Judge: Del Mar must allow Hollendorfer to train, race horses at track

Tod Leonard, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Horse Racing

SAN DIEGO -- Jerry Hollendorfer will be allowed to train horses at Del Mar after a ruling by a San Diego Superior Court judge was affirmed in a hearing Friday morning.

In a three-page tentative ruling filed Thursday, Judge Ronald Frazier concluded the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club should not deny Hollendorfer's stall application or his ability to enter his horses in races "until fair procedure can be completed, in the form of arbitration as per the Race Meet Agreement."

Hollendorfer, a 73-year-old Hall of Fame trainer, was informed by Del Mar management in late June that he would not be afforded stall space for the summer meeting that began July 17.

In a complaint filed July 15 that asked the judge to issue a temporary restraining order, Hollendorfer's San Diego-based lawyer, Drew Couto, argued that under the Race Meet Agreement Del Mar had with the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT), a dispute between the trainer and the track needed to be heard by an independent hearing officer.

Couto contended Hollendorfer was not being allowed access to Del Mar for "PR risks and considerations."

Frazier's stated in his tentative ruling that: "The Race Meet Agreement, the Stall Application, and the relevant legal authorities all support the same conclusion: Del Mar TC is not permitted to arbitrarily deny Mr. Hollendorfer's stall application, nor arbitrarily refuse him entry to a race.


"Despite this," the judge continued, "there is evidence Del Mar TC did indeed arbitrarily deny Mr. Hollendorfer's stall application without first providing him fair procedure. Accordingly, the court finds there is adequate evidence to conclude Plaintiffs have a reasonable likelihood of prevailing on the merits, as to their claims for declaratory relief and breach of contract."

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