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In harness racing the chat boards, owners, trainers, bettors all have an opinion on the Brooks brothers. Currently the blue-bloods have their own stuff a-happening.

When the news broke that jockey's at Penn National took a stand on Saturday night, by not riding horses from a certain owner, I did not read much about it. Until this morning when Ray Paulick wrote an article on what has been happening that the racetrack, with regard to horses owned by Michael Gill.

Jockeys at Penn National Race Course apparently took a vote of a different type on Saturday night, allegedly telling track management they would refuse to ride in any more races in which Mike Gill-owned horses were entered. The vote was taken following the fifth race, after third-place finisher Laughing Moon broke down past the wire, causing another horse to also go down. Laughing Moon’s jockey Rickey Frazier escaped injury.

It was the second breakdown of a Gill-owned horse at Penn National in three nights, Melodeeman having suffered a similar catastrophic injury on Thursday night. Melodeeman was trained by Anthony Adamo and Laughing Moon by Darrel Delahoussaye—Gill’s two trainers at Penn National.

The gutsy piece has spawned something like 150 responses.

more at link


StooperNewf said…
I had reading about this case earlier today on SC.

I applaud those jocks for their action, it was long overdue. I have often wondered in the world of harness racing if it was going to take a driver getting killed or seriously disabled for something like this to happen.

While breakdowns are not as common, there is no doubt opportunity for dangerous situations to be set up by the minority in the game who use nefarious means to make a buck racing horses that should likely not be on the track.

It brings me to another thing that has often weighed on my mind. What are the responsibilities of trainers and track owners under local Occupational Health and Safety legislation to provide a safe workplpace for drivers/ jocks?? In Canada, to me it is another extension of private property laws. If a track has good reason to believe an owner or trainer is creating a situation which endangers the "employees", why shouldn't they have the right to keep them outside the gates?

I have always been a bit baffled that in the litigation happy USofA that some track owner hasn't tried this angle. How many trainers have their been in recent years have received lifetime or multi year bans only to have them overturned by some legal technicality? Why not try to fight that using workplace safety laws? Sure it is bound to be a difficult battle but it would be nice to see that tested ( caveat: I am not a lawyer so I could well be barking up a dying tree on that thought!)

Anyway, stuff like the action by these jocks and Sales companies banning the Brooks boys makes me have a glimmer of hope that racing is making baby steps in the right direction to address some of the more disgusting aspects of the biz!

Now if only we can teach these guys about the economics of raising takeout we might be onto a golden pathway!!!

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