Michael Gill Racing Issues Statement
August 5, 2016
As reported in the Thoroughbred Times, “It
was a surprise visit, and I found nothing wrong in the facility,” said
Gail Emerson, a former trainer. In fact Delahoussaye
still trained and he had his other owners buy my horses that wound up
back in the same stalls that they were in when I owned them a day
before. The vast majority went back to Penn National. Out of the 100 jockeys I am
going make a guess at the other two: Dana Whitney and Willie Otero. I watched them go up on the
witness stand, one after another saying that I had done nothing wrong. Even when the
subject was about life and limb, he forgot. Dillon also declared our innocence. It seems they rely heavily on reading The
They believed that the Commission had immunities that they could hide
sure they were the jockeys, Krulock’s jockeys, which was the reason for
Dillon’s sudden loss of memory.
So Krulock had the two top racing outfits in Penn National using his
jockeys. They sent Gail
Emerson to my farm. But they blamed me, not the track.
In fact in a federal trial held last week, Michael Dillon, former Acting
Executive Secretary of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission said
under oath that he spoke with three jockeys about their concerns, one
was Clifton and he just could not remember the other two. I claimed horses for $20,000 and won for $40,000. I wasn’t doing
anything special. They had nothing else.
I’m no longer in horse racing so I have no motive to share my story
other than the truth.
You would be interested to know how little these Commissioners know
about horse racing. I was trying to create a path to
operating a successful business in the horse racing industry that I
loved so that other owners could do the same. This is the same organization that I have paid more
money into than any other person. Since that wasn’t possible, Krulock turned to what he
could control…the jockeys. This trainer was Stephanie
Beattie. Sometimes the thing that separates the
haves and the have-nots is opportunity. I made it possible for the
trainer to make money and the owners to make money, rather than have the
trainer survive by cheating the owner. Penn National has me thrown out;
they knew they did not have a reason so they gave it to the Commission. They do not like cutting up their share of the pie. “The slippery slope is if the measurement or action taken is
going to be on when this occurs, as it may also involve others who
people feel are not an issue.” McErlean wrote this in his email, a copy
of which I have in my possession.
Penn National can’t say they are concerned about horses and jockeys when
they don’t even vet check horses on their own grounds. I also quickly learned that it is possible for people to be
At the trial, I listened to three Commissioners (Hamm, Hannum, and
Sweeney) and the Executive Secretary Dillon. Penn National operates
under a license, as I do. There was actually one trainer with more total
breakdowns with only about 600 starts. I have now
just introduced you to all the players.
It was my intent to have stayed in Horse Racing the rest of my life,
what better job to have than one that you love. I have spent my career defending myself
from the corrupt, with their fear of you hearing me. Do you think the trainers would
tell the owners that they lost their $40,000 claiming horse for $20,000
because they were cashing a bet offshore or would they say that Gill
made it a $40,000 horse because he was cheating? What do you think?
Penn National knew that I had complained multiple times about the racing
offense to The Blood-Horse magazine, but it is not ALL that these
commissioners should know.
Penn National doesn’t want you to pay attention to the horses; they want
you in the casino. When the largest stable in the country moves in, it is cause for
Those same complaining owners bought them, the same complaining trainers
trained them and the same complaining jockeys rode them. There must have
been some magical wand that was waived to make them all instantly sound. I bought horses from the big
guys 90% of the time, not the little guys. When you look at it, you see nothing but
locals. They still had major issues two
months after I left. To my knowledge this was the only race track in the country where
all horses didn’t get checked by a veterinarian before each race.
MANCHESTER, N.H.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Michael Gill Racing today made the following statement regarding horse
You may remember reading Otero saying my horses were dangerous. More money than any owner made at any one
race track that year. At the time,
horses stabled on the grounds did not get even a vet check before they
raced. It is also ironic that I was still able to race at Philadelphia
Park, but not at Penn National, even though both are governed by the
same Pennsylvania commission.
I really tried to make a difference. I knew at that moment that since
Krulock got me the stalls at Penn National that he could take them away.
Let’s move on to the National Horsemen’s Benevolence & Protective
Association (HBPA). I had a passion and a love for this industry. Weeks later, Otero was suspended from
racing for making no effort for a horse to win. I am not kidding, read the transcripts. To put this in perspective, if you combined all
of the race tracks across the country you might not have fourteen fatal
breakdowns collectively during a two week period. He was pulling
horses to prevent them from winning. This was more money than next the top 15 owners at
Penn National combined. They then said in last week’s trial that they never accused me of
having sore horses. Those that wanted me out would have
given their eyeballs to have come up with a bad test to make it easy to
get rid of me. He must have
forgotten about an email he sent on January 24, 2010, just before my
ejection, stating that my trainers, Adamo and Delahoussaye had 3 and 4
breakdowns respectively for the year. They could possibly lose that license if they
were operating a dangerous track. So the taxpayer would take the hit. I would not be
bought and I would not be intimidated, that is a dangerous combination
in horse racing.
So, if you had a couple of Commissioners that you could manipulate, I
would say it was a hell of an insurance policy and defense Attorney
Augusto was the puppet master who protects the tracks and dials in the
Commissioners. She was accused of shock waving horses by her
foreman/boyfriend and her grooms, but wrote a letter, representing horse
ownership, to the Commissioner saying I was bad for racing.
My dream was always to win the Kentucky Derby; instead this has been my
living nightmare. On three
occasions Dillon happily informed the court that Penn National gave him
a letter telling him what a good job he was doing. My understanding
is that they do vet check now, why didn’t they then? I offered to have
the state vet at Penn National check all my horses on the grounds and at
my farm, Penn National declined. They were cheating. This is the exact
accusation I had made when I fired him. I then asked to have Dana Whitney
ride on all the horses. I claimed horses from people
that were cheating and winning races unfairly to defraud the betting
public. They raced a total of 820 times
during the year. I noticed how they looked frequently at him for approval
All my horses were sold. I was in horse racing for 33 years and have been told
that I have had more starts and won more races than any horse owner in
history. I had raced over 1,400 starts in 2009 outside of Penn National
and only had one breakdown. Krulock said that he could not do that because
Dana was riding first call for my biggest competitor, Stephanie Beattie.
I spent $51 million dollars in horse racing, why would I need to cheat?
If someone had a better horse in the race, I would buy it. He seemed to be very
proud of that letter. I said that I would, but that I would not use Clifton as I
felt he was an inferior jockey. When he could not give me Dana Whitney, I fired him as an agent
and the jockeys he represents. The president of
HBPA at Penn National at the time was Stephanie Beattie, my biggest
competitor. So why would they want me out?
Christopher McErlean is the Vice President of Gaming at Penn National. In fact in 2008, just one year before, it had fourteen fatal
breakdowns in two weeks. Only the Commission could take their
license away. Every year the track
has had major issues with breakdowns. Tell
me this, what is more controversial than telling the truth?
Penn National continues to be scrutinized for their unsafe track
conditions. Sore at Penn, sound at Philly?
I got into Penn National when John Krulock (agent for jockeys Thomas
Clifton and Willie Otero) offered me 49 stalls if I rode his Jockeys
first call. For all those
concerned, you have taken your best shot at me and I am still standing. This was a horse that raced on the grass for
the first time, slipped and clipped heals. What if
I told you he has just given a sworn deposition, under oath, that they
were never were dangerous? What jockey would know better if my horses
were sound than the jockey that was riding them all? How could any other
jockeys say anything if they didn’t ride them? Also, what if Otero and
Jockey Clinton Potts just said under oath that they did not give anyone
express permission to use their names on the jockey petition?
The Commission and Dillon listed three separate complaints: 1) Penn
National, 2) Jockeys and 3) the HBPA. They want you in the Casino at
The Commission’s own investigators recognized the fact that the horses
were back running at Penn National and what I was saying was actually
I guess miracles can happen.
I went into racing knowing it was a business and I believed I could be a
champion. The barns are a
disaster and the track is dangerous, but the casino is just wonderful!
You tell me where Penn National is spending their money. I made $3.1
million dollars there in 2009. Instead what I got was an anonymous
phone call to the Large Animal Protection Society. “It was clean, and the horses were in
So how did I get kicked out of Penn National? I just had 2,247 horse
races without a single bad test. Krulock then gave me Willie Otero to
ride all my horses and then hired Dana Whitney. They have never come to my defense
because they are made up of horse owners and trainers that do not want
me in the industry because I am cutting up their pie.
In fact they did not even investigate before or after ejecting me or
Adamo, not one of them. Look back at all my years in
racing and tell me this isn’t the truth.
He has commented publicly about my horses breaking down. I was able to accomplish my goals because I believed they were
possible. They had the State of Pennsylvania do their dirty work and we
learned in last week’s trial that Commission’s lawyers warned them that
I could sue the Commission. I noticed how one Commissioner after another on the stand
appeared more hesitant, guarded and confused than the one before.
There came a time in late 2009 that I fired Willie Otero. It was not a coincidence
that it is these three jockeys that led a boycott of riding my horses in
I am no longer in horse racing, but I spent $51 million dollars from
1999 to 2009 on horses.
Every time I see my name it is followed by the word, controversial. That is
not what I want.
I will finish by telling you that in the purest sense I am a competitor,
I find no victory in cheating. It is journalism, like
the recent New York Times article and a former ESPN interview,
that have made it difficult to stay in business and impossible for me to
come back by painting me as “The Most Hated Man in Racing” where I might
have been the most honest.
Penn National Race Track in Grantville, Pennsylvania is, like other race
tracks, a closed community. So that is how they came at me.
. Therefore, I think this qualifies me to speak about the
Not convinced yet? If you think Penn National cares about jockeys and
horses, why are they racing at 12:00 midnight in the middle of January
instead of 12:00 noon? Do you think it is colder at midnight than at
noon? Do you think it is more likely to have a frozen track in the
middle of January? Isn’t it possible it is about making money? Otherwise
they would be racing during the day. Again, that’s seven
breakdowns at Penn National with 820 starts, and one out of 1,400 starts
at other tracks.
Now I am going to get really insidious. Then it became very clear. Want proof? Simply walk inside of the casino and then
walk out back to the stables where the horses live. Typically, trainers survive by
finding a new owner before the old owner goes broke.
I came into horse racing hiring the little guy and giving them an
opportunity to prove themselves. By now it was a moot point