By Tom LaMarra and Esther Marr
A Feb. 23 meeting of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission and Thoroughbred owner Michael Gill, who was ejected from Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, was postponed until sometime in March.
The PHRC launched an investigation into Gill’s operation in January, allegedly because of safety issues involving his horses. The PHRC in early February ejected Gill from Penn National but didn’t pull his license and didn’t charge him with anything.
Gill’s horses continue to race at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack in Pennsylvania. Gill, who lives in New Hampshire but operates Elk Creek Training Center in Oxford, Pa., is in the process of selling his horses, which according to reports have drawn plenty of interest from buyers.
PHRC spokesman Justin Fleming said Feb. 24 the date for the rescheduled meeting may not be made public. He said the commission may not be legally able to say anything after the meeting because of the ongoing investigation.
“There was a meeting originally scheduled, but it’s been postponed until sometime in March, but I don’t have an exact date,” Fleming said. “I don’t know if we would make (the date) public since it’s part of an ongoing investigation. And to be truthful, I don’t know what we’ll be permitted to say coming out of that meeting because there’s still an investigation going on.”
The Blood-Horse has been unable to ascertain what the PHRC is reviewing in regard to Gill. Pennsylvania State Police, believed to be carrying out its own probe, referred all questions to the PHRC.
A representative from the Dauphin County, Pa., courthouse said that by law he was not permitted to acknowledge whether there had been a seating of a grand jury in regard to a racing-related investigation at Penn National. Individuals from the backstretch at the track, however, said the court proceedings began Feb. 17 and are continuing.