Leading owner leaving racing.

Leading owner leaving racing.

Leslie Martin

Gill To Leave Racing

Owner Mike Gill, the nation's leading owner who has been mired in controversy in recent months after unprecedented success at Gulfstream Park, plans to disperse his stable of more than 270 horses over the next two years and leave the sport entirely.

Gill's plans were revealed Thursday on the final day of the Gulfstream Park meeting. Gill and his trainer, Mark Shuman, dominated the Gulfstream meeting with aggressive claiming tactics that raised the ire of fellow horsemen. Gill finished with 88 wins and Shuman saddled 87 winners during the meet to shatter the previous owner and trainer records.

Gill said the controversy at Gulfstream surrounding his stable's success and the subsequent reaction from other racetracks was the leading factor in his decision.

"I would say it has been miserable," Gill told the Palm Beach Post. "If I can't enjoy what we've accomplished down there then it's pretty obvious I shouldn't be in the business."

The Miami Herald reports Gill did not attend Gulfstream to accept his award as the meet's leading owner from track president Scott Savin. Gill recently filed a lawsuit against Savin and Gulfstream for providing misleading information to Sports Illustrated in an article about an investigation into the fatal breakdown of Gill's Casual Conflict.

Gill and Shuman were cleared of any wrongdoing in the Casual Conflict case, but Gill said it resulted in several tracks to deny him stalls for upcoming meets. Delaware Park, which opens Saturday and is a private facility, went as far as to deny horses owned by Gill from being entered in races at the track after Gill purchased a nearby training track to stable his horses.

Gill countered with a lawsuit against Delaware Park, track president William Rickman, racing secretary Sam Abbey, and trainers Scott Lake and Allen Iwinski for colluding to drive him out of the sport. A judge last week denied Gill's request for an injunction against the ban.