington 'Cap!Posted 17 days ago
  • There will be a Pick Six carryover of $167,021 when racing resumes Friday at Los Alamitos.Posted 19 days ago
  • There will be a Pick Six carryover of $42,460 when racing resumes Thursday at Los Alamitos.Posted 20 days ago
  •  Assateague goes wire to wire in the Dr. James Penny Memorial!Posted 21 days ago
  •  Assateague goes wire to wire in the Dr. James Penny Memorial!Posted 21 days ago
HRN Original Blog:
Maryland's Own GQ

Horse Racing Progress: GQ and "Mel" Join Forces

Progress. Webster defines progress, “positive development, usually of a gradual kind, toward achieving a goal or reaching a higher standard”.  In the 40+ years that I’ve been an enthusiastic thoroughbred horse racing fan, there has been plenty of progress. Racing surfaces, medications, jockey and horse equipment, tote systems and types of wagers have all been part of the progress in terms of safety and the quality of the horse racing product.

 

From a fans standpoint, there has been progress on many fronts. Information is one example. Now there are multiple sources from where one can obtain Past Performances (PPs) instead of just one. The PPs provide additional statistics such as jockey win percentages at a specific tracks’ meet and YTD, with a trainer for the current meet and YTD; a trainers’ win percentage with “Shippers”, “3rd off Layoff”, “1st time Blinkers” and so on. A horses’ record on a fast dirt track v. off track v. turf v. synthetic surfaces is at your fingertips, unlike yesteryear when one needed the memory of an elephant to recall if Port Conway Lane liked an off track or not. The only hint was seeing an asterisk (“*”),”X” or an X inside a circle, to the right of the horse name, which indicated his/her prowess on an off track. Are you old enough to remember those? 

   
  

A true speed rating used to require simple addition of the Speed Rating plus Track Variant. Now anyone under the age of 35 thinks Beyer (or Bris) Speed Figures are “bible” and find it impossible to pick winners without them. Same is true with Tomlinson (or Bris) Pedigree numbers. Fractions were measured in 5th’s, not 100th’s of a second and unless you were at the track to witness every race ever run, you didn’t have a clue if any of the top 3 finishers of a given race came back to win their next start.

Even with all of this progress, there is a one aspect of thoroughbred horse racing that, until now, had fallen by the wayside, an equine cartoonist. For 53 years (1955-2008) Pierre Bellocq aka Peb” was the staff cartoonist for the Daily Racing Form. This French-American’s cartoons and caricatures earned him recognition worldwide. As a kid in the 60’s when my Dad would buy “The Form”, I’d look forward to seeing his work on the cover of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes editions. But that ended in December 2008.
 


Enter Marcy Leonard, aka “Mel”. In my humble opinion, Mel fills the void left when Peb retired. Thanks to social media, Twitter to be specific, I recently discovered Mel which led me to Daily Racing Funnies DOTCOM (www.dailyracingfunnies.com). The website features all of Mel’s equine drawings. From Aqueduct to Woodbine and many tracks in between, her gallery is impressive considering she didn’t draw her first (equine) “Funnie” until 2011.

In an effort to give Mel’s “Funnies” exposure they truly deserve, I offered to use them in my blogs. After trading numerous emails of negotiating (not really) with Mel and her better half Rick, we settled on a “relationship” which is basically an old-fashion, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” arrangement. Because after all, GQ wants, needs and deserves (tongue in cheek) more exposure too.

It is my hope that you will join me in welcoming Mel  into OUR horse racing inner circle and $upport her (and my) passion for this sport we all love, as she expresses it through art for our enjoyment.

My BEST BET of 2013: The Daily Racing Form or Bloodhorse come knocking on Mel’s door with contract in hand, leaving GQ out in the cold. Dooooohhhhhllllll!!!!!!

* Daily Racing Funnies courtesy of Mel should not to be copied or produced and distributed without Mel’s written consent.

 

comments powered by Disqus

Older Comments about Horse Racing Progress: GQ and "Mel" Join Forces...

I don't believe that statement is correct then
everyone? It's from the article>> {note: you're}
define "anyone"
I hope your right about *Anyone under 35 thinks Beyer and Tomlinson are bible* >> more of a weak crutch both. Thanks for the memories. ^^Andy"s got it right.
Mel is WONDERFUL!!! :)
I think this relationship has a wonderful beginning!
LOVE these drawings. I'm looking forward to this a lot.
Gary, I definitely remember the X and very rare circle X. Those were the days when people could "know" a lot of stuff that wasn't in the form.
Mel and Rick are beautiful people and have a true love for the game. They have been so supportive in all my efforts in educating racing fans with our Jockey World. Thank you for giving them the exposure they so well deserve. These cartoon drawings are hilarious and so clever!
A very nice find! Love the cartoon. Looking forward to seeing more of them.

Connect with G.Q.

Google+
Find 


Me On Facebook
Follow Me On Twitter

                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.

 T
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.

   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.

Get all of my selections via ProPicks Mobile, a FREE app for your smartphone that gives you FREE selections from a variety of handicappers.










 

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