Both Sides in Pending Eighth Circuit HISA Case Attempt to Spin Conflicting Opinions from Two Other Appeals Courts

The July 5 opinion out of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that declared that part of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) is unconstitutional is generating legal filings from both sides in a related case awaiting a decision in the Eighth Circuit. Both the plaintiffs/appellants in the Eighth Circuit case (led by Bill Walmsley, the president of the Arkansas HBPA, and Jon Moss, the executive director of the Iowa HBPA) and the defendants/appellees (executives with the HISA Authority and the Federal Trade Commission [FTC]),...

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Horse Owners Sue Camarero, Puerto Rico Commission over 'Negligent, Intentional' Indifference to Track Safety

The non-profit Puerto Rico Horse Owners Association, Inc. (PRHOA) has sued the Gaming Commission of the Government of Puerto Rico and the corporate owners of Camarero Race Track in United States federal court, seeking $500,000 in horse-injury damages because of allegedly unsafe track conditions that the PRHOA is claiming have persisted at Puerto Rico's only Thoroughbred venue for nearly a decade. The PRHOA also claimed in its Apr. 26 lawsuit in United States District Court (District of Puerto Rico) that despite several years of official complaints lodged to address the...

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Ky Appeals Court Denies Zedan 'Emergency' Relief for Muth's Derby Eligibility

A Kentucky Court of Appeals judge on Wednesday denied a motion by Amr Zedan's incorporated racing stable that would have conferred "emergency" status on his legal quest to get 'TDN Rising Star' Muth (Good Magic) into the GI Kentucky Derby despite a ban by Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI) against the colt's trainer, Bob Baffert. Technically, the Apr. 24 order by Judge Jeff Taylor didn't decide Zedan's appeal of a lower court's denial of a temporary injunction in full. But from a practical standpoint, it appears that time has all but...

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Zedan Appeals Muth's Derby Denial; Says Harm to Horses Who Might Get Excluded Is 'A Phantom'

One day after a lower court in Kentucky denied a motion to make Amr Zedan's 'TDN Rising Star' Muth eligible for the GI Kentucky Derby by overturning Churchill Downs Inc., (CDI)'s ban again trainer Bob Baffert, Zedan's incorporated racing stable on Friday asked the Kentucky Court of Appeals to "vacate the Jefferson Circuit Court's order and issue a temporary injunction" to let his Good Magic colt at least begin the entry process to race in the first leg of the Triple Crown. Zedan's Apr. 19 motion proposed that "At a...

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Zedan Vows Appeal after Judge Denies Derby Injunction

Amr Zedan's incorporated racing stable is planning an immediate appeal to a Thursday decision by a Kentucky judge who denied an injunction request that would have overturned Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI)'s ongoing ban against Bob Baffert. Zedan had initiated an Apr. 3 lawsuit in an effort to get his Baffert-trained 'TDN Rising Star' Muth (Good Magic) eligible for the GI Kentucky Derby. But Judge Mitchell Perry of Jefferson Circuit Court also denied CDI's request to dismiss the case in his Apr. 18 order. This means that barring a successful appeal...

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KY Judge Says He'll Rule on Derby Lawsuit by End of Week

The Kentucky judge overseeing the lawsuit initiated by Amr Zedan's incorporated racing stable against Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI) to try and get Bob Baffert-trained horses unbarred from the GI Kentucky Derby told both parties Wednesday he now has a clearer understanding of a relatively new "meritless lawsuit" law to be able to issue a written opinion by the end of the week. That opinion is unlikely to decide the Apr. 3 civil lawsuit in full, but it is expected to address Zedan's motion for an injunction that could pave the...

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Report: Zedan Sues Churchill in Attempt to Force Track to Accept Baffert Entries

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Owner Amr Zedan filed suit Wednesday in Louisville seeking a temporary injunction that would allow his horses and all others trained by Bob Baffert to run in the GI Kentucky Derby and all other Derby-week races. Baffert is not a party to the lawsuit. Zedan owns the GI Arkansas Derby winner Muth (Good Magic), who would be among the Derby favorites if allowed to race. After Medina Spirit (Protonico) tested positive for betamethasone in the 2021 Derby Baffert was banned by...

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Facing Extortion Allegations, Defendants in Defamation Lawsuit Contend 'Baffert is the Rare Libel-Proof Plaintiff'

The two defendants facing allegations of civil extortion and defamation in a federal lawsuit initiated by trainer Bob Baffert and his incorporated racing stable are contending that the case should be dismissed because "Baffert is the rare, libel-proof plaintiff given his notorious history in the horse racing industry," according to a discovery plan filed jointly by lawyers for all sides in United States District Court (Southern District of California) Jan. 2. Baffert's legal team, however, is banking that dismissal won't happen, and it told the court in the same document...

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Judge Throws Out PETA-Backed Lawsuit that Sought to Block Loan to NYRA for Belmont Renovations

An Albany County Court Judge has dismissed a lawsuit from two New York taxpayers backed by PETA that attempted to block the State of New York from loaning NYRA $455 million that is earmarked for the construction of a new Belmont Park. The new Belmont Park is expected to open for the 2026 spring meet. The plaintiffs, Jannette Patterson and John Dileonardo, had argued that the New York State Constitution prohibited the state from giving or loaning state funds to any private corporation. The lawsuit, filed in June, was announced...

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Oral Arguments Oct. 11 In Lawsuit to Halt Belmont Renovation Loan

The Supreme Court of New York will hear oral arguments Oct. 11 in a case involving two self-described "citizen taxpayers" who want the state's $455 million loan to renovate Belmont Park declared as "an illegal and unconstitutional expenditure, misappropriation, misapplication, or disbursement of State funds." During the oral arguments, the court will consider both the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and a motion to dismiss the case made by the defendants, who are the New York Racing Association (NYRA), the State of New York, the New York State Assembly,...

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Judge Halts Anti-HISA Suit in Louisiana Pending Outcome of HBPA Case in U.S. Appeals Court

A federal judge has stayed a 14-month-old lawsuit initiated by the states of Louisiana and West Virginia that is trying to wipe out the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) via alleged constitutional violations, ordering the case to be "administratively terminated" until the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals makes a ruling in a separate suit in which the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) is also alleging HISA is unconstitutional. However, U.S. District Court (Western District of Louisiana) Chief Judge Terry Doughty wrote in his Sept. 14 ruling...

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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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