Breach Of Contract Suit Filed Against Ramsey

Central Kentucky veterinarian and equine technology consultant David Lambert has filed a breach of contract suit for unspecified monetary damages and attorney's fees against horse owner Kenneth Ramsey and his Ramsey Farm near Nicholasville, Ky. The civil complaint, filed in Fayette County Circuit Court, concerns Ramsey's two-time grade I winner Roses in May.

Mike Meuser, Ramsey's attorney, said he was aware of the filing.

"I haven't seen the complaint yet nor have I had the opportunity to speak with my client about it," Meuser said.

Lambert owns Equine Analysis Systems, Inc., in Midway, Ky., also party to the complaint. EAS selected Roses in May for Ramsey at the 2002 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s April sale of 2-year-olds in training, according to the suit. The 5-year-old horse has earned Ramsey more than $5 million on the racetrack.

In the suit, Lambert alleges that he and his company are entitled to "certain bonuses and breeding rights" based on the horse's earnings he claims have not been paid. As evidence, Lambert submitted a letter of understanding dated Oct. 25, 2001. The unsigned document, written to Ramsey on EAS stationery, recounts a meeting in Maryland between the parties and, according to Lambert, spells out their mutual obligations.

"That document was the framework for the agreement between Mr. Lambert and Mr. Ramsey," said Steve Shahinian, business manager for Lambert's business enterprise Twin Spires Inc. Shahinian said though no formal contract was signed, "the parties acted in accordance with the agreement from 2002 until this matter."

Included in the letter were standard veterinary charges for yearling health and management, heart scans, and the choice and examination of potential sale purchases. The letter also contained provisions entitling Lambert to a $50,000 bonus for a grade I win, a win in a million-dollar race, and two breeding rights to any horses purchased by Lambert that went on to stand at stud.

Lambert asserts Ramsey has not paid the $50,000 bonus for Roses in May's win in the March 25 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), the world's richest horse race, and that Ramsey sold a majority interest in Roses in May to a Japanese interest shortly after that win "upon information and belief (to be) a price between $8 million and $10 million," according to the filing.

Shahinian said Ramsey paid Lambert a $50,000 bonus earlier this year for Roses in May's Whitney Handicap (gr. I) victory at Saratoga in August 2004.

Lambert and Twin Spires also brought suit against the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust in 2003 involving 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri. According to Michael Paulson, son of the late owner and trustee of his Living Trust, the suit was settled out of court.