By Bill Finley
Trainer Rudy Rodriguez has reached an agreement with Zayat Stables to settle claims that involved more than $600,000 in unpaid bills, according to his lawyer. With an agreement having been reached, Rodriguez will no longer sell off the two Zayat horses in his care, Lezendary (Zensational) and Majid (Shackleford), which were scheduled to be auctioned Nov. 1 at Belmont Park.
“Rudy and I negotiated and met with Mr. (Ahmed) Zayat and we worked out a deal and all parties are pleased,” said Rodriguez’s attorney, Drew Mollica. “The sale of the horses is off and we agreed to terms. Everybody acted in good faith and we look forward to great success for all parties going forward.”
The matter went public when Rodriguez placed an ad in the print edition of the Daily Racing Form announcing that the two Zayat horses were to be auctioned off. At the time, Mollica said that the “debt had been accumulating for years.”
In his legal filings, Rodriguez claimed that as of Aug. 31, 2019, Zayat owed him $623,967.19, plus additional charges from Sept. 1 until the time the horses were to be sold.
When asked if Rodriguez received all the money he alleged he was owed, Mollica said he could not disclose that information.
“The terms are confidential,” he said. “All I can tell you is we agreed to agree. I have no further comment on that issue.”
Zayat’s success peaked in 2015 when he campaigned Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile), who helped the stable earn $10 million that year. From 2016 through 2018, Zayat Stables has averaged $2.16 million in earnings and it has earned just $1.27 million this year.