Owner Gill ready to leave business

Horse Racing

April 26, 2003|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Mike Gill, the leading owner of thoroughbreds in the country, said yesterday he plans on dispersing his 300 horses over the next two years and getting out of the horse business.

With more than 100 horses stabled at Laurel Park and the Bowie Training Center, Gill said the problems that have dogged him in recent months have taken the fun out of winning races. Delaware Park has prohibited him from racing horses there.

Gill leads the country's owners in wins and recently broke the record for most wins at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. He is the dominant owner at Pimlico and Laurel Park.

"I'm first in the country right now, and I just broke the record at Gulfstream," Gill said. "But I'm not having fun anymore. And I couldn't convince myself things are going to get better."

Gill attracted unfavorable attention this past winter when one of his veterinarians amputated the leg of a Gill horse that had broken a leg and been euthanized while racing at Gulfstream. Gill was exonerated, but was denied stalls in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Maryland tracks continued giving him stalls.

Gill has filed a lawsuit against Gulfstream Park and Delaware Park alleging defamation of character and conspiracy to run him out of business.

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