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The Notebook January 30, 2014

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Out of the Gate with ... Mark Beal

Mark Beal is a horse racing owner and fan as well as the managing partner of Taylor, one of the nation's leading consumer public relations agencies with a focus on category leading brands that leverage sports, entertainment and lifestyle platforms. He is also a partner in New Jersey-based Fantasy Lane Stable and part-owner of more than a dozen horses including up and comers Downtownleroybrown, Ingenuity and Kombat Kat. When not marketing brands or watching his horses race, Mark is an adjunct professor at Rutgers University where he teaches public relations and marketing and also roots for his Scarlet Knights. 

Name: Mark Beal

What I do for a living: Public Relations professional

How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred racing  As a teenager, my parents had just moved our family to the Jersey Shore in the early 1980s and they took us to "The Shore's Greatest Stretch," historic Monmouth Park, and I instantly fell in love with the sport.

My favorite racetrack: Saratoga on a late summer afternoon in upstate New York is hard to beat.

My favorite Thoroughbred racing event: Breeders' Cup. What other sport offers back-to-back-to-back world championships in one day?

Other sports/teams I follow: Any Rutgers University team 

What I would like to see more of in Thoroughbred racing: Integration with major entertainment brands and properties and cross-marketing with other major events and brands.

What I would like to see less of in Thoroughbred racing: Naysayers, negative commentary.

Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me: Speed, energy, excitement

First Thoroughbred track I ever attended: Monmouth Park

Favorite all-time Thoroughbred: Affirmed, one-half of perhaps the greatest rivalry in horse racing history who never let the pressure get to him in winning the 1978 Triple Crown.

My personal best moment in the sport of Thoroughbred racing: Standing for the first time ever in the winner's circle on December 8, 2011 with my wife, Michele, when One Sock Down, a horse we had part ownership of, won at Parx.

Best racetrack food can be found at: BBQ down the homestretch at Monmouth Park. 

My favorite jockey: Kent Desormeaux, who I had the chance to work with in 2008 via a unique marketing promotion after he won the first two legs of the Triple Crown on Big Brown.

My favorite trainer: It has to be Eddie Coletti, Sr., our head trainer with Fantasy Lane Stable.

My heroes: My wife and kids

Person in Thoroughbred racing I'd like to have dinner with: Chef, Breeders' Cup winning owner and endurance athlete Bobby Flay

My philosophy on life: Each day presents a new opportunity to achieve great things.

Favorite quote or motto: Success is a marathon. 

Favorite animal other than a horse: My chocolate lab, Hershey.

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event that I have attended: Running the Boston Marathon in 3:15, no greater feeling as an endurance athlete.

Favorite food: My wife's dinners. There is no restaurant that can match her cooking.

Favorite vacation spot: Our vacation home in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I wake every morning at sunrise and swim as far as a mile in the Sea of Cortez.

Favorite city: I can't name just one, my wife and I have enjoyed Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Florence, Paris, London and of course, New York.

Favorite musician/band: Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Jackson Browne, Kid Rock, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown, Darius Rucker, Toby Keith. 

Favorite all-time movie(s): The Big Chill, Remember the Titans, Animal House

Favorite TV show: “The Newsroom,” “Veep,” “Homeland”

Favorite hotel: Any of the Starwood properties, Aloft, Westin, Sheraton

Websites I visit daily: Yahoo Finance, ESPN, Google News

What I drive: Lexus LS 460

Pet peeve: Negative attitude and complainers

Favorite movie about horse racing: Secretariat

Which actor would play me in a movie: Most difficult question here: Since I am an agency executive, how about Jon Hamm, who plays Don Draper on “Mad Men”.

Alma Mater: Rutgers University

Favorite radio show/channels: Dan Patrick is the best show on radio and my favorite channels on Sirius/XM are ESPN, The Highway, Margaritaville and E Street Radio

Favorite memento: A painting of the oceanfront gazebo in Spring Lake, N.J., where I proposed to my wife nearly 25 years ago

Favorite dessert: My wife's brownies, chocolate chip cookies or white cake with chocolate frosting.

Favorite drink: An Italian white wine

Favorite scent: The magical scent when I arrive at our villa in Cabo. It puts you in vacation mode immediately.

What I like about my job: The creative energy at my agency and working with great people.

Favorite tech gadget: My RunKeeper app on my iPhone to measure my long-distance runs and bike rides 

Twitter handle: @markbealpr

People I follow on Twitter: I follow more than 650 so a mix of sports, news, entertainment and business.  

No. 1 Bucket-List item: Driving an RV with my wife across this great country and seeing states and cities we have never taken the time to visit 

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Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations to Marlice McDaniel, winner of this week's Fan Photo Contest!

From Marlice: "Just a little Summer Bird lovin'!" Want in? E-mail a .jpg and brief caption to photos@NTRA.com!

Photos of the week

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