The bank that is suing Thoroughbred owner Ahmed Zayat for the $34 million in loans it says he owes has apparently backed down from trying to appoint a trustee to take over Zayat’s stable.
Fifth Third Bank, in a Feb. 17 letter to Judge Donald Steckroth obtained by the Lexington Herald-Leader, stated it would not file a motion to have Zayat’s horse operation removed from his control, though it might change its position again. In a court proceeding Feb. 5, Fifth Third Bank attorneys stated they wanted a third party to direct day-to-day operations of Zayat’s stable.
On Feb. 20, Zayat Stables’ Eskendereya won the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, becoming one of the favorites for the May 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Fifth Third began legal proceedings against Zayat last month, claiming he defaulted on several payments, thus triggering a clause that made the entire loan due. Zayat has countersued, and has also filed for Chapter 11 protection.