Judge Rejects Motion by Veitch's Attorneys

A Circuit Court judge in Kentucky has rejected a motion from attorneys for former chief racing steward John Veitch to be able to take a deposition from a member of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in connection with the Life At Ten case.

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate said rules of law related to the taking of a deposition while a case is being appealed is limited to "perpetuating testimony that might otherwise be immediately lost absent deposition," and is not to be used for discovery in the case.

In this case, Wingate said the statement from Veitch that the taking of the deposition in question could lead to additional depositions led him to conclude that Veitch and his attorneys are "more interested in conducting discovery than preserving testimony."

Veitch's attorneys had requested Wingate to permit them to take a deposition from Tom Conway, who was one of the commissioners who voted unanimously to suspend Veitch for one year in connection with his actions before and after an incident involving the filly Life At Ten during the 2010 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I).

Conway has said after voting to suspend Veitch, who was fired from his steward's position prior to the vote on the suspension, he learned some evidence obtained during three days of hearings was not included in the report of hearing officer Robert Layton.

The testimony in question came from Marty Maline, executive director of the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and concerned a statement reportedly made by Dr. Mary Scollay in connection with the veterinary protocols during the 2010 Breeders' Cup. Conway said if the statement from Maline had been included in the hearing officer's report and information provided the commissioner's before they voted to suspend Veitch, he would not have approved of the suspension. Related story

Layton concluded, and the commission agreed, that Veitch had violated rules of racing regarding stewards' actions by not ordering a pre-race veterinary inspection of Life At Ten after jockey John Velazquez told an ESPN reporter the filly was not warming up as she normally does prior to a race.

During the race, Life At Ten trailed the field and finished last. Also, Veitch was deemed to have been in violation of racing regulations by not ordering a post-race exam of Life At Ten.

After the commission voted there was reasonable cause that Veitch and jockey John Velazquez had violated rules of racing in connection with the incident, Velazquez did not admit guilt but agreed to pay a $10,000 fine, half of which went to charity.

Veitch, a Hall of Fame trainer, has insisted he did nothing wrong, leading to a lengthy investigation and the hearings and report by Layton.

Veitch and the KHRC have each spent more than $100,000 on the Life At Ten case.
 

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