A U.S. District Judge in California has directed that the Tattersalls sale company can take possession of a horse racing in California as a result of non-payment by the owner.

According to the Aug. 22 ruling by U.S. District Judge S. James Otero, Tattersalls can take possession of the 3-year-old filly Singapore Lilly, who is racing in the name of Jeffrey DeHaven. Trained by James Cassidy, Singapore Lilly is unplaced in three U.S. starts, most recently finishing ninth in the Aug. 20 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT).

Earlier in August Tattersalls filed suit against DeHaven, a horse owner who is involved in real estate, claiming he failed to pay the 210,000 guineas (about $357,120) purchase price. A daughter of Mujadil, Singapore Lilly was purchased by Gordian Troeller Bloodstock at the 2010 Tattersalls December sale.

Previous to being purchased by DeHaven, Singapore Lilly had won two of nine starts and finished second in Italy’s Grand Criterium (Ity-I).

According to the lawsuit, Tattersalls permitted DeHaven to take possession of the horse but withheld title until the full purchase price was paid. The British sale company alleged in the suit that DeHaven had not paid any of the purchase price.

Also, according to the suit, DeHaven contended his failure to pay was due to a government investigation and internal audit that had result in his accounts being frozen. DeHaven, however, was unable to produce any records to substantiate that his accounts were frozen, the court documents stated.

In his ruling, Ortero said Tattersalls had shown DeHaven was wrongly detaining the horse, and that Tattersalls was entitled to take possession of the horse at its discretion.

Lincoln Collins, the agent for Tattersalls in the U.S., could not say whether the sale company would take the filly, and said the company was continuing to work its way through the legal system with regard to the Singapore Lilly case.

DeHaven said Aug. 23 he had been trying to contact Tattersalls' attorneys to work out the legal conflict, but had been unsuccessful.  

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