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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyFox View Post
    Dick, Penn really isn't doing pre-race vet checks? Are they scratching anything in the paddock?

    I'm curious - how do Gill's horses look in the paddock and post? Are these horses visibly lame? Does he have trouble getting a jock?

    I have a couple of points to make after reading the replies...
    A track cannot single out one person's stock to perform random tests on. That's not a road we need to head down b/c it could just as easily lead to someone being excluded from testing. It needs to be random. Also, remember Gill has a high win percentage and starts a lot of horses - his stock gets tested pretty frequently.

    And since it costs more they don't Super test which is the only way to catch alot of the drugs.

    This has been noted before, any track can deny privledges @ their discretion, and quite a few already have done so.

    Myectomies are not the same as "slitting the throat." Let's get real people. Gill (like most big barns) runs a cookie cutter operation. I don't think every horse needs a myectomy, but Gill thinks it can't hurt, so he does it. It's his money and it really doesn't hurt the horse. Painting the procedure as a sign of a butcher isn't accurate.

    This term is not meant as a butchering technique but the exact term one of his previous vets used to use when going over to preform the surgery on his latest batch of claims.

    Sharps containers on the farm are actually a sign of responsible management (he knows how to dispose of needles properly!). Not a sign of a butcher. Assuming the presence of needles means something sinister is kind of silly.

    No it indicates the huge amount of needles disposed of on a regular bases, more than ...in fact he is the only barn I have ever been in that was not a vets facilety w/ that many medical waste bins and sharpes containers period. Seriously how many training barns do you know with a wall stack??

    And, if he has a horse sore enough to be digging a hole in his stall, do you really want him NOT to treat it? That doesn't make sense.

    So you totally missed that one..when a horse is standing in a *****ng crater is shaking w/ pain and left tied to a wall do ya think he's been treated for the pain...??

    I'm not saying the guy is a saint, but some of the accusations here just don't make sense.
    All this is not accusations, not seen by some bleeding heart rescue innocent. These are just plain real facts no hype no drama.Its a warehouse for horses. Walmart racing factory.
    I also stated they had clean stalls, were all groomed, all well feed, fat n shiny. Alot sporting wraps n poultice This was not from just one quick peek but witnessed on more than one occassion.

    As for Cole being a convicted felon, not my comment, I did not make that remark.

    Gill hires what he can get



  2. #22
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    In the wrong business? I am just starting out again training a string of racehorses for a few owners after a few years in corporate america to actually make some money. My niche used to be bringing along horses with problems (after chip surgery, etc.) and getting them racing again. Probably because of my background working with vets, etc. Of course, since I am just starting, this is the case again. But I love it, watching the progress and seeing the horses bloom and the ultrasounds improve, etc.

    Here is the alarming part...Many people in the industry have felt free to offer their unsolicited advice about my horses. I just laugh and keep working. The common theme is that they should be running to make money and if I like the horses I am in the wrong business. If I am not willing to drug them up and go, I will never succeed. Of course, these are not eclipse award winning people but the bottom of the barrel. It is also not a new theme since I lost a horse in 1996 because I walked a horse in the shedrow instead of taking it to the track because she had heat in her leg, she had part of her sesamoid removed and I was being careful. The owner said point blank that if she was going to break down, he wanted her to do it soon rather than after 3 months of training. I was like "how about we don't break her down?".
    I know in my gut that I do the right thing, what is a couple of weeks to get them right when there has been years of $ invested in them? But, I can't help but worry that running them at the appropriate level makes them prey for these losers. It also creates a situation that jockeys don't want to try or even ride for trainers that aren't huge because they know this goes on and don't want to get killed.

    Anyway, maybe I am delusional, but I will continue to treat each one like they are Zenyatta or RA and hope that I can compete with these POS people who treat them like a number....please say there are others out there....



  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by judybigredpony View Post
    Calamber I was offered up 5-6 Gill horses...for free...and they were not worth the gas it took to drive over. A quick out forever was the kindest thing for them all.

    Sharps containers...you can have what ever you want on your own property.
    Don't look in my fridge or trash. Farms do not fall under any tracks jurisdiction.

    Which is one reason why he has one, w/ Equisizer, gate and track. Private not visable from road w/ a security gated driveway and really no one knows the place is even there.

    When he was in financial problems he tried to sell the place but none of teh sales ever took, and really is so big and such a "Warehouse" like place who would want to stable there.

    Center area over offices n wash stalls is 2 story and houses help.
    What was wrong with these 5-6 horses?



  4. #24
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    And since it costs more they don't Super test which is the only way to catch alot of the drugs.
    My point is super tests need to be kept random - if it's not random there is way to much room for abuse. Penn draws for a super every night (I think they race at night?), don't they? With Gill's number of starters, he gets tested a lot. Singling him out for testing more, isn't going to do anything except set a dangerous precedent. And, not b/c I think you shouldn't test suspected cheats, but if you start picking and choosing who you test, it leaves the door open to bypass certain people.

    This has been noted before, any track can deny privledges @ their discretion, and quite a few already have done so.
    But, there needs to be a solid reason. Every successful trainer is accused of cheating. Just because someone is accused of cheating or people on the internet don't like his choice of employees or the way he treats his stock like assets, that's not very good justification for sanctions.

    So you totally missed that one..when a horse is standing in a *****ng crater is shaking w/ pain and left tied to a wall do ya think he's been treated for the pain...??
    Wait. So, this guy has this barn where they're injecting everything in sight and yet he's got horses in obvious pain that they aren't treating? That makes no sense. He's treating everything but those that really need it? And, then you go on to say it's a "Walmart racing factory." I assure you, if he's running a "racing factory" he isn't going to try to run a horse that is shaking with pain. So, yeah, I'd say if that was the case, they were working on the horse.

    As for Cole being a convicted felon, not my comment, I did not make that remark.

    Gill hires what he can get
    Sorry for the confusion. My comment was aimed at Dick who has some strong dislike for Cole Norman that I don't understand. Felony conviction aside, Norman has an excellent eye for claiming and I'm not surprised that Gill would want him on board.

    They should fall under jurisdiction of the racing commission. In many racing jurisdictions yards/farms are subject to initial approval and random spot checks at any time. Refusal to comply will result in the trainer's lisence being revoked.
    Drvmb, where in the US are you not allowed to use needles on the farm?

    Again, I'm not saying this guy is a saint. But the accusations are all over the board and don't make much sense.



  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drvmb1ggl3 View Post
    I'm aware of that.
    But there is no reason they could not be under the jurisdiction of the racing commission. Private property argument doesn't hold up, a lisence is a privilege not a right, if you don't let inspectors on your property then you don't get to play the game.
    Look at the farce of Biancone being under suspension yet training away at a private facility.
    Sure. But, what is he doing that is illegal? Only a licensed vet is allowed to have needles on track property. But, it's perfectly legal for anyone to have needles off track property. So, even if they inspected the farm, what are they going to find that is illegal?



  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by DickHertz View Post
    Sleepy,

    the purpose of the thread was to merely point out the number of breakdowns - which I think even you will acknowledge is alarming. That is fact and not speculation. You can review the charts at www.equibase.com.

    Are you willing to go on record as saying that Cole Norman has a clean history with positive drug tests? What does his ability in claiming horses have anything to do with the fact that he's been kicked out of racing?
    It is an alarming number of breakdowns and it makes me curious about what is happening. You would think with the number of breakdowns Penn is experiencing (and the documented surface issues) that the vets would be extra dilligent in checking horses. There's an interesting lawsuit going on right now where an owner is suing b/c the horse broke down and the owner claims the vets should have scratched the horse pre-race. (I really don't think that responsibility should lie with the state vets. If the horse was that hurt, it should have been noticed in the barn prior to the vets even looking at it.) But, depending on the outcome, it could have other jurisdictions paying more attention to pre-race exams.

    It's the subsequent speculation and hyperbole about Gill's operation that I take issue with.

    All I'm saying is Norman knows how to run a claiming barn. And is criminal record has no impact on his ability as a horseman.



  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dispatcher View Post
    What was wrong with these 5-6 horses?
    Slabbbed knee dead stone 3 leg lame.

    Fractured cannon bone (condylar) to joint 3 leg lame

    Knee chips removed re chipped knee super SORE

    Sore, Lame, fat knees w/ ankles.

    Suspicious suspensory and badly run down long weak pasterns.



  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DickHertz View Post
    And I agree about Norman knowing how to run a claiming barn. However, many successful claiming barns are successful because of making the horses feel sounder than they are. I've had previously trained Norman horses. I'm not just talking out of my a**. The needles enter the joints often.
    Ahh..Dickie you warm the cockles of my heart....and I to am NOT talking out of my a****.
    I have the unique position of not only seeing w/ my own eyes...but thru the eyes of those who did the deeds there.
    And yes I saw more than one ...done horse... in total abject PAIN. Sweating shaking and digging because they were most likely waiting for "The Majic Number" to apply and have a one way trip.
    His horses are not tropheys in a sportsman like situation.Nor respected cherished athletes.
    These are Nascars on 4 legs...revve em cut the legal corner as close or over the line as you can get...an when the tires blow and engine fails. Go get another one.
    Gill does not seem to have one molecule of compassion or "Love of the Sport"...Sport being the operative word. ITS A BUSINESS.

    And to consider him responsible cause he has a sharps contain is just naive. He is not worth defending on any level.

    When you win by sheer volum of number of starters, and exactly how many horses has he brought up thru the ranks from 2yrs old on?? Dickie some statistics please. He takes someone elses works in progress..nothing wrong there but the huge numberts and just plain raids???
    Look at the list of trainers who he says he fired and add to the ones who plain quit him. Take in the qualities as he goes down and down thru the trainer ranks.

    If Cole were such a "sterling" individual of moral pulchritude w/ highly regarded in demand prows why on earth would he stope to train for someone of Gill's ilk?



  9. #29
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    Default Gill

    Had to chime in on this one. Actually racetracks are considered private property and they can exclude any one they like by naming them as an undesireable. Just ask Julio Cartegena (don't want to open that can of worms), disallowed to enter and run at CT, reason: he scratched his horses to often, Casey Cartegena disallowed to enter and run at CT, reason: her association with Julio (her father). Or I guess you could ask Michael Gill himself, disallowed at Delaware and Gulfstream reason: he claimed entire divisions of horses. We all know these are'nt really legit reasons but they held up in court, so yes a track can rule you off.
    All tracks are having trouble filling there entries so they are less inclined to want to exclude large stables, however as I mentioned above they do it.
    As for Gill's general care level it is top of the line, I was stabled next to on of his strings. As to want he does to the horses pre race BRUTAL, everyhorse that ran was pulled out into the shed row and had both ankles, both knees, and both hocks injected, EVERYTIME it ran. You can only go to the well so many times before there is nothing left, perhaps the reason for the high breakdown rate.



  10. #30
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    Sleepyfox, myectomies do require slitting the throat. Perhaps you do not like the fragrant language, but it is what it is. I used to work for various vets and watched and assisted in multiple surgeries. What would qualify as a butcher in your book? This hack has surgeries on all of his horses. Any surgery, even those that are necessary, carry a risk. I have seen the horses (not Gill's) who have had this "procedure", that did not quite work. For the rest of it's life, the food and water (at least some of it) will run out of it's nose, one of them was a Two Punch son, and as kind as a kitten otherwise. Why would anyone in their right mind cut on an otherwise healthy horse, just because he "thinks" it will help?

    Judy, sorry you had to see that and continue to have to watch this corrossive influence. Makes everyone bitter and something can be done. The Jockey Club has a project where they purport to be interested in working on the medical assistance aspect of the racing industry, maybe we can add unnecessary medical procedures to the list, to include denerving, and injecting every joint with a Depo cocktail. What used to make me gag was to watch while joints were bled (tapped) and then more injections and off to the races. It was considered just normal maintenance and prerace prep.
    "I have brought on the hatred of Wall Street and I relish it".
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt



  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by judybigredpony View Post
    Slabbbed knee dead stone 3 leg lame.

    Fractured cannon bone (condylar) to joint 3 leg lame

    Knee chips removed re chipped knee super SORE

    Sore, Lame, fat knees w/ ankles.

    Suspicious suspensory and badly run down long weak pasterns.
    Cripes. What a helluva mess.



  12. #32
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    Sleepyfox, myectomies do require slitting the throat. Perhaps you do not like the fragrant language, but it is what it is.
    I believe the technical term is "incision."


    Why would anyone in their right mind cut on an otherwise healthy horse, just because he "thinks" it will help?
    IMO, across-the-board myectomies is silly. Obviously, Gill believes in it and not just because he's sadistic - I'm sure he has a rationale behind that investment. But, to answer your question, there is no throat surgery that is guaranteed to help. You never "know" that you'll be able to fix or help the problem.

    What used to make me gag was to watch while joints were bled (tapped) and then more injections and off to the races.
    Again with the misleading language. Joints are not tapped in some modern version of leeching, but rather to release pressure from buillt up fluid. Tapping a joint isn't unecessary if the horse has pressure - it makes the horse much more comfortable.



  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by DickHertz View Post
    Again, the reality amidst this entire discussion is that Gill's horses are breaking down at an alarming rate over the last 30 days at Penn. It's too much of a sample to just say it's a fluke.
    Why do you think that is? How is the overall breakdown rate right now? I mean, myectomies and joint injections aren't leading to breakdowns. What do you think is going on?



  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyFox View Post
    I believe the technical term is "incision."

    Incision may be the technical term, but it's usually referred to as "cutting their throats"...most trainers use this "language".

    IMO, across-the-board myectomies is silly. Obviously, Gill believes in it and not just because he's sadistic - I'm sure he has a rationale behind that investment. But, to answer your question, there is no throat surgery that is guaranteed to help. You never "know" that you'll be able to fix or help the problem.



    Again with the misleading language. Joints are not tapped in some modern version of leeching, but rather to release pressure from buillt up fluid. Tapping a joint isn't unecessary if the horse has pressure - it makes the horse much more comfortable.
    Once again, ask any trainer on the backside, and they will use the term "tapped"... in fact, so will most vets. Just saying...



  15. #35
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    Sleepy Fox, what is your connection to Michael Gill? Seriously, the man has a horrible reputation and treats his stock like meat. Sorry if it offends you that there are people here, speaking for myself, who think that his treatment of his horses is cruel. Where do they end up when they're done racing?

    Frankly, I don't think he gives a sh** about any of his horses unless they're making him money. Okay, it's a business, I get that.

    You know what? If an owner/ trainer is hell-bent on winning races and will push the envelope to do that, they will take chances that may enhance the horse's performance. They will do whatever they need to do to get a check from the horse. Sometimes that means that the horse has been given "magickal" medicine to achieve that goal. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to get it.



  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by foundationmare View Post
    Sleepy Fox, what is your connection to Michael Gill? Seriously, the man has a horrible reputation and treats his stock like meat. Sorry if it offends you that there are people here, speaking for myself, who think that his treatment of his horses is cruel. Where do they end up when they're done racing?

    Frankly, I don't think he gives a sh** about any of his horses unless they're making him money. Okay, it's a business, I get that.

    You know what? If an owner/ trainer is hell-bent on winning races and will push the envelope to do that, they will take chances that may enhance the horse's performance. They will do whatever they need to do to get a check from the horse. Sometimes that means that the horse has been given "magickal" medicine to achieve that goal. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to get it.
    Amen. Thank you.
    -Jessica



  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by foundationmare View Post
    They will do whatever they need to do to get a check from the horse.
    Foundationmare, I agree with you on this (although I feel compelled to remind everyone that this is true of a segment of the population in every horse sport). I'm not making allegations regarding Gill, but I have seen my fair share of horses sacrificed for the sake of a potential payday and I do take issue with that.

    As I've stated before, my defense of Gill's operation is that injecting joints and performing myectomies does not make one a butcher. It's not that I think he runs a model barn, it's that I think people get a little over the top in the bashing of him.



  18. #38
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    Mike Gill is perhaps the highest profile lowlife owner in the entire industry. I don't think the bashing is over the top at all.

    I have no issues with doing procedures to keep horses comfortable in their work as long as they are reasonable. Tapping and injecting lame horses to get "one more race" is irresponsible and cruel. Gill certainly isn't the only one who does it, but he's one of the most high profile. Just because he has a huge barn doesn't make it ok.

    I, for one, dream of the day when karma finally kicks his a$$
    -Jessica



  19. #39
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    Maybe start a betting pool on how many horses break down on the card? I am sure somebody would bet on it if a bookie offered!

    I would like to see Gill's books tho, there is no way he can actually make money from that...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  20. #40
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    Sleepy, wiggling around with semantics aside, you need to stand in on some surgeries of horses who have have their joints tapped repeatedly and been injected with any number of concoctions whose end result was no joint fluid and bone on bone. Forever Joe casts his shadow over all of my thoughts on these matters and I will fight it in his memory. There was bone on bone and he was continuing to be injected and run. And, you are dead, (sorry for the pun) dead, wrong. Unnecessary procedures will cause breakdowns. So unbelieveable that you can defend these kind of actions as just an "opinion" and that he can do whatever he likes to do just because they are his horses and isn't this a free world. What a bunch of unmitigated horse manure.

    As far as the stats for breakdowns, they are very often muddied because Penn National (I know their MO from Charles Town), does not want to have horses euthanized on the track or on the ambulance because it counts as a stat. There is no official record made of horses who have come back to the barn and been euthanized, or who have had career ending injuries as a result of a race injury, so the stats are skewed anyway.
    "I have brought on the hatred of Wall Street and I relish it".
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