Pick Nine Winner Will Appeal Ruling

A man who claims Hollywood Park unjustly denied him $1 million in winnings will appeal the dismissal of a key portion of his lawsuit against the race track, his attorney said Monday.

"I'm quite dismayed that we lost at the trial level, but we have every intention of being successful at the appellate level," attorney George A. Martinez said.

Superior Court Judge Robert A. Mallano last week said he agreed with a Hollywood Park Operating Co. attorney that the track did not have to pay the prize to Rodolfo Sahagun because he didn't follow contest rules.

However, Mallano said a portion of Sahagun's lawsuit claiming breach of contract and seeking more than $4 million in punitive damages for mental anguish and distress will be allowed to move forward.

Martinez said the complaint filed by Sahagun, 48, of Carlsbad, will be amended to include suits against the track by Sahagun's wife, Concepcion, and children.

The family was present when Sahagun was presented with a dummy check for $1 million the day after he picked the winning horses in all nine races at the track last July 21.

Hollywood Park later refused to pay the prize after it discovered Sahagun had submitted three entries in the contest, despite rules that limited entries to one per person.

Mallano's ruling last Tuesday meant Sahagun would be unable to sue to collect the $50,000 annual payoffs for 20 years that constitute the $1-million prize, said Ross Berlin, a Hollywood Park attorney.

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