A judge in Alameda County denied a request for a temporary restraining order that would have allowed Jerry Hollendorfer to race at Golden Gate Fields. Hollendorfer has been barred from tracks owned by the Stronach Group after six horse fatalities this year at two of its tracks.
Hollendorfer won a similar request earlier this year to run horses at Del Mar. What now remains to be seen is whether Hollendorfer can get a court order that would allow him to run at Santa Anita, which starts its fall meeting Sept. 27.
Drew Couto, the attorney for Hollendorfer, when asked if a decision had been made on litigation against Santa Anita, said: “Not yet.” However, most expect Hollendorfer to file against the track.
“We’re disappointed in the ruling [Friday], but the judge gets to make the decision she chooses,” Couto said. “She may have been confused on the existence of concurrent racing opportunities.”
In the ruling, reference was made that Hollendorfer could race at five other tracks, but none of those tracks will be running at the same time as Golden Gate Fields except Los Alamitos.
The California Thoroughbred Trainers, who joined Hollendorfer in this action, argued on breach of contract, which was only peripherally brought up in the ruling.
“Although the TRO was denied, no decision was reached on the merits of the issue,” said Alan Balch, executive director of the CTT.
Couto said he will continue pursuing the Alameda County case but that it will continue as a normal court case, meaning it would not be settled any time soon. A ruling on its motion was expected two weeks ago, but the judge delayed it a week and then took it under submission and waited another week to render a decision.
“We are grateful to the California Superior Court for its thoughtful and thorough consideration of this matter and are pleased that our decision to ban Jerry Hollendorfer remains in effect,” the Stronach Group said in a statement. “In every decision that we make, The Stronach Group is committed to prioritizing the safety and welfare of the horses and riders at our facilities.”