Gill, Adamo to Fight PA Commission in Trial

The owner and trainer were ejected by regulators from Penn National in 2010.

A trial involving an owner and trainer ejected from Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in 2010 is scheduled to begin April 23 in United States District Court in Pennsylvania.

The case involves Thoroughbred owner Michael Gill and trainer Anthony Adamo, who were ejected by the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission, not track owner Penn National Gaming Inc. Thus, the racing commission is the defendant in the proceedings.

Gill, who led all Thoroughbred owners in 2009 with 370 wins and earned about $6.6 million in purses, and his trainer, Adamo, were ruled off in early February 2010 after jockeys threatened to boycott. The jockeys alleged it was unsafe to ride the stable’s horses.

A pre-trial memorandum prepared by attorney Alan Pincus on behalf of Gill and Adamo states the ejections “were not based on any violation of horse racing regulations,” and that the owner and trainer “were never charged with violating any regulation connected to the incident.” The memo claims the ejections “were allegedly issued for the sole purpose of stopping the disruption of racing” jockeys said would occur Feb. 3, 2010.

Pincus also notes hearings never were held on the ejections. He also said the allegations the stable’s horses were unsafe to ride were never proven, and that it’s documented the jockeys continued to ride Gill’s horses at other tracks or at Penn National after they were claimed.

Gill got out of the Thoroughbred business because of the situation. Adamo’s ejection was rescinded; the pre-trial memo states the PHRC continued to harass him and played a role in Adamo losing stalls at Fort Erie Racetrack & Casino in Ontario, Canada.

The case triggered a grand jury investigation of activities on the Penn National backstretch.

The trial could take four days, according to Pincus. The PHRC will be represented by the state Attorney General’s office.