Jeff Mullins, trainer of 2009 Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner I Want Revenge , has filed a letter with the New York State Racing and Wagering Board regarding IEAH Stables’ alleged failure to meet financial obligations in relation to the training, riding, and care of the colt.
The letter, sent Aug. 3 to general counsel Robert Feuerstein of the NYSRWB and carbon copied to New York Racing Association president Charles Hayward, the NYRA stewards, and New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association president Richard Violette, among others, states that IEAH owes Mullins and several individuals connected to I Want Revenge more than $40,000 in unpaid bills.
“I urge the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and NYRA to immediately put a freeze on (IEAH’s) horseman's account in an effort to assure that all of their past due financial responsibilities are met before they are paid any purse monies,” Mullins wrote.
Mullins said money owed him (including his share of purse money from the $750,000 Wood Memorial) total $31,336.04; the travel expenses of jockey Joe Talamo total $3,312.90; costs for the respective veterinary services of Dr. Foster Northrop and Dr. Melinda Blue total $1,754.74 and $559.10, respectively; and layup fees from La Croix Farm total $3,150.00.
NYSRWB spokesman Joe Mahoney said Mullins’ letter was being reviewed by the board’s general counsel. He declined further comment on the matter.
NYRA spokesman Dan Silver said the association would have no comment until management and counsel reviewed the situation.
I Want Revenge has been the center of legal battles between IEAH and co-owner David Lanzman since Lanzman filed a June 5 lawsuit alleging IEAH violated its contract by subsequently selling more than 10% of its share of the colt without notifying Lanzman or providing him with documents about the sale.
IEAH Stables subsequently filed a July 16 counterclaim asserting that Lanzman failed to disclose injuries to I Want Revenge that eventually led to the 3-year-old colt being scratched the morning of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), for which he was the morning-line favorite.
IEAH president Michael Iavarone, reached by phone Aug. 4, spoke briefly on the subject.
“There’s no way we’re paying anything related to I Want Revenge until the lawsuit is straightened out,” Iavarone said. When asked if he was concerned that his horsemen’s account with NYRA could be frozen, he replied: “That’ll never happen.”
IEAH Stables campaigned 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown. It is expected to start multiple stakes horses during the meet at Saratoga including Benny the Bull in the Aug. 9 Alfred G. Vanderbilt (gr. II), and Court Vision in either the Aug 15 Sword Dancer (gr. IT) or the Aug. 28 Bernard Baruch (gr. II).