*NOTE: this is not a defense of Michael Gill, but rather a commentary on the ethics of some of the horse people involved in this situation.
I cannot help but wonder, what is going on with this story? In case you haven't been following the story these past few weeks, leading North American owner Michael Gill has literally been pushed out of Penn National racecourse. The incident began with jockeys refusing to ride in races involving Gill's horses after two of Gill's runners broke down during racing in a short span of time. What came next was Penn National rejecting entries of Gill horses, and just two days ago, Gill was abolished from that track altogether.
Last week, Gill announced that he stepping out of racing and selling all of his horses. Given the sheer size of Gill's transnational racing outfit, that leaves a lot of horses up for sale at Penn National.
Our own Tom LaMarra reported yesterday that Gill's horses are supposably being snatched up quickly by Penn National horsemen. In case it didn't, this is where the red flag should have gone up. Why are trainers and owners now clamouring for these horses that, less than a week ago, they refused to run against because they were too prone to catastrophic injury? These horses are apparently wanted by horsemen to race. There has been talk that some horsemen are disgruntled over Gill's lofty earnings and win percentages, and have taken these actions as the result of poor sportsmanship. While this, of course, cannot be verified, it is one possible dynamic in a situation that I find "very fishy".
To learn more about the Michael Gill situation, check out the following links: