Attorney Neil Papiano filed the case against the National Jockey Club and Sportsman's Park, which sponsored the bonus, in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Papiano was out of town and unavailable for comment, according to his office.
Russell Reineman, the 84-year-old Chicago businessman who owned War Emblem at the time he won the Illinois Derby, contends he is entitled to half of the bonus. He sold a 90 percent interest in the colt to Salman three weeks before War Emblem romped over the field in the Kentucky Derby, kicking in the Sportsman's Park bonus in the process.
The Thoroughbred Corporation argues that since it owned 90% of War Emblem when he won the Kentucky Derby, it is entitled to that share of the bonus.
The suit seeks declarative relief on the bonus issue and an injunction against Sportsman's Park paying out any portion of the money until the matter is settled.