The DD version of the racing form and ability to claim horses was Gary's lure to DD. His real life experiences in horse racing began with him going to the track as a teenager before he got his owner's license in 1981. From 1981 - 2003 he owned between 70-80 real horses solely or in 50% partnership. In January 2008 Gary was first introduced to digitaldowns.us by fellow member Erb Stables. Although, he was never into internet gaming, he noticed some of the same aspects of the real game were right here online.
By July of 2008 he had already amassed 1 million in career earnings and was fast on his way to a HOF career. Gary attributes most of his success from his approach and his real life experiences "I tried to apply real life racing with DD as much as possible, but learned that some phases are applicable and some were not. Learning the economics of the game seemed to be one of my bigger assets, so that was my primary focus. It became an enjoyable hobby that allowed me to interact with many wonderful people from all across the world. Running a successful stable took many hours of research, and accepting the ups and downs with the game was a daily challenge. As in a real life racing, good common sense and patience were keys to winning races."
Primarily known as a claiming stable, his uncanny ability to find value and unlocking a horse's true ability were unmatched. Whether it was a fellow trainer attempting to sneak a good horse through the claim box or a hopeless castoff, he seemed to have all the answers after the claim was dropped. This approach to the game has proven to be quite fruitful for Gary, as of this writing he has won 3,755 races with a gaudy 21.85% lifetime win percentage.
Aquaman's Stables success hasn't only been about claiming horses or running them back for more then he claimed them for. The back-to-back Trainer of the Year in seasons 22 and 23 also brings his A Game when the big money is on the line during the stakes program. "One of my favorite memories with DD was the end of season stakes day that was run on the last day of the meet on August 31st, 2010. Eight stake races were scheduled that day, and I had an entry in 4 of them. All 4 horses won in consecutive races, and I won a total of 9 races of the 16 entries on the card. Being strictly a claiming outfit, winning 4 added money races was a great thrill."
A valued and respected member of the Digitaldowns community for a long time, Gary has also been an influential voice in improving the game by sharing his thoughts and veteran insight. Over the years he's developed many friendships with fellow members, thoughts not lost on the HOF conditioner, "Playing this game with people like Nigel and Norm with Getting Luck Lodge, Rory with Ryan Express, Burky with Star of the Desert, Russ with Sparc Stables, Shane with Polaris Bloodstock, Al with Falcon Oaks, Pete with Cannorth Stables, Jamie with Aardvark Stables, Kelly with Fog City Stables, Brian with various former stables, currently Cold Dog Soup Stables, and my good friend "Woody" from Woodville Stables, along with many, many others made this site respectful, competitive, and very enjoyable. Norm, now with Trunoble Lodge, was always a big asset to DD to help and encourage new players, and always shared a wealth of information with the membership. He was one of my biggest rivals on the track, but he was someone who I respected more than anyone who ever competed here."
I later asked Gary what it means to be inducted into the Digitaldowns HOF, "It is an honor for me to be included with Getting Lucky Lodge and Ryan Express as inductees into the Digital Downs Hall of Fame. I would like to thank the site owners Bob and Freddie for making this possible."
Congratulations to Gary on his induction to the Digitaldowns Hall of Fame!