Report: CDI Files Motion To Dismiss Zedan's Derby Lawsuit

Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI) filed a motion Apr. 8 to dismiss a lawsuit by Zedan Racing Stables, Inc., that seeks to lift a CDI-imposed ban against horses trained by Bob Baffert in the GI Kentucky Derby. Jason Frakes of the Louisville Courier Journal was among the first to report on the motion, which was filed in Kentucky the same morning as a Jefferson County Circuit Court hearing was held on the matter. That Monday hearing put off until at least Apr. 15 a decision on owner Amr Zedan's request for...

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HBPA: Negotiations Between HISA And Sales Companies Equate To 'Preferential Treatment' For Breeders

Two days after the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) Authority disclosed at a press conference last week that it had initiated discussions with sales companies in an attempt to bring about voluntary compliance with medication policies throughout the lifetimes of Thoroughbreds, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) went on record with a letter filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit alleging that those efforts equate to improper rulemaking by the Authority and "preferential treatment" for breeders. The purpose of the HISA Authority's...

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HBPA: 'Best Of Both Worlds' For HISA Is 'Worst Of All Worlds' For Horsemen

With oral arguments in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit now five weeks away, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) filed a legal brief Aug. 25 underscoring that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) Authority unconstitutionally "wants the best of both worlds" by allegedly portraying itself as both a governmental body or a private organization "depending on which suits its interests on any individual argument." "Sometimes [the Authority] wants to be like a government entity, with the power to compel registration, collect mandatory...

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NYRA, State Want Dismissal Of 'Meritless' Lawsuit To Block Belmont Renovation

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) and the state of New York asked the Supreme Court of New York Aug. 18 to dismiss a lawsuit filed by two residents that is attempting to block the $455 million state loan to NYRA that will renovate Belmont Park. In addition, both the state and NYRA want to quash a motion for preliminary injunction that the plaintiffs initiated back on June 22 to try to halt any state money for the project from flowing to NYRA. The Belmont renovation was approved back in...

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Judge Orders Gulf Coast vs. HISA Case Transferred To Same Division As NHBPA Suit

An Amarillo Division federal judge in Texas on Thursday ordered the most recently filed lawsuit out of four active nationwide cases all trying to overturn the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) to be transferred to the Lubbock Division that is currently handling the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA)'s similar and recently remanded complaint. The Apr. 6 order by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk (Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division) comes more than eight months after the litigation was initiated on July 29, 2022, and just one day...

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Feds Skewer Fishman's Attempt to Avoid $13.5M Forfeiture

Federal prosecutors told a judge Friday that convicted veterinarian Seth Fishman's recent claim of illegality regarding the $13.5 million forfeiture imposed upon him "is predicated on a number of unfounded and easily disprovable presumptions." Fishman, who is currently imprisoned in Florida but appealing his 11-year sentence for two felony drug-supplying convictions in a decades-long international racehorse doping conspiracy, had stated in a Sept. 12 filing that the forfeiture order signed by the judge back on July 11 "is not authorized by statute and is therefore unlawful in its entirety." A...

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Bennett Liebman: New Fifth Circuit Ruling 'Uphill Fight' for HISA

With just over a month before the racetrack safety component of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) is set to go into effect, two separate lawsuits cast looming shadows over the program's legal and operational future. One of the suits challenging HISA's constitutionality was filed by the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA). In March, United States District Court Judge James Wesley Hendrix dismissed the suit finding that while HISA pushes boundaries of public-private collaboration, the law as constructed stays within the current constitutional limitation. The NHBPA subsequently...

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More Confusion Added to Baffert Appeal Process

With the clock ticking toward the Apr. 4 deadline for trainer Bob Baffert's looming 90-day suspension, a Kentucky Court of Appeals judge now wants to figure out whether the original venue chosen for legal action last month by the owner and trainer of disqualified 2021 GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit constitutes the correct county-level court. Dick Downey of the Blood-Horse first reported on the judge's order requesting briefs from the movants (Baffert and Zedan) and the respondent (the KHRC) covering just that single issue to be filed with the...

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Feds, Fishman Spar in Bail Revocation Hearing

Federal prosecutors and the legal team for Seth Fishman continue to spar over allegations by the government that the indicted Florida veterinarian should have his bail revoked for allegedly still selling purportedly performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) while awaiting trial in the international racehorse doping conspiracy case. The latest legal salvo, fired Dec. 17 by prosecutors in the form of a letter, comes three days before Fishman's Dec. 20 bail revocation hearing in United States District Court (Southern District of New York). This latest plot twist in the case began Dec. 6,...

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