Ahmed Zayat

Ahmed Zayat

Anne M. Eberhardt

Zayat to Keep Control of Stable

Fifth Third bank decided not to seek trustee to run operation

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.