lawsuit

Horsemen File Suit Against New Mexico Racing Commission

Edited Press Release The New Mexico Horsemen's Association has taken additional legal action against the New Mexico Racing Commission after the regulatory body ordered the defunding of the organization that represents about 4,000 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse owners and trainers in the state. On May 20, the racing commission ordered tracks to withhold the 1% of purse money that goes to the horsemen's association for administrative costs, about $400,000 a year. Additionally, the commission ordered a halt to the $5 per-starter fee NMHA member owners pay toward medical expenses for...

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Horseplayers Sue Baffert, Zedan

Led by Michael Beychok, the winner of the 2012 NTRA National Horseplayers Championship, four gamblers have filed a Class Action Lawsuit against trainer Bob Baffert and owner Amr Zedan, alleging fraud. Each maintains that they made bets that would have won had GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (Protonico) not been "doped." The plaintiffs allege that Baffert and Zedan are in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), the California Control of Profits of Organized Crime Act (CCPOCA) and for committing state common law and equitable fraud....

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Feds: HBPA 'Jumped the Gun' in HISA Lawsuit

Federal attorneys want the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA)'s anti-constitutionality lawsuit thrown out of court, arguing that the HBPA's allegations of injury regarding the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) "are entirely threadbare" because no rules, regulations or fees have been established by the not-yet-in-effect regulatory body. "Plaintiffs jumped the gun bringing this constitutional challenge," the federal government stated in an Apr. 30 motion to dismiss filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. "Their complaint questions the validity of a law that currently...

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Horsemen's Groups File Federal Lawsuit Over HISA

Organizations representing some Thoroughbred horse owners and trainers have filed a federal lawsuit to stop the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), signed into law in the U.S. Congress's December omnibus spending bill. The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (National HBPA) and state affiliates in Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia are suing HISA's newly-created "Authority" to regulate the sport and the Federal Trade Commissioners. In addition, they are suing the Nominating Committee and asking the court to immediately stop them from...

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Churchill vs. TOC Lawsuit Withdrawn; Neither Side Wants to Say Why

After alleging last month that a disagreement over advance-deposit wagering (ADW) hub rate fees was so egregious that it amounted to a "shakedown" that needed to be fought in federal court, a subsidiary of the gaming corporation Churchill Downs, Inc., dropped its lawsuit against Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) Mar. 8. According to a "notice of voluntary dismissal" filed Monday in United States District Court (Central District, California, Western Division) by Churchill Downs Technology Initiatives Company (CDTIC), an agreement between the parties was reached Mar. 5 that apparently settles the...

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Ohio HBPA Sues Belterra to Recoup $2.7M in VLT Money

The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (OHBPA) filed a federal lawsuit against Belterra Park's present and former owners Dec. 18 seeking more than $2.7 in gaming revenues that the OHBPA is claiming the track wrongfully withheld between 2014 and 2018. "This action arises from Defendants' failure to pay the OHBPA its share of net-win video lottery terminal [VLT] commission from Belterra Park," states the complaint filed Friday morning in United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Eastern Division). "The OHBPA has been deprived of these funds,...

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Legal Challenges to Belmont Arena Tossed Out

Legal challenges filed last autumn by the Village of Floral Park to try and halt construction of a $1.3-billion hockey arena, hotel, and retail project adjacent to Belmont Park have been tossed out by a New York State Supreme Court judge. The two state agencies that green-lighted the project--the Empire State Urban Development Corporation and the New York State Franchise Oversight Board--were defendants in the lawsuit. The initial lawsuit cited an allegedly flawed bidding process and "secret master plan" for the arena's development that was allegedly floated by the New...

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Zayats Move to Dismiss Lawsuits Based on Jurisdiction

Defendants Ahmed Zayat, his family members, and the financially troubled Zayat Stables, LLC, are collectively asking a Kentucky court to dismiss a "fraudulent scheme" contract breach lawsuit by New York investment firm MGG Investment Group, LP, on the basis that the complaint has not been brought in the correct legal jurisdiction. Eric Mitchell of the Blood-Horse first reported the story Friday, citing Apr. 21 court documents. The January civil suit claimed that financially strapped Zayat family members allegedly orchestrated a years-long scheme "to sell at a steep discount several millions...

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Judge Grants Yeomanstown's Move To Dismiss MGG Claim

Judge Kim Bunnell ruled to dismiss the claims brought by the MGG Investment Group against Yeomanstown Stud in which they sought the return of the stallion El Kabeir in Fayette County (Ky.) Circuit Court Friday morning. Yeomanstown purchased the stallion from Ahmed Zayat's Zayat Stables Sept. 20, 2017, for $500,000. MGG was attempting to acquire the horse as part of its suits seeking the return of horses and breeding shares sold by the Zayats which had been pledged as collateral for $30 million in loans. Yeomanstown had moved to discuss...

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Plaintiff in 2019 Radiographs Lawsuit 'Embarrassed', Defendants Consider Counterclaims

A report in the Feb. 20 Lexington Herald-Leader, claims that Midwest trainer Tom Swearingen, who filed a class-action lawsuit in February 2019 alleging that Hagyard Davidson McGee Associates had been falsifying dates on radiographs for over a decade, admitted in a deposition that he never viewed or relied on X-rays during the years in question, nor did he have a veterinarian examine X-rays. "That is the foundation of his claim, and removing that foundation causes that whole complaint to collapse," Tom Miller, the attorney representing Dr. Robert Hunt, one of...

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Zayat Camp Releases Statement

The New York lending firm that last month initiated a $23-million lawsuit against Ahmed Zayat and his financially troubled Zayat Stables, LLC, broadly amended its civil complaint in a Kentucky court earlier this week (click here). Zayat Stables issued the following statement Thursday regarding the amended complaint: "We are disappointed but not surprised at MGG and Kevin Griffin's aggressive attack on the horse industry. Zayat Stables said from the beginning that it wanted to liquidate certain assets to generate enough proceeds to pay off all of its creditors. Motivated purely...

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Zayat Addresses Maker Complaint

Jay Ingle, an attorney with the Lexington, Kentucky-based law firm Jackson Kelly PLLC, released a statement on behalf of owner Ahmed Zayat Saturday morning addressing the complaint filed by trainer Mike Maker in Jefferson County Court this past Thursday seeking better than $120,000 in alleged unpaid training bills. "This lawsuit from Mike Maker is absurd," the statement read. "Ahmed Zayat made all payments required under his prior settlement with Mr. Maker until MGG seized control of Zayat Stables' bank account last month. It is outrageous for Mr. Maker to cry...

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