Michael Gill … he’s back.

I’m sure many of you have heard of this guy. He was a prominent owner about 3 or 4 years ago in the Mid-Atlantic region and even branched out to Florida and Massachusetts. He had about 450 horses in training at one point. In 2005 he scaled back because he was tired of the politics at the race tracks.  Back in April I made a comment about him getting back into the game seriously. Over the last 8 months he has continued full bore ahead and has amassed 250 horses at this point.

At Pace Advantage right now, a thread is rolling along discussing his resurgence. Is it good for the game? Is it bad for the game? The Daily Racing Form also has an articleup discussing Mr. Gill’s resurgence.

My thoughts … From a business standpoint it is probably great for the game. The guys spends money and a lot of it. He will keep others honest. You try to steal a race with a horse dropping in price and you a probably going to lose him or her. That is what the claiming game is all about isn’t it? The crying over lost horses is a load of crap. One of the reasons he left was because Delaware Park wouldn’t give him stalls unless he agreed not to claim from certain owners. Most of the time, he claims horses and runs them back for the tag he takes them for, giving you a chance to get them back. He than usually drops the horse in price giving you a chance to take them back at a discounted tag. From a money and business stand point, I cannot see how he isn’t good for the game.

Now, from a publicity stand point, he probably isn’t so good. In fact, he is probably the last guy we need as a leading owner. This is the same guy who owned a horse that broke down at Gulfstream a view years ago, which in and of itself isn’t out of the ordinary. What is out of the ordinary is having a vet  cut the broken down limb off the horse and disappearing with it before the track vets could do a better investigation of the injury. The vet that did the amputation was one Gill used. A week later another one of his vets got suspended for improper storage of medications.

I’m sure many people will question why the tracks that banned him are now going to let him race? If he was so bad a few years ago, why let him run his horses now? Peter Walder, a prominent and successful trainer publicly claimed he thought Gill and his trainers were cheating somehow. It seems most of the trainers Gill employs have had some kind of drug positive or otherwise dark cloud surrounding them at some point or another. This is the same Mike Gill that got suspended in 1995 for a drug positive by the state of New Hampshire. Gill’s explanation? He was sharing a tack room with his recently fired trainer Edwin Vazquez and the drugs belonged to him. Edwin Vazquez is the father of Gammy Vazquez, the 26 year old upstart trainer that Gill hired in 2000 and the two proceeded to win at almost 50% for a period of time that summer. Coincidence?

To top it all off, he was denied his mortgage licence when he attempted to renew. Seems that business wasn’t running on the up and up either. http://www.allbusiness.com/legal/trial-procedure-fines-penalties/11602699-1.html

So, while he is probably good for the game in a business sense I feel he is equally as bad for the game in many other ways …


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4 Responses to “Michael Gill … he’s back.”

  1. Layne Giliforte Says:

    Mike Gill is a cancer to the industry. All the above mentioned negativity he inflicts on the sport is the last thing we need. He contributes nothing at all to horse racing. He simply accumulates horses and operates at a loss, WOW, what a business man. He doesn’t even circulate many horses because so few people claim off him because they cannot take the risk of what he may have done to the animals while in his care. He goes through trainers faster than he turns over horses. I do not understand how a sport so desperate to improve it’s integrity and popularity along with proving to the doubters that the horse’s are loved and well taken care of, allow a person of this nature with a proven past of drug related issues with horse’s as well as cutting off a leg of a dead horse to possibly hide something he did and has had illegal issues outside of horse racing in his mortgage business. Again, WOW, thanks for the contribution. Aren’t we the luckiest sport going that we ended up with this upstanding individual, that can buy his way to the top simply because he has more money than brains!!
    I personally have been the beneficiary of 11 of his astute claims and can tell you I am not sour grapes. That proof is apparent by the fact that of 11 horses he has taken off me in about 8 months, he has had 3 wins and is making money with NONE of them. But what I can admit to is that the arrogant, ego maniac is dramatically affecting my business as well as directly affecting my family, children and my employees and their families. Is this a good guy? I guy we need in our sport? I don’t think he is a guy we need in our society but unfortunately that’s something we can’t do anything about. But I can also ask, is he a family man? If so, how we he feel if his family and children were directly being torn apart by one person’s obsession with his own ego? I can honestly say I hope he finds out someday.

  2. tim pape Says:

    You are a cry baby you should be glad he claimed your horses if they were no good .Your owners should be glad if he’s not doing good with them you would’nt be either.You are making some silly statements

  3. bob davis Says:

    your right tim pape. also the horses he lost are winning.

  4. Layne Giliforte Says:

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. And you’re both correct.
    He has claimed 15 horses from me and has done my owner 15 favors.
    You missed my point about his character and integrity but that’s okay, I wasn’t trying to make the point to you alone. A lot of people feel the same way I do and probably the same way you do.
    And Bob, your comment is correct BUT the horses that are winning, with the exception of 2, are all winning below the claiming prices he took them for. And, a more sure bet than you can make on any Mike Gill horse is that he is losing money on EVERY horse he took but one.

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