Merv J. Marks

Merv “Magoo” Marks, 69, joined the TGC in 2003. A New York-Bred through and through, he was born and raised in Brooklyn and currently lives in Miami Beach, FL. He has twin 32-year-old sons; Merv and Ian. Magoo has been in horseracing all his life and is president of Manhattan Bloodstock. He buys and sells racehorses and is a consultant as well. He was a trainer for 35 years. One of the biggest races he won as a trainer was the 1971 renewal of the Woodward Stakes when his trainee West Coast Scout, ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John L. Rotz, beat Cougar II trained by Hall of Famer Charlie Whittingham and ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Bill Shoemaker. Magoo also won the Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park twice, Donn Handicap, Withers Stakes and Swift Stakes, among many others. West Coast Scout was owned by Ralph Wilson, the owner of the Buffalo Bills NFL football team. Magoo first became interested in thoroughbred racing after going to Old Jamaica Racetrack as a kid. His first job with horses was breaking yearlings for Michael Philips at a farm in Old Westbury, Long Island, NY at age 15.

Magoo took some serious money out of the TGC this year. He was the leading point winner in our golf tournaments and won $2,000 and then his hole-in-one earned him another $2,000. This was the second time he has been the TGC’s leading point winning golfer. This writer, TGC Director Bill Hirsch, has known Magoo for over 40 years.

Questions & Answers with Merv "Magoo" Marks:

Childhood hero? “Jockey Eddie Arcaro”

Favorite food? “Italian”

Favorite restaurant? "Villa Balsamo outside Saratoga Springs, NY. It's only open during the Saratoga Racing Season. "

Two dinner guests? “Marilyn Monroe & Hilary Clinton”

And the Menu? “Pasta with caviar and cream sauce”

Favorite cocktail? “Sea Breeze”

Favorite Ice Cream? “Pecan”

Favorite movie? “Seabiscuit”

Favorite actor? “Cary Grant”

If a Movie was made about you, what would be the name of the movie and which actor would play you? “Mr. Magoo and Karl Malden”

Favorite TV show? “TCM - Turner Classic Movies”

Favorite book(s)? “Seabiscuit”

Last book read? “Headless Horsemen”

Favorite music? “Smooth Jazz"

Favorite vacation spot? “South Beach, FL”

Where would you want to go but haven't been? “Argentina”

What car do you drive? “MINI Cooper”

Perfect day? “Waking up and winning a Pick 6”

Most Painful Moment? “Whenever I lose a photo finish ”

Four things you can't live without? “Food, Money, Women, Daily Racing Form" "

Four things you CAN live without? “Betting on Losers, Drinking, Bad Food, Bad Starts from the Starting Gate"

Indulgence? “To Play Golf at Pebble Beach”

Ambition? “Stay Alive & Healthy”

Hobbies? “Only Golf and Horseracing”

Favorite Athlete Outside Racing? “New England patriot quarterback Tom Brady”

Last Vacation? “Deauville, France, last August"

The last thing you bought? “Breakfast at Pancake House in Aventura, FL"

And the best thing you ever bought, borrowed or stole?“Bought a King Sized Bed"

First job? “Selling the Brooklyn Eagle Newspaper”

Proudest Moment? “Birth of my twin sons”

Greatest Sports Moment? “My Hole in One this past August in a TGC golf tournament at McGregor Links Country Club in Saratoga Springs, NY. It was my first! I won the $2,000 in the TGC Hole In One Pool and spent $3,000 that night at Villa Balsamo Restaurant celebrating with about 20 friends.”

One Word to Describe Your Life? “Bullshit”

What aspect of racing appeals to you the most? “A Good Horse”

Best horse race you ever saw? “When Jockey Bill Shoemaker misjudged the finish line riding Gallant Man in the 1957 KY Derby. Calumet Farm’s Iron Liege won it.”

Best horse? “Seattle Slew"

Favorite Racetrack? “Belmont Park”

Favorite Racetrack Story? “I have so many. Can’t single out one"

If you could name a race for anybody, who would it be and why? “Hall of Fame trainer Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons - he was a great horseman"

Words of wisdom to horse owners? “Buy horses from my Manhattan Bloodstock. I will put you in the Winners Circle

Favorite Golf Story? “The Day I had a Hole in One last summer…I didn’t even know it went in."

Most enjoyable golf course played? “Old Head Golf Links in County Cork on the Southwest Coast of Ireland"

What aspect of golf appeals to you the most? “The atmosphere of the golf courses"

Best golfing attribute? “ Patience"

Dream foursome? “Eddie Arcaro, Bill Shoemaker, Tiger Woods & me"

What Celebrity Golfers Have you Teed-It-Up with? “None yet. I am waiting for TGC member John Kernell to become a celebrity so I can say him. I’m not sure I will live that long! "

Words of wisdom to golfers? “ Keep your head down"

Who is your favorite TGC member and why? “John Kernell, because he is drunk by the 18th hole."


Magoo shows off his form!


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