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HRN Original Blog:
Maryland's Own GQ

Daily Racing Funnies,The Rebel & Laurel Selections

Today I proudly unveil my very own “Funnie”, which obviously has a Maryland theme. This equine drawing masterpiece was a collaborative effort of yours truly and Marcy “Mel” Leonard of Daily Racing Funnies. The turnaround time on my order was amazingly quick, her attention to detail is first-rate, and willingness to let you “have it your way” results in a unique piece of horse racing memorabilia, one can call your own.


Mel’s work has been featured in many areas of HRN as well as on her Twitter account @dailyracefunies. Her drawings are timely, especially during this rapid fire time of year (i.e. Derby Trail), and guaranteed to bring a smile to all who see them. They are certainly a welcome diversion from the stress of keeping up with this fast-paced industry, while also being informative by capturing a major storyline in a single frame drawing. Thanks Mel for bringing the “funnie” side of horse racing to life. 

On the national scene, there is only one Derby prep race this weekend. It’s the $600,000 G2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park (OP). Thanks to the new Derby point system format, which will determine the pecking order for getting into the starting gate for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4th, we should see full fields in the remaining Derby prep races. To give you an indication of how critical these races are as far as earning Derby points, there were 131 3-year-olds nominated to the Rebel Stakes.

A field of eleven (11) will break from the starting gate on the Hot Springs, AR oval, racing 1 1/16th mile, led by 3-2 Morning Line favorite #10 - Super Ninety Nine, who convincingly won the G3 Southwest Stakes here at the same distance on Feb. 18th.

A couple Also-Rans from the Southwest Stakes race are back to try to redeem themselves, #3 - Texas Bling (30-1) who failed to be a threat (9th) after posting an impressive 2nd in the Smarty Jones Stakes in January at Oaklawn Park and #7 - Will Take Charge (aka WTC; 15-1) was off poorly and was dead last into the first turn when he customarily is leading the pack early, and appeared to dislike the sloppy going  that day.

Thanks to his victory in the Southwest Stakes, Super Ninety Nine (S99) will be giving 4 lbs. to his Southwest rivals which still may not be enough to turn the tables, but well certainly help newcomers like #4 - Delhomme (7-2), making his 3-year-old debut and will certainly look S99 in the eye early. In addition to WTC, D. Wayne Lukas sends out #9- Oxbow (4-1), a game 4th in the Risen Star Stakes at Fairgrounds (LA) on Feb. 23rd.


CA invaders include #6 - Den's Legacy (8-1) and  the late-running #1 - Treasury Bill (5-1).The latter will get help from entrymate #1A - Title Contender entered to be a “rabbit“, ensuring quick early fractions. A newcomer to the Derby Trail... #2 - Carve (15-1) is a lightly raced son of First Samurai, is a perfect 2 for 2 and trained by Steve Asmussen while local runners #5 - Hardrock Eleven (50-1) and #8 - Stormy Holiday (30-1) would light up the toteboard with a victory here.

HOW I SEE IT: Title Contender sets a blistering pace with Oxbow at his shoulder, while Delhomme, Will Take Charge and Super Ninety Nine settle in behind those two. As many as six (6) runners could be abreast as the turn for home, looking more like punch-drunk prize fighters. This would play right into the hands of Den’s Legacy and Treasury Bill to make their presence known heading into the stretch. The outcome will depend on how the OP surface is “playing” on Saturday. Take note of how the early races are being run, and adjust your wagering strategy accordingly.


Recapping the previously posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Mar. 9th had 8 winners from 11 races (4 Top Selection; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.00 (1st race), $5.00 (2nd), $3.80 (3rd), $15.60 (4th), $4.00 (5th), $6.80 (8th), $5.60 (10th) and $18.20 (11th).

The BEST BET of the Day (10 2-0-0) Star Destiny (7-2 PT; 3-1 M/L) was three-wide chasing the leaders early, but failed to threaten as he weakened under strong encouragement, finishing 4th.

The LONGSHOT PICK (10 0-0-3) Pool Party (3-1 PT; 6-1 M/L) set a pressured pace along the rail, held on gamely when entering the stretch, but yielded in the final furlong, salvaging SHOW and returning $2.40.


For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for a overcast skies with 70% chance of showers, which makes handicapping  this card tricky. It’s guess-work on whether the track will be FAST or SLOPPY at Laurel Park on Saturday Mar. 16th . As of 10am, the track is listed as FAST. Selections for all races posted were handicapped based on making multi-race wagers such as DOUBLE’s, Pick-3’s and Pick-4’s using all three (3) listed for each race in each leg.




1st race – $5,000 Claiming for F&M 4 y.o.& up – 1 1/16 miles

 #5 – Forty Days  (7-5)

 #4 – My Name Is Ralphie  (15-1)

 #2 – Angels Concerto (5-1)


2nd race – $7,500 Claiming N3L for F&M 4 y.o.& up – 6 furlongs

 #2 – True Chick  (9-2)

 #4 – She’s Behaving (5-2)

 #7 – Time Marches On  (20-1)


3rd race – $7,500 Claiming N3L for F&M 4 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 miles

 #5 – Trippi’s Wish (8-5) 

 #1 – Lady Geegee (2-1)

 #7 – Skips Prospect (6-1)


4th race – $25,000 Starter Allowance for 3 y.o. fillies – 7 furlongs

 #1 – Ek Haseena (8-5)

 #4 – Sea Lady  (6-1)

 #5 – Curly (8-1)


5th race – $50,000 Optional Claiming N1X for 3 y.o.– One mile

 #4 – Keep Momma Happy (6-1) $$$ LONGSHOT $$$

 #2 – Indian Bucks  (3-1)

 #6 – Wry Me  (10-1)


6th race – $25,000 Optional Claiming N2X for F&M 4 y.o.& up – 6 furlongs

 #1 – West Coast Lady (4-1)  *** BEST BET ***

 #7 – Zero Yield (7-2)

 #2 – Grammy Pat  (7-2)


7th race – $5,000 Claiming N1Y for 4 y.o.& up – 1 1/8 miles

 #8 – Changing Funds (3-1)

 #1 – Hurricane Creek (7-2)

 #6 – Silent Shot (15-1)


 8th race – $125,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes for 3 y.o & up – 1 1/8 miles

 #4 – Norman Asbjornson (4-1)

 #3 – Koh I Noor (9-5)

 #1 – Eighttofasttocatch (9-2)


 9th race – $8,000 Maiden Claiming for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 7 furlongs

 #6 – Pure Anticipation  (7-5)

 #7 – Tale of the Dragon  (6-1)

 #2 – Nashly Love  (3-1)




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Older Comments about Daily Racing Funnies,The Rebel & Laurel Selections...

The rail is looking like a good spot to be.
Where is that GQ red sport jacket? Great cartoon, DRF.
Love your take on the Rebel, gotta think Lukas is going to have a say on the outcome!!
Oaklawn has never been anything BUT a speed favoring oval..It takes a big late move advantage to overcome that bias. i.e. the Z gal
I love the Funnie! Only thing missing is Lombardi trophy. ;)
I like the detailed cartoon very much. GL to Norman A--always liked him.
that 'toon is awesome well and rightly done Mel Leonard
That's a great racing cartoon, Marcy!

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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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