Calif. Owner Sues Trainer, Steward for Racing Filly

A horse owner sued his trainer and a California Horse Racing Board steward for allegedly running his horse against his wishes at Del Mar on Aug. 14.

In a Los Angeles County Superior Court civil action filed Dec. 21, owner Jerry Jamgotchian charges that the steward, George Slender, threatened him and his trainer, Mark Glatt, with immediate license suspension if they did not race the filly John's Kinda Girl in the seventh race that day. Jamgotchian contends he told Slender in writing that the horse was not in fit enough condition to run but that the steward insisted she race.

Apparently because Slender works as an independent contractor, the CHRB was not named as a defendant.

But Jamgotchian alleges that the CHRB, through Slender, took possession of the filly by stationing a watchman at her barn on the day of the race and refusing to allow the owner to remove her from the Del Mar grounds. He said both he and Glatt refused to grant permission to run John's Kinda Girl.

Jamgotchian contends that he fired Glatt as trainer of John's Kinda Girl five hours prior to the race but that Glatt, under repeated threat of suspension from Slender, prepared and saddled her. John's Kinda Girl ran seventh of eight at odds of 28-1.

The suit, filed by attorney Ronald S. Caswell, seeks general and punitive damages for defrauding the public and causing intentional hardship to Jamgotchian.