Much maligned winning owner Michael Gill was on The Roger Stein Show yesterday defending himself and his operation against allegations that he is running a high percentage of unsafe horses at Penn National, which came to light when most jockeys at Penn have refused to ride in races that have Gill entrants in them.
He states it boils down to a "corporate takeover," a conspiracy in which the horsemen and jockeys that don't ride for him have colluded to try and prevent Gill from making another $3 million out of the purse accounts at Penn.
The interview with Gill starts at the 6 minute mark and goes on for a half hour. Click here to listen to it. Roger Stein who interviewed Gill, is definitely in Gill's court, so yes, it was a biased interview. But Gill comes across very well just the same.
Here is what is new with Gill and Wednesday's entries at Penn.
Seeing "no rider" on so many horses brings back lots of childhood memories. Except I remember "no boy" instead. "No boy" got a heck of a lot of mounts back in the 60's and early 70's. Must have had a good agent.
UPDATE: Ray Paulick has written a scathing article on Gill's operation.
Michael Gill isn't the only horsemen getting more than his share of bad press. Andrew Beyer wrote a pretty damning article on "Super Trainer" Kirk Ziadie:
"One statistic in particular suggests that Ziadie, 41, is either a cheater or an amazing horseman. Over the past five years, when Ziadie has claimed horses from other trainers, those acquisitions have won 47 percent of the time in their first start for the new barn. It is a mind-boggling number. Ziadie improves almost every horse he gets his hands on, and he improves upon the work of almost every other trainer."
Congrats to Canadian Brian Troop (an accountant from Barrie Ontario), who won $500,000 in the 11th Annual National Handicapping Challenge held in Las Vegas last week. He is wearing Canada's national colour as well; plaid:
Note to Brian: Don't blow it back with HPI, you can get a much better bang for your buck elsewhere.
Alex Walthrop, NTRA CEO, was at the NHC and EUREKA, I think he gets it:
"Their message (the horseplayers) to tracks: Price matters. According to one very knowledgeable race and sports book operator I spoke with in Vegas, they are seeing a steady migration of players from horse racing to sports betting and other gaming. Why? Lower takeout on casino games and sports betting are a big part of the reason."
But what will he do with the information now? Does he have any power to make change?
Read more:He Is Correct! at the HANA blog.
SOVEREIGN AWARDS HANDED OUT
If you are not like me and you care about the Sovereign Awards, check out Jen's Blog "Champs" and Triple Dead Heat (complete with lots of awards pics).
They Are Watching Me
On January 13th I wrote a post called "Time For Horse Racing Industry To Put Up Video Archives." In it I wrote "Woodbine just began doing this a few months ago. It would be nice if Woodbine could take the time and add old stake races to their channel." Well Golly Gee Batman, it looks like Woodbine has started adding old Stake Races to their WEGREPLAY channel.
Good news also in that Party Manners got his channel reinstated by Youtube. Lots of old great stake races can be found there from all over North America.
Fort Erie Consortium Paving The Way For Changes
They can't just go with the flow. Horse racing is dying, and doing things the old way isn't going to keep Fort Erie going in the near future.
Racing Humour: ESPN’s Hank Goldberg Accepts Award at National Optometric Conference
HARNESS RACING QUICKIES
Two Of Three Horses Owned By Bulledproof Enterprises Stripped of Eligibility to Win O'Brien Awards
Licensees Suspended as Suspicious Deaths Of Race Horses Investigated
ORC Barrs Horse From Entering Race At Woodbine Because He Bounced Off A Big Win
I like this comment:)
"This, to me, is a ridiculous precedent. Horses do bounce. It is part of racing, and part of handicapping. There are many reasons for a horse running a great race and many reasons for a horse running a clunker. It is a fact of racing. Is Woodbine now going to refuse entries of every horse that bounces now? I see major problems with them defining an unacceptable bounce too. The more I type about it, the more insane I feel this ruling is."
A thread about this on Pace Advantage.
HORSEPLAYERSBET.COM "Where Horseplayers have a fighting chance to win." Check the video demo out: