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Coming Up Roses

by paintedmare
Jay has one dream he's never been able to give up; to become a jockey. Unfortunately, he lacks the riding skills (and some would say the common sense) necessary to be successful at the track. Desperate to ride, he takes a job as a groom for a jaded ex-rider-turned-trainer. With CJ's strict mentoring, can Jay overcome the obstacles before him and find himself in the winner's circle?
Oh, and there's one more complication; Jay just happens to be transgendered.

'Coming Up Roses' is a fictionalized account of day to day life on the racetrack, based on my own experiences in the hard-knuckle and colorful world of thoroughbred racing.
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Jay has one dream he's never been able to give up; to become a jockey. Unfortunately, he lacks the riding skills (and some would say the common sense) necessary to be successful at the track. Desperate to ride, he takes a job as a groom for a jaded ex-rider-turned-trainer. With CJ's strict mentoring, can Jay overcome the obstacles before him and find himself in the winner's circle?
Oh, and there's one more complication; Jay just happens to be transgendered.

'Coming Up Roses' is a fictionalized account of day to day life on the racetrack, based on my own experiences in the hard-knuckle and colorful world of thoroughbred racing.

Recent Comments

Like the change of art from Chess. The B&W look really adds a touch of class in my book, too.
pradlee
October 27th, 2011
i enjoy reading your little extras about background info in racing culture. makes me feel like i'm doing something at least a bit educational^^
Balancing Act
The life of a racehorse trainer is ruled by money. Generally, trainers are in a constant state of drowning financially, only able to take an easier breath if their horses are winning and making enough money to pay the bills. Trainers who aren't fortunate enough to have high class horses usually just manage to scrape out an existence, and hopefully break even every month if things go well.

After a horse trains each day, the horse's groom will wrap the horse's legs in what are called 'standing bandages,' to both protect his lower legs, and often to administer liniment or other treatments to help counteract inflammation in his tendons and joints.
KermitsGirl
October 21st, 2011
Your way with humor is just too good. The last panel had me in stitches.
Cannetella
October 10th, 2011
xDD
Aww.

The horse still looks absolutely adorable.
>///<
YaoiGirl09
October 9th, 2011
The guys and horses are beautifull love it<3
paintedmare
October 9th, 2011
Notes on Racetrack Lingo
'Breezing' is a term for an all-out gallop, asking the horse to run his very fastest for a pre-determined distance. Usually, breezes are clocked officially and the times posted to handicapping information services.

News, especially gossip, spreads very quickly in the stable area of a racetrack (called the 'back side/backside').


A 'pony,' in the racing industry, is any horse that is not a racehorse. Typically, ponies are actually quite large, sturdy horses, used to take racehorses to the track and back. They often will gallop beside the racehorse while the pony's rider holds the racehorse's head with a lead rope or leather strap through the bit. Usually it keeps the racehorse more calm, and 'ponying' can be done with or without a rider on the racehorse himself. They are also used as horses for the outriders, and to take horses to the gate during a race.

Also, sorry for the bit of slow posting on 'Roses'-- I sprained my wrist working with these same sort of high-strung horses, ironically. While 'Chess' has a nice buffer, 'Roses' is something I work on here and there, so it's a little slower process while my wrist heals.
Actually,there is at least one manga about horse racing,though it's obviously never been translated.It's called Derby Queen,made 1999 by Ashihara Hinako. Chapter one is on mangafox.When I saw what you said,I was fairly certain I had seen a horse-racing manga floating around on the net.
paintedmare
September 27th, 2011
@Angel_Sin: Yes, again, it is dangerous and stupid, but it does happen IRL (lots of stupid and dangerous things happen at the track) and this character couldn't be assed to give a damn at this moment in his life. He's not a bad person or a bad horseman, he's just hardly perfect, either. :)
Angel_Sin
September 27th, 2011
@paintedmare

Seems a bit more dangerous, almost, smoking in an outdoor one... more chance of wind blowing little embers into the stalls x_x
paintedmare
September 27th, 2011
Comment Replies
@Angel_Sin: You're absolutely right-- not something I didn't consider! In this case, the stable is outdoors (many tracks have both indoor stables and outdoor, where the stalls are only covered by an overhang but are otherwise open to the elements). That's no excuse, of course, but it does happen frequently in the real world despite posted signs and common sense warning against it.
Angel_Sin
September 27th, 2011
Oh man, smoking in a stable =|
Cannetella
September 27th, 2011
Oh, *that's* Jay!
xD

Poor guy! xD
Boolsajo
September 27th, 2011
Oh so cool~

And poor Jay ^^;
DarklyWhite
September 27th, 2011
I like this seasoned looking rider. Also enjoying the info.
YaoiGirl09
September 26th, 2011
Crash and.... burn lolz
paintedmare
September 26th, 2011
The Sales
Sorry for the little delay on this page; been a really busy time for me-- the Keeneland September yearling sales were held this past two weeks.
Thoroughbred breeders aim to produce the best foals they can (or at least the ones with the most commercial bloodlines, which in America doesn't always equate with 'the best' or the most sound racehorses, but that's a whole different rant). They then consign the foals as weanlings, or more commonly as yearlings, to an auction. Buyers travel from countries all over the world to bid on these yearlings, with the hopes that one of these thousands of horses will turn out to be a champion racehorse.
The average price for a yearling at the Keeneland sale is about $45,000-- the average for the 'select' portion of the sale, with the best pedigreed horses and those with the most correct conformation, is $300,000. It is not uncommon for bidders to go as high as $1 million or more (for example, the sale topping horse last year brought $4.2 million).
wohdin
September 18th, 2011
OH HEY, IT'S MAN!CLOUD. HI MAN!CLOUD!<3
paintedmare
September 17th, 2011
Comment Replies
@Cannetella: "I can has carrot?"

@blankd: Thanks! I feel like even though it's messier/more unrefined than 'Chess,' it feels more natural to create the pages.

@wohdin: Hahaha I had to recycle him somewhere. I love his character design too much (and besides, at this point he's so UnCloudlike that I've just gone ahead and made him an OC, despite his origins).
blankd
September 17th, 2011
Jesus that panel 3, my heart can't take it. X)

The personal devotion of it really shows in the pages, keep it up!