04/20/2003 11:00PM

Judge denies Gill injunction


A judge in New Hampshire has denied Michael Gill's request for a temporary injunction against Delaware Park, dealing an initial setback to Gill's lawsuit against the track and its officials.

Gill, a New Hampshire resident who races along the East Coast, had asked the judge to prohibit Delaware from barring him from the track in a lawsuit he filed in a New Hampshire federal court on April 10. Judge Paul Barbarado denied the request during a hearing on Thursday.

Delaware officials informed Gill in March that he would not be allowed on the grounds when the track opens its spring meet on April 26. In a letter to Gill, the track did not explain why Gill was being excluded, except to cite state racing law giving the track the right to bar individuals.

Gill said in an article in the Delaware News Journal that he intended to refile the suit in Delaware.

Gill has broken the record for wins this year at Gulfstream Park, but his aggressive claiming tactics have been criticized by some trainers. A horse owned by Gill was the subject of an investigation at Gulfstream after the horse broke down and had a leg amputated without approval of state regulators. The investigation did not uncover any wrongdoing.

Gill's lawsuit claims that Delaware Park's racing secretary, Sam Abbey, conspired with several trainers and Delaware Park's owner, Bill Rickman, to bar Gill from the grounds.