Penn Natl suspends trainer Gill pending further investigation

Cross-posted from the Blood Horse

by CLAIRE NOVAK

Horses entered in the name of Michael Gill, North America’s leading owner by races won and purses earned in 2009, will not be accepted for entry at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course effective immediately.

Chris McErlean, vice president of racing for track owner Penn National Gaming Inc., said Jan. 25 the temporary restriction has been put in place pending a meeting to review the necropsy results of two runners owned by Gill that recently broke down at the Pennsylvania track.

Several other runners owned by Gill have ralso eportedly suffered fatal breakdowns on the track since Oct. 1, although exact numbers have not been confirmed.

Gill, the leading owner in North America by purses earned and races won in 2003, 2004, and 2009—he led by wins and was second by earnings in 2005, the year he won an Eclipse Award—had taken a break from racing in 2006 but returned in 2008. He has 49 stalls at Penn National and stables the remainder of his 120 horses at his private training center, Elk Creek Ranch in Oxford, Pa.

Last year, 2,247 horses raced under his silks to 370 wins and earnings of $6,670,490.

“To my knowledge, regarding further entries at this point, we are going to wait until we have a scheduled meeting with Mr. Gill and his trainers once we get those reports from the most recent breakdowns,” McErlean said. “We want the ability to speak with him and his trainers to find out what’s going on and get some more information at that time.”

The practice of running and reviewing a necropsy exam on horses that suffer fatal injuries at Penn National is one instituted by the track at the start of the year in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission. Read full story >>

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